In this article, we will learn all about the nine best replacement herbs to substitute for oregano.
Oregano is an important herb used in many cuisines, such as Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican. It’s used to give a punch of zesty and minty flavor to pizza or pasta sauces. Its unique flavor lights up your taste buds with just one bite.
Since this aromatic herb is used so often, you may end up using it all without realizing it or without having a chance to get more.
For example, if you’re in the middle of a recipe or your local store doesn’t have any in stock. In that case, an option is to replace it with other ingredients, especially those you already have on hand.
Below, we have listed our nine favorite substitutes for oregano. Let’s dive in!
Herbs to Substitute for Oregano
Basil is a perfect substitute for oregano. This particular herb comes in different varieties and adds a balanced sweet and savory flavor to your food.
Moreover, when added initially, this aromatic herb gives a similar taste to black pepper, which brings out a hint of sweetness in food.
Basil works exceptionally well with Mediterranean cuisine. Therefore, if you are looking for a replacement for other cuisines, try a different substitute for oregano.
2. Thyme (Fresh)
Fresh thyme is an excellent substitute for oregano. It is pretty subtle and has a sharp, minty, and peppery flavor.
Also, this fresh and earthy herb gives off a hint of floral taste. These qualities make it an ideal replacement for oregano.
Moreover, it blends well in different recipes, such as baked potatoes, creamy, cheesy zucchini, salads, or pasta.
3. Marjoram (Dried)
Marjoram is known as a mild and neutral form of oregano. This earthy herb grows in abundance in countries such as Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece.
Furthermore, it works as an ideal substitute for oregano in Mexican food, like tacos and tex-mex like chili.
Its sweet, savory, and minty flavors add a new twist to the food.
There are multiple ways you can use it. For example, you can add marjoram to your food while marinating or use it as a final garnish.
Parsley is the most used herb compared to others on our list. It enhances the already present flavor of food and adds a healthy flavor as well.
Additionally, parsley complements recipes that use oregano, such as tomato-based recipes.
You can brighten up your meals with a small touch of parsley. It is an excellent substitute for oregano, whether you enjoy fish, pasta, grilled chicken, or subtle soups.
Rosemary contains a delightful floral fragrance.
It has appealing peppery, minty, and woody flavors. This combined fragrance and flavor make the food taste amazing.
Because of its striking flavor, it is an exemplary substitute for oregano, but be light handed when using it as it has a strong flavor.
Dill, which comes from the laurel family, is another fantastic substitute for oregano. This grassy herb gives a super boost to food and blends in with neutral herbal flavors.
However, dill has a slight bitterness to it. Therefore, only use a small amount to avoid a sharp, pungent taste.
Since dill loses much of its flavor while cooking, add some dill leaves as a garnish to already cooked meat or a cucumber salad to enjoy the vibrant taste.
7. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves give a delicious kick of flavor. They contain bitter, pungent, and cooling flavors similar to oregano.
You can use them to season dishes such as soups, braises, and stews. In addition to their unique taste, they also enhance the already present flavors of other foods.
You can add some bay leaves to substitute for oregano for marinating, cooking, or garnishing. It’s quite mild compared to oregano but bring a nice flavor.
Tarragon holds a similar mild, aromatic flavor to that of oregano. Because of this, it makes an excellent substitute for oregano.
In addition, tarragon comes in three varieties: French, Russian, and Mexican.
Though both are common, Russian and French tarragon have different usages. Russian tarragon possesses quite a spicy and vibrant flavor.
In contrast, French tarragon adds a subtle, light flavor. Try all three kinds to find your favorite. You can add tarragon to stews, chowders, creamy chicken, or fish.
Sage is another perfect substitute for oregano.
It is a bittersweet herb but also contains citrus and eucalyptus flavors.
Similar to oregano, it has a strong and minty taste.
As with dill, you want to be careful to measure the appropriate amount of sage to not overwhelm the other flavors.
Final Thoughts on Replacing Oregano
Adding oregano to meals gives them a delicious flavor. However, when you cannot get your hands on this herb, you can use a substitute and still cook a delicious meal. Then, you will not need to compromise on the level of taste. You will experience that same rich, minty flavor in your meals.
Any of the herbs we described above make excellent substitutes for oregano. Try them all to find your favorite!