9 Best Oregano Substitutes

Oregano and delicious Italian cuisine go hand in hand, but this herb is helpful for much more than simply pasta or pizza. Oregano may be used in a number of dishes, so it’s a useful herb to have on hand. If you run out, try one of our inventive replacements below; we promise your meal will still be delicious!

What Is Oregano?

Oregano is a plant that tastes earthy and somewhat sweet. Two types (Mediterranean and Mexican) are utilized to provide distinct taste and scent to foods across the globe.

You’re probably familiar with Mediterranean oregano. It belongs to the mint family and is related to thyme, marjoram, and mint. It is also the most often used kind in Italian cookery and is known simply as oregano in the United States.

Mexican oregano is derived from the plant lemon verbena and is more often used in South America. It’s comparable to its Mediterranean cousin, but it also has delicious citrus and lemon tastes.

Mexican oregano has a considerably stronger flavor than regular oregano, so start with the amount specified in the recipe and add more later if desired. Similarly, if you only have oregano but the recipe calls for Mexican oregano, start with a 1:1 ratio and add more as needed.

Dried Vs Fresh Oregano

When it comes to herbs and spices, recipes will specify whether the component should be fresh or dried. Dried herbs often have a richer taste profile than fresh herbs (though views differ), but they also lose strength with time. Check your expiry dates often to ensure that you are always using herbs with a fresh blast of flavor.

Best Oregano Substitutes

If you run out of oregano, the following herbs will work well as substitutes:

Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is an obvious replacement since it already includes oregano and may be used in a 1:1 ratio. However, since Italian seasoning includes additional herbs, you may wish to minimize some of the other spices called for in the recipe.


Thyme, a member of the mint family, is a popular substitute for oregano. Fresh thyme, with its similarly earthy undertones, may be used in a 1:1 substitution for flavoring potatoes, beans, and salad dressings.


Marjoram, another member of the mint family, has a milder and somewhat sweeter flavor than oregano. In a 1:1 ratio, substitute fresh or dried marjoram.

Bay Leaf

When you’re short of oregano, this delicate herb might help to improve the taste of soups and stews. Keep in mind that the meal will need to simmer for an hour or two to allow the flavors to emerge. One bay leaf per teaspoon dried or fresh oregano (remember to remove the bay leaf before serving).


The flavor of rosemary is unmistakable! Although it is not the same as oregano, rosemary may undoubtedly add flavor to your cuisine. This herb pairs well with poultry, red meat, veggies, and savory bread due to its lovely floral and earthy flavor.

To substitute the oregano, start with a teaspoon of rosemary and add more as required. If the recipe is clearly Mediterranean or Mexican, you may wish to include a mint family herb.


Fresh sage may be used in lieu of fresh oregano in poultry recipes and vegetables (just replace fresh oregano with the same quantity of fresh sage). However, if the recipe calls for dry oregano, we suggest using another herb since dried sage may be overbearing.


Basil, another popular herb in Mediterranean cookery, works well as a 1:1 substitute for oregano. We do not suggest matching it with ribs or steak due to its sweeter taste profile.


Popular in European cuisine (particularly in Germany), this herb is used in a variety of recipes that call for oregano. As a result, if you have any on hand, you may use it as a 1:1 alternative.


This aromatic herb is often used in French cooking. It goes nicely with chicken and may simply be used as a 1:1 equivalent for oregano.

Ways to Use Oregano

When you smell oregano, you probably think of Italian cuisine, right? It lends a strong taste to a variety of foods, including marinara sauce. However, many other cultures and nations utilize it to produce sauces, seasoned meats, veggies, aromatic bread, and much more.

Oregano has therapeutic qualities as well. The herb’s oil is believed to have powerful antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal qualities, making it a popular addition to a natural first-aid box.

How to Substitute Oregano


Servings: 1tablespoon


  • 1tablespoonItalian seasoning
  • Optional other oregano substitutes


  • To replace oregano in the recipe, use Italian seasoning or another equivalent.


What herb is closest to oregano?

While either fresh or dried thyme may be used in place of oregano, fresh thyme is a particularly good replacement. The leaves of the thyme plant show the most similarity to fresh oregano. Simply switch fresh oregano with fresh thyme in a 1:1 ratio.

What can I substitute for 1 4 cup fresh oregano?

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

What is the herb that’s related to oregano but its flavor is more mild?

Marjoram, a milder variant of oregano, goes well with grilled fish and poultry. Marjoram is also one of the dry herbs used in herbes de Provence, a popular French condiment.

What’s the difference between marjoram and oregano?

Origanum majorana is the common name for marjoram. Marjoram leaves are more gray green in color than oregano leaves, and they are often smaller. Origanum vulgare is the common name for oregano. It has a stronger taste than marjoram, which is sweeter and gentler.

What is a Mexican oregano substitute?

Marjoram is a more authentic replacement for Mexican oregano. In fact, it’s also known as Mexican marjoram or Mexican wild sage. If the citrus notes of the spice are missing, a sprinkle of coriander might be added.

What are Indian alternatives for oregano?

When it comes to scent, fresh carom leaves are surprisingly similar to oregano. Marjoram (Marva leaves) is the second closest alternative to oregano that is readily accessible in India.

What is the conversion for fresh oregano?

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 use instead of thyme and oregano?

Thyme substitutes
Oregano. Fresh or dried, oregano is an excellent thyme alternative.
Marjoram. Marjoram is remarkably similar to oregano and, in turn, to thyme, making it a good 1:1 equivalent.
Provence herbs.

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, Argentinian, and Turkish cuisine.

What tastes the closest to oregano?

Thyme (only fresh).

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.

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