5 Best Italian Seasoning Substitutes

Need an Italian seasoning substitute? Whether you don’t have it on hand, can’t find it at the store, or don’t like the taste, use one of the Italian seasoning substitutes from the list below.

Despite the name, Italian seasoning isn’t Italian at all. This popular dried herb blend was created as a convenient way for home cooks to add Mediterranean flavors to Italian dishes, pasta sauces, salad dressings, soups, and marinades.

Most Italian seasoning from the grocery store contains a blend of herbs such as oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage. Although the amounts of these herbs vary depending on the brand you buy, the main ingredients remain the same. In Italian cooking, a small amount of this spice blend goes a long way.

How It’s Used

Italian seasoning is used in a variety of dishes and condiments such as pizza seasoning in tomato paste pizza saucechicken parmesanItalian chickpea breadcrumbsartichoke saladpasta salad, and more. 

When you run out of this flavorful seasoning blend, substitute it with one of the options below.

Best Italian Seasoning Substitute

1. Homemade Italian Seasoning Blend

The best Italian seasoning substitute is to make your own blend. You likely already have many of these herbs in your spice cabinet. Not only is making your own spice blend easy, but you can also adjust it to suit your needs.

To make homemade Italian seasoning, mix 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried marjoram, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage.

Optional add-ins: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder for a more savory flavor, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for a little heat, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

Store the homemade dried herb blend in an airtight container or upcycled spice jar for up to 6 months in a dry place. After this time, the herbs will lose their potency.

2. Dried Oregano + Dried Thyme + Dried Basil

If you’re looking for another easy substitute use a combination of dried oregano, dried thyme, and dried basil. These three main herbs make a great substitute because they are predominant in Italian flavors.

  • For 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, substitute 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano dried thyme, and dried basil.
  • For 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon dried basil.

3. Fresh Herbs

One of the best substitutes for Italian seasoning is fresh herbs. Because fresh herbs aren’t as concentrated as dried herbs, you’ll need to increase the quantity. 

In recipes, add minced fresh oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sage to olive oil with other aromatics like fresh garlic and onion. Save fresh basil for garnishing at the end of a dish for the best flavor.

For every 1 teaspoon of dried herbs, you’ll need to substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.

4. Herbes De Provence

Herbes de Provence is a seasoning blend from South France that’s popular in French and Mediterranean cooking and is quite similar to Italian seasoning. It’s a blend of thyme, marjoram, rosemary, sage, basil, fennel seeds, and oregano with the addition of lavender flowers.

It’s a good substitute for Italian seasoning in salad dressings or breadcrumbs (like my Italian chickpea breadcrumbs). Because the lavender flowers add a floral note, it doesn’t work best in authentic Italian dishes.

For 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, substitute 1 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence.

5. Za’atar Seasoning Blend

Za’atar seasoning is a Middle Eastern spice blend. Like Italian seasoning, it also contains marjoram, thyme, and oregano, along with toasted, earthy spices such as sesame seeds, ground coriander, and sumac. It has an herbaceous, nutty, earthy flavor that’s slightly acidic from the tart sumac berries.

Use as a substitute in salad dressings, dips, roasted vegetables, and marinades for a more unique flavor profile.

Bonus: Greek Seasoning

The herbs in Greek seasoning vary from brand to brand, but the main herb is dried oregano. Many blends do include salt and pepper as well. Greek seasoning can be substituted 1:1 for Italian seasoning in recipes. If needed, reduce the amount of salt and pepper in the recipe to prevent over-seasoning.

More Ingredient Substitutes

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