7 Best Substitutes for Oregano & How to Use Them


Oregano is a perennial herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae).

It is prominent in the Mediterranean diet with several bioactive properties, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.

It has a strong aroma and a warm, pungent taste.

Suppose you don’t have any fresh or dried oregano while making a recipe or have allergies; here is the list of best substitutes that may work well when swapped in place of oregano.

7 Best Substitutes for Oregano

This subsection will explore various herbs that may work as oregano substitutes. However, these options may work depending on the type of recipe.

Choosing the wrong herb may affect the overall flavor of the dish.


Marjoram is a perennial plant of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is used both fresh and dried to season food and has an aromatic, slightly sharp, and bitterish flavor.

It may work as a substitute for oregano as both spices are from the same mint family.

However, the flavor of marjoram is milder than oregano, and therefore, three pasts of marjoram are preferred for two parts of oregano in the recipe.

Also, it is recommended to add marjoram at the end of cooking to hold its flavor.


Marjoram is a popular closest substitute for oregano as it shares a similar peppery flavor and aroma. It may be used in stews, soups, and salads.


Basil, also called sweet basil, is the annual herb of the mint family Lamiaceae used in fresh and dried form to flavor meats, salads, fish, and sauces.

It has several medicinal properties, including sharpening memory, treatment of fever, common cold, mouth ulcer, and arthritis.

It may work as a substitute for oregano, especially in tomato-based pasta and beef dishes.

It is recommended to use equal parts of fresh or dried basil for fresh or dried oregano.


Equal amounts of basil may work as a substitute for oregano, especially in Mediterranean cooking.


Thyme is a popular herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae, used to flavor poultry, fish, eggs, soups, and vegetables.

It has a fragrant and aromatic odor with a warm and pungent taste.

Fresh thyme may work as an oregano substitute due to its similar flavor profile. It is best useful as garnish and salad dressings.

It is recommended to use the same amount of fresh thyme for fresh oregano.


Thyme is another great substitute for oregano due to its similar aromatic flavor profile, especially in garnish and salad dressings.


Sage is also an aromatic herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is used both fresh and dried as a flavoring in many foods. It has a strong herbal aroma and an earthy flavor.

It pairs well with many herbs and is effective as an oregano substitute. However, it is best to use fresh sage in dishes to obtain the full flavor of the herb.

Also, it may handle long cooking times like oregano.


Sage is also a member of the mint family that may work well as a substitute for oregano. Fresh sage works well as a replacement and not the dried form.


Rosemary is a small evergreen plant of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It has a pungent, slightly bitter taste and is used to season foods.

It is primarily used due to its astringent, antimicrobial, and hypotensive properties.

Although rosemary is more potent than oregano, a few stalks of rosemary may be used to add a flavourful note as an oregano substitute.


Fresh rosemary may work just fine as an oregano substitute in the recipes.


Parsley is a hardy biennial herb of the Apiaceae family widely used in Greek cooking for flavoring and garnishing foods. It is low in nutrients but high in nutrients.

Parsley may be used to substitute fresh oregano as a garnish or dried oregano in cooking.

As parsley has a mild flavor compared to oregano, the amount has to be used accordingly.


Parsley may work as an oregano substitute in garnishing and cooking due to its flavorful profiles.


Tarragon is a bushy aromatic herb of the family Asteraceae. It adds a tangy and piquancy flavor to culinary dishes and is a common ingredient in the spice mix.

It has a warm odor with a taste reminiscent of anise. Although tarragon has a different flavor than oregano, it may still be used to substitute oregano.


Tarragon may also work as a substitute for oregano in tomato-based dishes and salad dressings. However, it is not popular as other herb substitutes.


Can Italian seasoning be used as a substitute for oregano?

Italian seasoning has several different types of spices, including basil, parsley, and oregano. It adds a deep flavor to the dish and may be used as a substitute for oregano.

Is Mexican oregano different from oregano?

Mexican oregano is a type of oregano commonly used in Mexican dishes, including chili and salsas. It has an intense flavor with a slightly citrus and licorice note. It is less minty than Greek oregano.

Bottom Line

Oregano is an intensely flavourful herb that brings a sweet, earthy aroma to the dish.

However, if you have allergies or don’t have access to oregano, then you will find several herbs that will work as substitutes for oregano in this article.

These substitutions may work just fine with a slightly different flavor profile.

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!