While specific herbs pair beautifully with certain meat, what is the best herbs for beef?

What is the Best Herbs for Beef


Cooking day in, day out can be boring and tiring. You can change this. You can create and enjoy your culinary experience as a home cook by experimenting with different kind of ingredients. Let’s begin with herbs! There are plenty of flavorful herbs you can use in cooking. While specific herbs pair beautifully with certain meat, what the best herbs for beef is?

Herbs and meat pairing is very subjective. It all depends on an individual’s food palate. What tastes good for you may not be for him. Regardless, it is recognized that certain herbs pair wonderfully well with beef.

Today, you will get to know the best herbs to flavor your beef. Should you be using fresh or dried herbs? Read on…

Best Herbs with Beef

Beef is rich meat meaning it contains a lot of protein and fat. Thus, you need to use strong and savory herbs to hold their own flavors. Else, the taste and aroma of the herbs are lost. However, always bear in mind that balance is the key to palatable dishes.

Herbs that pair well with beef are rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, basil and oregano

Here are 6 common cooking herbs to bring out the best of your beef dish while keeping the herbaceous tang.


Rosemary is known for its woody fragrance and has a minty, peppery, balsamic taste. It pairs wonderfully with heavy or greasy flavors of beef.

Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary when slow cooking beef and you will NOT be disappointed. Beef broth, stews and casseroles will taste delectable. Also, you can rub into roasts, steaks and cuts of beef for barbecuing.


Thyme is one of the more versatile herbs. Its sweet warmth and floral aroma make this herb an excellent pairing for all types of dishes, adding a touch of depth. When paired with beef, thyme rounds out the flavor of the meat with its lemony notes.

Try combining thyme, parsley, sage and garlic when making your ground beef. Similar to rosemary, thyme is great for making broth and slow cooking beef.


Even though sage is mostly used with poultry, it is delicious with beef. Fragrant and warm, it adds a bit of herbal flair to even the simplest beef dishes.

Try this Garlic-Sage Steak Topping from The Spruce Eats.


Most people think of parsley as a garnish. I am guilty of that too. This herb can add a lovely fresh flavor to any beef dish. It has a vibrant, aromatic flavor with a slightly lemony aroma.

You should add parsley towards the end of the cooking as heat can destroy the flavor.

If you fancy Korean cuisine, try this recipe – Parsley Peppercorn Beef Patties from Beyond Kimchee.


I love basil on almost everything. Simply toss onto green salad, soup or pasta and cooking any meat dishes.

Basil is a good herb to pair with beef because of its peppery and slightly minty flavor. It gives a nice savory taste with a hint of minty coolness.

Similar to parsley, make sure to add basil last to retain its delicate flavor.  Normally, I will only add basil upon turning off the heat. Give it a few turns and dish out.

A Thai food lover will surely love pad kra pao gai (Thai Basil Chicken). Using beef is just as tasty if not better. Follow this Thai Basil Beef recipe from The Woks of Life.


Oregano is the herb of choice when it comes to cooking Mediterranean beef dishes. It is earthy and strong to hold its own flavor easily.

Try this Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef from Mom to Mom Nutrition. This dish uses oregano and basil, and the tender beef will fall apart easily in your mouth.

When buying your meat, is it important to you in knowing where it is from? Wouldn’t you want to know how was it raised?

There is a difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed. On top of that, grass-fed beef may NOT be grass-finished.

I understand you may find the terms confusing. Worry not.

Read all about Grass-fed Finished Beef here.

In fact, you can buy 100% grass-fed finished beef online. At Farm Foods Market, you get to know the ranchers and their farms before ordering the various cut of meat. Take a minute to explore Farm Foods and learn more.

Currently, there is a promotion going on.

Thanksgiving PreSale! Enjoy 20% off Thanksgiving items with code AFFTURKEY20 at FarmFoodsMarket.com! Offer valid 11/8-11/15. Shop now and get free shipping on all orders of more than 10 pounds at FarmFoodsMarket.com!

I want you to know that this is an affiliate link but there is NO extra cost to YOU should you proceed to visit and buy on Farm Foods Market. Just a small commission for me to keep this website going 😉

Now that you know what herbs is best for beef, how do you use them?

Fresh Herbs or Dried

While many chefs and experienced home cooks chose fresh over dried, you can use either.

You can use either fresh herbs or dried to flavour your beef

Fresh herbs are flavorful and highly appreciated for their valuable nutrients and antioxidants. Not forgetting their medicinal values. Furthermore, they make beautiful garnishes and brighten up any dishes.

Dried herbs are more concentrated and potent, thus you will need to reduce the amount when substituting fresh with dried.

You need to know that dried herbs lose their flavour over time. Should your dried herbs have been on your spice rack for some time, you may have to measure out a bit more to make up for the flavor.

Always go slow, continuously taste your dish and adjust accordingly. You can add more but cannot take them out.

The general rule of thumb to substitute fresh herbs with dried is a ratio of three to one.

3 portions of fresh herbs = 1 portion of dried herbs

Read more about Fresh Herbs vs Dried Herbs.

When to Add Fresh Herbs

Hard herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano should be added at the early stages of cooking to allow them time to infuse flavor into the dish, giving a subtle background note.

Use whole sprigs and gently bruise the leaves with your fingers to release more oils and increase flavors before adding to your beef stew, casseroles or roast.

Using whole sprigs allows you to take them out easily should you find them too intense. You certainly do NOT want one flavor to stand out too much.

Making a bouquet garni is an excellent way to use your fresh herbs for cooking stews, casseroles, soup and stocks. Learn more about bouquet garni.

Consider Growing Your Own Herbs

An indoor herb garden will give you a continuous supply of fresh herbs all year round. Cutting sprigs of herbs and use them almost immediately ensures maximum flavor and nutrition. Also, avoid wastages as you are only cutting what is needed.

Buying fresh herbs from the grocery stores has a minimum amount to purchase. Therefore, you may end up with leftovers. Although you can store them for a few days, nothing beats using them fresh!

To Sum Up

Cooking can be fun! And I encourage you to experiment with various herbs to flavor your beef. The 6 common cooking herbs listed here are the best herbs with beef but there are others that pair just as well. For instance tarragon, marjoram and chives.

Rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano are hard herbs and these are mostly used when slow cooking beef such as stews, casseroles, roast and beef stock.

You may use each individually or combine them as a bouquet garni and add to your dish at the beginning of cooking. Using each individually allows you to recognize the aroma and taste if you have not known it already.

Basil and parsley are soft herbs and you do not want to lose their delicate flavors by adding them too early in the cooking process. Mostly used in quick-cook such as stir-fry or adding them to ground beef for meatballs and burger patties. Also, make delicious steak toppings.

Enhance the flavour of beef dishes with herbs

It is not a must to use fresh herbs. No doubt, I prefer using fresh, you may go with what you have.

I dislike wastages so I will still use my dried rosemary if fresh is not available. There is no point in buying fresh when you have dried unless there are other uses for them which you may want to know about. Check out the below articles on ways to use your leftover fresh herbs.

Please Leave a Comment

Cooking with herbs is a great way to extra flavor to any dishes. I hope you like the herbs mentioned here.

So, how have you been cooking your beef? What other ingredients or herbs do you use? Let us know at the comments section below.

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If you find this blog post interesting, please share it with anyone that you think might find it useful. Thank you and have a good day!

From the Corner of My Home – Spice Up Your Life with Herbs and Spices

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Sharon is on a career break, minding her family. During her free hours, she loves sharing her passion for herbs and spices. She learned how to build this website at Wealthy Affiliate University. If you have a passionate topic and would love to share, click here to learn how to build your own profitable website!

14 Replies to “What is the Best Herbs for Beef

  1. Hi Sharon!

    I’m happy to find your website, I love to cook and I always want to learn more, my husband and I are currently growing an herbs garden where I can get fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme and coriander.

    I enjoyed reading your article as I’m always looking for new ways to use fresh herbs on my cooking, I’m sure I’ll be back to your website to learn more.


    1. Great to have you here, Alejandra. Am so happy for you having your own herbs garden. I have basil and mint throughout the year. Sadly, my rosemary plant didn’t make it.

      Drop by periodically to see what’s cooking here. 



  2. I have realized the power of experimenting with food, whether an expert or not. It is amazing.

    Experimenting with beef is my favorite as I find that beef ‘accepts’ almost everything. I however love oregano sooo much. I never miss to use it on my meats. I also like to think of parsley as a garnishing herb. But now that you have said it has a lemony flavor, I will go for it in my next dish. I have also started growing rosemary in my compound and they blend very well with the flowers.

    Thank you for these awesome pointers!

    1. You are most welcome, Carol.

      I encourage you to try out different herbs cooking your beef dish. Or you may combine oregano with thyme and parsley for a change. Who knows, you may end up loving it. 



  3. I am craving beef after reading your post. I am very simple when it comes to my steak. Medium rare and just salt and pepper, It is time for me to step up my game. I love basil it almost every thing too! I am from Thailand and I love all basil. I sometimes make beef pad kra prow all the time and I like it spicy with fried egg 🙂 over rice. That is my comfort dish. Thank you for introducing all these herbs that we can use to spice up the beef. I hate food waste too 🙂

    1. Oh yes, the fried egg. I have to agree with you that it goes very well with the dish.

      Go ahead and try out all the herbs mentioned. They are a really good pairing with beef. 

      Happy Cooking!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe of Beef with Herbs, my family and I often have Beef with rosemary as it has always been a tradition in our family. Now I am able to see the alternatives that are available, my wife is going to love my next beef dinner. Thanks for sharing, I am going to save this post and share it with my family whom I know will love it too, James

  5. Thanks, great article. I like how you put all the seasonings into words with a description. You are so right that Parsley is more than just a garnish! I have always enjoyed the taste of parsley and I would eat it as a seasoning. I get ground turkey at the store and it comes with rosemary seasoning. I like that flavor so I will have to try it on beef as well. 

    Thats great that you can buy good beef online. I will have to try that sometime especially because I will know where the beef is from and how it was raised. I do try to support ethical practices where I can. Thanks!

    1. It is definitely good to know where our meat comes from. Moreover,  I try to support family-owned business as much as I can and hope people are aware of their presence.

      Thanks for commenting. Good day!

  6. I keep pots of basil, thyme, rosemary and parsley on my terrace. In each meat not only beef depending on the accompanying, but I will also add one of these herbs. You gave me ideas with your article and other herbs I might grow, such as coriander, sage and oregano. The idea of dried herbs is amazing. Thanks.

  7. Hello Sharon, thanks for this really nice post. I’ve learned about more of these wonderful herbal spices, previously I only use Rosemary and thyme and its been good to an extent. I’d love to try more of these herbal spice and enjoy full sweetness of beef since I’m on keto and I eat beef alot. Thanks once again.

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