Home Articles 13 Substitutes for Oregano (Best Alternatives)

13 Substitutes for Oregano (Best Alternatives)

These substitutes for oregano all work well if you don’t have any on hand.

Oregano is an amazing spice that can add layers of flavor to any dish. 

However, because it’s used in so many dishes, it disappears rather quickly.

So, what should you do when you’re out of oregano, but need it for a dish? 

Raw Organic Oregano in a Wooden Spoon with Leaves

Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes that can give you a similar flavor profile with just a few slight tweaks. 

With so many delicious alternatives, you never have to worry about being unprepared during your next cooking adventure!

How to Use Oregano

Oregano is a flavorful and versatile addition to many dishes. 

With two varieties of oregano, Mexican oregano and Mediterranean oregano, there’s sure to be something to tantalize your tastebuds! 

The flavors are distinct and the uses are endless.

You can create an entrée worthy of a fancy dining experience or simply jazz up weeknight leftovers. 

Mexican oregano has earthy, slightly smoky notes while Mediterranean oregano has a sweeter and more floral taste.

Depending on what you’re making, you can spice things up exactly how you want them. 

When using Mexican oregano as a substitute for the Mediterranean, start with half of the volume the recipe requires.

Mexican oregano has a very strong taste. Then, you can always add more to reach a 1:1 ratio if you deem it necessary.

Let them both bring some excitement to salads, sauces, marinades, rubs, whatever needs some flavor! 

Enjoy thinking outside the box with your culinary creations including using these delicious herbs.

Best Substitutes for Oregano

Dried Marjoram on a Wooden Spoon

1. Marjoram

Marjoram has quickly gained a reputation as the go-to replacement for oregano, and rightly so. 

Plus, it serves up just enough pungent spiciness to make it an excellent choice for traditional Italian recipes. 

In short, if you’re in need of a milder alternative to oregano but don’t want to lose the essence of your dish, reach for marjoram.

It might just be the missing link you’ve been searching for!

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with marjoram, and use dried marjoram for best results. 

Dried Basil Poured on Glass

2. Basil

Basil has a unique sweetness that enhances the flavors of any dish without being too overpowering. 

This herb can be added to salads, pasta, and pizzas to add an irresistible complexity. 

Its versatility extends to many other cultural dishes as well, proving why basil is such a good replacement for oregano.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with basil. Both fresh and dried basil works great as a replacement.

Dried Thyme on a Wooden Bowl

3. Thyme

Thyme has similar flavors and can be used interchangeably for oregano.

It’s been beloved as a cooking herb for centuries, and now you can discover all its secrets of deliciousness too. 

Not only is it an easy substitute for oregano, but it also stands on its own with a unique flavor that you can enjoy. 

So next time you’re missing oregano, use thyme instead.

You might be surprised at how well it works as a substitute.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with thyme, and use fresh thyme for the best results. 

Italian Seasoning on a White Bowl

4. Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning mix has become a popular means of adding that special oregano-ish touch to dishes. 

All the enchanting flavors of oregano are already conveniently packaged in one jar of Italian seasoning. 

From basil to rosemary and thyme, Italian seasoning is a multifunctional wonder.

It can liven up any pasta dish or even replace tomato sauce with an unexpected twist.

It’s a versatile blend of herbs and spices and can really bring the flavor out of anything it’s added to. 

It’s perfect for those moments when you want that touch of oregano but don’t have any in the pantry

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with Italian seasoning, and use the dried option for the best results. 

Dried Tarragon on a Spice Bowl

5. Tarragon

This unique herb offers plenty of similar flavor and aroma to its popular Italian cousin, but with its own tasty subtlety. 

Using tarragon can be a great way to add delicious complexity to your cooking. 

It will compliment just about anything from meaty marinades to stuffings and beyond.

And it still allows the original flavors in your dish to shine all the same.

If you’re looking for a trusty sidekick in your cooking adventures, don’t underestimate tarragon.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with tarragon. You can use both fresh and dried tarragon when substituting.

Dill Leaves on a Wooden Bowl

6. Dill

Spicy oregano and mild dill both belong to the same family, so they share many of the same aromatic notes. 

Dill offers a distinctive balanced sweetness and subtle anise-like flavor that can bring many dishes to life.

Use ¾ of the required amount when replacing oregano with dill.

You can use both fresh and dried dill when substituting.

Fennel Seeds on a Wooden Spoon and Glass Jar

7. Fennel

Fennel is nature’s magic wand for all your oregano-substitution needs. It’s low on flavor but high on versatility. 

It provides an almost identical taste profile to oregano.

But it also offers you a way to make traditional Italian dishes with a hint of newness and excitement.

Utilizing the natural earthiness of fennel instead of oregano can add pizzazz to classic recipes.

It doesn’t veer too far from the classic flavors we know and love!

When using fennel as a substitute, use 1 ½ teaspoons of fresh fennel for every 2 teaspoons of oregano. 

Fresh and Dried Rosemary

8. Rosemary

Rosemary is an excellent substitute for oregano and can add zing to any dish. 

This herb tastes great when used on a variety of vegetables, salads, omelets, sauces, and even meat dishes. 

Rosemary is also known to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, making this substitution not only tasty but beneficial. 

Use ¼  of the required amount when replacing oregano with rosemary. 

You can use both fresh and dried rosemary when substituting.

Dried rosemary is weaker in flavor than fresh, so you can use a bit more than ¼.

Fresh Sage on a Chopping Board

9. Sage 

Unlike oregano, which can overpower a dish in many cases, sage has a more subtle flavor. 

Sage is perfect for bringing out the sweetness of ingredients like onions or garlic.

It even adds interesting flavors to something as classic as mashed potatoes.

Plus, sage has a very interesting color, making any dish also very visually pleasing and Instagram-ready.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with sage, and use fresh sage for best results. 

Fenugreek on a Wooden Spice Bowl

10. Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been taking the place of oregano in dishes all around the world lately because it delivers a flavor that’s fresh and unique. 

Its leaves provide an unmistakable tangy, maple-like aroma, with subtly sweet, and bitter notes. 

One of its main ingredients is diosgenin.

It’s a chemical that’s responsible for providing anti-inflammatory properties while being low in calories. 

If that wasn’t enough to win you over, you can also enjoy all the other nutritional benefits.

It has vitamins A and C, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with fenugreek.

Fresh Parsley on a Chopping Board

11. Parsley

Much like its lesser-known sibling, cilantro, parsley can be a great alternative to oregano when you’re looking to spice up a dish. 

It has a gorgeous earthy flavor and aroma similar to oregano.

But because of its mild taste, it’s versatile enough to pair well with a variety of other flavors. 

On top of that, it’s also packed in antioxidants and vitamins.

It’s an unassuming herb an excellent ingredient for the health-conscious chef. 

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with dried parsley.

If you’re using fresh parsley, use only ½ of the required amount.

Fresh Leaves and Dried Summer Savory on a Metal Spoon, on Top of a Concrete Table

12. Summer Savory

If you’re someone who is looking for a switch-up in your Italian menu when oregano isn’t around, summer savory could be the answer. 

It’s a popular herb native to the Mediterranean with a strong, peppery flavor with subtle hints of thyme and mint. 

Just one teaspoon of this zesty spice can provide an intriguing aroma and taste while giving oregano a much-deserved break. 

So if you find yourself in need of that particular punch that comes with oregano, let summer savory save the day!

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with summer savory.

You can use both fresh and dried options for the best results. 

Fresh Ajwain Leaves on a Glass Bowl

13. Ajwain Leaves

Ajwain leaves are known for their ability to provide an oregano-like flavor while adding a unique spicy twang. 

It’s sometimes called bishop’s weed or carom seed and can be used dried or ground into a powder form. 

This makes it the perfect substitute for oregano since there’s no need to fuss over freshness.

Simply pull out your jar of pre-dried Ajwain leaves and have your dish taste sublime in no time. 

Plus, Ajwain has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its antioxidant properties.

It really does make oregano just seem like basic seasoning.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing oregano with ajwain leaves and use the dried option for the best results.

13 Substitutes for Oregano (Best Alternatives)

Try these substitutes for oregano when you can’t find any at home! From basil to thyme to dill, each one adds its own special flavor.

Ingredients

  • Marjoram

  • Basil

  • Thyme

  • Italian Seasoning

  • Tarragon

  • Dill

  • Fennel

  • Rosemary

  • Sage

  • Fenugreek

  • Parsley

  • Summer Savory

  • Ajwain Leaves

Instructions

  • Select your favorite oregano substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Substitutes for Oregano

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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