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Different Oregano Substitutes to Use Based on the Type of Dish

Oregano Substitutes
There are some who are allergic to oregano and, therefore, have to look for possible oregano alternatives so as to avoid changing the taste of the dishes that use generous sums of this herb. This post will tell you about a few good oregano substitutes that make way for only very little taste variations.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
Pizza with oregano
You know what I cannot imagine my pizza without? Generous sprinklings of oregano! Strange, but true. I love the aftertaste of the dried aromatic herb that keeps reminding me of the luscious pizza I so enjoyed some time ago. I love its strong, sharp, savory, and woody taste. But I know of a few people who are allergic to this herb, which has become a part and parcel of the quintessential aroma of Greek, Turkish, Spanish, and Italian cuisine. Even if that's not our problem and you have simply run out of it and need it immediately, there are a few oregano substitutes which you can opt for.
Substitutes of Oregano
Aristotelian renderings have it that after swallowing venomous serpents, tortoises instantaneously ate sufficient amounts of oregano foliage which acted as the antidote of the snake poison. And now for some oregano alternatives.

Remember, the fill-in for oregano should be chosen according to the dish you are preparing. Otherwise, the taste might get negatively affected.
Marjoram leaves
Marjoram
  • Ingredient called for: Fresh oregano leaves
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 3 teaspoons of marjoram
  • Nature of the Substitute: Marjoram is sweeter, which is why it is also a great tarragon substitute along with being a tad less sharp in its taste than oregano.
  • Best Used for:
    Use it ideally for dishes with pork and chicken.
Dried Marjoram
Dried Marjoram
  • Ingredient called for:Dried oregano leaves
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: ¾th teaspoon
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
Basil Bunch
Basil Bunch
  • Quantity of Oregano Required:2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with:2 teaspoons of basil (one can even opt for sweet or Italian basil to replace oregano)
  • Best Used for: Beef preparations of any kind.
    It also works like magic when opted for in preparations involving potatoes or breads.
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Parsley
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with:2 teaspoons of parsley
  • Best Used for: Works really well in tomato-based dishes.
Parsley and basil
Parsley and Basil
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of parsley + 1 teaspoon of basil
Tarragon Herbs
Tarragon
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with:2 teaspoons of tarragon
  • Best Used for: Works well when replaced with oregano specifically for a tomato-based dish, like Bolognese sauce.Also, replaces oregano well in salad dressings.
Dill Herb
Dill Herb
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1½ teaspoons of dill (add more if you want the flavor to be stronger)
  • Best Used for: Works well when replaced with oregano specifically for a tomato-based dish, like Bolognese sauce.Also, replaces oregano well in salad dressings.
Fennel Vegetable
Fennel Vegetable
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1½ teaspoons of fennel (add more if you want the flavor to be stronger)
  • Best Used for: Works well when replaced with oregano specifically for a tomato-based dish, like Bolognese sauce. Also, replaces oregano well in salad dressings.
Dried Italian Seasoning
Dried Italian Seasoning
  • Quantity of Oregano Required:2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning (add more if you want the flavor to be stronger)
Summer Savory
Summer Savory
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with:2 teaspoons of summer savory
Sage Herb
Sage Herb
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with:1 teaspoon of sage (add more if you want the flavor to be stronger)
Mexican Oregano
Mexican Oregano
This option is very easily available for people of the United States.
  • Quantity of Oregano Required:2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
  • Nature of the Substitute:Mexican oregano with its mintier taste has an enhanced flavor than that of the ordinary oregano and so one must first use only half the amount of oregano required and then add more if needed.
Pinch of Rosemary
Pinch of Rosemary
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 1 teaspoon
  • To be Replaced with: a pinch of rosemary (add more if you want the flavor to be stronger)
  • Best Used for: Grand for tomato-based dishes.
Bunch Of Thyme
Bunch Of Thyme
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • Best Used for: Beef preparations of any kind. Any Mediterranean preparation involving meat. All recipes that are based on beans, bread, potatoes, and tomatoes and call for oregano. Replaces oregano well in salad dressings as well.
Marjoram and Basil
Marjoram and Basil
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of marjoram + 1 teaspoon of basil
Marjoram And Thyme
Marjoram And Thyme
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 2 teaspoons
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of marjoram + 1 teaspoon of thyme
Dried Oregano
Dried Oregano
  • Ingredient called for: Fresh oregano leaves
  • Quantity of Oregano Required: 1 tablespoon
  • To be Replaced with: 1 teaspoon of dried OR liquid oregano
  • Nature of the Substitute: The flavor of dried oregano is stronger than that of fresh oregano leaves. Remember, that it is best to crush dried oregano before adding it to the dish you are cooking as it then releases the flavor and essential oils in the herb completely.
So, use these substitutes if you have to. If none of these actually work for you, just use some Italian seasoning and it is bound to work for it consists of oregano, among other ingredients.

Now that you know all the ingredients that can replace oregano with varying degrees of success, let us see what oregano, which is Grecian for "joy of the mountain", is all about. After all, one should always know what they are opting out of nevertheless.
What is Oregano?
Oregano Herb
Oregano Herb
This perennial, green-hued oregano herb with purple blooms and ovate foliage belongs to the family of mint. It is indigen to the Mediterranean section of Europe, which is sort of why it plays such a major and indispensable role in Mediterranean cuisine, along with central and southern parts of Asia. Very similar in taste to its cousin, the redolent marjoram, oregano however has a slightly bitter gustatory quality.
Besides its culinary uses, owing to its pronounced scent, there are also innumerable medicinal uses of oregano:
  • Not only is it a spasmolyte which helps relieve pain, it also happens to be an emmenagogue which eases and promotes menstrual discharge.
  • Along with this, oregano is known to cure fevers and being an expectorator remedies colds, coughs and sore throats.
  • A sleep inducer, when had in pronounced doses, oregano's antimicrobial and antiseptic properties helps keep numerous infections at bay and treat those which are pretty difficult to heal otherwise. For instance, even methicillin-immune staphylococcus aureus, which can wreak havoc in the human body, causing extremely difficult to tackle infections, can be handled with the usage of oregano herb.
  • Pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes which can cause abscesses, abortion, encephalitis, endocarditis, listeriosis, meningitis and septicemia, as well as most enteral parasites can be effectively kept at bay or killed with oregano mainly owing to the thymol present in it.
  • Besides this, it is also flatus-relieving which tends to issues like indigestion and other stomach problems.
  • Oregano even harnesses sea sickness and acts as a stimulant, inducing that exhilarated, refreshed feeling. However, it is known to make a person alert and yet tranquilizes the nerves for better and sharpened perception of the surroundings.
  • Other than thymol, oregano is richly constituted with carvacrol, caryophyllene, limonene, ocimene, and pinene and also houses antioxidantal flavonoids and phenolic acids. So obviously, oregano is extremely beneficial in multiple ways and even the Father of Medicine, the ancient Greek physician, Hippokrates knew about it back in the Age of Pericles!
So, one must have more oregano to reap all these benefits. But then in case of allergies and culinary exigencies, one has to go for oregano substitution. Fair enough. But, it is my personal advice that try to use the real thing if you aren't allergically impaired from doing so. Believe me, oregano does not only perform wonders with health but also optimally titillates the palate. After all, it is not for nothing that the ancient Grecians believed that the kine which fed on oregano growing on the rocky terrain of the Mediterranean, offered tastier beef.
Dry Thyme
Organic Rosemary From The Garden
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme Stems In Wooden Bowl
Herb Thyme
Rosemary On A White Wooden Background
Majoram and basil herbs in flower pots on balcony
Rosemary
Thyme
Fresh And Dried Rosemary
Fresh Coriander
Rosemary
Rosemary
Bunch Of Fresh Cut Thyme Herb