Pronounced [SAY-vuh-ree] (satureja) is closely related to the mint family. There are two types of savory, summer and winter. While the winter version is stronger, both are described as having a flavor that is a cross between mint and thyme.

Culinary Uses

Summer Savory - satureja hortensis, is a small, bushy annual. The plant is quite woody with branching stems and small leathery leaves. The leaves have a mildly spicy flavor. Use with meats, fish or with beans. The leaves are commonly used in dried-herb mixtures for use in stuffing, pates and other meat dishes.

Winter Savory - satureja montana, forms a clumping plant that is compact and semi-evergreen. Winter savory has a stronger, less refined flavor than the summer variety. Use in slow-simmered stews.<


History And Lore

Both savories were enjoyed in Roman cuisine. "The poet, Virgil, 70 -19 BC, celebrated them as being among the most fragrant of plants for growing near beehives". (Houdret, 2001).

Even Shakespeare wrote of savory. The herb was taken to North America by early settlers to remind them of their English gardens. Both savories were enjoyed for both medicinal and culinary purposes.

Medicinal Uses

Savory is considered to have antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties. It is sometimes used as a digestive aid.

Note: Savories can stimulate the uterus and should not be used by pregnant woman in medicinal doses. Always consult with your Dr. before using medicinal doses of herbs in your diet. This does not apply to small culinary use.

Savory Substitutes

Winter or Summer Savory - You can substitute with thyme which is stronger. Or, combine thyme with a pinch of sage or mint.

Nutrition Information For Savory

Serving Size
1 tbsp
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 3g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  0% Iron  0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Buy And Store

Savory is available dried year long. Check your produce section or farmer's market for fresh savory. Store the fresh herb in a tightly sealed bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Always best to use fresh herbs as quickly as possible.

Grow Your Own

Both savories can be grown in full sun placed in soil with good drainage. Purchase seed or small starts from your local nursery.

Buy Seeds

Park Seeds


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.