Aside from olive oil, the flavors of Greek cooking are mainly herbal with notes of garlic and spices. You will need all of these in your spice cabinet if you want to replicate the taste of authentic Greek cuisine. The convenient and affordable way to get everything you need is to purchase a pre-packaged Greek seasoning blend, but what happens if you run out of it unexpectedly and need some right away? In that case, you will need an emergency substitute. Consider one of the following Greek seasoning substitutes to save the day.
Your best bet: Make your own Greek seasoning
The ingredients of Greek seasoning are pretty easy to find in most grocery stores. The point of the blend is to provide the herbal and spice flavor notes that show up most frequently in Greek cuisine. There is no single definition of Greek seasoning beyond that, so the exact flavor profile is up to you. You will need Greek herbs like marjoram and oregano as well as spices like garlic and cinnamon, many of which you may already have in your spice cabinet. Making your own blend allows you to increase or decrease the proportions of individual components according to your preference. If you want your homemade Greek seasoning to have a finer texture, grind the ingredients in a spice grinder or blender until they achieve the desired degree of fineness.
Use your homemade Greek seasoning exactly as you would use the prepackaged version.
A decent second choice: Zaatar
Za’atar is an herb and spice blend from the Middle East. It is popular enough that there are many different local versions throughout the region. For example, the Jordanian version is different from the Lebanese version. The name za’atar is the Arabic for oregano, but is used for the spice blend as well. One of the traditional ways to use za’atar is as a condiment that is sprinkled on prepared food at the table. The blend typically includes oregano as well as thyme and marjoram, which are all found in Greek seasoning as well. Za’atar does contain sumac and sesame seeds, which are not found in Greek seasoning but neither of those two flavors will stop it from serving as an effective Greek seasoning substitute.
In a pinch: Italian seasoning
Italian seasoning is arguably the easiest to find of the different Greek seasoning substitutes in this list as it is sold in most grocery stores. Like Greek seasoning, it contains a selection of Mediterranean herbs. It includes those popular in Greek cuisine. Italian seasoning is to Italian food what Greek seasoning is to Greek food; namely, a way to replicate the flavors without the hassle and expense of seeking out individual ingredients. Oregano, rosemary and thyme are among the herbs included in most blends and are also common in Greek seasoning blends. It does not contain the spices typically found in Greek seasoning like cinnamon and lemon peel, but those can be added separately if desired.
Use Italian seasoning as a 1:1 replacement for Greek seasoning.
Herbes de Provence is another herb blend native to Southern Europe. This time, from France rather than from Italy or Greece. Herbes de Provence does not contain any spices, but it does contain many of the same herbs found in Greek seasoning. Herbs typically found in Herbes de Provence include rosemary, thyme, and oregano. The result is a blend that provides a similar aroma and many of the same flavor notes.