The Greatest Oregano Substitutes

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When you add oregano to any recipe, you’ll get earthy undertones with notes of bitterness. Although oregano is quite adaptable, having a replacement on hand is always a smart idea.

This plant, Origanum vulgare, is related to the mint (Lamiaceae) family. It is most often cultivated in the Mediterranean and Asia.

But imagine you don’t like oregano. In such scenario, you probably already have a number of viable substitutes in your pantry.

What Is Oregano?

Oregano is a fragrant herb derived from the oregano plant’s leaves. It features complex fruity and minty undertones. And the taste is often characterized as quite bitter.

It is typically used in Italian meals, although it may also be found in a variety of other Mediterranean foods. Nonetheless, it is most often used on pizzas and in pasta dishes.

Oregano is also often used in chili and seafood dishes. This fragrant herb also goes nicely with beans and shines when used in tomato-based meals.

Substitutes For Oregano 

While looking for oregano substitutes, consider the sort of meal you’re creating. When using an oregano substitute in your recipe, consider the tastes and textures of the food. These replacements may have somewhat different tastes, so it all depends on what you’re cooking.

1. Fresh Or Dried Basil

Basil is another herb from the mint family. It is a Southeast Asian native that is often used in Italian and Thai cuisines. It also has a moderate, sweet, and peppery taste with anise undertones. Oregano, on the other hand, has a harsh taste and a rich minty flavor.

Basil is the key component in classic pesto and is often used as a delicious pizza topping. It may also be used as a spice in tomato-based meals.

Begin with a 1:1 substitution of oregano for basil. Then, as with other herbs, substitute the dried basil with dried oregano.

2. Thyme

Thyme is a small-leaved herb native to the Southern Mediterranean area that is used to season a variety of foods. The tastes of fresh thyme are earthy and somewhat minty.

Since it adds flavor while it cooks, thyme is an excellent alternative in slow-cooked meals such as stews and soups. Thyme may also be sautéed with onion and garlic to provide a basis for pasta sauces or fillings for pasta bakes.

Dried thyme, on the other hand, has a distinct grassy taste and a fragrance comparable to lavender and rosemary. Oregano, on the other hand, has a spicy flavor and a minty aroma. If a recipe asks for oregano, substitute thyme in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Parsley

The Apiaceae family includes this leafy plant, which occurs in two varieties: curly and flat. Both have a slight peppery taste with oregano-like bitterness. Yet, it lacks the minty freshness of oregano.

Parsley goes especially well with tomato sauces and grilled vegetables. You may also use it fresh to add color to your salad.

Although it lacks the powerful minty taste of oreganos, it may be used as a replacement in equal proportions. Just include it in the initial stages of the cooking process to allow the flavors to marinade.

4. Tarragon

Tarragon is an intriguing oregano alternative. It has a mild bittersweet taste with an earthiness comparable to oregano.

It does, however, have an anise aroma and licorice tastes. It’s also a deeper green than oregano and has a glossy finish. Since it is delicate, it does not function well in meals that need a lengthy cooking period.

But, adding a robust kick to stews and tomato soups is a terrific alternative. It also works well in fish and chicken recipes. To use tarragon as an oregano substitute, finely cut the fresh leaves. For every teaspoon of oregano, use a teaspoon of tarragon.

5. Marjoram

Marjoram, like oregano, is a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family of plants. It’s sweeter, with a milder taste and notes of lemony and woody overtones.

Marjoram may be used in lieu of oregano in soups, stews, curries, savory bakes, and other dishes. But keep in mind that it won’t keep its taste for long.

3 of a teaspoon of dried oregano with one teaspoon of marjoram. Also, instead of the strong minty flavor of oregano, it may offer a flowery scent to your meal. You may use 2 instead of 1 in your recipe.

6. Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is a dry herb blend that includes rosemary, oregano, and thyme. You’ll also discover parsley and basil on occasion.

It has a subtle earthy, peppery taste with sweet undertones. One caveat: Italian seasoning contains multiple herbs, each of which adds a different taste to your meal. The blend of tastes, on the other hand, makes it great for pasta, grains, meat, veggies, and so much more.

Use half the quantity of Italian spice to substitute oregano in your recipe since it is more delicious.

7. Dill

Dill, believe it or not, is an excellent alternative for oregano. Dill is a tasty feathery herb derived from the dill plant (Anethum graveolens). Freshly plucked, it has a delicate sweetness with grassy undertones.

Dill, with its distinct taste, is an excellent complement to fish meals and pickles. However, the longer it cooks, the blander it gets. As a result, adding it near the end of the cooking process yields a deeper taste.

In your recipe, you may substitute oregano with dill in equal portions or add more as required. To replicate the tastes, use dried dill instead of dry oregano.

8. Rosemary 

Rosemary is a suitable alternative due to its minty and earthy undertones. It is also in the mint (Lamiaceae) family.

While rosemary is more fragrant than oregano, it adds a wonderful zesty flavor to your cuisine. It goes particularly well with chicken, turkey, lamb, and roast vegetables. But remember to use it with caution since it is very strong.

Start with a teaspoon of dried rosemary for one teaspoon of dry oregano when replacing rosemary.


Oregano is used in a variety of recipes. Its unique taste and wonderful perfume may greatly improve any dish. So what if you’ve been preparing a dish using oregano and discover you’ve ran out? Any of the oregano substitutes listed above will be a hit.


What is the closest flavor to oregano?

Thyme (fresh only) (fresh only).

What is the greatest oregano alternative for fresh oregano? Thyme, fresh. Fresh thyme and oregano have a similar appearance and taste in their fresh forms.

What is dried oregano equivalent to?

That example, 1 tablespoon fresh herbs to 1 teaspoon dry herbs is the ideal ratio. For example, if a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, use 1 teaspoon dry oregano instead. The same is true with basil, dill, parsley, and any other herb you like.

What can I substitute for 1 4 cup fresh oregano?

Marjoram is an excellent alternative for oregano; however, it is somewhat milder, so use more of it (the ideal ratio is two parts of oregano for three parts of marjoram). Fresh basil, mint, thyme, and summer savory are all good replacements for fresh oregano.

Can I use parsley instead of oregano?

Parsley is an excellent alternative for oregano in tomato-based meals. Fresh parsley is much stronger in flavor than dried parsley. As a result, you may substitute dried parsley for dry oregano in an identical 1:1 ratio, but only use half the quantity of fresh parsley in lieu of fresh or dried oregano.

What can I use instead of oregano in Greek cooking?

Substitutes. If you don’t have Greek oregano but want to replicate the flavor, use three parts marjoram for two parts oregano, thyme, basil, or summer savory.

What does oregano do for flavor?

Notes of musty, green, hay, and mint. The spiciness gives the mouthfeel a somewhat astringent quality. Oregano is known for its intensely fragrant, camphoraceous scent and somewhat bitter, pungent taste. Its spicy taste is made up of earthy notes.

Can you substitute oregano for dried basil?

2 teaspoon (start with 2 teaspoon and work your way up after tasting). Fresh oregano does not work as well as dried oregano as a replacement for basil. To replace one teaspoon of dried basil, add one teaspoon of dried oregano (you may wish to start with 1 teaspoon).

Can I substitute dried thyme for dried oregano?

Oregano. Fresh or dried, oregano is an excellent thyme alternative. The flavors are remarkably similar, both being in the mint family, and the transition is practically subtle. You can use oregano for thyme in almost any dish, regardless of the cuisine.

Is dried oregano the same as thyme?

Oregano. Oregano, whether fresh or dried, has many of the same earthy, minty, savory, and somewhat bitter flavors as thyme. It also has a spicy, herbal undertone, which adds to its exquisite richness. Use fresh oregano in place of fresh thyme, and dried oregano in place of dry thyme.

What does oregano do for a recipe?

With its touch of sweetness, oregano is typically used to balance an acidic or salty meal. It is often used in Mediterranean cookery, particularly Italian and Greek cuisine, but it is also popular in Mexican, Argentinean, and Turkish cuisine.

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