6 Best Substitutes for Oregano for Cooking Recipes
Are you looking for a great alternative to oregano? Stick around as share our top recommendations.
Anyone who cooks at home definitely knows the importance of having a wide variety of ingredients in their pantry. It allows you to whip up any meal without missing any essential ingredients.
Those who love cooking various types of cuisines should have a selection of herbs that give specific dishes their distinct flavors.
If you are fond of Italian cooking, one of the staple herb you should always have is oregano.
In fact, it was once known by some US soldiers as “the pizza herb” because it is one of the spices used as pizza a topping.
However, if you find yourself missing oregano, don’t fret because you can use substitutes. Here’s what you need to know.
What Makes Oregano Special?
Before we talk about replacements for oregano, you might be wondering what makes oregano a preferred ingredient for some recipes.
The first thing you need to know is that it is celebrated for its strong aroma and flavor.
When it comes to its smell, you will find that it shares similarities with camphor, giving it a minty odor.
Its flavor is often described as pungent because of its strength. It also has an earthy and slightly bitter taste.
This is why cooks avoid using too much oregano, as even a bit more than needed can overpower the dynamic flavor of the recipe.
The good news is that your stock can go a long way because you only need a small amount every time you cook.
It offers a world of benefits as it is great for addressing colds, muscle pain, allergies and headaches, just to name a few conditions.
Best Substitutes for Oregano
If your recipe calls for oregano but you do not have it on-hand, your best bet is to use other ingredients to help replicate the desired effect of this particular herb. Wondering what you can use to replace this spice? Check out this list.
Oregano is closely related to marjoram. In fact, the two are often confused to be the same plant. Oregano is sometimes called “wild marjoram,” despite being different plants. If you have marjoram on hand, then this is a great replacement.
It has a similar taste and smell, only milder. You will also notice that it offers a more floral flavor compared to the original component.
Just remember that marjoram is milder than oregano, which means that you will need to add more of this herb to achieve the level of aroma and flavor offered by the original herb. Because of its mild characteristics, make sure to use it toward the end of your cooking.
One thing you should know about oregano is that it belongs to the mint family, which explains its camphoraceous aroma. What’s another herb that belongs to this family? Basil.
This spice offers a similar aroma and flavor but in a milder sense. Keep in mind that because it is milder, you will need to use more basil to achieve a stronger taste and smell.
Remember that there are varieties of basil, which offer various profiles. Some have a sweetness to them, so if you need to add a sweet factor into a dynamic recipe, then basil is a great option.
Those who often use oregano when making tomato-based dishes should opt for parsley as a substitute. It offers a dynamic flavor because of its relatively strong aroma and taste. It can enhance any dish because of its savory characteristic.
Because it can be a strong ingredient, you can use the same amount of parsley as oregano called for in the recipe.
Oregano is not only known as a great addition to tomato-based dishes, but also to salad dressings.
It gives a vibrant kick to the mix, especially if you use the right amount. Tarragon can work well for these two types of recipes also. It has a bittersweet flavor, which can replicate the slight bitterness of the original component.
This herb has a super grassy flavor, with anise-like characteristics. It also has a bitterness to it, which makes it a great replacement for oregano.
While oregano is known for its strong taste and aroma, dill can be much more pungent than that. So, make sure to use less dill to avoid getting that overpowering taste.
This bittersweet herb is known for having eucalyptus and citrus attributes. Like oregano, it can be strong, especially when fresh.
See to it that you use only the right amount. To do this, simply follow what the recipe says for oregano
There is no need to worry about your cooking if you lack oregano in your pantry. Just make sure that you have one of these herbs lying around and you are good to go.
I hope you enjoyed our recommended substitutes for oregano.