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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Dried Basil Leaf Substitutes

Hey there, food lovers! Ever found yourself all set to whip up your signature dish, only to realize you’re fresh out of dried basil?

Yup, we’ve all been there. No biggie, though!

Turns out, your kitchen’s more equipped than you think to save the day.

In this cheeky guide, we’re spilling the beans on the top 5 swaps for dried basil that might just be chilling in your pantry right now.

Trust us, with these tips, you’ll keep your dish on track and maybe even stumble upon a flavor combo you hadn’t thought of before.

Let’s dive in and get those taste adventures rolling!

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dried Basil Leaves

If you’re out of dried basil leaves, don’t worry.

There are several other herbs and spices that can be used as substitutes to bring a similar flavor profile.

Here are the five best alternatives to use in place of dried basil:

1 – Fresh Basil

Fresh basil is an aromatic herb that adds a delightful flavor to many dishes.

Its bright leaves range from dark green to purple in color and have a hint of peppery taste.

Its leaves are also quite soft to the touch, making it very pleasant for culinary use.

An interesting fact about fresh basil is that its aroma intensifies when chopped or cut and releases fragrance when cooked.

It can be used to substitute dried basil leaves which tend to produce a duller flavor in any dish.

To substitute, use three times the amount of fresh basil you would normally do with dried leaves, and make sure you add it towards the end of the cooking process, so its flavor stays preserved.

2 – Dried Oregano

Dried oregano is a common ingredient in many Italian-inspired cuisines, and for a good reason.

This fragrant dried herb offers a pleasing scent and flavor that is difficult to replicate without oregano.

The aromatic oils found in dried oregano provide a distinct, pungent taste that can’t be matched.

Its texture varies depending on the age of the leaves, with heavily crumbled leaves having a more dusty consistency while slightly larger crumbles will provide more crunch.

If you’re short on dried basil but have oregano in your pantry, you can substitute it by using the same measurement of oregano as what the recipe calls for basil.

This herb adds a unique flavor that pairs exceptionally well with recipes featuring olives, tomatoes, garlic, and other Italian flavors.

3 – Dried Italian Seasoning

Dried Italian seasoning is an excellent addition to many dishes.

It’s composed of a variety of ingredients, such as oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, rosemary, and garlic.

This flavorful combination creates an earthy aroma that brings any meal to life.

As it’s dried, it provides a texture similar to coarse crumbs and really complements heartier recipes like lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs.

The best way to use it is by crushing the blend with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the dish.

If you don’t have any fresh basil leaves on hand, you can sprinkle some of this dried seasoning over your creations and get that same delicious taste without waiting for it to grow in the garden first.

4 – Dried Marjoram

Marjoram is a delightful herb that adds a unique flavor to dishes.

Its mellow, slightly sweet characteristic provides a varied and interesting taste profile when eaten fresh or dried.

When dried, marjoram has a softer aroma than when fresh and holds its flavor exceptionally well while losing some of its vibrant colors.

Typically, it has an earthy taste with a subtle bitterness, as well as notes of citrus and camphor.

If you’re in need of a substitution for your traditional dried basil leaves, try marjoram instead.

It provides an intriguing texture to any dish and delicious background to highlight other ingredients included in the recipe.

5 – Dried Coriander Seeds

Dried coriander seeds make an excellent alternative to dried basil leaves in a variety of recipes.

Originating from East Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, coriander has a subtle citrus flavor with earthy, sweet undertones.

When ground, the dried seeds take on a slightly coarser texture than their fresh counterparts, making them perfect for dishes like stews and spicy curries.

The best way to use this aromatic spice as a substitute for dried basil leaves is to use 1 teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds for every ½ teaspoon of the basil.

When combined with other ingredients, such as chili powder or oregano, it adds an extra layer of flavor that will liven up any dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dried Basil Leaves

Searching for alternatives to dried basil leaves? Explore our guide featuring the top five substitutes that will infuse your dishes with delightful herbaceous flavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Fresh Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Marjoram
  • Dried Coriander Seeds


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Dried Basil Leaves
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