The Ultimate Guide: Discover the 7 Best Substitutes For Italian Seasoning

The 7 Best Italian Seasoning Substitutes

Italian seasoning is a versatile blend of dried herbs commonly used to add flavor to various Italian dishes. However, if you find yourself running out of Italian seasoning, there are several substitutes that can help you achieve a similar flavor profile. In this article, we will explore seven of the best Italian seasoning substitutes and how to use them effectively in your recipes.

1. Basil

Basil is a widely used herb in Italian cuisine. It offers a distinct earthy flavor and a balanced aroma, especially when heated during the cooking process. When replacing Italian spices, basil can be used as a stand-alone herb. It can be added to sauces, meat dishes, marinades, and more. For an enhanced flavor, consider mixing a pinch of rock salt and crushed black pepper powder for each tablespoon of basil. In general, you can substitute 0.5 tablespoon of basil for 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

2. Parsley

Parsley is another versatile herb that can be used as a substitute for Italian seasoning. It adds a unique texture and flavor to dishes and is often used as a garnish. When combined with basil, parsley can provide a flavor profile similar to Italian seasoning. You can substitute 1 tablespoon of parsley for 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. For best results, try mixing parsley and other herbs in a 50:50 ratio or adjust the amount of each herb to your personal preference.

3. Oregano

Oregano is an essential herb in Italian cuisine and is used in a wide variety of dishes. It offers a deep, earthy, aromatic and slightly pungent flavor. As a spice, oregano can be used as a stand-alone substitute for Italian spices. It is especially good for meat dishes, marinades, and sauces. For most recipes, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of oregano for every 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. For a spicy kick, try combining oregano with freshly crushed red pepper flakes.

4. Thyme

Thyme is known for its distinct minty flavor and sweet aroma. While it is commonly used as a garnish, it can also be used as a substitute for Italian seasoning. When using thyme as a substitute, it is recommended that it be paired with at least one other herb, such as oregano. This combination helps to balance the flavors. You can use 0.5 tablespoon of thyme for every 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. When using thyme and oregano together, try substituting 0.5 or more tablespoons of the mixture for each 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is an herb with a distinct aroma and strong flavor. It has lemon and pine notes and can be similar to sage and other slightly minty and peppery herbs. While it can be overpowering when used in large quantities, rosemary can be used sparingly as a substitute for Italian seasoning. It works particularly well with meat dishes and plays an important role in sauces. To substitute rosemary for Italian seasoning, use 0.5 tablespoon of rosemary for every 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Consider combining rosemary with other herbs, such as basil or thyme, for a more balanced flavor.

6. Marjoram

Marjoram is an herb that can replace both Italian herbs and oregano. It has a similar flavor profile and can bring out the flavor in any recipe. While it is often used in combination with other herbs and spices, it can also be used as a stand-alone substitute when needed. However, it is recommended that oregano and marjoram not be mixed or used in large quantities as they have similar properties. When using marjoram as a substitute, adjust the amount to taste.

7. Homemade Italian Seasoning

If you prefer a homemade option, you can create your own Italian seasoning blend using a combination of dried herbs. Here is an easy recipe to make your own Italian seasoning:

  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Do not grind the spices.
  2. Pour the mixture into a jar and seal.

This homemade Italian seasoning blend allows you to customize the flavor profile to your liking. You can adjust the amount of each herb to get the flavor you want. Experiment with different ratios and combinations to create your perfect blend.

Bottom line

Italian seasoning is a popular blend of dried herbs that adds flavor to Italian dishes. However, if you run out of Italian seasoning, there are several substitutes you can use. Basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and homemade Italian seasoning blends are all excellent alternatives. Each substitute offers its own unique flavor profile and can be used in different recipes.
When using substitutes, it’s important to consider the quantities and complementary herbs to achieve a balanced flavor. Experiment with different combinations and ratios to find what works best for you. By using these substitutes, you can still enjoy the flavors of Italian seasoning even when you don’t have it on hand.
Remember, cooking is a creative process, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Feel free to explore and adapt these substitutions to suit your personal preferences and the specific dish you’re preparing. Happy cooking!


Can I substitute an herb for Italian seasoning?

Yes, you can substitute individual herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or marjoram for Italian Seasoning. However, using a combination of herbs will provide a closer flavor profile.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs?

Yes, you can use dried herbs as a substitute for Italian seasoning. Dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor, so adjust the amounts accordingly.

How do I adjust the amount of herbs when making my own Italian seasoning blend?

Adjust the amounts of herbs in your homemade Italian seasoning blend to your personal taste preferences. Start with equal amounts of each herb and adjust from there. Remember, it’s a matter of experimenting and finding the right balance for your palate.

Are there alternatives to Italian seasoning that offer a similar taste?

Yes, there are several alternatives to Italian seasoning that can provide a similar flavor profile. Some options include using pre-made Italian seasoning blends, herb blends specific to certain Italian dishes, or even creating your own custom blend based on your preferred flavors.

Can I use these substitutes in non-Italian recipes?

Absolutely! While these substitutes are commonly associated with Italian cuisine, they can be used in a variety of non-Italian recipes to add flavor and depth. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different combinations in your cooking.