Italian seasoning has a way of adding a unique aroma and flavor to any food.
It combines different herbs to make a versatile blend that you can use on your meatballs, lasagna, parmesan, and other dishes.
But what happens when you run out of Italian seasoning, and you need to add that piney flavor that is peppery and still sweet?
Read on to learn some of the best Italian seasoning substitutes and make a substitute Italian seasoning.
What is Italian Seasoning?
Italian seasoning consists of dried herbs with an earthy flavor meant to add flavor to your favorite foods. Some variations also feature bay leaves, red chili flakes, garlic powder, and sage to their mix.
Contrary to popular belief, Italian seasoning isn’t from Italy. There’s an assumption that Romans and Greeks developed this seasoning in the Mediterranean before it was introduced in Western countries.
What is Italian seasoning used for?
You can add this seasoning to your meat, pizza, marinara sauce, and any pasta dish.
What Spices Are in Italian Seasoning?
So, what is Italian seasoning made of? Common Italian seasoning ingredients include:
Rosemary has a distinct herbal flavor. You can use it on meat/chicken dishes, pasta dishes, sauces, and salads.
Thyme has a minty flavor with a sweet scent. Fresh thyme is common on dressings and salads, while dried thyme is a favorite on meat, stews, and roasted potatoes.
Basil is an aromatic herb that adds a kick of flavor to your dressings, salads, and cold dishes. You can also use dried basil in roasted meat, stews, sauces, and soups.
Oregano is a versatile spice that you can add to meat dishes, stews, salad dressings, and salads. It’s also great for pasta and pizza sauces.
Although marjoram  shares some similarities with oregano and is always used as an oregano substitute, it has a floral aroma and is mild. This herb can be added to stews, sauces, salad dressings, and marinades.
When using both marjoram and oregano, ensure that you use small quantities to avoid overpowering the flavor.
The five ingredients are blended to make Italian seasoning.
Top 14 Easy Italian Seasoning Substitutes
If you’ve run out of Italian seasoning, here are some great Italian seasoning alternatives that you can use.
1. Dried Oregano, Basil, and Thyme
You can add a burst of Italian flavor by mixing half a teaspoon of thyme, half a teaspoon of basil, and a teaspoon of oregano in a container.
The combination of thyme’s minty flavor and oregano’s woody, unique flavor gives any Italian-style dish depth. Adding Basil gives your meal a hint of pepper and mint, which further complements the dish.
A blend of these three herbs pairs well with dishes like roasted chicken, fish, or roast potatoes.
This dried Italian seasoning substitute won’t let you down!
2. Dried Basil and Oregano
You can substitute Italian seasoning with dried basil and oregano. The two herbs bring out a strong flavor in Italian seasoning.
Basil has hints of pepper and sweet mint, while oregano has a strong, pungent flavor. Mixing equal parts of these dried herbs adds a flavor similar to what you’d get with Italian seasoning.
If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, you should use half a teaspoon of dried basil and half a teaspoon of dried oregano.
3. Fresh Basil and Oregano
Fresh herbs are aromatic, fragrant, and add a flavorful taste. You can use fresh basil and oregano in place of Italian seasoning.
Dried herbs tend to be more concentrated in flavor. When using fresh herbs, you may need to use more to achieve the desired taste.
Additionally, cooking fresh herbs for an extended period can make them lose their flavor. You should incorporate the fresh basil and oregano when your dish is almost done.
Use a ratio of 3:1 when you opt for fresh herbs to get the same flavor. That means if a recipe states two teaspoons of Italian seasoning, you need to use three teaspoons each of fresh oregano and basil.
4. Herbes de Provence
Can I substitute herbs de provence for italian seasoning? Of course yes!
Herbes de Provence  shares some similarities with Italian seasoning. However, it’s a French spice mix that incorporates different flavors popular in Provencal cooking.
This spice blend has marjoram and thyme, the same herbs you’ll find in Italian seasoning.
Certain brands add fennel seeds and lavender flowers. If you wish to get a similar flavor as Italian seasoning, choose a blend without lavender flowers.
5. Herbes de la Garrigue
Herbes de la Garrigue is another spice and herb blend from France. It has a savory flavor and is bold, unlike Herbes de Provence.
What’s more, it’s close to the Italian seasoning taste as it doesn’t have lavender flowers. Herbes de la Garrigue has thyme and rosemary as the main ingredients.
Some brands add bay leaves and mint, but these blend well in dishes that need Italian seasoning.
6. Greek Seasoning
Greek seasoning is an excellent way to add the flavors of the Mediterranean diet without the need to have different ingredients.
This seasoning has thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley, onion, and garlic as its main ingredients. In addition, specific blends have nutmeg, basil, pepper, cinnamon, and lemon peel.
Greek seasoning has pepper and mint notes, which makes it a perfect substitute for Italian seasoning.
However, you need to be careful as Greek seasoning can alter the flavor of your dish due to the lemon peel and cinnamon.
7. Creole Seasoning
Creole seasoning is commonly used in rice, stews, soup, and burgers, and you can use it in place of Italian seasoning.
Its common ingredients include garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, basil, and oregano.
It has been proved one of the most popular Italian seasoning replacement.
8. Pizza Seasoning
Pizza seasoning is something found in most kitchens. You can substitute Italian seasoning with it as it contains oregano and basil.
Ordinary pizza seasoning has thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Apart from using it on pizza dough, you can sprinkle it into soup or add it to a homemade sauce.
Use pizza seasoning in a ratio of 1:1. Note that you may need to add more pizza seasoning to get the desired flavor.
Za’atar is a spice and herb mix found in the Middle East. It contains oregano as its main ingredient. Marjoram and thyme are also part of this blend, which makes them an excellent substitute for Italian seasoning.
Go with a 1:1 ratio of Za’atar as a swap for Italian seasoning.
10. Italian Homemade Seasoning With Sage
You can use an Italian seasoning substitute recipe to create a homemade Italian seasoning with sage.
The seasoning includes basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Adding sage gives the dish a peppery taste with hints of lemon and mint.
To make this seasoning, you need three teaspoons of oregano, two teaspoons of basil, and a teaspoon of thyme, sage, and rosemary. Mix all ingredients and blend them to your desired consistency.
11. Italian Homemade Seasoning With Black Pepper
Customizing an Italian homemade seasoning with black pepper is ideal if you want to add that spicy and robust flavor to your dishes.
For this, mix a tablespoon of marjoram, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. You can also add pepper flakes and garlic powder, blending them to make this Italian seasoning.
12. Homemade Italian Seasoning With Parsley
Another unique combination is adding parsley to your homemade Italian seasoning. Parsley has this herbal flavor that adds a unique flavor to sauces and other dishes.
Mix a tablespoon of parsley with two tablespoons of thyme, basil, and oregano. Blend the dried herbs, and you have an Italian homemade seasoning.
13. Italian Homemade Seasoning With Fennel Seeds
Fennel has a unique flavor, and it’s a common ingredient in most spice mixes.
Simply add a tablespoon of fennel seeds and two tablespoons of basil, thyme, and oregano. Blend these herbs before storing them in an airtight container.
14. Homemade Italian Seasoning
Making your own Italian seasoning can be a great way to save money and control what goes into it.
This recipe was created by my mom, who loves cooking with fresh ingredients. She is not afraid of experimenting so this recipe is not the typical one you find on the web.
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- In a bowl, mix all the dry herbs until they are well combined.
- Store the mixture in a sealed container.
Note that you can adjust the ratios to make a batch that will serve you in the long haul.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Make your own Italian seasoned sautéed chicken breast:
FAQs About Italian Seasoning
What’s the substitute for 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning?
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning =
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano + ¼ teaspoon dried basil + ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano + ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1½ teaspoon fresh oregano + 1½ teaspoon fresh basil
What can I substitute for Italian seasoning packet?
The following mixture will be a good substitute for Italian seasoning packet:
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons salt
3 tsp of this mixture is equal to 1 store-bought Italian seasoning packet.
How much Italian seasoning per pound of meat?
The best usage is to add 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning per pound of meat.
How much Italian seasoning to add to plain bread crumbs?
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning is enough for 1 cup of plain bread crumbs.
Italian seasoning is versatile and one of the best spice blends to make authentic Italian dishes.
However, sometimes you may run out of this seasoning, and you need an Italian herb seasoning substitute.
Our list above has some of the best Italian seasoning substitutes you can try.
Alternatively, you can use the recipe to make an Italian seasoning. This option allows you to customize the seasoning depending on your preferences.