Cooking with Herbs for Better Food Flavor

Are you cooking with herbs or avoiding them? For years, I only used salt and pepper. Now, I have a large collection of herbs and seasonings that I enjoy using. Your entire family will love the added flavor your food will have when you start using herbs!

Knife on a wooden cutting board preparing for cooking with herbs

When you cook without herbs and spices meals turn out bland, at best. If you’re unsure how to use herbs in cooking, keep reading. The following ideas will teach you how to begin using herbs and making meals which are more palatable.

Before you begin your foray into cooking with herbs, it’s important to know where you would expect to use them. Some herbs are used more with savory recipes while others will be used in dessert recipes. You may also find a few herbs which can be used in both.

Make a plan to try a different herb each week. Look for a couple of recipes which use new herbs you’d like to try. Prepare about three new recipes using the herb and see how your family likes them.

Cooking With Herbs: How to Use with Different Meats

Beef

Add fresh sweet marjoram to butter and spread it over a roast beef after it comes out of the oven. You may also want to do something similar with sweet marjoram, chervil, parsley, summer savory and celery.

Seared Strip Steak is better when you're cooking with herbs!
Seared Strip Steak – Great when topped with mushrooms or onions! Click the picture to check out the recipe!

Beef Recipes:

Pork

Chervil, savory and marjoram would be added to pork chops. Sage is a common herb used in sausage.

Tuscan Pork Chops
Tuscan Pork Chops with White Beans and Sage made in Cast Iron Pan. Click the picture to check out the recipe!

Pork Recipes:

Lamb

Thyme, parsley, garlic, onion or marjoram could be used in combination on lamb. You could also use dill on lamb chops.

Poultry

Basil, lovage, marjoram, sage, thyme and rosemary are common ingredients in poultry seasoning. These would be great added to chicken or turkey.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts and Green Beans taste great when cooking with herbs
Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Green Beans – Click the picture for the recipe!

Poultry Recipes:

Fish

When preparing fish you may want to use dill, basil or tarragon. You could also use curry powder, mustard and marjoram.

Cast Iron Pan of Lemon Butter Herb Cod
Cast Iron Pan of Lemon Butter Herb Cod – Click the picture for the recipe!

Fish Recipes:

Beverages

Various types of mint, lemon balm and lemon thyme could be added to hot or cold tea

Blackberry Iced Tea made in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Blackberry Iced Tea – Click the picture to get the recipe!

Beverage Recipes:

Desserts

Herbs for desserts include allspice, anise, caraway, cinnamon, ginger, mint and nutmeg.

Rustic Blueberry Maple Crisp
Rustic Blueberry Maple Crisp – Click the picture to get the recipe!

Dessert Recipes:

You can find fresh or dried herbs in most grocery stores. However, it is important to remember that fresh herbs provide a bold flavor while powdered herbs are generally milder. Use dried herbs with fat such as when making a flavored butter or infusing oil. When using fresh herbs, be sure to crush the herb before using it to cook with.

When it comes to herbs remember that a little often goes a long way. You’ll want to experiment if you don’t know how to use herbs in cooking, but you don’t want to overwhelm the dish. As you become more comfortable using a few herbs, you can then begin branching out and trying more exotic ones.

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