Best Oregano Substitutes

Cooking - Best Oregano Substitutes

If you’re searching for a flavorful substitute for oregano in your recipes or simply have an allergy to this herb, there are plenty of other herbs that can be used in its place.

Mint family herbs offer an excellent substitute for oregano. Basil is one of the best.


If you’re searching for a substitute for oregano in cooking and baking, or just need an extra flavorful boost, there are plenty of great alternatives. Most herbs can be interchanged and often have similar flavor profiles when dried, making it simple to switch them out.

Basil is an ideal substitute for oregano in cooking and baking, especially Italian-inspired dishes. It adds a sweet, peppery, and aromatic taste that perfectly replicates oregano at a 1:1 ratio.

Another excellent alternative is tarragon. This classic herb goes well with tomato-based recipes and has a bittersweet flavor. Plus, its strong aroma adds extra depth to soups or sauces that need to simmer for extended periods of time.

Parsley is a common oregano substitute in cooking and baking. It adds an aromatic note that’s easy to find at your grocery store in the refrigerated vegetable section.

Dill is an herb that’s highly versatile, often substituting for oregano in recipes. Although it has a milder taste than oregano, dill still adds plenty of flavor to any dish.

Fennel is an oregano alternative in cooking and baking with a warming, anise-like taste. It works particularly well in tomato-based dishes, roasted meats, soups, and salad dressings.

Mexican Oregano

Oregano is a widely-used herb in cooking and baking, often featured as an ingredient in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. But its culinary uses extend far beyond that; it has been utilized across numerous other cuisines around the world as well.

Traditional oregano is a member of the mint plant family Lamiaceae and often referred to as the “pizza herb.” Its sweet anise-flavored roots give it an almost minty taste.

Mexican oregano belongs to the Verbenaceae family, so it has bright citrus notes that complement many Mexican dishes. This zesty and aromatic herb is commonly used in Tex-Mex dishes like chili con carne or tacos.

This herb is native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. It plays an essential role in many Mexican dishes such as pozole and black beans.

It also pairs perfectly with many Tex-Mex recipes, like chili con carne or moles. Its mild licorice flavor is enhanced by subtle hints of lemon and citrus.

Another great substitute for Mexican oregano is marjoram, which shares a similar flavor profile as oregano. You can easily switch it out in most recipes as an equal 1:1 substitution.

Oregano can be hard to come by in many grocery stores, especially where it isn’t grown. Fortunately, there are plenty of herbs that can serve as substitutes for oregano; however, remember that all herbs have a distinct flavor so start with a small amount and add more as needed.


Parsley is an herb that can be used as either a garnish or flavoring. It’s found in numerous cuisines, and can be utilized fresh or dried to add depth of flavor to soups, stews, pasta dishes, meats, fish dishes, poultry dishes, eggs, and vegetables.

When selecting parsley for cooking, there are various varieties to choose from; dried parsley will have a stronger flavor than fresh, and you should adjust accordingly.

When cooking, the best substitutes for parsley include chives, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, arugula, endive and celery leaves. Not only are these herbs great alternatives to parsley but they have a similar taste and texture too!

Chervil is an ideal substitute for fresh parsley in many recipes. Its delicate flavor and subtle peppery kick will give your dish an extra kick.

Another alternative is carrot greens, which appear similar to flat leaf parsley but are more subtle. Carrot greens make great garnishes for dishes as they add subtle flavor and vibrant green color.

Arugula, a salad green, has an almost identical flavor profile to parsley but is slightly bitter. While you could use this substitute for parsley, be aware that arugula’s strong and bitter flavor should only be used sparingly. Furthermore, it’s high in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.


Dill is an essential herb in many recipes. It imparts a distinct, grassy, licorice-y taste and zest to dishes, making it an excellent addition.

Dill has a refreshing mint aroma, making it an ideal addition to salads and dips. However, if you don’t have access to fresh dill, plenty of substitutes can be used instead.

Basil is a herb popular in the Mediterranean region that can substitute for dill when necessary. It has a sweeter taste than its counterpart, which some people find more desirable. Basil makes an ideal addition to Italian dishes as well as other recipes involving sauces, rich dressings, meat dishes and fish dishes.

For a stronger flavor, sage is an ideal substitute for dill. It has an earthy, clean taste that can be used in any recipe that calls for dill; just remember to start with half as much.

Fennel is an excellent alternative to dill in terms of flavor. It has a similar aroma as dill, but a sweeter taste and stronger licorice undertones.

Chervil is an ideal substitute for dill in French cooking, offering a flavor that blends parsley with a slight licorice-like aroma. This versatile herb can be used in many dishes from eggs and fish to meats and salads.


If you’re searching for a refreshing licorice flavor to your dishes, fennel is the perfect ingredient. Not only can it be used as a garnish, but you can also cook with it!

Like dill, fennel belongs to the Apiaceae family and grows from a bulb at the base of a stalk. It’s a cool-weather vegetable that’s widely available year-round in grocery stores as well as at farmers’ markets when in season.

Fennel is an abundantly nutrient-rich vegetable. It provides vitamin C and potassium to support a healthy immune system; calcium and phosphorus for bone health; as well as anti-inflammatory properties, which could aid digestion. Furthermore, this vegetable may aid digestion when cooked.

Grow kale from scratch in your own garden or buy seeds at the store and plant them in the spring. The peak growing season for kale is fall and winter, but you can sneak a quick transplant into spring for an early summer harvest.

Fennel can be easily substituted for fresh oregano in many recipes, such as soups, stews, sauces and meats. Simply substitute a pinch of fennel fronds for two teaspoons of fresh oregano.

Fennel can be used in small amounts to add an interesting twist to dishes, though it should not be overused. Just remember to cut it before cooking for best results!

Fennel not only has a delicious licorice flavor, but it is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. These minerals can lower blood pressure and enhance heart function. Furthermore, the dietary nitrates in fennel possess vasodilatory and vasoprotective effects which could potentially lower your risk for heart disease.


If you’re looking to substitute oregano in cooking and baking, a variety of herbs can be used instead. These alternatives will allow you to create dishes with delicious flavor without using up all your available oregano.

Marjoram is an herb typically found in the spice aisle at most supermarkets. Its mild and warm taste pairs well with many types of food items; marjoram can even be used to season soups, stews, sauces and dressings.

A perennial herb of the mint family, native to parts of Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean region, this plant was once seen as a symbol of happiness in ancient civilizations.

Marjoram‘s flavor is earthy and woodsy, with balsam-like pine and citrus notes. Its warmth and sharpness resemble oregano or thyme.

This herb has a similar flavor profile as sage and can be utilized in numerous recipes. It’s commonly added to sausage recipes as well as various vegetable, pork, and poultry dishes.

Oregano is a common substitute for marjoram in many tomato-based dishes. It also works well in vinaigrettes and meat marinades.

Oregano is a potent herb and can easily overpower dishes, so start with just half a tablespoon and adjust as needed. Additionally, having some dried oregano on hand in case fresh oregano runs out is wise; packages of oregano powder work just as well!

Science: How to Substitute Dried Herbs for Fresh Herbs, and See When Swapping Just Won’t Work

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