7 Amazing Marjoram Substitute

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Finding a marjoram substitute is quite easy, and is probably already in your spice rack! So, if you’re struggling to find this perennial herb, you can look up for the ones mentioned ahead.

What is Marjoram

Marjoram is a perennial herb scientifically known as Origanum majorana and is commonly used for various culinary applications. This herb has a strong citrus and earthen aroma, making it a popular spice in many soups, seasonings, stews, and sauces. While it is closely related to oregano, they are distinctly different species in the same genus, but they do have similar uses in cooking.

Marjoram Substitute

If you need a marjoram substitute, some of the best options include oregano, savory, thyme, and za’atar, among others. If your recipe calls for fresh or dried marjoram, the opposite form is your best alternative; otherwise, choose from the following.

Oregano

As mentioned, oregano is closely related to marjoram and has a very similar flavor profile. However, oregano is significantly more potent, so add a bit less than the recipe calls for of marjoram, or else it could overpower the dish.

Fresh marjoram leaves

Marjoram is an herb commonly used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Thyme

This is another spice that is often found in Mediterranean cooking and is a particularly good replacement for marjoram in poultry dishes and other meats, due to its potent and slightly citrus taste.

Savory

Although savory isn’t as sweet as marjoram, it can still provide a pleasant bite to many sauces, soups, and stews, and can fill the flavor gap of marjoram.

Poultry Seasoning

As the name implies, this is an ideal spice blend for poultry dishes, and since marjoram is often included in such preparations, this is a good replacement.

Sage

This spice can stand alone, but it’s also in poultry seasoning, which can serve a similar purpose to marjoram in many savory meals.

Basil

The dried leaves of the basil plant can closely mimic the taste of marjoram in a dish, and while it isn’t as good as oregano, it will do in a pinch!

Za’atar

This is a fresh herbal blend, commonly found in Europe and the Middle East, which contains a certain concentration of marjoram. While the flavor is slightly different, za’atar can be substituted in certain sauces and stews.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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