Here are tips for Cooking with Fresh Tarragon and tarragon recipes, just in case you’re lucky enough to have some in your herb garden! And Tarragon grows like a weed, and it’s a wonderful flavor when used in small amounts.

PIN the Fresh Tarragon Recipes to try some later!

Cooking with Fresh Tarragon collage of featured recipes

This post about Cooking with Fresh Tarragon is next in the series about cooking with fresh herbs that started a few weeks ago with Cooking with Fresh Mint. And I do hope that anyone who’s growing herbs or buying them at the Farmers Market will get some new recipe ideas from these posts.

Of course if you’ve looked around this blog at all you can tell I’m a gardening and fresh herb enthusiast! For many years I wrote frequent posts about my garden on the blog, and talked about how I use garden produce in recipes. And when it’s gardening season I still like to spotlight vegetables and herbs from the garden, and these days I’m still growing a few herbs out on the patio at my condo.

And French Tarragon shows up earlier in the year than some other garden herbs, so I thought that fresh tarragon must be be the perfect herb to spotlight next! I don’t think tarragon is as well-known or frequently used as many other fresh herbs, but I think people end up loving it once they try it. If this herb is new to you, I hope you learn something about fresh tarragon and get inspired to try some of the fresh tarragon recipes in this post!

cooking with French tarragon

Tips for Growing Tarragon:

If you want to grow tarragon or try cooking with it, the first important thing is to make sure you’re getting French Tarragon (and it can’t be grown from seed, so you will need to buy a plant if you want to grow it.) There are several types of Tarragon, and Russian Tarragon and Mexican Tarragon are lacking the lovely anise-like flavor that makes French Tarragon so beloved. When when you see recipes that just list “tarragon” as an ingredient, it’s almost certain that it means French Tarragon. And just like many other herbs, you can freeze tarragon and use it in dishes all winter long.

Can you use dried tarragon in these fresh tarragon recipes?

Some dried herbs are quite flavorful but personally I think dried tarragon is a very poor substitute for the flavor of fresh tarragon. I highly recommend trying to buy some fresh if you possibly can.

What Does French Tarragon taste like?

French Tarragon has a flavor that’s somewhat similar to basil with but with more licorice flavor notes, and it’s stronger than basil so you only need a small amount of chopped fresh tarragon to add a lot of flavor to a recipe. It’s one of the main flavors in Béarnaise sauce, if you’ve ever had that wonderful French Sauce. And you might have also had Tarragon Vinegar or Green Goddess Salad Dressing, which also have that distinctive French Tarragon flavor.

French tarragon snipped from plants

What foods does French Tarragon go well with?

I think French Tarragon has a flavor that’s a little similar to basil with but with more licorice flavor notes, and it’s stronger than basil so you only need a small amount of chopped fresh tarragon to add a lot of flavor to a recipe. Tarragon traditionally is paired with chicken, eggs, fish, and a few vegetables, but in the last few years I’ve noticed creative cooks are combining it with many more things. 

French Tarragon Recipes for you to try:

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

When someone wonders if they like the flavor of French Tarragon, I ask them if they like Green Goddess Salad Dressing. I think that’s one of the first things I tasted that had this flavor (although at the time I didn’t know it was the French Tarragon flavor that made me love this dressing so much!)

Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade close-up photo

Grilled Tarragon Mustard Chicken might be a good one to try if you’ve never cooked with French Tarragon before, because the tarragon flavor is more subtle here.

Tarragon Shrimp Salad in salad bowl

I love French Tarragon with shrimp, and I really enjoy the flavors in this Tarragon Shrimp Salad.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Tarragon-Mustard Pan Sauce shown on serving plate.

This very old but delicious recipe for Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Tarragon-Mustard Pan Sauce is so good I would happily make it for dinner guests!

Tarragon-Mustard Deviled Eggs on plate

French Tarragon, Mustard, and Egg was a perfect flavor combination in these Tarragon-Mustard Deviled Eggs!

Close-up photo for Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Feta and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Feta is a simple idea but the tarragon-flavored dressing is so flavorful!

Tarragon Chicken Salad close-up of finished salad in bowl

And finally, this Tarragon Chicken Salad was the very first recipe I made when tried French Tarragon, and right away I planted tarragon in my garden. I make this salad every summer and never get tired of it!

French Tarragon Recipes with Chicken:

French Tarragon Recipes with Eggs:

French Tarragon recipes with Fish:

French Tarragon Recipes with Vegetables

Pinterest image of Cooking with Fresh Tarragon

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