The BEST Substitute for Oregano (9+ Swap In Ideas)

There are several good substitutes for oregano, depending on your dish and the flavor you’re going for. Whether you’re looking for an earthy flavor, sweet flavor or savory flavor, here’s 9+ great swap in ideas.

There are quite a few good substitutes for oregano, depending on your recipe and what kind of flavor you’re going for! Here are some options:

What to Substitute for Oregano

Marjoram

This close cousin to oregano has a milder, sweeter flavor. Use a 1:1 ratio for fresh or dried marjoram in place of oregano.

Thyme

Fresh thyme leaves have a similar earthy, slightly peppery flavor to oregano. Use a 1:1 ratio for fresh thyme, but only about half that amount for dried thyme as it’s much stronger.

Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning often includes oregano, so it can be a quick and easy substitute. Start with a 1:1 ratio and adjust to taste.

Overhead close up of bowl of italian seasoning with small spoon.

Basil

While brighter and sweeter than oregano, basil shares some herbal notes. Use it in Mediterranean-inspired dishes, but start with half the amount of oregano as it’s bolder.

Parsley

While not a direct flavor match, parsley adds freshness and earthiness. Use equal amounts of fresh parsley for fresh oregano, but you may need to adjust for dried parsley based on the recipe.

Tarragon

This herb has a distinct licorice-like flavor that can work well in dishes with similar notes, like lemon chicken. Use about two-thirds the amount of fresh tarragon as fresh oregano.

Dill

While dill has a distinctly herbal flavor, it can add freshness to sauces and dips. Use it in Mediterranean-inspired dishes or with creamy seafood dishes. Start with half the amount of fresh dill as fresh oregano and adjust to taste.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel has a licorice-like flavor similar to tarragon and can add warmth and earthiness to dishes. Use a pinch of ground fennel seeds for every teaspoon of oregano.

Sage

While sage has a stronger, more savory flavor than oregano, it can work well in some dishes, particularly with meat. Use a little less sage than oregano and taste as you go.

Dried oregano on spoon.

Tips

  • Consider the dish you’re making and the other flavors present. Choose a substitute that complements the overall flavor profile.
  • Start with a smaller amount of the substitute and gradually add more to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
  • If you’re using dried herbs, keep in mind that they are generally more potent than fresh herbs, so you may need to use less.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with combining different herbs to create your own unique flavor blend.

Related Recipes

Here are some recipes using oregano:

Collage of oregano substitutes with text overlay.

The BEST Substitute for Oregano

There are several good substitutes for oregano, depending on your dish and what qualities of thyme you want to replace. Whether you’re looking for an earthy flavor, sweet flavor or savory flavor, I’ve got some great swap in ideas.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 teaspoon oregano

Ingredients

Option 1: Marjoram

  • 1 teaspoon marjoram

Option 2: Italian Seasoning

Instructions

  • Substitute an equal amount of marjoram or Italian seasoning for the amount of oregano that your recipe calls for.
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