A Question for Cooks

Updated on May 12, 2017
N.Z. asks from Los Angeles, CA
4 answers

I've already googled this, but couldn't find a clear answer so I'm hoping someone here is able to answer this question:

How many sprigs are in a bunch of thyme? I'm trying a new bolognese recipe that requires a bunch of thyme in a bundle.

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So What Happened?

Thank you, everyone.

Elena B. : thank you for the clarification. I thought a sprig was one branch, but now I know better! No chicken livers in this one.

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

A sprig, for most culinary uses, is one single stem of an herb. For example, a sprig of thyme will have one main stem at the bottom, and several small branches that are attached. A stem with lots of little stems attached would be a large sprig, and a stem with just one or two smaller stems would be a small sprig.

For a bunch of thyme in a sauce, if your sauce will be at least a couple of quarts (as opposed to a very small serving for just one or two people), I'd use the standard American cigar as a reference (not those big old fat hand-rolled Cuban monster ones). You want enough sprigs to look like a cigar when tied loosely together.

Thyme is usually added early in the cooking process. It has a tough woody kind of stem, like rosemary or oregano. Herbs with woody stems generally can take longer cooking, as opposed to herbs with grass-like, delicate, bendable stems (basil, parsley, etc). Those kinds of herbs are usually added at the end of the cooking time, or just before serving.

It's generally preferred to tie a bunch of thyme (or other herbs that won't be consumed, but are intended to impart flavor) with kitchen twine or string so that you can remove the herb easily.

Hope that helps. I love bolognese. Are you putting chicken livers in it? Now I want bolognese!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I'd grab some and tie it so that where you are tying it is about the width of a pencil.
This isn't going to be a fixed number of sprigs.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

A sprig is usually 1/3 teaspoon of FRESH eaves that are loosely packed.

While dried and fresh are interchangeable - there are some differences in flavor - on dried? I typically use a LITTLE more...not much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

There is no set number of sprigs in a bunch. You just want it to be about as big around as your finger.

1 mom found this helpful
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