Bouquet Garni

Bouquet garni
Bouquet garni.

The Spruce

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (up to 4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
17 Calories
1g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1/2 cup (up to 4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 17
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 1g
Calcium 81mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bouquet garni, which is French for "garnished bouquet," is a classic herb mixture used for preparing stocks, soups, casseroles, meats, and vegetables. The traditional combination is parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, but you may also find recipes that include other herbs such as rosemary, basil, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon. You can make bouquet garni with fresh or dried herbs. If fresh, the combination is secured with a bit of cooking twine, while cheesecloth is generally used to pack up the dried herbs.

Using a bouquet garni instead of just simply adding the herbs to your dish helps with flavor, texture, convenience, and presentation. Fresh herbs will get soggy and often discolor when left to cook for a long time, and dry herbs are not the most attractive when floating at the top of a finished dish. Bundling up the herbs—whether dried or fresh—also makes for easy removal.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried bay leaf
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons dried rosemary

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for bouquet garni
    Gather the ingredients for bouquet garni. The Spruce
  2. Combine parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary, if using, in a bowl.

    Combine spices
    Combine parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary. The Spruce
  3. Place the herb mixture in a square of cheesecloth that has been doubled.

    Place mixture in cheesecloth
    Place the herb mixture in a square of cheesecloth. The Spruce
  4. Bring all of the sides together to form a pouch, and then secure the bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Leave one piece of the string long enough so you can easily remove the bouquet garni from the cooking pot.

    Form a pouch
    Bring all of the sides together to form a pouch, and then secure the bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. The Spruce
  5. If not using right away, place the herb mixture in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place away from heat sources. Use within 6 months.

Uses for Bouquet Garni

You will find bouquet garni in many French recipe ingredient lists, such as when making a French Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet and a Daube de Boeuf (braised beef and vegetables), and it's a common flavoring for a traditional New England clambake.

And for everyday cooking of soups and stews, this type of bouquet is an easy way to impart flavor without the nuisance of fishing out the bits of herbs. Add to your cheese cloths cloves and citrus zest to perfume milk for a warm beverage and use bundles of herbs in slow-cooked meats, in the cavity of a whole chicken before roasting, or in chicken or beef stock.

Using Fresh Herbs

  • If you would like to use fresh herbs in your bouquet garni, an ideal combination is 4 or 5 sprigs of parsley, 1 or 2 pieces of thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Gather the parsley and thyme stems, place the bay leaf on top, and use a piece of kitchen twine to bind it all together, keeping one piece of the string long enough so you can easily pull out the herb bundle.

Recipe Variation

  • Experiment with other combinations of herbs and aromatics, such as tarragon, celery, leek, burnet, chervil, and fennel fronds. Or try ginger, savory, lemongrass, and dried orange peel, commonly used in Provence blends.