13 Spices that Go with Basil

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There’s no denying the tastiness of basil. This popular herb combines well with numerous other recipes, adding a pungent and peppery flavor.

But you don’t often use just one or two ingredients in a recipe. You often use many to shape a complex and delightful flavor just to your liking. With that in mind, what spices could you use alongside your basil to flavor a dish?

We’re here to answer that question for you. Keep reading to find our list of spices that go with basil.

1. Chervil

Just like basil, chervil is another herb. Its delicate flavor is what makes it a good companion for basil, providing a parsley-like shadow to its more robust partner.

2. Chives

If you like onion, you’ll love chives. They have a hot kick that’s a lot like a milder version of onion. It balances the pepperiness of basil nicely.

3. Cilantro

Cilantro is a pretty divisive food. You either love or hate its strongly herbal, citrusy, and even onion-like taste. With fresh basil, it would be a powerful combination. Pair it with dried basil, however, if you’d prefer a more mellow eating experience.

Related Article: What Does Cilantro Taste Like?

4. Dill

Incredibly potent, the flavor of dill is not one you’re likely to forget once you’ve tasted it the first time. It has an amazingly fresh taste with hints of mint and even licorice in it. These qualities will mirror and enhance the faint traces of sweetness in basil.

Did you know you can grow dill at home? Check out our list of the best planters for dill if you’re interested in growing some yourself. 

5. Ginger

Do you love when your food has a spicy bite to it? In that case, we recommend using ginger with your basil, which will contrast its pepperiness with citrus and heat.

6. Lemongrass

Basil has an oftentimes overwhelming flavor that can overshadow its companions. With potent lemongrass, however, you won’t need to worry about basil being too prominent. Lemongrass’s citrusy and minty flavors aren’t easily lost in the mix.

Want to try it out? You can read our guide on where to find lemongrass in the grocery store for more information.

7. Marjoram

Majoram is one of those tastes that simple palates might not appreciate as much. It has both bitterness and a gentle sweetness to it that gives your basil additional dimensions it lacks.

8. Mint

Have you ever breathed in a breath of cool winter air that chilled your mouth? Mint has just a hint of that refreshing feel to it when you chew it. It can pull out the slight anise-like sweetness in your basil.

9. Oregano

Oregano has a full-bodied taste, both peppery and lemony. It will both highlight and provide some contrast to the pepperiness in basil.

10. Parsley

Just like with oregano, parsley has peppery notes that mirror basil’s. If you like the taste of pepper, combine these two herbs for a heightened pepperiness.

11. Pepper

What better spice to accentuate pepperiness than pepper itself? Using pepper will dramatically bring out the peppery flavors of basil. Fortunately, basil’s freshness will keep this combo from feeling too flat.  

12. Tarragon

Tarragon also has some traces of pepper, but it brings other flavors to the table, as well. It has sharp and sweet hints of anise that will draw forth a similar taste in your basil.

13. Thyme

In some ways, thyme is like a milder version of mint. It possesses a cooling minty taste on a lower level that will subtly make your basil more refreshing.

Spices that Go with Basil