Italian seasoning is a blend of herbs often used with Italian cuisine. It adds flavor, taste, and an element of that Italian deliciousness we all love. It can pretty much make or break a recipe. So, it is challenging if you can’t use this seasoning in a dish. Thankfully, you can call upon some excellent Italian seasoning substitutes to save the day!
A substitute should bring the flavor we expect from this seasoning. That said, working with flavors and experimenting is also a way to match your cooking skills. So, let’s see what the best options are to replace this iconic seasoning in your food.
Top Substitutes For Italian Seasoning
1. Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence is a mix made using several herbs. These include rosemary, oregano, thyme, savory, and marjoram. Some versions also include lavender flowers. This unusual combination makes for quite an impressive seasoning and taste.
When used to replace Italian seasoning, it’s best to choose one that doesn’t include lavender flowers. The flowers bring a significant change to flavor and aroma.
2. Dried Basil And Oregano
Here are two herbs that form an essential part of Italian seasoning. They’re also responsible for a fair bit of the seasoning’s flavor and taste. A mix of dried basil and oregano gets pretty close to the classic flavor of Italian seasoning. The strong and sharp flavor of oregano goes along well with the sweet and savory flavor of basil. These opposites come together to make a wonderful combo.
3. Homemade Italian Seasoning
If you’ve got a few Mediterranean herbs, it’s possible to make your own Italian seasoning at home. Here’s what you need for a DIY Italian seasoning:
- Dried Oregano: 1.5 spoons
- Dried Thyme: 1 spoon
- Rosemary: half spoon
- Dried Marjoram: 1 spoon
- Sage: half spoon
- Dried Basil: half spoon
Put all these ingredients together and mix them well. Your Italian seasoning is ready! Place it in an airtight container and store it away from heat and light.
4. Fresh Herbs
A mix of fresh herbs is the way to go for delicious seasoning and flavorful meals. Using fresh herbs opens up an all new dimension to the flavor. It is rather difficult for an average person to come by these fresh herbs (ingredients to Italian seasoning listed above).
Some restaurants and chefs prefer to grow their own herbs, so they always have fresh material ready. In any case, fresh herbs usually don’t have as deep a flavor concentration as dry herbs. So, use more of them for your recipe.
5. Herbes De La Garrigue
It is a spice mix that’s quite similar to Herbes de Provence. This herb mix comes from southwest France and includes all the herbs in Herbes de Provence (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, savory, oregano). It builds upon that mix with two more herbs: bay leaf powder and mint.
As we see, the combination of herbs in this set is quite similar to those in Italian seasoning. This combination allows Herbes De La Garrigue to be a decent substitute.
6. Pizza Seasoning
Short on options? Pizza seasoning is an option that will work just fine. It’s an easily available herb mix that’s common thanks to its use with the delicacy loved by all – pizza. While there is no single “authentic” pizza seasoning, most of them contain several herbs similar to Italian seasoning. Plus, it’s a flavor that most of us are familiar with, and enjoy a lot. You might want to start with a small amount of this seasoning or make some other adjustments to the recipe. Pizza seasoning contains cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, both of which add a fair bit of heat and spice.
7. Greek Seasoning
It is another lovely Mediterranean spice and herb mix for your food. This one takes a different approach than Italian seasoning. The ingredients in Greek seasoning are oregano, parsley, marjoram, thyme, and what sets this seasoning apart – onion and garlic.
There’s plenty of room for extras and more additions as well. You’ll find options ranging all the way from cinnamon to basil available as additions. This makes it remarkably easy to customize to your own taste.
Za’atar means “oregano” in Arabic. The name is a misnomer as Za’atar is actually a blend of spices and herbs. Its flavor is remarkably similar to that of Greek seasoning. Oregano is the main ingredient of this blend, so its taste leans towards oregano.
There are several other ingredients in the mix including sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, and marjoram. The addition of these other ingredients makes it taste different than Italian seasoning, though the presence of common ingredients like oregano, thyme, and marjoram manages to maintain a familiarity.
9. Creole Seasoning
Here’s another mix of herbs that lands the flavor and familiarity of Italian seasoning. Creole seasoning includes black pepper, white pepper, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, paprika, and a couple more ingredients. It shares many of its ingredients with Greek seasoning, Italian seasoning, and even pizza seasoning.
10. Dried Basil, Oregano, And Thyme
These are three key ingredients for Italian seasoning. Put some dried basil, oregano, and thyme together, and you’ve got a decent substitute. Use three spoons of oregano, two of thyme, and one of dried basil. Well, that’s the basic idea. Play around with the quantities to get the flavor you want.
FAQs And More To Know
What is in McCormick’s Italian seasonings?
The famed McCormick’s Italian seasoning includes the classic seasoning herbs plus a little extra. The ingredients are thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, sage, savory, and oregano. Other commercial seasonings can include the same or similar herbs.
How is Tuscan seasoning different from Italian seasoning?
For most of its flavor and contents, Tuscan seasoning is the same as Italian seasoning. There is a small difference though. Tuscan seasoning tends to be a bit more peppery than Italian seasoning. In many cases, the difference may not even be noticeable and the two can be considered the same.
Are Italian dressing seasoning and Italian seasoning the same?
No, while the names and basic ingredients are similar, both of these are different elements. Dry Italian seasoning will usually have fewer ingredients as compared to Italian dressing seasoning. Being a dressing mix (seasoning), it requires a liquid to carry its flavor. Generally, these are vinegar and oil. Conventional Italian seasoning doesn’t include these liquids.
Learn more: Best Adobo Seasoning Substitutes For Your Food
Enjoying This Flavorful Mediterranean Seasoning
Should you ever find yourself in a bind looking for an Italian seasoning substitute, take a look at the options listed here. Having a few Mediterranean herbs at hand will make things easier. Herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil can make a decent substitute. You can also try other favorite Mediterranean seasonings and herb blends to get the flavor right.