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9 Additions To Make Your Italian Seasoning Substitute Stand Out

9 additions to make your Italian substitute seasoning stand out seafood

Have you ever prepared all of your ingredients to make a big pot of comforting pasta bolognese and discover you have an empty glass bottle of Italian seasoning and need a good substitute, quick?

Or maybe want to turn a simple lasagne into something special for some dinner guests?

I find myself in these situations over and over again.

While seasoning blends make life more convenient, sometimes replacements just don’t end up on the shopping list.

Sound familiar?

That is why you should make sure that you have a well-stocked spice cabinet in case you need to get creative with your substitutions!

And chances are your spice cabinet is stocked with all of the basic components of a decent Italian seasoning blend, plus a few more!

This is great because now you will finally have a chance to break away from a pre-packaged blend and impress with your OWN Italian seasoning substitute (as I often do when making sauce for either of my low-carb pizza doughs)!

But HOW do you take these seasonings and turn your recipes into something special?

9 Impressive Additions To Substitute Italian Seasoning:

Add in some –

  1. Anchovy
  2. Balsamic Vinegar
  3. Bay Leaves
  4. Capers
  5. Chili
  6. Dried or preserved lemon, lemon peel
  7. Fennel
  8. Garlic
  9. Nutmeg

What Is Seasoning?

Seasonings are anything that enhances the taste of foods or creates characteristic flavors, by using herbs and spices. Fresh or dried herbs and spices, condiments, sauces, etc. are all considered seasonings.

Seasonings can also include:

  • dried/preserved fruits or vegetables like lemon, orange, fig, etc.
  • brined vegetables/berries like capers, juniper, peppers, etc.
  • pastes like tomato, anchovy, garlic, etc.

What is Italian Seasoning?

Italian food (or at least as most of the world knows it) has a distinct “taste” or “flavor” that can be identified by its seasonings. A basic Italian seasoning contains the following ingredients:

HerbFlavor Profile
Basil fresh, mint, subtle pepper
Oreganoearthy, slightly bitter, peppery
Thymemint, citrus
Marjorampine, citrus
Rosemaryevergreen, pine, mint, citrus
Sageearthy, warm, eucalyptus, citrus

I also associate Italian food with garlic and lots of it!

However, a good friend of mine (who is a talented pasta maker by the way, AND married to an Italian) says that garlic or its “liberal usage” is not at all Italian.

Well, we have agreed to disagree on that topic because one (myself included) can always create an Italian seasoning substitute with or without it!

9 ADDITIONS TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SEASONING SUBSTITUTE STAND OUT italian blend

“I, like most other people, mostly associate Italian food with basil and oregano. If these are the only two herbs you have for a pasta sauce, then mission accomplished. But if you have something special to add to it like a balsamic vinegar, then go ahead and add it – instant upgrade!”

-Nicole, FamilyandGlamour

How To Make An Italian Seasoning Substitute

The base for flavorful Italian food begins with a basic seasoning blend:

9 ADDITIONS TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SEASONING SUBSTITUTE STAND OUT seasoning jar

Mix equal parts:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

The main reason these different herbs work so well together is that they share similar flavor profiles that lend well to the rustic, Italian style of cooking.

Can I Use Herbs De Provence or Herbs De La Garrigue As Substitutes?

9 ADDITIONS TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SEASONING SUBSTITUTE STAND OUT herbs de provence
Herbs De Provence

Yes, you can use these blends as a substitute for Italian seasoning; because the vegetation of these Mediterranean regions is similar to that of Italy, both French seasoning blends contain similar ingredients found in Italian seasoning.

Also, as the names of these seasonings suggest, they are seasoning blends that are typical of their respective regions in France (Provence and Garrigue).

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the ingredients:

ItalianHerbs de ProvenceHerbs de la Garrigue
oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram, and sage Savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, basil, and lavender

Best for: lighter dishes like poultry, fish, and vegetables
thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, savory, mint, fennel, lavender, and bay leaves

Best for: more robust dishes like meat and pasta

Should I Use Fresh or Dried Herbs?

Both fresh and dried herbs will work just fine when making an Italian seasoning blend if you take a few considerations:

  • If it’s convenience you are after, then dried herbs are the way to go. The seasoning will be easier to make in bulk and last much longer. And since the herbs are dried they have a more potent flavor, so less is required in a recipe.

 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs 

Cooking With Herbs Rule Of Thumb
  • However, fresh herbs need to be used in a recipe immediately because they have a limited shelf life and therefore not ideal for making a seasoning blend in bulk. Plus the flavors of fresh herbs are more subtle and require a larger amount than dried herbs in a recipe.
  • Using a combination of fresh and dried herbs in a recipe is also a good idea: a sprinkle of fresh herbs can liven up a dish right before serving!

How To Store The Italian Seasoning Blend

Store in an air-tight container, jar or plastic bag to keep fresh in a dry place (cabinet or drawer). Expect your seasoning to last as long as the expiration dates from the individual herb packaging (usually 1-3 years).

Pro tip

How These 9 Ingredients Will Make Substitute Italian Seasoning Stand Out

9 ADDITIONS TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SEASONING SUBSTITUTE STAND OUT additions

Use these nine additional ingredients along with the seasoning blend to make your everyday Italian meals taste even better!

IngredientWhat It Adds To A Dish
Anchovyumami, saltiness
Balsamic Vinegaradds dimension to sauces and marinades
Bay Leafhint of menthol flavor, subtle aroma
Capersadds tanginess, brine, and citrus flavors
Chilismokiness, warmth, and spice
Dried or preserved lemon, lemon peelmellow lemon flavor
Fennelanise, mild licorice flavor
Garlicsweetness, mustard flavor
Nutmegwarmth, nutty, clove flavor

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.)

Italian Seasoning Substitute Additions For Poultry, Meat, Pork, Seafood, and Vegetable Dishes

Using the Italian seasoning substitute recipe as a base, here are some suggestions, or add-ins, to create impressive and flavorful Italian dishes:

Italian Seasoning Substitute +Dish
bay leaf
garlic
preserved lemon
roasted chicken
capers
preserved lemon
garlic
chicken piccata
garlic
chili
chicken parmesan
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love chicken icon
Chicken
(Icon made by Freepik from 
www.flaticon.com)

An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love chicken dish
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love meat icon
Beef, Veal
Italian Seasoning Substitute +Dish
bay leaf
garlic
balsamic vinegar
Bolognese,
Braised Short Ribs
nutmeg
garlic
Lasagne
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love meat dish
Italian Seasoning Substitute+Dish
Fennel
Chili Flakes
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian sausage and peppers
Fennel
Garlic
Bay Leaves
Porchetta
Bay Leaves
Chili
Garlic
Fennel
Pork Ragu
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love pork icon
Pork
italian seasoning substitute pork
Italian Seasoning +Dish
Bay Leaves
Balsamic Vinegar
Chili
Roasted Lamb
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love lamb icon
Lamb
italian seasoning substitute lamb
Italian Seasoning +Dish
capers
garlic
preserved lemon
Fish Picatta
garlic
anchovy (fresh or paste)
preserved lemon or lemon rind
chili flakes
Shrimp Scampi
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love fish icon
Seafood
Italian substitute seasoning seafood
Italian Seasoning +Dish
dried lemon
garlic
bay leaves
Risotto
nutmeg
Bechamel sauce,
Filled pasta
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love vegetable iconAn Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love vegetable icon
Vegetable
An Italian Seasoning Substitute You Will Love vegetable dish
9 additions to make your Italian substitute seasoning stand out seafood

The Perfect Substitute for Italian Seasoning (Plus 9 great Add-Ins)

FamilyandGlamour
Store-bought Italian seasoning may be a thing of the past once you start making your own. You can even adjust the seasoning to your liking and tweak individual recipes. Also included are nine additional ingredients that will take your Italian seasonings to the next level!
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 5 mins
Course Seasoning
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 0 kcal

Equipment

  • measuring spoon (tbsp)
  • bowl
  • spoon for mixing
  • jar or other sealable container

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried sage

Complementary Ingredients (Separate from Italian Substitute Seasoning)

Instructions
 

  • Blend all of the herbs in a bowl. Place the blend into a well-sealed container.
    9 ADDITIONS TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SEASONING SUBSTITUTE STAND OUT seasoning jar

Notes

  • Scale the measurements of the herbs according to taste or desired quantity.
  • Store the seasoning room temperature in a sealed container for up to 3 years.

Nutrition

Sodium: 0mgSugar: 0gCholesterol: 0mgCalories: 0kcalProtein: 0gCarbohydrates: 0g
Keyword italian, Seasoning, Substitiute
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What are some of your favorite additions to your Italian seasonings?

Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

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