Looking for a great substitute for oregano? How about 9 ideal oregano substitute options? Keep reading to find out how you can use items you likely have in your kitchen to replace oregano in most recipes.
Oregano, also known as Mediterranean oregano, is a hardy perennial herb from the mint family that has a flavor often described as pungent, peppery, bitter and bold, but also slightly sweet.
Oregano is usually used in Mediterranean cuisine, and it mellows out significantly once cooked to add a nice earthy flavor to whatever dish its used in.
But, if you’re making a recipe that calls for oregano and you have none on hand, what can you use to replace this type of herb?
This post shares 10 easy oregano substitutes that you can use in a pinch. Some you may have in your kitchen or kitchen garden right now!
What are some actual ways to substitute for oregano?
The best ways to substitute for oregano include dried oregano leaves, freeze dried oregano, ground oregano, marjoram, basil, thyme, sage, parsley 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.
How to substitute dried oregano for fresh?
The best substitute for fresh oregano is dried oregano and vise versa.
So, how do you substitute the dried oregano for fresh? Like most other herbs, it is recommended to use 1 teaspoon of dried oregano for every tablespoon of fresh herb a recipe calls for, or a 1:3 ratio.
Best oregano substitute options
Freeze dried oregano
You can use freeze dried oregano if you have no fresh or dried oregano. Freeze dried oregano has the same fresh oregano flavor and aroma and can be used to sprinkle onto Italian dishes like pasta sauce and pizza.
Use one teaspoon of freeze-dried oregano to replace one teaspoon of fresh oregano, or a 1:1 substitute ratio.
If you happen to have ground oregano, you can also use this ingredient as a substitute for fresh or dried oregano. Ground oregano has a strong aromatic, slightly bitter and pungent flavor.
Like other ground herbs and spices, it is more compact, and therefore a little goes a long way.
Use ground oregano in dishes like meat, poultry, vegetables, dips and more.
Use ¾ teaspoon of ground oregano to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano.
Use ½ teaspoon ground oregano to replace 1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves or a 1:2 ratio.
Marjoram which is often described as the milder version of oregano is another great oregano substitute. Use the marjoram herb in all recipes that call for oregano such as salads, vegetables, sauces, marinades, soups, stews, dressings and more.
Use 1 teaspoons of fresh or dried marjoram to replace 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh oregano.
Another member of the mint family, basil is peppery and slightly sweet, with hints of mint, anise and clove. Use this herb as an alternative for oregano when making Mediterranean foods like pizza, salads, Tuscan chicken and more.
Use 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh basil to replace 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh oregano, or a 1:1 conversion ratio.
Another easy to find substitute for oregano is thyme. These two herbs have very similar flavor profiles in that they both are earthy, minty and slightly bitter.
Therefore, it is possible to use fresh or dried thyme to replace fresh or dried oregano on a 1:1 substitute ratio.
Can I use sage instead of oregano? You sure can.
Sage is an earthy, herbal and peppery herb with hints of mint, eucalyptus and lemon. Therefore, it can also be used as an alternative to oregano in a pinch.
Use both dried or fresh sage to replace oregano in recipes where it works best like pork, lamb, poultry, fish, potatoes, soups, stews and even teas!
Parsley has more of a fresh, peppery flavor with some bitterness, but, it also makes a pretty good substitute for oregano. It can replace oregano really well in tomato based dishes like tomato sauces, tomato salsa and tomato bruschetta for example.
Use 1 teaspoon of fresh parsley to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano.
Italian seasoning (for dried)
Italian seasoning is another substitute for oregano in a pinch. Italian seasoning is a blend made using dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage. It works great in Italian dishes like pasta, lasagna, pizza, soups, sauces and dressings.
Use 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to replace 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.
There you have it! 9 great ways to substitute for oregano in Mexican food, pizza, soups, pasta and more. So, when you’re making a dish that calls for some oregano, and you noticed that you’ve just ran out, there are other simple ways to replace this herb in both fresh and dried form!