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Are you looking for some substitutes for oregano but have no clue where to start? You’re not alone! Oregano is a common and versatile spice used in many dishes, but if you need a replacement or substitute, the options can be overwhelming. Don’t worry –we’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we explain how to substitute oregano with other herbs and spices so that your dish will still be flavorful while keeping your meal interesting and unique. Read on to learn all about the best substitutes for oregano.
What Does Oregano Taste Like?
Oregano is a herb native to the Mediterranean region. It is characterized by its bitter, pungent, and strong aroma. It is sometimes known as the pizza herb! And for a good reason. Oregano has a distinct rustic flavor that pairs wonderfully with Italian dishes.
Its taste is usually described as having slight bitterness but with earthy, minty, peppery, and slightly citrus-like notes underneath. Oregano leaves can be added to various dishes to add unique flavor – from spaghetti bolognese to pizza toppings and salads; it adds an extra layer of flavor to most things. My mom has always made potatoes with oregano and olive oil. It’s one of my top favorite herbs. We grow it every year and dry it out.
To top it off, It also pairs well with other herbs, such as garlic and basil, and even sharp cheeses like Romano, Manchego, and Parmigiano. So, that they can be used together in harmony.
Due to its strong taste, it should be used judiciously while cooking, as replacing more subtle flavors with too much oregano may cause your dish to turn out overly intense unless you are like me and love that. I always add extra oregano.
Fresh Oregano to Dry Oregano
If your recipe requests fresh or dried, this is how you can convert it if you have the other option. I hope it’s helpful.
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano is equal to 1 teaspoon of dried.
Dried herbs and spices are always used in smaller amounts because water is removed from the herb, therefore, causing the flavors to be more intense.
Below are six different herbs you can use to replace oregano. But I want to warn you that if you don’t like a specific herb, don’t use it as a sub. The last thing you want to do is ruin your recipe with a flavor you don’t like. My family dislikes rosemary, so that’s a no go as a swap.
Marjoram is going to be your closest-tasting substitute for oregano compared to any other herbs. It is an annual herbaceous flower from the mint family. It has a sweet yet complex aroma and flavor, which makes it popular among cooks in many cultures. This herb is found growing wild throughout the world. And being grown commercially in places like Turkey and France. Marjoram can be used fresh or dried and is often ground into a powder for use in teas, seasonings, and marinades.
Its woody flavor pairs well with poultry, pork, fish, and vegetables. Although marjoram is sometimes mistakenly referred to as oregano, it has more mild properties than oregano and can bring depth to many dishes without overpowering them as oregano may do.
Thyme is another herb in the mint family, related to both oregano and marjoram. It has a pleasantly pungent aroma and flavor that can vary depending on the type of thyme used. Fresh thyme is usually more potent than dried, but it can be used interchangeably with its dried counterpart.
Thyme is ideal for adding flavor to fish, poultry, soups, stews, and vegetables. Its earthy taste complements all the other flavors in the dish without being overpowering. If you are looking for a milder oregano alternative and you don’t have marjoram, thyme may be your best bet.
Basil is another herb that can be used as an oregano substitute. While basil has a sweet flavor, its minty notes can bring out the best in many dishes. Fresh basil is more popular than dried and can be finely chopped before adding it to your dish. It pairs well with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and cheese. Basil can also be used to season soups, salads, sauces, and pizzas.
Basil is a good option if you want a subtler oregano flavor but don’t have marjoram or thyme on hand. Its bright and herbal taste can bring out the other flavors in your dish without overpowering them.
Summer savory is an herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has a strong, slightly peppery flavor that can be quite intense when used in large amounts. Dried summer savory is more potent than fresh and should always be added at the end of cooking for the best results.
Summer savory pairs well with vegetables, beans, and pork dishes. It is an excellent oregano substitute if you are looking for a herb with warm and spicy notes that won’t overpower your dish.
Sage has been used as a culinary herb for centuries and its gray-green leaves have a slightly bitter taste. It can be used fresh, dried, or ground into a powder. Sage is often used in stuffings and marinades, as well as sauces and soups.
Sage has a pungent flavor that can be overpowering if you use too much of it in your dish. If you are looking for an oregano substitute with a herby flavor, sage might be the right. But you need to use a small amount. If the recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh oregano, then use only 1 to 2 teaspoons of sage.
Parsley is another one of my favorites! It is a versatile herb that can be used fresh or dried in many dishes. It has a mild, slightly earthy flavor and pairs well with all types of food. Parsley can be used to add color and flavor to salads, soups, sauces, and marinades.
It is also an excellent oregano substitute, as it has a mild flavor that won’t overpower your dish. If the recipe calls for oregano, try substituting it with parsley for a lighter, herby flavor. And if you recipe is an Italian dish, parsley will work wonderfully!
Using a Spice Blend as an Alternative to Oregano
Another option you can go with is a specific herb blend with oregano that adds additional herbal flavors.
Italian Seasoning is one of the most popular herbs blends out there and usually includes oregano and other herbs like basil, marjoram, and thyme. Some blends even use rosemary.
Greek seasoning is another herb blend that includes oregano, but it also uses other herbs like garlic, mint, cinnamon, and a few others.
Herbs de Provence
Herbs de Provence is a blend of herbs from the south of France and includes oregano, thyme, savory, lavender, fennel, and more. It has a unique flavor that is both floral and herby.
These are just some of the options you have if you’re looking for an oregano substitute. Whether you’re looking for a specific herb or a blend of herbs, there are plenty of options out there to
My Final Thoughts On Substitutes on Oregano
There are plenty of substitutes for oregano that you can use in your dishes. Whether you’re looking for a specific herb or a blend of herbs, there are plenty of options out there to fit your needs. Some popular substitutes include basil, thyme, summer savory, sage, and parsley. You can also try using a spice blend as an alternative to oregano. Whichever substitute you choose, make sure to taste it before adding it to your dish to ensure that it pairs well with the other flavors in the recipe.