This Italian seasoning substitute is a 5-ingredient blend that is just so easy to make. This Italian seasoning recipe blend adds delicious earthy and herby flavor to all your pasta, soups, stews, pizzas, and salads. 

If you’ve been asking yourself “What can I substitute Italian seasoning with?” I’ve got you covered here with an easy Italian seasoning substitute recipe.

Italian Seasoning in a glass jar with a spoon

What is Italian Seasoning?

Italian seasoning is a special blend of dried herbs, including basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. Different brands or Italian seasoning can change the amounts of each of these herbs or even add new ones, but the base is always the same. 

When it comes to spices, Italian seasoning is a star player in many kitchens. Get ready to add some Italian flair to your cooking repertoire with this easy Italian seasoning recipe!

Dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram in small bowls

How to Make Italian Seasoning Substitute? 

Italian seasoning is super simple and easy to make. It takes less than 5 minutes to measure and mix the herbs together to create the best homemade Italian seasoning. Here is my DIY Italian seasoning step-by-step guide to make the best Italian seasoning ever.

Step one: Add the dried thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, and rosemary to a bowl.

Step two: Mix well. Transfer the Italian seasoning blend to a clean glass jar or mason jar.

Homemade Italian seasoning substitute being poured into a glass jar

I like to have extra dried rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram on hand so that I can whip up a batch of this delicious Italian seasoning substitute any time. 

Transfer to a glass jar with a lid or a plastic bag for easy storage. This will keep the seasoning fresh and ready for your next culinary masterpiece. It is such a great Italian herb seasoning to have in your spice cabinet.

Italian seasoning substitute on a spooon

What can I use this Italian seasoning recipe for?

This versatile seasoning blend can be used in various Italian dishes, including pasta sauces, soups, stews, roasted vegetables, and marinades, adding depth and complexity to your cooking. 

Here are some delicious Italian-inspired recipes to add this Italian seasoning to:

Italian seasoning ingredients in small bowls: basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram.

What is in Italian Seasoning? Let’s look at the Ingredients

Have you ever wondered “what’s in Italian seasoning? You may be surprised at how simple it is to whip up a delicious Italian seasoning blend at home.

Creating your own Italian seasoning recipe with dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and optional marjoram is a fantastic way to infuse your dishes with an authentic Italian taste. 

  • Basil: My absolute favorite herb, basil, is loved worldwide and used in a variety of delicious dishes. Known for its subtle, herby, and earthy flavor, it is perfect on pizza, in sauces, and in lasagnas; the list can go on forever. Basil is also very good for us as it is a good source of vitamin K. (1.)
  • Oregano: Known for its strong, slightly bitter flavor, oregano is an ingredient in many dishes, such as tomato sauces, tacos, and enchiladas. Oregano is a healthy herb which is rich in antioxidants.(2) 
  • Thyme: An herb with small leaves that add a slight sweet and peppery taste to this Italian seasoning recipe. 
  • Rosemary: Adds an earthy and woodsy flavor to this seasoning blend. Rosemary is a hearty herb that is a favorite in many recipes. 
  • Marjoram: Even though marjoram is not the most well-known herb in the world, it is much loved in recipes for its earthy and citrusy flavor. (3)

Each dried herb brings its unique aroma and taste to the blend, from the earthiness of rosemary to the floral notes of thyme and the peppery sweetness of basil. 

Make sure your herbs are super fresh for the best results. You could dry your own herbs but of course, store-bought are perfectly fine.

I absolutely love to grow, dry, or freeze dry my herbs during the summer for fresh herb seasoning all year. Check out this article on freeze drying basil at home to learn more about preserving the freshness of herbs. 

Italian seasoning ingredients in piles on a white plate

Italian Seasoning Recipe Variations and Add-ins

Here are some recipe variations and add-ins to customize your Italian seasoning alternative:

Variations

  1. Garlic powder: Add garlic powder to the seasoning blend for an extra punch of flavor. Start with 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder and adjust to taste.
  2. Onion powder: Mix in some onion powder for a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor. Use 1-2 teaspoons, or adjust to suit your taste preferences.
  3. Red pepper flakes: For a touch of heat, add crushed red pepper flakes to the Italian seasoning substitute blend. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust to your desired level of heat.

Add-ins

  1. Vegan Parmesan cheese: For a cheesy twist, mix vegan Parmesan cheese alternative into the seasoning blend. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegan parmesan cheese per batch of seasoning, or adjust to taste. Store in the fridge.
  2. Lemon zest: Brighten up the seasoning blend with fresh lemon zest. I recommend using dried lemon zest to keep the total batch fresh.
  3. Sun-dried tomatoes: Incorporate finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes per batch of seasoning, or adjust to your preference.
  4. Fennel seeds: Toasted fennel seeds can add a hint of licorice-like flavor and aroma to the seasoning blend. Use 1-2 tablespoons of toasted fennel seeds per batch of seasoning, or adjust to taste.
Italian seasoning in a glass jar

Top tips for making the best Italian seasoning substitute

Here are my top tips for making the best Italian seasoning substitute:

  • Quality ingredients: Start with high-quality dried herbs to ensure optimal flavor in your seasoning blend. Look for herbs that are fragrant and vibrant in color.
  • Grinding: Consider grinding the dried herbs slightly to release their essential oils and intensify their flavors. You can use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to gently crush the herbs before mixing them together. However, be careful not to over-grind, as you still want some texture in the blend.
  • Storage: Store your homemade Italian seasoning substitute in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to preserve its freshness and flavor. Avoid storing it near sources of heat or moisture, such as the stove or dishwasher, as these can degrade the quality of the herbs over time.
  • Labeling: Be sure to label your homemade Italian seasoning substitute with the date it was made and the ingredients included. This will help you keep track of its freshness.
Dried basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and oregano on spoons before mixing into a Italian seasoning mix.

Top tips on how to store Italian seasoning

You can absolutely make this Italian seasoning alternative and store it for longer use.

Here are my tips on keeping your Italian herb blend fresh for as long as possible:

  • Cool, dark place: Store the container of Italian seasoning substitute in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to light and heat can degrade the quality of the herbs and diminish their flavor.
  • Avoid moisture: Keep the container away from sources of moisture, like your stove, sink, or dishwasher. Moisture can cause the herbs to clump together and lose their potency.
  • Check for freshness: Periodically check the Italian seasoning substitute for signs of freshness, such as any off odors, changes in color, or loss of flavor. If the blend appears or smells stale, it’s time to make a fresh batch.
  • Make in small batches: Consider making smaller batches of the seasoning blend to ensure maximum freshness. This allows you to use it up more quickly and make adjustments to the recipe as needed.
Italian seasoning herbs in small piles on a white plate

What Can I Substitute for Italian Seasoning?

Looking for more Italian seasoning substitutes? Here are a few of my favorite options to replace Italian seasoning in recipes.

1. Homemade Italian Seasoning Recipe

My favorite Italian seasoning substitute is to make this homemade version. Simply mix together dried basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram for a perfect Italian seasoning mix. Check out my homemade Italian Seasoning recipe down below.

2. Fresh Herbs

It is hard to beat fresh herbs when seasoning a dish. Their color and fresh flavor add so much to dishes. Dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor and require rehydrating and cooking to release their full flavors. Fresh herbs are much more delicate and can be added later in the cooking process or even at the end to keep them from going brown in the dish. 

The exception to this is hardier herbs like fresh rosemary and thyme. These should be finely minced and added early in the cooking process to unlock their full flavor potential. 

Since dried herbs are way more concentrated in flavor than fresh, I like to add at least a double amount of fresh herbs when substituting for dried herbs. 

Italian seasoning mix in a glass jar

3. Dried Basil and Oregano

If you only have dried basil and oregano, this will work beautifully as a substitute for Italian seasoning in all of your Italian dishes. Since Italian seasoning usually has both basil and oregano, I will often simply throw in these two seasonings to help my dishes come to life. Dried oregano is a delicious herb, but it can be slightly more bitter than basil, so I like to use slightly more basil than oregano in my recipes.

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning = 3/4 teaspoon dried basil and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 

4. Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence can be used instead of Italian seasoning although it does have a slightly different flavor. Sometimes, Herbes de Provence includes lavender flowers which gives the seasoning a floral note, so keep that in mind when seasoning your dishes. I suggest checking the back of the packaging, as often Herbes de Provence has very similar ingredients to Italian seasoning and will work seamlessly in recipes. 

Equal measurements should work, but keep in mind the recipe and what flavor you are going for. 

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence = 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning

5. Pizza Seasoning

If you are ever in a pinch and you are out of dried Italian seasoning, check the ingredients of a pizza seasoning mix. It may surprise you and have the common ingredients of Italian seasoning. 

Dried basil in a mortar and pestle

How to grind herbs for Italian seasoning

It is easy to buy herbs already ground in the store or online. Although, grinding your own herbs can really boost the flavor intensity in your Italian seasoning substitute.

Mortar and pestle: I like to use a mortar and pestle to grind herbs, and it is easy to use and fun to get the whole family involved.

Spice Grinder: You can use a spice grinder to grind herbs quickly for this seasoning mix.

Food processor: Another option is to use a food processor to grind herbs, although you may have to double the recipe if you have a large food processor.

Herbs for Italian seasoning on a plate before mixing

FAQs

Here are some common queries about homemade Italian seasoning substitutes:

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs in the seasoning blend? 

While dried herbs are typically used in Italian seasoning blends for their concentrated flavor and longer shelf life, you can substitute fresh herbs if you like. Keep in mind that fresh herbs have a higher water content, so you may need to use a larger quantity to achieve the same level of flavor. Additionally, fresh herbs should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

What dishes can I use Italian seasoning substitute in? 

Italian seasoning substitute is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, including pasta sauces, marinades, soups, stews, roasted vegetables, salads, and more. It adds depth and complexity to Italian-inspired recipes and complements a wide range of ingredients and flavors.

Italian seasoning ingredients before mixing

What seasoning is similar to Italian seasoning?

You can make your own blend by mixing together dried basil and oregano. 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning = 3/4 teaspoon dried basil and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Italian seasoning is a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram, so you can add the other herbs, too, if you have them available. 

How should I store the homemade seasoning blend to keep it fresh? 

To keep your Italian seasoning substitute fresh, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. Avoid storing it near the stove or dishwasher, as exposure to heat and moisture can degrade the quality of the herbs over time.

Can I double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch of seasoning blend? 

Yes, you can easily scale up the recipe to make a larger batch of homemade Italian seasoning blend. Simply adjust the quantities of each dried herb accordingly and mix them together until well combined. Store the excess seasoning blend in airtight containers and use it as needed.

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Italian seasoning in a glass jar

The Best Italian Seasoning Substitute

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 tablespoons of seasoning 1x

Description

Here is the best Italian seasoning blend to add to your next recipe. This Italian seasoning mix adds delicious earthy and herby flavor to all your pasta, soups, stews, pizzas, and salads. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. Mix well. 
  2. Store in an airtight container or a glass jar and add to your favorite recipes. 

Dried basil leaves and other dried herbs

References:

  1. Cleveland Clinic “5 Health Benefits of Basil”
  2. Healthline “6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Oregano”
  3. Healthline “What is Marjoram?”