Oregano has become a household name thanks to its ability to add flavor to dishes. In addition to being delicious, oregano also offers health benefits. What exactly does it contain? And what other herbs or spices can replace it?
Oregano is a member of the mint family and grows wild throughout Europe and North America. The leaves and flowers of the plant are dried and ground into a spice known for its pungent aroma and medicinal properties.
Oregano is often added to soups, stews, salads, pasta sauces, meatloaf, pizza toppings, and even desserts. If you want to substitute it for another herb, check out our guide to oregano substitutes.
How Can You Substitute Dried Oregano For Fresh?
The best option for fresh oregano is to use dried if you have it on hand. Oregano goes great with meat, fish, eggs, beans, pasta, pizza, chicken, and even salad dressings. You can substitute dried oregano for fresh in most recipes.
Fresh oregano is great for adding flavor to dishes like soups, stews, pasta sauces, salads, and pizza dough. But what happens when you don’t have fresh oregano?
You can always make up for it with some dried oregano, but how much does one tablespoon equal to one teaspoon? We’ve got the answer!
A tablespoon of fresh oregano equals about 2 teaspoons of dried oregano. So you’ll want to know how many tablespoons of dried oregano are in a teaspoon. If you’re looking to substitute dried oregano in recipes, here’s the conversion ratio.
As you might expect, less is better. A tablespoon of dried oregano contains about half the amount of essential oils found in a tablespoon of fresh oregano.
Best Oregano Substitute
Oregano is one of those ingredients that everyone loves — we use it in everything from pizza toppings to pasta sauces. But there are times when you just don’t have access to good ol’ Italian herbs. So what do you do? You go online and find a replacement.
And that’s exactly what we did. We searched for “best oregano substitute,” and found a few different brands that worked well enough to make us feel like we had our favorite herb again.
1. Thyme (Fresh Only)
Oregano and thyme are both members of the mint family, and like most herbs, they go well together. Oregano has a strong flavor, while thyme is milder.
You might think that you could use one in place of the other, but there are some differences between the two.
For example, oregano contains a natural antioxidant, while thyme doesn’t contain any antioxidants. In addition, oregano is used primarily in cooking, while thyme is often added to soups and stews.
You can find fresh thyme at farmer’s markets and grocery stores, and you’ll usually find dried thyme in the spice aisle.
The best oregano substitute is probably fresh thyme because it looks just like oregano, tastes similar, and is easier to source.
However, if you really love oregano, you could try substituting dried oregano for thyme. Just remember that the dried version is stronger than the fresh.
2. Basil (Fresh Or Dried)
Oregano is one of those herbs that gets used in everything from pizza to pasta sauce. And while it certainly adds flavor, there are times when you don’t want to add too much.
Oregano is often paired with tomato sauces, but sometimes you just want something different.
This is where basil comes in. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also easy to find. You can buy it fresh in grocery stores, or you can dry it yourself. Either way, it’s a good choice for adding some spice to dishes without overpowering them.
3. Italian Seasoning (Dried, For Italian-style Recipes)
Oregano is included in most Italian seasonings (see also ‘7 Italian Seasoning Substitutes‘), including garlic salt, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, savory, onion powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, celery seed, white pepper, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace, ginger, turmeric, and curry.
You might even find some types of dried herbs labeled “Italian herb blend.” If you don’t see anything listed, check the ingredients list on the package.
If you’ve been looking for an alternative to oregano, these three options should work well. They all have their own unique flavors, so you may need to experiment a bit to figure out which one works best for your particular recipe.