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6 Easy Ways to Substitute for Italian Seasoning

Looking for a substitute for Italian seasoning? Try these easy and tasty stand-ins you probably have in your pantry right now!

Italian seasoning is a popular spice blend used in lots of our favorite dishes. You’ve probably tasted it in spaghetti, lasagna, pasta salads, dressings, and more.

You can find Italian seasoning in any major grocery store, but sometimes you don’t always have it on hand when you need it.

Here are several options you can use as a substitute for Italian seasoning when you’re in a pinch.

Italian Seasoning mix on wooden spoon.

Create Your Own Spice Blend

Homemade Italian seasoning in glass jars.

Make your own Italian seasoning blend!

Homemade Italian seasoning can taste just as good or better than the store-bought kind. If you’re picky about food ingredients, you’ll also avoid the preservatives and anti-caking agents often found in commercial versions.

Here is a recipe blend similar to McCormick’s.

You’ll need equal parts:

  • Dried basil
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Thyme

STIR WELL and use as a recipe substitute or sprinkle it on your favorite dishes. (If you don’t have all of these ingredients, just use as many as you have.)

If you don’t use all of your homemade blend right away, be sure to store it in an airtight container like a glass canister or canning jar. Dried herbs have a long shelf life, so you should be able to use it all before it needs to be replaced.

NOTE: Italian seasoning is actually a US creation, so don’t be afraid to make your own combo. Authentic Italians won’t hold it against you!

Use Basil or Oregano

Dried oregano spills out of glass jar with wooden spoon.

Just have a couple spices on hand?

The strongest flavors in Italian seasoning are basil and oregano. They make up the two most signature notes of the blend and are usually on hand in most pantries.

Use these as a stand-in if you don’t have the other ingredients for a full-fledged seasoning mix substitute.

Try Other Spice Blends

3 substitute seasoning blends on wooden spoons.

Did you know there are two other Italian blends you can find in stores? They are a little more niche, but share similar ingredients to a traditional blend and may work as a great stand in.

Herbes De La Garrigue has many of the same ingredients as Italian seasoning mix, with the addition of dried mint and bay leaves. Herbes De La Garrigue makes an excellent substitute for Italian seasoning, especially in pasta dishes like spaghetti.

Herbs De Provence has a slightly floral note with the addition of lavender. It’s best paired with light dishes like fish, poultry and vegetables.

Herbs De Provence has a more unique flavor when compared with traditional Italian seasoning, so try a little first before adding it to your dish to ensure it fits the flavor profile.

Try Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs on rustic wooden tray.

Most dishes with Italian seasoning also lend well to fresh herbs. If you have a garden or happen to have fresh herbs on hand, try adding these in at the end of the cooking time for your recipe or use them to garnish the dish.

You’ll get some of the same notes of flavor as the spice blend and the fresh herbs will brighten the dish.

Basil, oregano, thyme, mint, sage, and lavender are common herb garden plants and would all work well in your favorite Italian and “American Italian” dishes!

Recipes with Italian Seasoning

Here are some easy and delicious recipes you can use to try out your homemade blend or the other substitutes for Italian seasoning listed above.

Italian Ground Turkey Patties with Vegetables Provencal

Italian ground turkey patties on a platter.

Simple and Delicious Creamy Pasta Bake

Pasta bake in a casserole dish.
Pinterest graphic with text and collage of Italian seasoning substitutes.


Friday 16th of April 2021

For a quick & easy replacement for Italian seasoning, try Bell's poultry seasoning. It has most all the ingredients, plus some ginger.

Jessica Ashcroft

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Thank you for that tip Nancy!

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