A lot of recipes call for a specific amount of a finely chopped fresh herb. But how do you know what length of sprig or how many sprigs you need for that?

That’s what this guide is for. It’s a handy reference that tells you approximately how many teaspoons are in a sprig of a particular herb.

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You can use this guide in the grocery store when shopping for a recipe. Or you can reference it before taking scissors to the potted herb plants in your kitchen or your garden.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that all measurements given here are meant as a guide. No two sprigs of a particular herb are the exact same and there is going to be some variation in the number and size of leaves.

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What is a sprig:

A sprig is a small branch that grows from the main stem of a plant. Sprigs can vary dramatically in size, even within a given plant. Because of that, there is no one-size-fits-all definition of the size of a sprig. For the purposes of this guide, I have included the length of each sprig measured.

What’s in this guide:

This guide is organized by herb (in alphabetical order). How many teaspoons are in a sprig depends both on the herb and the size of the sprig. For each herb this guide lists:

the length of the sprig measuredthe approximate amount of leaves that can be harvested from a sprig of that lengththe approximate amount of finely chopped herb that a sprig of that length will yield

I also included photographs to provide a visual reference for what each measured herb sprig looked like.


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How was this guide created?

To create this guide, I analyzed sprigs of all common culinary herbs. I included basil, chive, cilantro, dill, lavender, marjoram, mint, rosemary, parsley (flat leaf and curly leaf), oregano, sage, tarragon and thyme.

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I did each measurement three times, meaning I selected three sprigs of the same length for each herb. For each measurement, I cut the leaves off the sprig and packed them into a measuring spoon or cup and noted the amount. Then I finely chopped the leaves, transferred them into a measuring spoon and noted their volume. The amounts reported in this guide are the average of the three measurements.

How to calculate specific amounts:

You can calculate the specific amounts you need using the following conversions:

Unit:Equals:
1 tablespoon3 teaspoons
4 tablespoons¼ cup

Basil:

Sprig Size:Equals:Also equals:
one 6-inch sprig basil~⅓ cup packed basil leaves (~10 medium/large leaves)~1 tablespoon finely chopped basil

*

Chive:

Sprig Size:Equals:
one 6-inch chive~⅜ teaspoon finely chopped chive