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Make a savory Italian seasoning substitute with only 5 dried herbs straight from your spice rack. Use this homemade Italian seasoning in pasta, soups, sauces, and marinades just like you would use any store-bought version.
What is Italian seasoning?
Italian seasoning is a dried herb blend used for flavoring Italian-inspired recipes. It's a common grocery item, but it's expensive. So when you run out unexpectedly, which happens, you need a substitute. Surprisingly, dried Italian seasoning is not common to authentic Italian kitchens, but it is a pantry staple in the American kitchen. So, it pays to know how to make Italian seasoning the easy way.
Why you'll love this seasoning recipe
- As flavorful as any store-bought version.
- You save money because you utilize what you have on hand.
- There's no sugar or salt added to this recipe.
- It's customizable - Alter this 5-ingredient recipe by using herbs and spices I've included in the recipe footnotes.
It pays to have a substitute for Italian seasoning, or any seasoning. When you make your own Italian herbs, you cycle through your spice rack items in a timely manner. As a result, these dried herbs don't suffer the loss of potency and flavor from a long-term lack of use.
Also, store-bought seasonings are expensive, so every time you make this blend from your dried herb base, you'll get a return on those purchases.
What's in Italian seasoning?
Parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary are combined to make this Italian seasoning substitute equally as good as any store-bought version. This simple blend adds savory and earthy flavors with a hint of spice and sweetness to all your foods. My herb notes, sourced from Deluxe Food Lover's Companion, should give you an idea of why we love and rely on Italian seasoning so much.
- oregano - This herb, along with marjoram, belongs to the mint family. Both are often used interchangeably, but oregano is less sweet with more intense flavor.
- thyme - Garden thyme is the most commonly used herb in this family. It has a minty flavor and a subtle lemon aroma.
- parsley - This brings a slight pepper flavor and bitterness to the seasoning blend, which is necessary for balancing flavors.
- basil - One of the most common Italian herbs and known for its fragrant, peppery, and sweet flavors.
- rosemary - This is another mint family herb that adds a bold piney flavor to everything it touches.
How to make this recipe
Pro tip: Create a finer texture of this Italian herb seasoning by grinding the mixture in a mortar and pestle or your preferred grinder. I also do this with my taco seasoning recipe because grinding herbs and spices releases flavors in a way that stirring doesn't.
Uses for Italian seasoning
You won’t find a more versatile seasoning than this Italian herb blend. Here are my favorite ways to use it.
Sage, marjoram, and savory will enhance the bold flavor of this blend, however these herbs are not required to make a great seasoning.
You can really personalize this seasoning mix by adding spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and red chili flakes. The combinations are endless – I've included suggested amounts in the recipe footnotes below.
Frequently asked questions
If you don't have all five dried herbs to make this Italian seasoning substitute, use any combination such as thyme and oregano, basil and thyme, or parsley and oregano, etc. – any combination will work!
Yes! Use any combination of the recommended herbs for this recipe in fresh form and in larger quantities. This will also deliver a more authentic Italian cooking experience.
Yes. You can dry or dehydrate any fresh herbs to make this recipe. Once the herbs have completely dried, strip the leaves from the stems and follow the recipe accordingly.
Easy Italian Seasoning Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
- 1 tablespoon Dried Parsley
- 1 tablespoon Dried Basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dried Rosemary
- Combine OREGANO, THYME, PARSLEY, BASIL, and ROSEMARY in a mixing bowl or storage container.See recipe footnotes for additional herb options.
- Store in an airtight container up to 3 months.
- Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to create a finer seasoning blend.
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- 1 teaspoon Dried Marjoram
- 1 teaspoon Dried Sage
- 1 teaspoon Dried Savory
- ½ teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes