I have dumped 2 tbsp of dried mint and 2 handfuls of crushed mint leaves into a reduced 28 oz tomato sauce but it only made a dent of mint taste in the sauce. I don't get it - a little dry or fresh basil or oregano is enough to give marinara a strong herb flavor. I dumped a LOT of both dry and fresh (it had strong smell) mint leaves into my marinara and it only gave a very weak mint flavor.

What am I missing here?

  • Why? I know that this doesn't really matter but mint isn't normally a flavor associated with Italian tomato sauce - that I'm aware of. What are you trying to achieve? – Catija Apr 3 '16 at 19:47
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    Anyway, at what point in the cooking process are you adding the mint leaves? Dried leaves need time to be absorbed into the sauce and fresh leaves should only be added right before serving. – Catija Apr 3 '16 at 19:54
  • Was there good flavor in the herbs? Dried mint can lose its flavor, and fresh mint can have a pretty big range of strength. – Cascabel Apr 3 '16 at 20:00
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    I know mint is unorthodox but I like it so I tried something new. The dried mint was not very aromatic, but the fresh mint (which I added after the tomato was reduced and near the end of the cooking process) had a very potent smell. Actually the most aromatic mint leaves I ever bought. – Bar Akiva Apr 3 '16 at 21:43
  • Even though it is a duplicate, it has already enough unique answers. What do you do in this case? @catija – Bar Akiva May 11 '16 at 5:04

The aroma and flavor of mint is destroyed very rapidly by heat. If you want a big mint impact, I would eliminate the dried (dried herbs can be good, but are a completely different flavor profile from fresh) and add a lot of fresh mint immediately before serving.


Pure peppermint, wintergreen oils, and menthol crystals are easily found online. A little goes a long way, and they'll stand up to 100°C for at least 15 minutes.

  • I would be extremely careful with wintergreen oil. It can be very toxic in large amounts. Measure in drops, not in tsp. – Catija Apr 4 '16 at 0:30

Since the flavor of mint fades with heat, I suggest you add the dried mint as a topping upon serving after you turn off the heat, and after pouring your recipe into the serving dish.

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