Marjoram is an herb with a funny name and a pungent flavor profile that is well-suited to pairing with roasted chicken or other poultry dishes. With citrusy and almost rosemary-like undertones, it can be hard to find just the right combination of herbs to substitute for marjoram in the event that you can't find this herb at your local grocery store or farmer's market. The next time you run low on marjoram, reach for one of these substitutions instead.
The closest plant relative to the herb marjoram is oregano. However, while these two plants are closely related, they are slightly different in flavor. Oregano can be substituted for marjoram; but because marjoram is milder and slightly sweeter, you should use 2/3 of the amount of oregano as is called for in the recipe using marjoram.
The herbs basil, sage, and savory can also be substituted for marjoram in a pinch. You may use one of these herbs, or a combination of all three, to best approximate the flavor profile of marjoram in your recipe. Again, you will want to use two parts of these herbs to three parts of marjoram as called for in your original reference recipe.
Marjoram is often used in various herb blends, such as "roasting" blends, herbes de Provence, or Za'atar. If you do not have any marjoram on hand to use in the recommended herb blend, replace that amount of marjoram with the same amount of another herb in the blend, such as thyme or tarragon in the case of herbes de Provence.
Marjoram comes in several different species, each with a slightly different flavor. Sweet or knotted marjoram is the most common, and can be swapped out for other types of the plant, such as pot marjoram or wild marjoram.