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Nov 23, 2002 08:09 PM

dried rubbed sage vs. ground sage?

  • m

a turkey recipe that i'm going to use calls for dried rubbed sage; can i substitute it with ground sage instead? i don't use sage all that much, so i'd rather not have to buy yet another spice.


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  1. I don't know the exact recipe you are using, but dried sage, along with rosemary and basil, gets no use in my kitchen. Thyme and oregano have beneficial dried uses, but sage should be used fresh. Whether basting or stuffing, I suggest you use fresh.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jake pine
      Kathryn Callaghan

      I grow sage and use it fresh in many dishes, but I wouldn't consider putting it in my Thanksgiving stuffing. I prefer the even, mellow flavor the dried herb imparts - possibly because that's what I grew up with.

      I'd say go ahead and use the ground sage, but you'll have to reduce the quantity a little since it's more concentrated. Taste before you add the eggs and adjust if necessary.

      1. re: jake pine

        I couldn't disagree more. There are uses for rubbed sage, just as with oregano and thyme (I wouldn't use dried rosemary/basil either). The rubbed sage that I get is rather like little balls of dried sage and I can sprinkle (rub) between my fingers to release the flavor. It is better than fresh for certain types of cooking. I find that if I'm browning pork chops the flavor is better. I would also use with turkey stuffing but I do use fresh sage inside the cavity. You can experiment with both and see which you prefer. It is nice to have in your pantry when fresh can't be found, and it's not the end of the world like dried rosemary is.

        1. re: michellestein

          Agree with your comments on rubbed sage. Couldn't disagree more on your rosemary comment. I have six rosemary bushes, about 2 1/2 feet tall, growing as a hedge next to my sidewalk (very attractive & smells wonderful when a passerby brushes against it). I use it fresh frequently with good results. AND I dry the clippings and use the dried rosemary, also with good results (needless to say, my dried herb is NOT months old).

      2. Buy the rubbed sage and throw out your old ground sage, especially if it is old. Sage is not expensive. Then use it in other dishes. Sage goes well with chicken, pork, spaghettis sauce and more. You need much less rubbed sage than you do ground sage. Probably half as much. Ground sage is the whole leaf. Rubbed is the outer soft fluffy part with the majority of the flavor. As Jake mentions fresh sage is the best, but I feel that rubbed sage, if good quality, can be very pungent and flavorful. It has a sharper but less bright flavor than fresh. I personally find that dried sage is better than fresh for a long cooking dish. For some reason fresh sage works better when it cooks for less time.

        1. dried sage improves nothing.

          1. I've had very good rubbed sage, but once made the mistake of buying a cheap dried sage (I added it to a soup, and, as it floated on top of the broth, saw the it was comprised more of stems than leaves). I've since bought a 'better' dried sage, but it is so lacking in flavor that I never use it. I can get fresh at a good price (and do use that in my stuffing), but would choose rubbed over dried.

            1. Yes you can. I know this question is way old, but in case anyone else comes looking they can see.

              The weight is very different between rubbed and ground. So use it somewhere around 2.5:1, so if your recipe calls for 1 tbs of rubbed sage, use a little over a tsp of ground.