What Meat Goes With Thyme? 4 Best Meat Options

Perhaps you have seen thyme as an ingredient for several vegetable dishes and are wondering if you can get away with using it in meats as well.

The good news is that thyme goes well with meat and it is common for this herb to find application when cooking meats like beef, chicken, fish, and pork. 

Thyme is a common flavor when it comes to meat dishes in the USA, it gives off a subtle or strong taste depending on how intense you want it.

Wondering how to measure a sprig of thyme? How Much Thyme in a Sprig?

Does Thyme Go With Meat? 

If you suddenly find out that you have thyme growing in your garden, or someone gives you a bush, you’ll want to know how to use the herb. Finding more than one use for your thyme would be highly advisable. 

Yes, meat does go with thyme! Thyme may seem like an overpowering flavor however when cooked with meats it mellows down to provide a slightly lemony and minty flavor. If you’ve ever tasted thyme alone, finding out it goes with meat could be confusing at first! 

Thyme happens to make for one of the finest flavor makers in a range of dishes. It is a versatile herb that you can add to both vegetable dishes as well as meat dishes, not to mention a few beverages as well! 

What Meat Does Thyme Go With?

Unlike other herbs that usually suit one particular meat, thyme is pretty flexible as it can suit a range of meats. This makes it highly advantageous as a permanent fixture in your garden. Plus, there are many ways to use thyme in meats and you can choose from a multitude of recipes. 

Take a look at all the meats that go with thyme. 

1. Beef 

The best protein to use with your fresh thyme is beef. The herb passes on an excellent flavor to this meat that tastes best when incorporated with an earthy flavor. What’s even better is that there are a few ways to maximize the aroma and zest provided by the thyme is unmatched. 

Thyme is a great suiting for a range of beef cuts such as tenderloin, ribs, and skirt parts. Take a look at how you can incorporate fresh or dried thyme into your beef dishes. These are the two most common 

Thyme Flavored Oil

In this recipe, you only need four ingredients, olive oil, black pepper, salt, and fresh thyme. 

Mix the salt, pepper, and olive oil, enough to dissolve the salt. Then chop your thyme rather finely and mix it into the solution just made. Leave this to sit for approximately 15 – 20 minutes to let the flavors infuse into the oil.  

After this, you can store the thyme-infused oil and use it to prepare various other dishes and add an extra layer of tanginess to your dish. You won’t regret using it in some of the rather duller dishes you cook! 

Thyme Butter 

A second way to incorporate the thyme into your favorite beef cut is by preparing a thyme-garlic butter. For this recipe, you will need unsalted butter, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper, and lemon zest. 

Start off by mincing the garlic and even blending it in the food processor. Then after mincing the garlic, mix in all the ingredients and put it into the blender as well. You can then place the completed mixture in a container or you can roll it in a plastic sheet and roll out the ends. 

Adding the other ingredients to the butter is easier when the butter is soft. 

2. Chicken

Poultry meats such as quail and chicken also make a great addition to a range of herbs namely rosemary, sage, and thyme. Chicken is especially meat that many herb enthusiasts choose to use due to its ability to absorb flavors as it comes with little of its own flavors. 

You can throw in a sprig of thyme when roasting or broiling your chicken. But, if you are looking for more flavor, you can prepare your own homemade marinade. 

Fresh thyme, salt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, should be mixed in a bowl. After the ingredients combine well enough, you can then add your chicken to this marinade. When it comes time to cook, you can just add a bit of oil (thyme oil will do) to cook your chicken.

3. Fish 

Many people consider fishing a protein that needs delicate flavoring. When used properly, thyme makes for a great way to pair your fish. You will be surprised how a bland piece of fish can be spruced up with aroma and zest just by adding a bit of thyme.

A range of fish can be cooked or roasted with thyme. You don’t have to chop the thyme up but can instead use the whole thyme. A sprig of thyme will suffice in adding enough flavor to your thyme. 

It’s as simple as adding your fish to a pan, some lemon juice, a sprig of thyme, and even some thyme oil and putting the heat up! 

Another option is to marinate the fish in salt and pepper and then incorporate the thyme into a sauce to eat with the cooked fish. 

Wondering how much of a thyme plant is actually edible? Read this: Are Thyme Flowers Edible? Appearance & Taste

4. Pork 

Thyme is a very versatile hern when it comes to pork. This meat is a favorite in most American homes and because it is so popular, people try to cook it in so many ways. 

The best part about pairing thyme with pork is that it tastes good with thyme whether you braise it, roast it, or stew it. 

Depending on your taste buds, you can choose how intense you want the thyme flavor to be. If you like the thyme flavor, you can add more thyme or if you like it milder, you can add less thyme. 

Thyme can even be used as the main or sole flavor. Just add some basics such as salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and of course your thyme as well.

Should You Use Fresh or Dried Thyme For Meat?

You can’t go wrong when using thyme in flavoring your dishes, whether it is a marinade for a grill or a roast, thyme really does bring out the best in any meat! But a common question is whether fresh or dried thyme is the better version of thyme. 

There’s no doubt that nothing beats fresh thyme and you should use it whenever you get the opportunity to. However, if you don’t have a supply of fresh thyme, dried thyme is the second-best option!

A common misconception is that dried thyme doesn’t give off the same aroma or essence that fresh thyme does. This is incorrect and dried thyme has just as many flavor-imparting capabilities as fresh thyme. 

So, you can use a fresh sprig of thyme for your meats, or you can use a frozen or dried sprig and get the same results when using either. But, we suggest trying to plant a thyme bush if you have the space as it has several culinary uses. 


Found out you have thyme growing in your garden? Well, you have hit the jackpot if you enjoy flavoring your meats with herbs such as thyme. The thyme herb goes with a number of meats. 

Thyme goes with beef, chicken, fish, and pork and makes a great flavor maker for these meats regardless of how they are cooked. You can use it while grilling, sauteing, roasting, stewing, or even stir-frying. 

In most cases thyme can be rubbed fresh onto raw meats, to infuse more of an earthy flavor to the meat. What’s even more impressive about thyme is that it can be used in both its fresh and dried form. 

Planning to plant some thyme at home but live in a cold climate: Can Thyme Survive Winter? Tips to Protect Thyme


Is thyme good for red meat?

Yes, thyme makes for a great addition to all red meats regardless of how you cook it. It adds a unique taste and depth that you just cannot obtain without such a herb. Thyme doesn’t need to be fresh to be good with red meat, it also flavors well when dry. Even if you don’t want to add it whole, you can chop it up or just rub it onto your meat. 

What flavors go with thyme?

Thyme has a slightly sweet and nutty taste that actually goes well with meats. But, it can also go well with other types of herbs such as basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, parsley, oregano, or chives. If you want to give your meat dishes the best taste, you can even add a combination of herbs to add to your dish. 

What are thyme uses in cooking? 

You can use thyme for flavoring meats, and making marinades. It can also be chopped up and used in soups, and sauces for pasta. Furthermore, you can even use it as a garnish to top various dishes such as bread and sauteed or roasted vegetables. You can also make thyme tea if you like hot beverages.