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5 Substitutes for Italian Seasoning: Elevating Culinary Repertoire

Italian seasoning is a ubiquitous staple in the kitchens of home cooks and professional chefs alike. Its blend of oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary packs a flavorful punch that is synonymous with Italian cuisine.

However, there are occasions when you reach for the bottle, only to find it empty or your dish’s profile demands something a little different. In such moments, it’s essential to understand the nuances of what comprises Italian seasoning to effectively sub out individual components.

In this comprehensive look at the substitutes for Italian seasoning, we’re not only revealing the alternatives but also guiding you on leveraging their unique flavors to enhance your dishes.

Through the exploration of oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for seasoning your culinary creations.

Whether you accidentally run out of Italian seasoning mid-recipe or want to spice up your cooking routine, these interchangeable seasonings will not only save the day but also introduce a refreshing twist to your taste buds.

🙋‍♀️ 5 Substitutes for Italian Seasoning

Here are 5 substitutes for Italian seasoning to elevate your culinary repertoire:

1 – Oregano

Oregano is often considered the unofficial signature ingredient of hearty Mediterranean fare. With a robust, earthy aroma and a slightly bitter taste, it’s a familiar note in pizza and pasta dishes.

When replacing Italian seasoning with oregano, remember that the latter tends to be a bit stronger. A general rule of thumb is a 1:1 substitution; however, fine-tuning is key. If the dish calls for additional herbs in the seasoning, you might want to reduce the oregano quantity by a teaspoon or two, to ensure the balance isn’t skewed.

In place of Italian seasoning, sprinkle oregano liberally over tomato-based sauces, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats to infuse them with a characteristic Mediterranean flavor.

For a homemade pizza sauce, blend canned tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, and oregano – there’s no going wrong with this classic combo.

2 – Basil

Fresh basil brings a peppery aroma and a slightly sweet undertone to the table, making it a more delicate player than the robust oregano. Its versatility spans from pesto to caprese salads.

For an Italian seasoning to basil swap, you can use equal parts basil. Considering basil’s vulnerability to heat, it’s better to add it towards the end of cooking, to maintain its fragrant notes.

Basil becomes a natural substitute when crafting dishes such as bruschetta, vegetable sautés, and marinating mozzarella. Its ability to cut through rich flavors adds a layer of complexity, excellent for summery Italian dishes.

3 – Thyme

Thyme’s assertive earthiness combines a minty and lemony essence, adding depth to stews, soups, and sauces.

When swapping for Italian seasoning, thyme can hold its own, offering a more profound flavor. For dishes like roasts and casseroles, using thyme can elevate the culinary experience.

Include thyme in your bean soups, roasted root vegetables, and slow-cooked meats for a savory inflection that will resonate with any herbivore.

4 – Rosemary

Rosemary’s pine-like pungency pairs well with rich and savory dishes, most notably meats and starchy vegetables.

When replacing Italian seasoning with rosemary, keep in mind that its flavor can easily overpower others. Start with a moderate substitution, and taste as you go to avoid a ‘soapy’ flavor. This assess-as-you-add approach ensures rosemary’s punch doesn’t dominate the dish.

Roasted meats, such as a succulent leg of lamb or a golden-crisp chicken, come to life with the aroma of rosemary. It also does wonders in bread and biscuit doughs to add a touch of the Tuscan countryside.

5 – Marjoram

Marjoram shares a kinship with oregano but brings a milder, almost sweeter variation to the mix. Its gentler flavor is perfect for those who find the bitterness of oregano too intense.

For every teaspoon of Italian seasoning, you can substitute with equal parts marjoram. When sprinkled on dishes, it imparts a delicate, floral quality that’s less assertive than oregano but equally satisfying.

Marjoram’s understated charm is best showcased in mellowing tomato sauces, enriching sautéed vegetables, and creating memorable mushroom dishes.

Homemade Italian Seasoning Recipe

If you’re looking to add some Italian flavors to your cooking, why not try making your own homemade Italian seasoning!

This blend of herbs and spices is a staple in many Italian dishes and can easily be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.

This recipe yield about ⅓ cup of seasoning mix, perfect for adding flavor to your favorite pasta dishes, sauces, marinades, and more.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dried herbs and spices: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Transfer the Italian seasoning blend to an airtight container or spice jar for storage.
  • Label the container with the contents and date prepared.
  • Store the homemade Italian seasoning in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use as needed to season pasta sauces, marinades, soups, salads, roasted vegetables, meats, and more.

Tips

  • Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Use dried herbs instead of fresh for a longer shelf life.
  • Make a larger batch and store it in the freezer for even longer shelf life.

👨‍🍳 Conclusion

With a deeper understanding of the components of Italian seasoning and their flavor profiles, you can confidently substitute any missing herb with the right alternative.

Keep experimenting with these substitutes to elevate your culinary repertoire and add new dimensions to your dishes.

From oregano’s robustness to thyme’s earthiness, basil’s freshness to rosemary’s heartiness, and marjoram’s mildness, these five herbs offer a world of possibilities that will keep your taste buds intrigued.

homemade-italian-seasoning

Homemade Italian Seasoning Recipe

If you're looking to add some Italian flavors to your cooking, why not try making your own homemade Italian seasoning! This blend of herbs and spices is a staple in many Italian dishes and can easily be made at home with just a few simple ingredients. This recipe yield about ⅓ cup of seasoning mix, perfect for adding flavor to your favorite pasta dishes, sauces, marinades, and more.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1
Calories 146 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dried herbs and spices: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Transfer the Italian seasoning blend to an airtight container or spice jar for storage.
  • Label the container with the contents and date prepared.
  • Store the homemade Italian seasoning in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use as needed to season pasta sauces, marinades, soups, salads, roasted vegetables, meats, and more.

Notes

  • Adjust the red pepper flakes according to your spice preference. Omit them entirely if you prefer a milder seasoning blend.
  • Feel free to customize the blend by adding other herbs or spices such as fennel seeds, dried thyme, or dried sage for a unique flavor profile.
  • For best results, use high-quality dried herbs and spices for optimal flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 7gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 68mgPotassium: 735mgFiber: 15gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1400IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 627mgIron: 25mg
Keyword homemade italian seasoning
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Mijari

Sunday 17th of March 2024

Love the idea of elevating my cooking with alternative seasonings! This guide provides excellent options to keep my Italian-inspired dishes flavorful and diverse. Can't wait to give them a try!