What Does Oregano Taste Like?

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In this article, we're talking about oregano. We'll answer your questions about the taste, texture, substitutions and recipe tips for delicious meals.

What Does Oregano Taste Like? 

Oregano is a pungent herb with bitter, grassy flavors and a trace of mint.

You may have topped a slice of vegan pizza with dried oregano from a shaker.


The dried version is crumbly with the texture of crisp, dry autumn leaves. Even so, it usually doesn't impart any texture you can detect when you cook with it.

A sprig of fresh oregano has soft leaves that are a little denser than basil leaves. They're easier to chop than they are to tear, though they won't give you a hard time. 


Yes, you can absolutely eat fresh oregano. You may even side with the foodies who'll take the fresh kind over the dried any day. 

This type of oregano is best for salads, pesto and marinades.

Can I Substitute Oregano? 

Basil is going to be one of the top substitutes for oregano, especially if we're talking about dried herbs. But fresh basil is robust and similar enough to replace fresh oregano, too, especially in Italian cooking.

Thyme is also recommended and may even be a better substitute than basil. It has a close flavor profile in pungency, bitterness and minty undertones. 


Any Italian red sauce recipe can be enriched with oregano, but tomato-based sauces of all sorts, including those of Greek and Mediterranean cuisines, are good places to start.

Oregano also pairs well with garlic, citrus, onions and herbs like basil, rosemary, parsley, marjoram and thyme.

It's potent enough to be the dominant flavor in a recipe, but oregano is totally blendable with a wide variety of seasonings.

Oregano Recipe Tips 

If you've never made a vegan bolognese, there's nothing to it. If you make it for family and friends, it's a meal they're going to request again and again.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Firm tofu
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Chili flakes
  • Cayenne
  • Vegan marinara
  • Vegetable stock
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Penne pasta
  • Parsley
  • Vegan parmesan


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