Italian Seasoning Substitute Ideas
If you're wondering "What can I use instead of Italian seasoning?" then keep reading!
You're halfway through making your favorite marinara before reaching into your spice cabinet only discover, you're out of Italian seasoning! Fortunately, this spice blend is quite easy to replicate and replace. Discover some of our favorite easy Italian seasoning substitute ideas below.
Homemade Italian Seasoning
The backbone of a solid Italian seasoning is oregano and basil. Though specific blends vary by brand and personal preference, these two herbs will always make an appearance. So if you run out of Italian seasoning, just a sprinkling of some dried oregano and basil (or the fresh, chopped leaves) with a little bit of salt will absolutely come through for you.
If you want to make your own homemade blend, here are the core Italian seasoning ingredients. Everything about this recipe is flexible, adjust to your personal tastes and preferences.
- 2 parts dried oregano
- 2 parts dried basil
- 2 parts dried parsley
- 1 part dried rosemary
- 1 part dried thyme
- 1/2 part garlic powder
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Other blends might also include cilantro, marjoram, sage, and dried red pepper flakes. Store your spice blend in an airtight jar and in a cool, dry place (like your spice cabinet). You can also leave out the salt and pepper entirely and add those to individual dishes as you cook.
Try out your homemade Italian seasoning with this delicious pizza pull-apart bread!
But if you don't have the time to create an Italian seasoning from scratch, here are a few ideas of what you can use instead of Italian seasoning.
English Dry Rub
Like Italian seasoning, there's no one recipe for an English dry rub. However, these blends usually have quite a lot in common with the standard Italian seasoning recipe. Many blends include rosemary, sage, and thyme along with garlic and onion powder. If you're substituting an English dry rub, scale back on your onion and garlic and make sure to add in extra oregano and basil by hand.
Herbs de Provence
This French blend is popular in game dishes and stews such as ratatouille. The inclusion of dry lavender flowers is what gives this herbal mixture its notable floral notes. Unfortunately, this means it's generally not suitable as a substitute for Italian seasoning; this one is best avoided.
You can easily substitute a Cajun spice mix for Italian seasoning. In fact, the base recipe for many Cajun spice blend recipes already call for Italian seasoning! Be advised, however, that Cajun blends frequently come with red pepper and paprika pre-mixed. So if your recipe calls for red pepper flakes separately, omit those. You'll also want to dial back the fresh onion and garlic.
How to Use Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning certainly goes well in a basic red pasta sauce. Sautee some fresh minced onion and garlic in olive oil, then add a few teaspoons of seasoning blend and crushed tomatoes.
You can make an easy, homemade Italian salad dressing by combining a light olive oil with red or white vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and Italian seasoning blend. This also makes a flavorful chicken marinade to serve over rice or pasta.
Check out this delicious Italian Crescent Roll casserole!