So, you are here for the best oregano substitutes. Are you an Italian cuisine connoisseur? If yes, I’m sure you love oregano. Whether it’s pasta or pizza, the dish isn’t complete without some oregano on top. Oregano is a fantastic and intriguing ingredient that lends an earthy-sweet scent to the recipe. It provides fragrance and improves the flavor of any food.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you needed oregano for a recipe but couldn’t find any in your kitchen. Alternatively, you could be allergic to oregano and so miss out on all the delicious Italian and Mediterranean recipes.
In this situation, the best thing to do is to look for the best oregano substitutes. Wait! Are you stumped as to what to use as the best oregano substitute in your recipe? Don’t worry! We’ve already done the hard work for you. Some of the best oregano substitutes are fresh oregano, fresh and dry basil, fresh thyme, Italian seasoning, marjoram, parsley, summer savory, and fenugreek.
Even though oregano has become a household name, some of my readers may be unfamiliar with this magical spice. Before we go into the best options for oregano substitutes, let’s take a deeper look at this popular herb. This will help you understand how to substitute it better.
You know you have used oregano enough when your room is filled with its refreshing aroma when you open the lid of your freshly prepared dish. Oregano is one such piquant seasoning herb that is being added to a wide variety of cuisines nowadays. It is mostly used for its unique aroma and scrumptious flavor.
Quick Peek: Oregano
Previously restricted to Italian and Mediterranean dishes, it has now become one of the world’s most popular seasonings. This section will help you with every detail of lemon zest. You’ll learn what it is, how it tastes and feels, and how to use it. Continue reading to learn more!
What Is Oregano?
Oregano is a fragrant culinary herb widely used in a variety of dishes across the globe. The word oregano comes from the Greek word Origanum vulgare, which means “joy of the mountain.” This plant is found in abundance throughout the mountain ranges of Greece and other Mediterranean countries, hence its name.
The oregano plant is a mint-family blooming plant with little leaves. The seasoning is made from oregano leaves, either fresh or dried. When the leaves are put into any cuisine, they have a pungent scent and a robust flavor. It is gluten-free and great for vegan diets as an herb.
Describing Oregano: Flavor and Texture
The leaves from the oregano plant are used to make oregano. Seasoning is done with both fresh and dried oregano. Oregano leaves have a peppery aromatic fragrance and a harsh taste, despite their modest size. Because of its strong flavor, it’s important to use caution when adding oregano to curries, as an overabundance might damage the flavor.
Oregano is used not just as a flavoring but also as a fundamental ingredient in many Italian dishes. I imagine a peppery, minty, fresh scent when I think of oregano. Even when used in small amounts, oregano gives your cuisine a fresh flavor.
Uses of Oregano
You can use oregano in a variety of dishes all around the world. It’s a flavoring agent that improves the taste of dishes. It can be used as a finishing or ‘touch-up’ herb to give the meal a unique aroma and flavor.
Oregano is used in the Philippines not only for flavor but also to mask the pungent stink of the meat. Oregano is commonly offered as a condiment in areas such as southern Italy and Latin America, where people enjoy a kick of spice in their food.
It’s not only fragrant and flavorful, but it’s also a terrific way to jazz up your favorite dishes. You can use this tiny leaf to enhance the flavor of your favorite dish.
If you enjoy experimenting with different seasonings, oregano has a lot to offer. Oregano can improve and complement the flavor of any dish when used in the proper flavor profile.
Oregano On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Oregano is used sparingly in most meals. As a result, the nutritional value it adds to our food is diminished. However, we cannot ignore the health benefits that these small leaves can provide.
Oregano is high in antioxidants. It’s also high in vitamin K. Vitamin K is one such vitamin that aids in blood clotting by producing proteins. It also helps to develop bones. Just a teaspoon of oregano fulfills 8% of your daily vitamin K needs.
Apart from using oregano in cuisines, it is also used to extract oil. This oil has a slightly yellow color and a strong spicy aroma. This oil can be effectively used for sore throats, nasal congestion, and joint pain. Oregano also contains fiber, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and omega fatty acids. The herb also has antifungal and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Oregano has been used in natural medicine for a long time for all of these reasons. And for this reason, we can call oregano a delicious healing agent. I believe we’ve talked about enough oregano! Now it’s time to consider the primary point of this essay, which is the best oregano substitutes.
15 Best Oregano Substitutes
Now that we have discussed all the oregano, now it’s time to see what you can use instead of it. So, let’s see some of the best oregano substitutes.
1. Mexican Oregano
When discussing oregano, it’s important to remember that it has two types: Mediterranean and Mexican. When we say oregano in general, we’re talking about Mediterranean oregano.
Despite the fact that they are two different plants, they have a very similar flavor profile, making Mexican oregano one of the greatest substitutes for oregano.
When it comes to flavor, Mexican oregano has a considerably stronger flavor profile than Mediterranean oregano, otherwise known as the regular oregano.
Mexican oregano has a citrus and lemon flavor. When making South American foods, you can use Mexican oregano as an oregano substitute. As a result, use half a teaspoon of Mexican oregano for one teaspoon of Mediterranean oregano when adding to recipes.
2. Fresh Oregano
Oregano is usually used in both ways; fresh as well as dried. If you don’t have dried oregano at home, you can use fresh oregano as a substitute for dried one without a second thought.
Since both fresh and dried oregano belongs to the same plant, it doesn’t mean that they will have the same flavor profile. While dried oregano has a stronger aroma and a more bitter taste, fresh oregano is much milder. When adding to your favorite cuisine, replace one teaspoon of dried oregano with one tablespoon of fresh oregano.
Basil leaves can be regarded as one of the best oregano substitutes since they have a similar flavor profile. Basil has a fresh aroma and subtle peppery flavor. It provides a unique fragrance and flavor to whichever dish it is added to. Also, basil is an easy herb to grow in kitchen gardens, making it one of the most convenient oregano substitutes.
Basil, like oregano, is available in both dried and fresh forms. Dry basil has more flavor than that fresh one. Basil will be a good oregano substitute in most dishes. Considering its flavor profile, it will be best suited for Italian dishes like pasta and pesto.
When calculating the quantity, use the same amount of basil as the oregano specified in the recipe. Here is the recipe for tomato basil sauce for you.
Thyme is one of the most popular oregano substitutes since it imparts a distinct flavor to the recipes. With a hint of rosemary, it has an earthy, minty flavor.
Thyme and oregano have a number of physical similarities as well as comparable flavor qualities. The leaves of the thyme plant are quite similar to the leaves of fresh oregano.
Thyme can simply be substituted for oregano in a variety of meals, from meat to salads, after evaluating its flavor, smell, and physical look. Because dried thyme has a stronger flavor, fresh thyme is the best oregano substitute. Here is a list of oregano substitutes that you can use.
Marjoram is a shrub that has a kind of sweet pine and citrus flavor. Even though marjoram is synonymous with oregano in the middle eastern country, marjoram has a flavor that is more on the sweet side.
Marjoram can be relied upon as a good oregano substitute for Mexican cuisines, considering its flavor profile. Marjoram has a mild flavor that is similar to oregano. Like oregano, it imparts a warm and bitter flavor to meals.
Despite its resemblance to oregano, marjoram is difficult to come by in grocery stores. As a result, although having a fairly similar flavor profile, marjoram cannot be considered a convenient oregano substitute. Here is a list of marjoram substitutes that you can use.
Bay leaves are another excellent oregano substitute. The flavor of bay leaves is minty with a tinge of black pepper. Like oregano and basil, bay leaves come in both dried and fresh forms. One can either use fresh or dried bay leaves as an oregano substitute.
However, bay leaves only get their true flavor when cooked slowly. As a result, bay leaves can be used in recipes such as soups and sauces that require a long cooking period. However, bay leaves should not be left in your dish after cooking because they do not taste good when eaten alone. Here is a list of bay leaf substitutes for you.
7. Italian Seasoning
Oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram are among the herbs used in Italian seasoning. It can be used as an oregano substitute in a number of cuisines because it is a blend of oregano and other herbs.
In soups and marinating meat, Italian seasonings can be used as a simple substitute for oregano. Aside from that, Italian seasoning works well with tomato-based dishes and Mediterranean cuisine.
When substituting Italian seasoning for oregano in any meal, it’s important to keep in mind the dish’s spiciness. Adjust accordingly because Italian seasoning already contains a few additional spices.
Parsley is an excellent oregano substitute since it has a clean, peppery flavor with a hint of earthiness. Parsley, like oregano, has a remarkable ability to enhance the flavor of foods.
Parsley, like oregano and a few other herbs we’ve studied, comes in both dried and fresh forms. The flavor of dried parsley is mild. As a result, a teaspoon of dried parsley can be substituted for one teaspoon of dried oregano.
9. Summer Savory
Summer savory is one of the most underrated oregano substitutes. It is a plant that is native to northwest America.
It has a subtly sweet flavor and spicy aroma. It is used to enhance the flavor of the dish. Since summer savory has a unique and spicy aroma, it can be a good oregano substitute in various dishes. Like oregano, summer savory is available in dried and fresh formsLike oregano, summer savory is available in dried and fresh forms
One can replace fresh oregano with fresh summer savory and dry with dry. Even though summer savory goes very well with vegetables, it is mostly used as an oregano substitute in meat dishes to eliminate the strong meat odor. Make your recipe hot and spicy by substituting one teaspoon of summer savory for one teaspoon of oregano.
Fenugreek is a versatile seed that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It has a sour, bitter flavor and can be used as an oregano substitute in some dishes.
When comparing fenugreek to oregano, one must consider the nutty, bitter flavor. However, when used appropriately, fenugreek gives a flavor that will make you forget about oregano in your recipes. To acquire the correct flavor, mix half a teaspoon of fenugreek with one teaspoon of oregano.
There are two varieties of tarragon. Russian tarragon and French tarragon While Russian tarragon has a dull flavor, French tarragon is known as a chef’s closest friend because of its flavor and scent.
The scent of anise and licorice pervades French tarragon. It has such a strong flavor that it can be used as an oregano substitute in a variety of dishes. Tarragon is a pretty versatile herb that can be used to dress a salad or marinate meat. However, because of the flavor of tarragon, it will be a good substitution for oregano in French cuisines.
Dill is an herb that is widely used in Asian as well as European cuisines. As a herb, it is widely used to elevate the flavor of the dish. Both leaves, as well as seeds of dill, are consumable. While dill leaves have a grassy flavor, dill seeds have a refreshing, citrus-like flavor with an earthy, grassy undertone.
When contrasted to oregano, dill has a completely different flavor character. However, in certain dishes, such as yogurt-based sauces and fish recipes, dill seeds can be an exact oregano substitute if used in the proper amount. To get the right flavor, use three to four teaspoons of dill to one teaspoon of oregano.
Fennel has a licorice flavor to it. Fennel, like dill, does not have the same flavor profile as oregano. If you want to add a different flavor dimension to your recipe, you can try fennel as an oregano substitute.
Like many other herbs described, fennel can be used both dry and fresh. Non-vegetarian recipes benefit greatly from fresh fennel. When using fresh fennel, use the leafy section of the herb rather than the bulb. This flavor profile is the most similar to oregano.
To get the closest flavor profile when replacing oregano with fennel, use half a teaspoon of fennel to one teaspoon of oregano.
Rosemary is, without a doubt, one of the most fragrant herbs. It has a spicy, minty flavor. Because rosemary has such a strong flavor, it can be used as an oregano substitute in a variety of cuisines.
Rosemary complements chicken and other bread-based dishes. It offers a unique flavor to your cuisine and can be used as the main ingredient or a garnish. When compared to oregano, rosemary has a much stronger flavor. When substituting oregano for rosemary, simply use three to four teaspoons per teaspoon of oregano.
15. Fresh Sage
Sage is an herb that belongs to the mint family. It has very aromatic leaves and has been widely used as a culinary herb for a long time.
Fresh sage, unlike dry sage, has a flavor profile that is quite similar to oregano. As a result, it can be considered one of the best oregano substitutes. The flavor of fresh sage is somewhat spicy, with a hint of mint and lemon.
Fresh sage can be used in practically any cuisine that calls for oregano because of its comparable flavor profile. Use the same amount of sage as needed when adding the quantity.
Short Recap of Best Oregano Substitutes That You Can Use
Are you still undecided about which of these substitutes you should choose? Don’t worry; here’s a little clip that may assist you in escaping this difficult predicament.
Most appropriate: Thyme is the most acceptable oregano substitute since it can practically match the flavor and taste of oregano.
Easily accessible: Basil is the most readily accessible option. Even if they don’t have the same flavor as oregano, they can be used safely for garnishing, vegetable salads, and non-vegetarian dishes.
Best flavor combination: When marjoram is employed, the flavor profile is the best.
I hope you found the answers you were seeking now that we’ve reached the end of the post. Oregano is such a versatile ingredient that it may add a new dimension to a variety of meals.
Although most of the listed ingredients can be used as oregano substitutes, there is no precise match for oregano. However, if you know of any other alternatives to the ones listed above, please share them in the comments area.
How To Substitute The Above Mentioned Ingredients For Oregano
- Mexican Oregano
- Fresh Oregano
- Bay Leaves
- Italian Seasoning
- Summer Savory
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which are the best oregano substitutes available in India?
Fennel and fenugreek are some of the easily available oregano substitutes available in
What can I use instead of dried oregano?
Fresh oregano, basil, thyme, and marjoram are the best substitutes for dried oregano.
What is the best oregano substitute in pasta?
Italian spices and thyme are some of the best alternative options for replacing oregano in pasta.
What’s the best Mexican oregano substitute?
Dried Marjoram is the best substitute for Mexican oregano as both of them have a very similar flavor profile.