Dried Sage Vs Ground Sage: Best Choice And Substitutions

Have you considered sage if you’re looking to add some new herbs to your spice cabinet? Sage can come in a few different forms, such as fresh, dried, ground, or rubbed.

But what are the differences between these forms of sage? This article will go more in-depth about dried sage vs ground sage. 

First, we’ll discuss if they’re the same or not. Then, we’ll go more into detail about their similarities and differences. For example, we’ll talk about their appearance, health benefits, taste, availability, cooking uses, and more. 

Finally, we’ll share ways to substitute one for the other in your recipes. As a bonus, we’ll explain what rubbed sage is. 

Is Dried Sage The Same As Ground Sage?

In a nutshell, yes. Dried sage is the same as ground sage. So, for instance, you can’t have ground sage first without dried sage.

Once you have dried your fresh sage leaves, you can leave them as if or ground the dried leaves.

Dried Sage Vs Ground Sage

So, what exactly are these different forms of sage? Fresh sage leaves are about four inches long, and they’re oval that look wrinkly. You can dry the moisture out of them to create dried sage leaves.

Once you have dried sage leaves, you can ground them up into a fine powder. This is easy to do if you have a mortar and pestle in your kitchen.

However, even though these two forms come from the same herb, they can have their differences in addition to their similarities.

dried and fresh sage
Dried and fresh sage

Ground Sage Vs. Dried Sage: Taste Differences

In most cases, a herb loses some of its flavors when it’s dried out. However, that’s not the case with sage.

Dried sage has a more robust flavor than when its leaves were fresh. However, when ground into powder form, the flavor remains strong. In fact, ground sage is often noted as having more of an intense flavor.

Dried and ground sage have a pine and citrus flavor. They’re often described as tasting bitter, earthy, or woody.

Overall, if you prefer the strong taste of this herb, then using dried or ground sage is a great idea. However, between the two of them, if you want something for subtle-tasting, then you can use dried sage over the ground sage. 

Dried Vs. Ground Sage: Appearance

Dried sage often looks like a shriveled form of fresh sage leaves. The fresh leaves will shrink in size and become crumbly at your touch. 

On the other hand, ground sage forms when you crush dried sage into a fine powder.

Ground Vs. Dried Sage: Price And Availability

You’ll be able to find dried sage and ground sage at your local grocery store all year round.

Dried sage will be a bit more expensive than ground sage. So, if you’re looking to save a dollar here and there, you can buy dried sage and then ground it yourself.

On the other hand, if you have a sage plant, you can harvest fresh leaves on your own. Then, if needed, you can dry those leaves and store some for later. Alternatively, you can take some of those dried sage leaves and ground them into powder.

Learn how to dry fresh sage leaves in the oven here.

If you dry and ground the sage leaves yourself, then you’ll save yourself some money in the long run.

Whether you do it yourself or buy it from the store, you can be sure that your dried sage and ground sage have a shelf life of about two years.

Ground Vs. Dried Sage: Health Benefits

Luckily, ground dried sage doesn’t lose any of its health benefits. As a result, Sage can be used for many purposes.

For example, it contains antioxidants and many nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It can also help control your blood sugar levels and boost your overall immune system.

Dried Sage
Dried Sage

Ground Vs. Dried Sage: How It Is Used In Cooking

Sage is great for many dishes, mainly European, Italian, and Greek cuisines. In addition, it can be used to season many types of meats.

When adding dried sage to a recipe, you’ll want to add it in early on to the cooking process. Since it has a stronger flavor, the dried sage will mellow out and let the taste blend in well with the other ingredients.

On the other hand, ground sage can be used in cooking or marinating many types of meat. It can be used as a dry rub or a topping for yogurt or curry. It can also be used as a herb for tea.

What Is The Winner?

Overall, dried sage and ground sage are similar in many ways. So, you can use either one in many cooking situations.

However, if you’re looking to use it as a dry rub or you want to marinate some meat, then using ground sage is the way to go.

Also, you’ll end up using less ground sage to dry sage in the long run. If you can only have one type of this herb in stock in your kitchen, it can be ground sage. 

Can You Substitute Ground Sage For Dried Sage?

Yes, you can substitute dried sage for dried sage and vice versa.

Both of these forms of sage are similar, aside from the texture. However, they both keep their pungent flavor.

So, how much should you use when substituting one for the other?

How Much Ground Sage Equals Dried Sage?

Even though dried sage and ground sage are similar in many ways, you need to change your measurements for substitution.

For example, the dried sage vs. ground safe measurements is about one teaspoon of dried sage, which should equal about one-half teaspoon of ground sage.

Since ground sage is finer than dried sage, you’ll end up using more in your recipes, which is why the measurements are less. 

What Is Rubbed Sage?

Rubbed sage is similar to ground sage. However, instead of grounding it into a fine powder, you simply rub the sage leaves together to create a fluffy, light mixture.

Once you dry your fresh sage leaves, you can rub them together to make this mixture. You can also create rubbed sage through fresh leaves.

The rubbed sage leaves have less flavor than ground or dried sage. So, if you’re looking for a more subtle taste, rubbed sage is a good idea. 

Final Words

Dried sage and ground sage are similar to one another, but they do have their differences. You can use one over the other in various cooking methods. Also, they have the same health benefits.

However, they look different, and one has a stronger flavor than the other. Yet, they are both still excellent for whatever you need. Plus, they both will last at least two years if stored properly.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn the differences between fresh and dried sage or here for how to freeze sage. You can also find all my guides to growing sage here.