The flavorful blend of herbs and spices is the key to any genuinely exceptional cuisine. Thyme and oregano are both versatile and easy-to-use herbs that are found in most kitchens. They are two totally different plants, even if they are used in similar recipes. Thyme is a complex combination of sweet and spicy as well as minty and lemony flavours, but oregano has a very powerful, pungent, and earthy flavour.
Oregano, which has become more popular than thyme in its own right, is one of the greatest alternatives to thyme. Both herbs are members of the same family, and their flavour characteristics are comparable. Both herbs lend bitterness to foods and complement bread and sauces well. Oregano also has a distinct aroma and can be used in place of thyme. Fresh oregano and dried oregano are both available.
Some Good Substitutes for Thyme
Consider using savoury as a thyme substitute in savoury dishes. This plant, which is less frequent in most kitchens, belongs to the same herb family as the ones listed above. When compared to thyme, savoury has a lighter overall flavour profile, yet it has a good nuanced earthy and peppery flavour that complements other ingredients in a meal. In any dish, replace thyme with savoury in a 1:1 ratio.
Thyme can be replaced with a variety of herbs. Oregano is another popular replacement among them. Oregano has a same flavour whether it’s dried or fresh. While it has a stronger flavour than thyme, it can be used in place of the herb in many recipes. In a 1:1 ratio, oregano can be utilised. It has a spicy bite and a pungent flavour akin to thyme.
Thyme has a woody, grassy flavour that can be utilised in both sweet and savoury dishes. Even after extensive cooking times, it retains its flavour. Thyme has a flavour that is comparable to roasted vegetables and meat. Oregano, basil, and rosemary are all good savoury replacements for thyme. All of these herbs have their own particular flavour and can be used in recipes for both.
Marjoram is a great thyme alternative since it has a similar flavour and aroma to thyme but is a little stronger. For every teaspoon of thyme in a dish, use up to three-quarters of a teaspoon of rosemary. However, rosemary has a stronger flavour than other herbs and may overpower other components. If you don’t like the flavour of thyme, try replacing another herb. Many replacements perform just as well as thyme and give your cuisine a unique flavour.
While marjoram is not as extensively utilised as other herbs, it will enhance rather than overpower the natural flavour of your food. It is also less expensive than many of its competitors. As a result, if you’re out of thyme and need something to replace it with, marjoram is a good option. Here are ten herbs that can be substituted for thyme.
The flavour of oregano is comparable to that of thyme, with a spicy herbal undertone. Many meals can be made with fresh or dried oregano instead of thyme, but make sure to use half or twice as much oregano. Because both plants are powerful, you should try them both before deciding which one to use. But, before you go out and buy dried oregano, make sure you know how much you need to avoid a sour taste or an unpleasant aftertaste.
Thyme is a common ingredient in Italian seasoning. You can also use oregano powder as a substitute for the herb. It has a pungent, earthy flavour that is comparable to thyme and may be used in a variety of cuisines. One tablespoon of thyme is typically used in place of one teaspoon of oregano. Because it has similar flavour components to thyme, oregano is a great alternative.
If tarragon is unavailable, substitute other herbs with a similar flavour profile. Dill, for example, is an excellent alternative for tarragon, albeit its bittersweet overtones aren’t as strong. Tarragon can easily be replaced with fresh oregano. Oregano has a similar flavour to tarragon and can be substituted in recipes that call for fresh tarragon. Marjoram, a member of the oregano family, is another alternative to tarragon.
Marjoram is less pungent and has a little sweeter taste than tarragon, although not having the same licorice-like flavour and scent. It goes well with tomato-based recipes as well. It is not, however, as flexible as tarragon, which is more widely available in supermarkets.
If you’ve never tasted thyme before, you might be thinking what you can use in its place. This versatile herb is extensively used, and most serious cooks have a bottle on hand. The most common type of parsley is flat-leaf, but there are also curly variants. The flavour of curly-leaf parsley is milder, and it may be used in any recipe. In practically any recipe, flat-leaf parsley can be substituted, and dried types work just as well. It also has a milder flavour than curly-leaf parsley, making it an excellent substitute when fresh parsley is unavailable.
Is Oregano and Thyme the Same?
Learning about herbs can be difficult since, while they all taste different, many of them look the same. What is the appearance of thyme? It has a green stem or a stem with a little reddish tint, and small green roundish leaves, although many of them have tiny pointed points that grow in small clusters amid the stems. Oregano, on the other hand, is more bushier, with broad flat, oval leaves that can be a little fuzzy at times. It has a musty perfume that is reminiscent of minty hay.
Thyme and oregano have distinct and distinguishable flavours. There are several varieties of thyme plants, but they all have a minty, lemony, slightly sweet, and spicy flavour. The flavour of oregano is extremely strong and pungent. It’s comparable to marjoram, but it’s more potent. It leaves an astringent taste in your mouth, as if your mouth has suddenly become incredibly clean and your saliva has gone.
Thyme has a spicier scent, and if green can be utilised to symbolise an odour, it does a good job at describing thyme. Master chefs devote their entire lives to learning how to cook with herbs. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible combinations that can give any dish subtle nuances.
If you don’t want to become a world-famous chef but want to amaze your family and friends with a few outstanding combinations, employing thyme and oregano to their full potential will make all the difference. You may also make herb ice cubes with oregano and thyme.
Why is Oregano Good for me?
Fresh oregano has antimicrobial properties. It contains phytonutrients (thymol and carvacrol) that combat staph infections. It’s high in antioxidants, as well as fibre, vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin E, tryptophan, and calcium, all of which help prevent cell damage.
The health benefits of dried oregano are identical to those of fresh oregano, but it must be treated with caution. It should be kept in a clean, dry glass container for six months before being discarded. Like most spices, old oregano loses its flavour and properties over time.
As a result, oregano oil should not be utilised the same way as fresh oregano. Sore throats, poor digestion, nausea, nasal congestion, cold sores, and muscular and joint discomfort are all treated with the oil, which also has antibacterial qualities that make it a strong preventive measure. Illnesses are common in the winter, which is why oregano oil should be prominent in your cupboard. It may be used in marinara sauce or salad dressing, but my favourite way to eat it is with a tablespoon of honey. Depending on the ailment, oregano oil can be used in a variety of ways, but generally speaking, a few drops each day for a week to ten days is recommended.
What is the Difference Between Fresh Thyme vs. Dried Thyme?
While certain herbs are better in their fresh form, thyme has a flavour profile that is identical whether dried or fresh. As a result, dried and fresh thyme can be used equally in recipes.
The primary difference is that to get the maximum flavour out of the thyme, you need to rehydrate it and activate the flavour by adding it to a recipe with moisture. Most recipes include a sauce, broth, water, or dairy base that naturally activates the dried herb, making rehydrating dried thyme simple.
When using fresh thyme in cooking or baking, it’s better to concentrate on the leaves. You can use whole or chopped fresh leaves. While the stems have flavour, they will not break down into an edible form during cooking. As a result, they’re best used in a sauce or soup that needs to simmer but can be readily removed before serving. While dried thyme works just as well as fresh thyme in heated foods, fresh thyme may be better suited to cold dishes — or a cocktail!
What is the Difference Between Oregano Leaf and Oregano Oil?
If you’re using oregano in your recipe, you’re probably using the leaf, either fresh or dried. Some stems will likely be included in the dried version, but the final product will be crushed into tiny pieces, making the stems unrecognisable from the leaf.
Oregano oil is extracted from oregano leaves and stems, yielding a highly concentrated oil. It’s so potent that it should never be used without being diluted first, as it can cause serious burns on your skin if used topically or on your tongue or throat if swallowed. When combined with another oil or added to a recipe, however, it can provide numerous health advantages with only a small amount of the essential oil.
Oregano oil is available in pill form or as a liquid essential oil. If you have the capsules, simply follow the label’s instructions and use as directed. You have a lot of possibilities if you have a liquid oil.
If you want to use it topically to treat skin diseases or infections, dilute it first with a carrier oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil, using 1 teaspoon of safe carrier oil for every single drop of powerful oregano oil.
What are Some Recipes in Which Oregano is Used?
Provoleta with Oregano and Tomatoes
The success of this amazingly simple dish—provolone seared in a cast-iron skillet till crisp, caramelised, and melty—depends on the quality of the cheese itself, according to chef and grill genius Francis Mallmann. “You’re looking for a sharp, mature cheese that’s around eight or nine months old,” he advises.
Mussels with Speck, Lemon and Oregano
Ethan Stowell enjoys mussels throughout the year, but his favourites are the big summer mussels from Washington’s Puget Sound. “At the end of the night, I usually take a couple handfuls of mussels and prepare them at home for a late-night snack,” he says. He uses lemon juice, fresh herbs, and speck, a salty cured ham, to flavour the briny mussels.
Oregano and Lemon Grilled Shrimp
The sauce for these shrimp is a simplified version of the Italian salmoriglio, which is traditionally created in a mortar with lemon and herbs. The sauce goes well with grilled swordfish or any other meaty fish.
Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Oregano, Potatoes, and Olives
In this simple one-pot meal, tangy roasted Meyer lemons blend well with quartered potatoes, olives, oregano, and chicken. Lemon slices are roasted alongside the potatoes in this variation, giving the meal a fresher, more fulfilling flavour.
Giant Lima Beans with Oregano Pesto and Stewed Tomatoes
This tomato-bean stew is elevated by tangy feta cheese, a vibrant herbaceous pesto, and a crisp bread crumb topping. It’s fantastic when made using meaty Rancho Gordo gigantic limas from Peru, silky gigantes, or large limas from the supermarket.
In most recipes, thyme and oregano go well together, but there are a few that are better with one or the other. Oregano has been utilised as a therapeutic herb in traditional and alternative medicine for many generations. It has been shown to be high in antioxidants, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, although there are few research that prove how useful it is. The studies that are available usually use oregano oil rather than dried or fresh oregano leaves.