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What Is Marjoram Spice (+ Marjoram Substitutes)

Last Updated on September 10, 2023

Out of marjoram spice? Don’t worry! We’ll show you how to substitute marjoram and still get a delicious meal.

No stress needed! So, what are the ideal marjoram substitutes? Let’s find out!

marjoram substitute

This unique herb offers a rich and complex flavor. Here, you’ll find out all there is to know about marjoram spice – its history,  benefits, creative uses in cooking, and best alternatives. 

Marjoram Spice: What Is It?

Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean and is related to oregano and thyme.

It is a herb in the mint family and has an earthy, woodsy flavor with hints of pine and citrus notes.

Knowing its native regions and flavor profile can help you select the best substitutes.

marjoram benefits

This herb is also popular in Greek, French, and Italian cuisine.

Its milder, sweeter taste than oregano makes it great for salads, dressings, and sauces.

For the best flavor, add fresh marjoram leaves at the very end of cooking. To make punchy, delicious dishes with marjoram every time!

What Does Marjoram Taste Like?

Although it is a member of the mint family, its taste is more like oregano. It has a mild, sweet, and citrusy flavor.

Some people describe Majoram’s taste as woody and earthy with a hint of floral aroma, which can add a pleasant aftertaste to dishes.

fresh herbs

I personally think it has a more complex and delicate flavor.

The taste is between thyme and oregano but without the spicy undertones associated with oregano.

What Is Marjoram Used For?

Marjoram is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. 

It is known for its therapeutic properties and is used in natural remedies for coughs, colds, and digestive issues. (Source: Healthline)

marjoram spice benefits

You can add this herb to meals or as a seasoning for veggies and stews. You can use marjoram fresh or dried.

While fresh leaves have a lighter flavor, dried leaves have a more pungent, strong flavor (I like to use it in my mushroom birria tacos with birria consomé ).

How to Use Marjoram

Cooking with marjoram is a great way to add aromatic flavor! Plus, it’s a perennial herb, so it can be enjoyed all year round!

marjoram spice

It works well in herb blends like Herbes de Provence, Bouquet garni, and Italian mixed herbs.

With dried marjoram, use 1 teaspoon for every 4 servings as a general rule of thumb. For a refreshing flavor, use fresh marjoram.

Marjoram Substitute

Try experimenting with different herbs and blends to find your favorite marjoram alternatives.

When using a replacement for marjoram, it is important to adjust the quantity to taste as some herbs may be more potent than marjoram.

cooking with marjoram spice

1. Oregano (Wild Marjoram)

Do you know oregano is related to marjoram?

In Latin, marjoram is called Origanum majorana (sweet marjoram), and oregano is called Origanum vulgare (also known as wild marjoram).

Oregano is the most appropriate replacement for marjoram, which has a very similar flavor profile and aroma.

2. Thyme

Thyme is a great swap for marjoram in many dishes. They are related and have similar flavor profiles. Its flavor is stronger than marjoram. 

best alternatives of marjoram

3. Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence also includes thyme. Rosemary can also be used in place of marjoram.

4. (Italian mixed herbs) Italian Seasoning

Italian mixed herbs (also known as Italian seasoning) are made of a combination of dried herbs commonly used in Italian cooking.

Including basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. 

5. Sage

Sage is a great sub for Marjoram! Belonging to the same family, it has a similar taste.

Yet, be aware: it is more pungent! When swapping in sage, start small and adjust the seasoning to taste.

6. Basil

Basil is also a mint family member. It has a sweet and peppery flavor. It’s related to marjoram, oregano, and za’atar. 

However, basil has a more pungent taste that adds a woodsy, earthy flavor. 

To preserve its flavor, add basil at the end of the cooking process. 

Pro Tip: For every teaspoon of dried marjoram, use 1 teaspoon of dried basil.

7. Tarragon

Tarragon is a perennial plant and a member of the mint family. It has a much more pungent flavor than marjoram.

If you’re swapping marjoram for tarragon, use 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon for 1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram leaves

Pro Tip: Tarragon is a great marjoram alternative, but it has its own distinctive taste.

You can test other options to find out which works best for your dishes. 

marjoram spice



Marjoram is a herb that belongs to the mint family and is often used as a spice in cooking. It is a perennial plant that has a milder taste compared to oregano, with hints of woodsy and earthy flavors.

Q: What are the best substitutes for marjoram?

In my opinion – the best substitutes for marjoram is oregano. If you want to substitute marjoram in your dish and don’t have any on hand, there are a few tasty alternatives described above that you can use.


Yes, marjoram and oregano are closely related and belong to the same genus, Origanum. While they have some similarities in taste and appearance, marjoram has a milder and sweeter taste than oregano.


Marjoram is used to flavor a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to meat and vegetable dishes. It is usually added at the end of the cooking process to preserve its flavor.


Marjoram seasoning can be used in many dishes, but some unique ways to use it include adding it to the batter for a savory form of cookies, or using it to flavor a homemade salad dressing.


There is no evidence that marjoram spice substitute can affect hormones in the body. However, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to it, so it’s best to use caution when trying any new spice or seasoning.

My Final Thoughts

what does marjoram taste like

Finding the right marjoram substitute can be challenging. 

You should always experiment with other herbs when cooking so that you can choose the best alternative for marjoram spice 😉.

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best alternatives of marjoram

7 Best Marjoram Substitutes

If you're looking for a marjoram substitute because you can't find this herb at the store, try one of these seven options.
5 from 2 votes
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Author: SHU-CHUN


  • 2. THYME
  • 5. SAGE
  • 6. BASIL


  • Try experimenting with different herbs and blends to find your favorite marjoram alternatives. When using a replacement for marjoram, it is important to adjust the quantity to taste as some herbs may be more potent than marjoram.

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