There are several varieties of this mint-family member, a perennial herb native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Garden thyme, the most often used variety, is a bush with grey-green leaves giving off a pungent minty, light-lemon aroma. Sub-varieties include the narrow-leafed French thyme and broad-leafed English thyme. The most common sub-variety of wild thyme – a thick ground cover – is lemon thyme, a herb with a more pronounced lemon aroma than garden thyme. Whatever the type, thyme is widely used in cooking to add flavour to vegetables, meat,poultry and fish dishes, soups and cream sauces. It’s a basic herb of French cuisine and an integral herb to bouquet garni. It is a rich source of Vitamin A and calcium and a good source of magnesium but like most herbs it isn’t eaten in large quantities, so it doesn’t make a significant contribution to nutrient intake.

Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw
Energy kJ 401
Kcal 95
Protein g 3.0
Carbohydrate g 15.1
Fat g 2.5

A good source of…

Nutrient Raw
Vitamin A One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Calcium One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Magnesium One Tick

For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

Thyme gives a subtle, pleasing flavour to almost any savoury dish, and is particularly nice when cooked slowly. Leaves are most easily removed from fresh thyme stems by stripping them off in the direction of growth with your fingers, or by running the stem between the tines of a fork. If you are using a whole stem, but won’t be cooking it for very long, bruise the leaves slightly with a wooden spoon or a pestle to release the essential oils.The classic French use of thyme sprigs is in a bouquet garni (usually with parsley and bay leaf). Chop leaves finely with other herbs for marinades, or add at the last minute as a garnish for pasta dishes. Lemon thyme infused in hot water makes a very nice tisane and can be used in fruit-based desserts. Thyme is also used to flavour oils, vinaigrettes, dressings,marinades, roasted vegetables, breads and gratin dishes.

Thyme complements all poultry, most fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, pork and veal. It goes well with beets, carrots, celery, green beans,onions, potatoes, tomatoes and courgettes. It can be used with almost all savoury cheese and egg dishes, fish, mustard and tomato sauces. It is added to stuffing, pasta, polenta,rice and salads and is used extensively in soups and stews.


For some thyme recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here

Sideloin Lamb Chops with Parsley and Thyme Dressing

A really tasty mid-week meal that can be on the table in twenty minutes. We have used sideloin chops but the recipe works equally well with any type of lamb chops, cutlets or lamb steaks.

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Roast Chicken with Thyme

It really couldn’t be simpler – a little bit of preparation and into the oven.

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