9 Best Marjoram Substitute Options

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Don’t have marjoram or realized you’re all out of this herb while you’re cooking? Here are the best marjoram substitute options for any recipe!

marjoram substitute options

What is marjoram?

Marjoram is an aromatic herb from the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean region. Marjoram also goes by the names sweet marjoram, pot marjoram and knotted marjoram and is basically a milder version of oregano. 

What does marjoram taste like?

Marjoram has a flavor that is delicate, sweet, citrusy, woody and floral with slightly bitter undertones. It thus works well in many dishes like meats and also pairs well with other herbs like parsley, dill, basil and thyme. 

What is marjoram used for?

Marjoram is versatile and can be used to both flavor and garnish many dishes including:

  • salads and vegetables
  • sauces, marinades, soups, stews and dressings
  • meats like lamb, beef and chicken
  • added to herb blends like za’atar and Herbs de Provence
  • Herbal teas and more.

So, what are the best marjoram substitutes?

The best ways to substitute for marjoram include oregano, sage, basil, thyme, summer savory, za’atar, Herbs de Provence and Italian seasoning.

Let’s discuss each in more detail below where we share why they work as great alternatives and the conversion ratios for each.

Dried vs fresh marjoram

Dried marjoram is stronger than fresh marjoram as the flavors of this herb seems to become very concentrated once the moisture is removed from it.

Therefore, use 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram to replace 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram in a recipe and vise versa

Best substitutes for marjoram

Oregano

oregano is an ideal substitute for marjoram

What is the best substitute for marjoram? It’s oregano!

This herb is very similar to marjoram in terms of flavor, except that it is a way more assertive herb while marjoram is more delicate and sweet. 

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano to replace 2 teaspoons of fresh marjoram in a dish, or a 1:2 ratio.

Sage

sage

Sage, also a part of the mint family, is more earthy, herbal and peppery, with hints of mint, eucalyptus and lemon. But, it can be used in place of marjoram in a pinch.

Sage can work as a replacement for marjoram in meat marinades, sauces, infused in butter or oil and it is great for adding to dishes with bolder flavors.

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh sage to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh marjoram, or a 1:1 substitute ratio.

Basil

basil

Another easy substitute for marjoram is basil. This herb has a flavor that is fresh with notes of black pepper, anise and mint. It is an easy herb to find and can  work in dishes like soups, salads and even pizzas as a marjoram substitute.

Note that people with sensitive palates will be able to taste the difference in flavors. 

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh basil to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh marjoram, or a 1:1 conversion ratio.

Thyme

Thyme

Thyme or thyme herb comes from the same family as marjoram and thus has some of the same flavor compounds as marjoram i.e. thyme is woody, earthy and citrusy.

Use thyme as a substitute for marjoram in savory recipes like braised meats, marinades, soups, vegetables and even teas.

Summer savory

Summer savory

This herb is often compared to marjoram and thyme as it has notes of marjoram, mint and thyme and it is light and peppery. Use summer savory to season meats, casseroles, stews for instance, as an alternative for marjoram.

Za’atar

The za’atar mixture, which usually contains ingredients like roasted sesame seeds, hyssop, coriander seeds, cumin, thyme, sumac, oregano and marjoram is another ideal marjoram substitute.

za’atar also known as zatar, zahtar or zahatar is a middle eastern spice and herb blend that has a nutty, lemony, tangy flavor and can be used in dishes like salads, chicken, pizza, vegetables, bread, dips and more.

Herbs de Provence

herbs de Provence

Herbs de Provence is another ideal marjoram alternative worth looking into. This seasoning blend is made with a mixture of herbs including basil, parsley, lavender flowers, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme.

And, while, thyme and rosemary are the more dominant flavors you’re likely to pick up, Herbs de Provence works great in dishes like roasted chicken and vegetables, roasted lamb and fish as a marjoram replacement.

Italian seasoning

Italian seasoning

Italian seasoning is another mix that can be used as a replacement for marjoram in a pinch. This mixture usually contains basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram and sometimes garlic powder, onion powder and crushed red pepper. Use Italian seasoning in dishes like pizza, marinades, sauces, pasta, and more.

Final thoughts

There you have it! 9 great marjoram replacements that you can use in a pinch. I’m sure you have a couple of these in your kitchen so you can continue on with your dish without too much of a hassle.

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Reduce Stress in the kitchen thanks to this convenient printable with 47 Emergency Kitchen Substitutions!

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Reduce Stress in the kitchen thanks to this convenient printable with 47 Emergency Kitchen Substitutions!

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