Italian Seasoning Substitute – Four Spicy Alternatives To Try

Getting a substitute for Italian seasoning isn’t that difficult for it consists of common ingredients found in several seasoning blends.

Key herbs included in it are oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Note that ingredients in the blend may vary greatly by the brand with additions or omissions of a few non-specific ingredients.

Chefs love Italian seasoning for its versatility which makes it a perfect ingredient in a wide variety of savory preparations across the world. Many authentic Italian dishes get their delicious flavor and aroma from this seasoning.

Italian Seasoning Substitute

Italian seasoning is a balanced blend of spices expected to render a Mediterranean flair to dishes.  If you don’t have this pre-mixed seasoning in your pantry, here are a few Italian seasoning substitutes for you.

DIY Italian Seasoning

How do you make Italian seasoning from scratch?

Italian-inspired herbs are the key ingredients in Italian seasoning. Though there are variations in ingredients according to the brand of products, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary remain common to all. According to your taste preferences you’re free to add other optional ingredients like marjoram, red chili flakes, fennel seeds, parsley, or garlic powder for additional zest and flavor.

Here is one specimen of Italian seasoning variety to consider:


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram.
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil.

Thoroughly mix the ingredients with the help of a blender; store it in a tightly closed glass jar. Ground, or powdered, spices typically have a shelf life of 2–3 years.

Depending on the requirements of your recipe, you can add or omit one or more spices and herbs. Importantly, no chefs usually use a blend of more than six spices in a single dish.

Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs considered typical of the Provence region of southeastern France. This seasoning mixture has a lot of similarities to Italian seasoning as both of them have similar ingredients, including thyme, marjoram, basil, rosemary, and oregano.

Just like Italian seasoning, there are no hard and fast rules on the ingredients of this spice blend. For substitution, preferably use a blend that does not contain lavender.

Use herbes de Provence as a 1:1 substitute for Italian seasoning.

Herbes de la Garrigue

Herbes de la Garrigue is similar to a more famous herb blend from Provence but with the additions of bay leaves, fennel, sage, and mint. However, it’s much more similar to Italian seasoning than herbes de Provence, in addition, it does not contain lavender.

It is the overwhelming presence of thyme and rosemary that makes this seasoning blend taste like Italian seasoning. The presence of mint and bay leaves in this seasoning goes well with most recipes that use Italian seasoning.

Use herbes de la garrigue as a 1:1 substitute for Italian seasoning.

Dried oregano and basil

A combination of oregano and basil alone can be a good replacement for Italian seasoning. These two ingredients are the dominant flavors in Italian seasoning.

For a better option, adding a pinch of dried thyme to this blend works even better.

You can use ½ teaspoon of dried oregano and ½ a teaspoon of dried basil in place of 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

Customize Your Italian Seasoning

If you notice, the traditional version of Italian seasoning primarily consists of only Mediterranean herbs. But you can find, shop-bought Italian seasoning that includes optional ingredients like garlic powder, ground black pepper, ground red pepper, or onion powder.

Instead of just following the traditional versions, feel free to experiment with something that suits your tastes and needs. To be more creative with your recipe, always keep a close watch on how some well-known chefs tweak it and play around with it. Keep on experimenting. And when you’ve got it right, please make a note of your recipe for future reference and use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Herbes de Provence the same as Italian seasoning?

No, they differ. Both have oregano, thyme, and rosemary, but herbes de Provence features lavender for a floral touch, unlike Italian seasoning. Also, you'll find sage in Italian seasoning, not usually in herbs de Provence.

Does Italian seasoning have sodium?

Usually, classic Italian seasoning doesn't have added salt. But, some store-bought types might for extra taste. Always look at the label's ingredients to be sure of the sodium level.

Can I substitute Italian dressing mix for Italian seasoning?

It's not advised because Italian dressing mix contains extra elements like salt, sugar, and acids that change a dish's taste. Instead, mix dried herbs such as oregano, basil, and thyme for a similar flavor.

Is Italian seasoning the same as Italian dressing mix?

No, they're different. Italian seasoning has just dried herbs, but Italian dressing mix includes things like salt, sugar, and acids for making salad dressings, changing a dish's overall taste if swapped.

How many tablespoons in a packet of Italian dressing mix?

A regular packet holds about 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing mix. Still, checking the particular brand's label or recipe ensures accurate measurements.

What are the spices in Italian seasoning?

Italian seasoning consists of dried herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. Certain mixes might also have sage, fennel seeds, garlic powder, or red pepper flakes.

What is Italian seasoning used for?

Italian seasoning adds an earthy, herbal taste to dishes, especially Italian-inspired ones. It's popular in sauces, pasta, pizzas, marinades, and dressings.

Final Thoughts

Concluding, Italian seasoning enriches dishes, but exploring alternatives opens new culinary doors.

The best substitutes for Italian seasoning are a combination of dried oregano and basil, or a mixture of fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Use more dried oregano than basil to mimic its essence. Herbes de Provence provides a flowery nuance, while Za’atar offers tanginess. Greek seasoning, rich in oregano, introduces a unique flair.

Experimenting with these substitutes can truly transform your culinary skills.

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