Italian seasoning is a blend of different herbs. It combines traditional herbs and spices used in Mediterranean cuisine. The ratio of each herb varies by brand and has nonspecific ingredients added to it. In this article, we’ll look at the best substitutes for Italian seasoning.
What Is Italian Seasoning?
Italian seasoning is American in origin as this blend is not typical in Italy. It was created as a quick fix to add a Mediterranean flair to dishes. Most Italian cooks do not use dry herbs but opt for fresh herbs in their recipes.
However, the herbs in this blend are a big part of Italian cuisine. This blend of herbs is versatile and peppery with distinctive aromatic notes. It can be used in sauces for its fresh taste, as a dry rub for proteins, and even as a savory topping for bread.
The herbs used as typically rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, garlic powder or oregano, and coriander.
Substitute For Italian Seasoning: Best Options
1. Homemade Italian Seasoning
If you have run out of Italian seasoning, you can make your own at home if you have dried herbs. You can just use equal parts of dried oregano, basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary and mix them up thoroughly. If you’re looking for extra spice, you can add chili flake, and for a more robust flavor, you can add garlic powder.
This is the best substitute as they taste the same as Italian seasoning. This is also better as you can adjust the proportions of each herb to your preference and make it distinctly your own.
This way, you’ll know the exact components of the seasoning, unlike packaged Italian seasoning, that have vague ingredients. Be sure to store your homemade seasoning in an airtight container to last longer. You can use your unique blend in your recipe in the same ratio as you would for Italian seasoning.
2. Dried Basil And Oregano
Dried basil and oregano are the dominant notes in Italian seasoning. So if you do not have all the herbs typically found in Italian seasoning, you can just blend these two herbs. Oregano tastes like the balance between sweet and spicy.
The flavor is bold with a potent aromatic smell that has a slight bitterness and a hint of mint that adds depth to the flavor of your dish. On the other hand, basil has a fresh aroma with a peppery flavor. It also has a hint of refreshing mint that makes your dishes savory. It is fresh and robust and brings a distinct flavor to any meal.
These two powerful herbs come together to make a great flavor profile. They balance each other out beautifully with the fresh and sweeter notes of the basil canceling out the more aromatic and bitter notes of the oregano. You can add thyme to this mix to smooth out any imbalance with its earthy essences. This blend does justice to meals as a replacement for Italian seasoning.
3. Herbes De Provence
Herbes De Provence is a French seasoning made from dried herbs native to the Provence region in southeastern France. This mixture is a blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, savory, and marjoram.
In some brands, lavender leaves are a part of this flavorful blend. It is majorly used in stews and as a marinade for grilled foods to give flavor. This seasoning is commonly used in French cuisine and goes well with Mediterranean cuisine.
Herbes De Provence is very versatile with its aromatic and flavorful essence. It brings to recipes like roast lamb, grilled fish, and roasted vegetables. Unlike Italian seasoning, Herbes De Provence has more of a fresh, citrusy note due to the heavy influence of thyme and rosemary.
This should not be considered a bad thing as this adds a new dimension of freshness that Italian seasoning doesn’t add. You can substitute this fresh seasoning for Italian seasoning in the ratio of 1:1 when you’re cooking.
4. Store-Bought or Homemade Pizza Seasoning
Pizza seasoning is something you may want to keep on hand, especially if you eat a lot of pizza. If you look at the ingredient label, you will notice that this season has a lot of common ingredients with Italian seasoning.
Typically, these pizza seasoning blends include cayenne pepper, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt. So this flavorful seasoning is not just reserved for pizza but can be used in sauces or stews for a more intricate flavor. You can also make your own pizza seasoning if you’re wary of the store-bought variety.
Pizza seasoning has more depth to its flavor due to its mix of herbs. Where Italian seasoning is a bit flat, pizza seasoning packs a punch with its spice and aromatic essence. You can store it in an airtight container and substitute it for Italian seasoning in the same ratio.
5. Greek Seasoning
Greek seasoning is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. It is a blend of dried herbs and spices typically used in Mediterranean recipes. It typically consists of parsley, oregano, garlic, marjoram, thyme, onion, and dill. You can decide to add other spices if you’re making it from scratch, such as nutmeg, basil, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
This incredible blend tastes warm and earthy due to intense flavors. These include oregano and thyme while maintaining fresh, grassy, and minty flavors due to parsley’s influences.
Overall, it has slightly peppery and sweet undertones as well. Greek seasoning is multi-purpose, just like Italian seasoning. And it incorporates flavor in a variety of recipes. It adds a great depth of flavor to all dishes, from meats to vegetables and salads.
Sometimes Italian seasoning may not be on hand. Still, the alternatives listed above would bring that same flavor to your recipes.