Italian seasoning is a mix of herbs that is known for its earthy, peppery, and subtly sweet flavor. This versatile seasoning is a staple in my kitchen!
Don’t have this particular blend on hand? No worries! You can easily make an Italian seasoning substitute with a combination of fresh or dried herbs that you might already have at home.
What is Italian Seasoning Mix Made Of?
Italian seasoning is a mix of five primary herbs: basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
Each of these individual herbs has its own unique qualities, but they ultimately combine to make one savory seasoning mixture.
- Basil – Sweet and savory, slightly minty and peppery.
- Oregano – Bold, earthy, and pungent.
- Rosemary – Peppery, woody, and strong.
- Thyme – Earthy and subtly sweet.
- Marjoram – Earthy and citrusy.
These are the most common ingredients in any Italian seasoning blend, but some variations include other herbs and spices such as sage, parsley, garlic powder, fennel seeds, or crushed red pepper flakes. Feel free to experiment with these variations as you create your own substitute for Italian seasoning.
What Seasonings Are Similar to Italian Seasoning?
The best substitute for Italian seasoning is a combination of basil and oregano. Together, these two make the best replacement because they have the strongest flavor out of the five main herbs in Italian seasoning.
This blend is typically made from dried herbs, but you can use either fresh or dried herbs for your Italian seasoning substitute, depending on what you have on hand or prefer.
How to Use Fresh Herbs as a Substitution for Italian Seasoning
Want to make an Italian seasoning substitute with fresh herbs instead of dried? It’s simple! Take the same fresh herbs, chop them up, and mix them all together.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to do some conversions when making an Italian seasoning substitute with fresh herbs.
A good rule to follow when substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs: use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for every 1 teaspoon of dried.
How Can I Substitute 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning?
If using basil and oregano, follow a 1:1 ratio for your dried Italian seasoning mixture — replace 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning with a mixture of ½ tablespoon dried oregano and ½ tablespoon dried basil.
Thyme is a great addition to your Italian seasoning substitute. If using oregano, basil, and thyme, you’ll want to follow a 2:1:1 ratio, respectively. So for 1 tablespoon of an Italian seasoning alternative, use ½ tablespoon dried oregano, ¼ tablespoon dried basil, and ¼ tablespoon thyme.
You’re probably wondering — what about rosemary and marjoram? Adding these last two herbs will make your substitute for Italian seasoning complete, but you won’t need them in as great a quantity as you need oregano, basil, and thyme. Include just a pinch of each or feel free to leave out entirely.
Is Italian Seasoning the Same as Italian Herbs?
Yes, Italian seasoning is another name for Italian herbs. The terms are often used interchangeably as Italian seasoning is made from some of the most commonly used herbs in Italian cooking.
One thing to keep in mind is that Italian seasoning uses many, but not all, of the popular Italian herbs. Herbs like parsley and sage aren’t typically incorporated into traditional Italian seasoning, but these two are still popular and appear frequently in many Italian dishes.
Ways to Use Italian Seasoning
I love Italian seasoning because it’s incredibly tasty and also so versatile! Here are some of my favorite ways to use Italian seasoning or an Italian seasoning substitute:
- Season Vegetables. Italian seasoning takes Air Fryer Zucchini Fries and Air Fryer Baby Carrots to the next level.
- Sprinkle on Pizza. This seasoning is the perfect addition to your pizza! You’ll love how it tastes on my easy air fried French Bread Pizza.
- Mix Into Pasta Sauce. I always add Italian seasoning to my homemade marinara sauce recipes.
- Stir Into Soup. This blend of herbs really enhances all of the delicious flavors in this hearty Instant Pot Tortellini Soup!
- Use as a Rub or Marinade for Meat. I’ve often used a homemade Italian seasoning substitute to add flavor to Turkey Meatballs and French Onion Chicken.
The possibilities are endless! Whether you’re working with store-bought seasoning or a substitution for Italian seasoning, these delicious herbs are guaranteed to elevate the flavor of your dish.
Other Substitutions You May Need: