In this article, we will learn different substitutes for marjoram for your so that you can perfect your meal .We will explore the five best herbs to substitute it easily.
Marjoram is a herb that belongs to the mint family. This plant is green, fuzzy-looking, with oval-shaped leaves. Marjoram has a citrusy and piney flavor. And makes a great addition to many recipes.
It also has an earthy and woody aroma which helps heighten the flavor of foods wonderfully. Mediterranean meals favor it, and you can find it in spice mixtures like Herbes de Provence, poultry seasoning, and Za’atar.
But don’t panic if your recipe requires marjoram and you don’t have any handy. Whether you don’t keep it in your cupboard or have run out—we’ve got you covered with the best substitutes for marjoram when cooking.
Keep in mind that different substitutes will work best depending on the flavor profile your recipe calls for.
5 Herb Substitutes For Marjoram
Another herb from the mint family, oregano, is an obvious alternative for marjoram.
Both herbs come from the same genus family but are of different species. However, they have a very similar flavor profile, both offering that delicious citrus zest with a touch of pine.
Whether you use fresh or dried oregano, bear in mind that it tends to be stronger than marjoram. Generally, marjoram is sweeter and milder than oregano.
As a result, we suggest using half or even less than half of the amount called for in the recipe if you use oregano.
We suggest using thyme in either its fresh or dried form to flavor dishes like roasts or stews. Its hearty flavor pairs best with rich dishes.
Thyme offers a sweet, earthy taste with a lingering hint of pepper. Like marjoram, thyme also has a woody aroma that lends itself well to savory dishes.
Keep in mind that the flavor of thyme tends to become stronger the longer it is left to cook for. If you are looking for a more noticeable flavor, you can let it cook along with the dish from the beginning If you want something more subtle, we suggest adding it near the end.
Sage is another member of the mint family. This herb has a lovely earthy flavor with a nice strong aroma.
You may recognize sage as a popular choice in recipes for thanksgiving turkey for Americans. Or from the iconic Simon and Garfunkel song.
Fresh sage has a milder taste than the dried version and, as such, works better as a substitute for marjoram. You can substitute it with marjoram at a 1:1 ratio if using fresh sage. If you only have dried sage on hand, we suggest using slightly less.
Perhaps a less likely substitute, basil still offers a similar freshness to marjoram when cooking.
When substituting marjoram for basil, we recommend using either fresh or dried based on whether your recipe called for fresh or dried marjoram. If you would have used fresh marjoram, then replace it with fresh basil.
However, be mindful that basil does have one flaw when replacing marjoram in a dish, and that is its noticeable peppery aftertaste. In contrast, marjoram has a very citrusy flavor. For that reason, we find that basil works best in dishes that also call for lemon or another citrus as it helps to make up for the lack of marjoram.
5. Herb Mixtures
Mixtures like Za’atarZa’atar, Herbes De Provence, poultry seasoning, or Italian seasonings are a good substitute for marjoram as they tend to contain marjoram.
While using any of these mixtures will impart a slightly different taste to your dish than just marjoram alone, it could end up enhancing your recipe.
Try to match spice mixes to the kind of dish you’re cooking. Herbes de Provence, for example, would work well in a French or Italian recipe, poultry seasoning would work best for chicken dishes, and so on.
Final thoughts on using marjoram substitutes
You might be concerned that your dish won’t taste as good without the flavor-enhancing qualities of marjoram, but fear not. This list of substitutions will keep your dish tasting great.
As marjoram has quite a mild flavor, there are several herbs that do well to mimic the depth it can add to any recipe.
Without a doubt, oregano is probably the herb that most closely resembles marjoram and would be the best substitute to use in its place. You can learn more about their difference by checking out: Marjoram VS Oregano.
However, any of the alternatives on this list will still add some lovely flavor to your dish. Most can be replaced at a 1:1 ratio with marjoram.
Keep in mind that dried herbs tend to have a more potent flavor than their fresh counterparts, so you may want to use less.
The best part of cooking is tasting along the way, so sprinkle a little bit of oregano in and see how it tastes!