Italian seasoning is a delicious herb blend used as a spice rub or marinade for chicken, fish and plant-based recipes. But what if you need an Italian seasoning substitute?
I have you covered with this very easy Italian seasoning recipe, as well as alternatives to use from the herbs in your pantry!
- What is Italian seasoning?
- Typical Italian seasoning ingredients
- How is Italian seasoning used?
- Making your own Italian seasoning herb mix
- Italian seasoning substitutes
- Herbes de Provence
- Oregano, basil and parsley
- Oregano, basil and rosemary
- Individual herbs
- Fresh herbs
- Frequently asked questions
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
What is Italian seasoning?
I did some comparisons, and there isn't a specific set of herbs or their quantities for an Italian seasoning. Different blends have, well different blends of herbs! Most often, they prioritise oregano, thyme and basil but each have other herbs included too.
While pre-prepared blends are easy to scoop off the shelves in the store, you can also make your own blend such as I do in my Italian herb chicken recipe. It's very quick and easy to do and it has the benefit of being able to choose the herbs you love most!
Typical Italian seasoning ingredients
While Italian seasoning blends are all different, they tend to have some dried herbs in common:
Other herbs that I have seen included are: rosemary, parsley, chives, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and dried onion.
How is Italian seasoning used?
Italian herb seasoning can be used in a variety of ways, including as a marinade for meats or vegetables, or as part of a crust for fish, such as in my Italian herb crusted cod recipe.
This herb blend is also used to flavor:
- Pizza sauces
- Roasted vegetables
- Chicken or turkey skewers
- Air fryer chicken or turkey recipes
Making your own Italian seasoning herb mix
The beauty of making your own Italian seasoning substitute is that you can use the herbs you love best, and swap those in and out to preference.
It's very simple to make your own blend - simply add head to your pantry or spice rack and combine the herbs.
The recipe I like best includes oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, parsley and sage. If I want a greater depth of flavor, perhaps for a meat dish, then I'll also add a pinch of rosemary. See the card below for more details!
Italian seasoning substitutes
If you're out of Italian seasoning, or perhaps one or more of the herbs that you use to make your blend, there are plenty of other options!
Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence and Italian seasoning do have some herbs in common, making it a great swap if you are looking for a pre-prepared blend.
Typically, herbes de Provence comprises savory, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, basil and tarragon. Some blends also contain fennel seeds, bay leaf and lavender.
Find out more on my Herbes de Provence substitutes post!
Oregano, basil and parsley
For a simple alternative to Italian seasoning, you can easily head to the pantry and mix up a blend of a couple of dried herbs most of us have to hand.
I like to use a blend of oregano, basil and a little parsley in place of Italian seasoning.
1 teaspoon oregano + 1 teaspoon basil + ½ teaspoon parsley
Oregano, basil and rosemary
If you are looking for a bolder flavor, then adding rosemary always packs a punch! This blend is good for meats and vegetables.
1 teaspoon oregano + 1 teaspoon basil + ½ teaspoon rosemary
While a single herb won't have the same flavor of a blend of many, using oregano, rosemary or thyme as an Italian seasoning substitute will still give you a very tasty dish!
Oregano works particularly well for meatballs or pizza sauces.
Rosemary is quite pungent, making it very suitable as the only herb used in a recipe. It's the star of my rosemary chicken breast fillets!
Fresh herbs can also be used as a replacement for Italian seasoning if you have some growing on your windowsill or in your back yard!
Basil, parsley and rosemary are all easy to grow, and will flavor your salads, meats, fish and plant-based dishes!
Fresh herbs do not have the same strength of flavor as dried herbs, so you may wish to add a little more. If making soups or stews, then you typically add dried herbs at the start of cook time. With fresh herbs though, it's usually best to add towards the end of the cook time to keep their delicate flavor.
It is usually recommended to use three times as many fresh herbs as dried herbs.
Frequently asked questions
Herbes de Provence can be used as a substitute for Italian seasoning as it shares several herbs. Some blends of herbes de Provence contain lavender, which will give it a more floral flavor than Italian seasoning.
If you substitute an individual herb for Italian seasoning, oregano is a good choice for seasoning pizza sauces, meatballs or meat dishes.
Italian seasoning isn't spicy, unless you include red pepper flakes which are used in some blends.
Italian Seasoning Substitute
- Add all the dried herbs to a bowl and stir to combine.
- If you prefer a finer texture, blitz in a food processor or spice grinder.
- It is very easy to adapt this Italian herb seasoning mix by adjusting the quantities of herbs to preference.
- marjoram is not rated.