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16 Best Substitutes For Italian Seasoning That You May Try

If you’re into your cooking, then you know how crucial herbs and spices are. Substitutes For Italian Seasoning helps transform dishes, adding a deep flavor profile.

If you use Italian seasoning, then you’re looking at a staple combination of oregano, rosemary, and basil. Depending on the brand, they’ll add some other herbs too, such as sage, chili flakes, or bay leaves. 

If you go to Italy, you won’t find any Italian seasoning in the supermarkets. There, they generally use fresh herbs or individually select their dried herbs as substitutes for Italian seasoning.

In many cases, Italian nonnas have their secret blend of dried Italian herbs, perfected curated for their recipes.  With that said, don’t feel bad if you cannot afford to cook like a real Italian, nor if you don’t have the time.

Italian seasoning is a great little hack, and the blend is said to have derived from the ancient Greeks and Romans. While it’s not authentic, it is delicious and pretty darn nifty. 

Okay — the real problem here is, what do you do if you run out of Italian seasoning?

Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of picking up an Italian seasoning shaker, and witnessing the horror of it being empty, or almost empty.

It’s even more sorrowful if you’ve had a hankering for Italian cuisine all day.  While Italian seasoning has a distinct blend of herbs and spices, you can use substitutions to get a similar, if not roughly similar, flavor profile. 

With that said, let’s check out these herbs! 

10 Best Substitutes For Italian Seasoning

Dried Basil, Thyme, And Oregano

If the only herbs that you have in your spice rack are dried basil, thyme, and oregano, then you have a very close combination of what your branded Italian seasoning tastes like.

While it is a sweet herb, it has delicious notes of mint and pepper.

Oregano has a strong flavor profile, so if you use it in excess, it can taste overly bitter. The key to blending these two herbs is to use a 1:1 ratio.

If you have thyme, that’ll add more depth to your blend. It can add a delicious earthy flavor, that has slight undertones of citrus essence.

If you plan on using thyme in your blend, it’s better paired with roasted fish, chicken, and potatoes. It also is paired excellently with any lemon and garlic forward dishes. 

So, you’ll need to use a different ratio if you want to add thyme to your blend. In this case, you’re looking at ¼ teaspoon of dried basil, ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme, and ½ teaspoon of dried oregano. 

How To Substitute

If you have a shortening of Italian seasoning then don’t worry you will have a perfect option in the form of thyme, oregano and dried basil. Although these three have earthy, mint and citrus flavor and excess use of Oregano may make your dish smoky so be mindful while adding them.

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Herbs

There’s nothing like some fresh herbs, and you can of course use these to substitute Italian seasoning.  Not any fresh herb will do the trick, however. You’ll need fresh basil and fresh oregano to create Italian seasoning.

Another note to add is that you’re going to need a decent-sized bunch of both herbs, to work as a substitute.

That’s because the flavor of dried herbs is much more concentrated than fresh herbs, so you’ll need to use extra fresh herbs, to get that level of flavor. 

Another aside, when you’re using dried herbs, it’s best to let them simmer. This way they can impart their flavor. When it comes to fresh herbs, you don’t want to do that.

If they’re cooked for long periods of time, they will lose their flavor. It’s an easy fix though, just pop them into your dish towards the end. 

How To Substitute

If you want to achieve the authentic taste of Italian seasoning in your dish then you may choose a few herbs which can do wonders in your recipe such as basil and oregano. Although make sure to let them dry properly before using them.

RELATED: The Best Substitutes For Old Bay Seasoning

DIY Italian Seasoning

This next substitution is really nifty, and you might even switch out your branded Italian seasoning, for your blend. This is especially useful if you already have these herbs in your spice rack. 

If you want to make your own Italian seasoning, add place 2 tablespoons of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram into a shaker. This will give you your basic Italian seasoning mixture.

Now, if you prefer, you can add some other herbs and spices. You could add some garlic powder, red chili flakes, or even a touch of pepper.

I would personally avoid adding salt to this because it’s better to salt dishes to your liking. 

If you really want to make authentic Italian seasoning, blend your mixture in a food processor, to grind them up finely. Easy! 

How To Substitute

If you’re a fan of Italian seasoning then here is your chance to make it at your home with a few ingredients such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. It will give you the exact taste as it uses the same ingredients of Italian seasoning.

Herbs De La Garrigue 

Our next substitution is this lovely traditional blend of herbs grown in southwestern France. 

This mixture generally contains basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, and mint. That’s a lot of herbs. However, if you look at the list, then you can see that a lot of the herbs are vital to Italian cuisine.

So while you won’t be making an authentic Italian, you can get a vaguely similar flavor profile.  If you already have these ingredients, then stick with some of our other options on the list.

However, a lot of people have a wide range of seasonings, that they don’t know how to use. So, if you were ever gifted, or ever randomly bought herbs de la garrigue, it’s time to finally use it. 

How To Substitute

Herbs De La Garrigue is the traditional mixture of many herbs such as basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary and some other herbs. These herbs are similar to Italian seasoning that makes it a great alternative to Italian Seasoning.

Herbs De Provence 

Okay, if you don’t have herbs de la garrigue in your spice rack, you might just have herbs de Provence. This is a classic French blend made out of herbs that are traditionally grown in the Provence region of France. So, no, it’s not Italian.

However, like herbs de la garrigue, it can work as a substitute for your Italian seasoning blend. The reason it can work as a substitution is that it contains similar herbs to Italian seasoning. 

It’s typically made with rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, and savory. It’s usually paired with roasted dishes, such as chicken, or potatoes. If you have this in your cupboard, use a 1:1 ratio for substituting Italian seasoning.

How To Substitute

Herbs De Provence is a blend of herbs and spices that is popular in southern France and is typically used in a variety of dishes. The herbs are infused in olive oil, which gives the blend a slightly sweet flavor. Although it is a popular choice to substitute Italian seasoning.

Creole Seasoning 

This works as a good substitute for Italian seasoning if you can be flexible with the dish you’re making. That’s because it typically contains cayenne pepper, which definitely can pack a punch.

However, if you’re in the mood for some tasty, spicy Italian food, then this will work perfectly for you. 

Creole seasoning typically contains oregano, basil, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. 

It’s a good option if you have it in your spice rack, and could work well if you’re making an arrabbiata sauce. 

How To Substitute

The perfect substitute for Italian seasoning is Creole seasoning. The presence of many herbs will affect the taste of your recipe, making it spicy. If you make sauce, it will work great.

Homemade Italian Seasoning Plus Sage 

Not everyone is going to have the same herbs and spices in their spice rack. So, if you have some sage, you could use this recipe as a substitute for Italian seasoning.

Sage is a great herb to use. It has a peppery taste, with some slight traces of lemon, mint, and eucalyptus. If you have rosemary, basil, thyme, and oregano, it’ll go well with sage.

If you don’t have all of these herbs, just use the ones you have. 

So, to make this seasoning you’re going to need: 1 teaspoon of sage, thyme, and rosemary. Then, you’re going to add two teaspoons of basil, with 3 teaspoons of oregano.

If you can blend all of these, then even better. If not, you’re still going to end up with a pretty decent Italian seasoning substitute. 

How To Substitute

If you have sage in your kitchen then you are all set to deal with Italian seasoning by blending it with other herbs such as basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme. These seasonings will work great if you use it in a perfect blend.

Greek Seasoning 

If you have Greek seasoning, then you’re in luck, you’ve already got yourself a good substitute for Italian seasoning.

Okay, the flavors aren’t exactly the same, but they’ve got some similar herbs, which can produce a similar flavor. 

Typically, Greek seasoning will contain thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, parsley, and marjoram. While you won’t find garlic, onion, or parsley in Italian seasoning, it’s a pretty close call.

A lot of Italian dishes are prepared with onion and garlic, so it’s in the right direction. Definitely check the ingredients on the label, because not all Greek seasoning contains the same herbs.

Some brands add herbs such as lemon peel, nutmeg, and cinnamon. If this is the case, then you’re probably going to want to steer away from it. 

However, if you choose Greek seasoning to substitute Italian seasoning, go with a 1:1 ratio. 

How To Substitute

Greek seasoning is a blend of fresh herbs and spices that can be used in place of Italian seasoning. It contains oregano, basil, thyme, onion, marjoram, etc. A greek seasoning may provide you with the exact taste of your dish if you use it in a one-to-one ratio.

Pizza Seasoning 

Pizza Seasoning

If you have some pizza seasoning in your cupboard, this is a nifty substitute for Italian seasoning. Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking, “If I had pizza seasoning, I wouldn’t be looking on this page.” 

However, there are definitely some of you that randomly bought pizza seasoning one day, forget about it, and it’s hiding in the back of your cupboard somewhere. If that’s you, go get it. It’ll work a treat. 

Usually, pizza seasoning contains herbs and spices such as thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and onion powder.

While it’s no replacement for the Italian seasoning, it really will give you a hint of the (Americanized) Italian flair.

If you’re making a simple Italian tomato sauce, then this will work well, or even a minestrone soup. If you plan on using pizza seasoning as a substitute for Italian seasoning, then stick to a 1:1 ratio. 

How To Substitute

Pizza Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices used to make a flavorful crust on your pizza. The unique blend of herbs and spices makes it one of the best alternatives to Italian seasoning.

Homemade Italian Seasoning Plus Black Pepper 

Lastly, you can use homemade Italian seasoning with added black pepper to substitute Italian seasoning. 

Black pepper is vital to pretty much any dish, Italian, or not. Black pepper has a spicy flavor, as well as a slightly floral flavor too.

To substitute Italian seasoning with homemade Italian seasoning with black pepper, try the following blend:

1 tablespoon of basil, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. To jazz this up a bit, add 1 tablespoon of onion powder, or chili flakes. It’ll compliment the black pepper. 

As always, give them a blitz in the food processor, if you can. 

How To Substitute

With the blend of black pepper, thyme, oregano and basil you may make your homemade seasoning to deal with the shortening of Italian seasoning. You may try adding other herbs with them to enhance the flavor.


Italian seasoning is a blend of spices that are combined to make a savory taste. You may substitute these spices with a mixture of herbs and spices, such as rosemary.

Rosemary is a herb that is known to have a distinct flavor. Therefore, it can be used as a substitute for Italian seasoning, as it has similar properties.

Rosemary provides a similar flavor to the recipes that call for Italian seasoning, so they are worth a try in your next meal.

How To Substitute

The uses of rosemary in your recipes solely depend on your preference and the flavor you require. However, you can easily substitute them in a 1:1 ratio.


Parsley has a bright, clean, and fresh flavor. It is often used in salads, sauces, and casseroles.

The herb is popular in Mediterranean dishes and Middle Eastern dishes. In addition, it is one of the most popular substitutes for Italian seasoning.

Parsley is an herb that can be used in a variety of ways. One way to use it is to flavor food with a sprinkle of dried parsley.

When used in cooking, parsley is often used to make Italian dishes more flavorful. So, next time you are short of Italian seasoning, you may turn to parsley.

How To Substitute

If you use parsley to substitute Italian seasoning, start by adding a smaller quantity until you get your desired taste profile. Then, it will help you from ruining your dish.


If you are open to experimenting with your recipe and are ready for some flavor differences, you must try Marjoram for Italian seasoning when your recipe calls for it.

However, you must keep in mind if your recipe calls for fresh herbs, then use fresh Marjoram dried for dry requirements.

In Mediterranean and Italian dishes, MarjoramMarjoram is a popular ingredient. It is easy for them in various ways, including ground into powder and sprinkled on vegetables, chicken, and rice dishes.

How To Substitute

You may use an equal amount of Marjoram in your recipe as Italian seasoning. However, be ready for a little minty flavor in your final product.


Cajun is the spice that is least like Italian seasoning! Cajun seasoning adds a wonderful flavor to many dishes, however!

The smoky flavor of Cajun Seasoning will transform your recipe, replacing the earthy tones of Italian seasoning. Although it doesn’t have a similar taste profile to Italian seasoning but still Cajun worth trying.

How To Substitute

If you’re new to Cajun Seasoning, start with a small amount. Even if you decide to use a 1:1 ratio, it is best to add it slowly until you achieve the perfect taste.


Basil is one of the most common staples you will find in your kitchen, and it can be your savior when you run out of Italian seasoning.

An earthy and sweet taste will provide your recipe with a distinctive and versatile taste. Although you may get a similar flavor of Italian seasoning by combining it with Oregano, if you do not have that, it alone can save your trip to the grocery store.

How To Substitute

If your recipe calls for one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, then you should substitute it for half a teaspoon of basil so that it will not overpower the taste of your dish.


Sage is one of the best options to use as a substitute for Italian seasoning. Sage has a similar flavor to Italian seasoning, with a slightly earthy and minty taste.

If you don’t have Italian seasoning, sage is a good alternative that will still give your dish a flavorful boost.

You may replace Italian seasoning with sage in many dishes, including soups, stews, and pasta.

How To Substitute

You should use the sage in small quantities if you use it alone. However, you may use it in ¼ ratio to substitute.


Okay, that brings us to the end of the 10 best substitutions for Italian seasoning. Hopefully, we’ve inspired you not to give up on your desired Italian meal, and to instead, be creative in the kitchen. 

Even if all you have in your spice rack is basil and oregano, you’re in a good place. If you have added extras, like rosemary and thyme, even better. You can also be creative, add some garlic powder, add some pepper. 

Also, remember that some Italian dishes are spicy. So if you have some creole seasoning, you can definitely work around it.

Some Italian dishes are lemon forward too, so if any of your seasonings has lemon, maybe choose an Italian dish that requires lemon.

You might even find that your DIY Italian seasoning is even better than your branded, store-bought shaker. Or, it might encourage you to recreate other seasonings, such as herbs de Provence. 

These are just some easy tips to use what you have. As always, add a small amount at a time, and then if it’s not quite to your liking, you can add some more.

It’s easier to fix a dish that has too little of an ingredient than it is to fix a dish that has too much of an ingredient. Don’t forget to salt, too.

It helps bring forth the flavors of the other herbs, and the natural flavors of the ingredients you’re working with. 

Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I Need All The Herbs You Mentioned? 

If you want to make authentic Italian seasoning, then you will need to use all the herbs I mentioned in the DIY Italian seasoning.

However, if you’re just looking for a quick fix before you can get to the shop, then no, you can work with what you have. The more accurate the ratios I mentioned, the closer it’ll taste to the original. 

How Can French, Or Greek Seasoning Substitute Italian Seasoning? 

It’s not going to be a perfect replacement, but it can recreate a similar flavor if you’re making an Italian prepared dish.

Remember that Italian seasoning contains three core ingredients, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Thyme is often a crucial ingredient too. 

Is Fresh Best, Or Dried? 

If you have enough of it, then fresh is always best. If you don’t have a lot of fresh herbs, however, maybe opt for a mixture of both. Adding some basil on top of your dish will add that extra Italian jazz to your meal

16 Best Substitutes For Italian Seasoning

Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Dried Basil

  • Thyme

  • Oregano

  • Fresh Herbs

  • Herbs De La Garrigue 

  • Herbs De Provence 

  • Creole Seasoning 

  • Homemade Italian Seasoning Plus Sage 

  • Greek Seasoning 

  • Pizza Seasoning 

  • Homemade Italian Seasoning Plus Black Pepper 

  • Rosemary

  • Parsley

  • Marjoram

  • Cajun

  • Basil

  • Sage


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith