Oregano is an aromatic herb that is used in many cuisines around the world. It has a pungent, slightly bitter taste and brings a wonderful flavor to dishes. While fresh oregano is great, the dried form has some advantages.
Dried oregano is more convenient, has a more concentrated flavor, and is available year round. This buying guide will explore the key factors to consider when purchasing dried oregano so you can find the best product for your needs.
McCormick Oregano Leaves
McCormick Oregano Leaves provide a robust herbal flavor that can elevate many of your favorite dishes. As soon as you open the bottle, you'll notice the fragrant aroma of oregano that evokes images of a quaint Mediterranean village. This spice has an earthy, savory taste that shines in pastas, pizzas, marinades, and more.
You'll find that McCormick Oregano is incredibly versatile. It can be used in Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, or Mexican cuisine. When added to sauces, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, etc., oregano provides a warming complexity. Unlike some herbs, oregano's flavor actually intensifies and blooms throughout the cooking process. So feel free to add it at the beginning of recipes.
The dried leaves in this bottle mean you can use oregano anytime without worrying about maintenance of fresh sprigs. This oregano has no added preservatives and is non-GMO, so you can trust McCormick quality. The 5 oz size is generous and makes oregano cost effective.
- Warm, peppery flavor
- Robust aroma
- No preservatives
- Ideal for Italian dishes
- Long lasting dried leaves
- Good value
- Can be slightly addictive!
Badia Whole Oregano
If you want to add authentic spice to Cuban, Italian, or Mediterranean recipes, Badia Whole Oregano is a must-have pantry staple. As soon as you sprinkle this oregano, you'll notice the fragrant, woodsy aroma. Badia oregano has an assertive, peppery flavor that livens up sauces, roasted vegetables, pizza, pasta, and more.
A little of this oregano goes a long way, making the 5.5 oz container extremely convenient. The dried whole leaves provide convenient, long-lasting flavor compared to fresh oregano sprigs. You can use the powder in your spice cabinet worry-free for months.
With no added fillers or preservatives, Badia oregano provides pure, additive-free taste. It's produced by a well-known brand trusted by chefs. This oregano is certified kosher and vegetarian too.
Consider stocking up on this large container of Badia oregano to always have it on hand. It makes cooking flavorful Cuban, Italian, Greek, and Mexican food easy.
- Whole oregano leaves
- Convenient shaker top
- No preservatives
- Adds authentic flavor
- Long shelf life
- Good value
- Shaker holes are small
Happy Belly Mediterranean Oregano
Add delicious depth to your cooking with Happy Belly Mediterranean Oregano. This robust herb has an earthy, woodsy aroma and a warm, peppery bite. It's a versatile ingredient that brings Mediterranean flair to sauces, stuffings, potatoes, grilled dishes, and more.
A little oregano goes a long way, so the 0.65 oz bottle lasts a while. The dried leaves mean you can use this oregano anytime without fussing over fresh sprigs. Convenient and budget-friendly!
Happy Belly Oregano contains no preservatives or additives - just pure flavor. It's certified kosher and organic too.
Sprinkle this oregano over pizza, add it to pasta sauce, mix it into ground meat, or blend it into a marinade. The savory aroma and woodsy taste enhance so many foods. Keep Happy Belly Oregano stocked in your pantry for effortless Mediterranean cooking at home.
- Dried oregano leaves
- USDA organic
- Kosher certified
- Fresh, savory flavor
- Convenient dried leaves
- Good value
- Bottle is small
Spice Classics Oregano Leaves
When you need oregano in bulk for your restaurant, cafeteria, or catering business, Spice Classics Oregano Leaves are perfect. The large 1.75 lb container provides this versatile herb at an affordable cost per serving. Just measure out what you need for each recipe.
You'll notice an intense, woodsy aroma when you open the package. Spice Classics oregano provides robust, peppery flavor that intensifies as it cooks. It's a perfect addition to pizza, pasta sauce, vegetables, chicken, and more.
With no added fillers or anti-caking agents, you get pure oregano flavor everyone expects. This oregano is kosher certified too.
For affordable, flavorful cooking in large quantities, trust Spice Classics. The resealable bag makes storage easy.
- Large 1.75 lb package
- Pure oregano leaves
- Kosher certified
- Perfect for bulk use
- Intense aroma and flavor
- Affordable cost per serving
- Some broken leaf pieces
Simply Organic Oregano
For the freshest, purest oregano flavor, choose Simply Organic. Their Mediterranean oregano adds authentic, woodsy aroma and taste to Italian, Greek, and Mexican recipes. The dried leaves have a pleasantly bitter, warming flavor that blooms beautifully.
The 0.75 oz jar may seem small, but a little goes a long way. You can keep this oregano in your spice cabinet for months without losing potency. No need to worry about fresh sprigs wilting.
Simply Organic only uses organically grown plants without GMOs or irradiation. Their oregano is certified USDA Organic and Kosher. You get pure, additive-free flavor in every jar.
This oregano is ideal for pasta sauce, pizza, roasted vegetables, chimichurri sauce, frittatas, marinades, and more. Get ready to add delicious depth and Mediterranean character to your cooking!
- USDA Organic
- Mediterranean oregano
- Kosher certified
- Intense flavor
- Convenient dried leaves
- Small jar
EarthWise Aromatics Oregano Leaf
You're looking to add some oomph to your cooking and want an herb that packs a flavorful punch. Look no further than EarthWise Aromatics Oregano Leaf. This oregano adds delightful flavor and aroma to soups, sauces, roasts, and more.
With its distinctive sharp, slightly bitter taste, oregano brings warmth and depth to dishes like pizza, pasta, and Greek and Mexican cuisine. A little goes a long way, so you'll get great mileage out of this one-pound bag. Reviewers say this oregano has an intense, robust flavor that's much nicer than grocery store varieties.
One of the best things about EarthWise Aromatics Oregano is its purity. It contains 100% oregano leaves with no anti-caking agents, preservatives, or additives. You're getting high-quality dried oregano with all the flavor and none of the junk. Because it's packed fresh in the USA in resealable pouches, the oregano retains maximum potency.
- 100% pure oregano leaves
- Packed fresh in the USA
- Resealable pouches prolong freshness
- Intense, aromatic oregano flavor
- No preservatives or additives
- Great value for one-pound bag
- May contain occasional stems
For an affordable oregano that adds zest to meals, try Badia Oregano. Reviewers say this oregano has an authentic flavor that spices up sauces, dressings, dips, and more without breaking the bank.
A sprinkle of Badia oregano infuses dishes like pizza, pasta, roasted vegetables, and bean recipes with a bold, earthy taste. You'll get great mileage from the 5.5-ounce container. The oregano has a pleasant fragrance and robust flavor that enhances anything it touches.
Many reviewers mention that Badia oregano tastes natural and fresh. They say it's noticeably better than generic supermarket oregano in terms of potency and quality. You can really taste the authentic oregano flavor shine through.
- Affordable price
- 5.5 ounces
- Produces robust oregano flavor
- Adds zest to many dishes
- Smells and tastes fresh
- Provides good value
- May lose potency over time after opening
The Spice Way Oregano
For flavorful oregano made with care, try The Spice Way Oregano Leaves. This hand-selected oregano adds aroma and taste to meat, vegetables, sauces, and more.
Grown using natural methods, The Spice Way Oregano contains only pure, dried oregano leaves with no additives or preservatives. Reviewers rave about the intense, wonderfully distinct oregano flavor. A little goes a long way since it's so aromatic.
The Spice Way oregano is packed fresh in small batches in the USA, which helps retain maximum potency. Many customers mention the oregano smells incredibly fresh when they open the bag. You can really taste the difference compared to generic oregano.
- 100% pure oregano leaves
- Packed fresh in small batches
- No additives or preservatives
- Robust, aromatic oregano flavor
- Hand-selected for premium quality
- Retains freshness when packed in small batches
- Only available in 2-ounce bags
For flavorful, organic oregano, try HQOExpress Organic Oregano grown sustainably without pesticides. This USDA certified organic oregano adds hearty flavor to Italian, Mexican, Greek dishes, and more with its aromatic, earthy taste.
HQO Oregano contains dried oregano leaves grown using organic methods that nurture the soil and environment. The oregano has a robust potency customers love. Reviewers say it smells and tastes noticeably fresher than store brands.
As America's largest organic food supplier, HQO is dedicated to quality and transparency. They follow strict organic guidelines and capture data for every ingredient lot. You can trust you're getting pure, organic oregano with HQO.
- USDA certified organic
- Sustainably grown
- Strong oregano flavor
- Adds big flavor to many dishes
- Organic and non-GMO verified
- Environmentally friendly production
- Only available in 5-ounce size
Gustus Vitae Oregano
For a super-premium oregano packed with flavor, try Gustus Vitae Oregano. This artisanal oregano adds instant aroma and taste to meat, vegetables, and more with its bold flavor.
Gustus Vitae oregano is crafted in small batches and undergoes rigorous quality inspections during processing. The sustainably-grown oregano leaves are then hand-packed in magnetic tins that keep the flavor locked in.
Reviewers say this oregano is incredibly aromatic with a pure, concentrated flavor that enhances anything it touches. A little bit goes a long way since it's so robust. Customers mention this is the best oregano they've found.
- Hand-packed in magnetic tins
- Non-GMO verified
- Sustainably sourced
- Adds incredible flavor
- Highly aromatic
- Retains freshness in magnetic tin
- Only 0.4 ounces per tin
- Premium price point
Types of Dried Oregano
There are a few main varieties of oregano that are commonly dried and sold:
Mediterranean Oregano - This is the most common type and what most people associate with oregano flavor. It has an earthy, robust, and minty taste. Mediterranean oregano grows well in warm climates.
Mexican Oregano - This variety is also called Mexican marjoram or Mexican wild sage. It has a lime-citrus scent and flavor in addition to the classic oregano taste. This type is great for Latin dishes.
Italian Oregano - As the name suggests, this type is popular in Italian cooking. It has a mellow mint-peppery flavor. The taste is not as potent as Mediterranean oregano.
Greek Oregano - This variety is typically from the southern Mediterranean. It is pungent and spicy. Greek oregano is often used in pizza seasoning and pairs well with tomatoes.
When purchasing dried oregano, the variety you choose will depend on the intended use and types of dishes you plan to make. Mediterranean oregano is the best all-purpose choice for a wide range of cooking applications.
Quality and Freshness
It is important to buy high quality dried oregano for maximum flavor. Here are some tips for assessing freshness and quality:
- Color - The oregano leaves should have a vibrant green color with no browning. Avoid oregano that looks dull or faded.
- Aroma - Fresh oregano will smell pungent and floral. If the aroma is weak, the product is old.
- Texture - Quality oregano will be flakey and dry. Watch out for any clumping, stickiness or moisture, which indicates poor drying.
- Leaf Integrity - The leaves should not be broken down into small pieces or powder. Whole, intact leaves maintain the essential oils.
- Harvest Date - Check product packaging for the harvest or pack date. Fresher oregano will have a more recent date for optimal flavor.
- No Fillers - Pure oregano shouldn't have any fillers like olive or soybean oil. Read ingredient lists carefully.
Choosing oregano with vibrant color, robust aroma, and a recent harvest date will provide the best flavor for cooking. Reject any batches that seem stale, dull or broken down.
Origin and Source
Oregano can be grown and produced globally. The main factors regarding origin include:
Climate - Oregano thrives in hot climates with plenty of sun and drier conditions. Regions like the Mediterranean, Mexico, and California are ideal for cultivation.
Altitude - Some claim oregano grown at higher altitudes has better flavor. Higher elevation stimulates plant compounds production.
Soil - Mineral rich, well-draining soil benefits oregano growth and flavor. The soil composition impacts essential oil levels.
Country of Origin - Popular sources include Greece, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, Mexico and the United States. Knowing the country of origin provides insight on variety.
For sustainable production, choose oregano grown in its native regions without excessive processing. Check labels for clarity on source when possible.
Packaging and Storage Considerations
Proper packaging and storage helps maintain the integrity and shelf life of dried oregano. Key factors to evaluate include:
- Packaging - Dried oregano is best packaged in sealed glass or plastic containers versus plastic bags. Airtight packaging preserves freshness.
- UV Protection - Opaque containers prevent light degradation. Or choose packages using UV blocking materials.
- Oxygen Absorbers - Some products include small oxygen absorber packets to maintain freshness and prevent oxidation.
- Resealability - Containers that seal completely or have zipper closures keep unused oregano fresher after opening.
- Storage Method - Store containers in cool, dry places away from light, heat and moisture. Refrigeration can extend shelf life once opened.
- Shelf Life - Typically, dried oregano lasts 1-2 years when properly stored. Check packaging for manufacturer dating.
Selecting oregano sold in UV protective, airtight packaging will help retain flavor and potency when stored correctly. Follow all label instructions to maximize shelf life after purchase.
Dried oregano is sold whole, crushed, or ground into a fine powder. The grind level you choose depends on your preferences and recipe needs:
- Whole - Whole leaf oregano has the most authentic appearance. Use it where visual appeal matters or for tea. Requires grinding before use.
- Crushed - Moderately coarse texture strikes a balance between usability and texture. Use for general purpose cooking and seasoning.
- Ground - Finely powdered oregano incorporates easily. Best for blending into dressings, sauces and rubs. Can lose flavor faster.
- Processed Further - Some brands grind dried oregano into a paste for maximum flavor release. Easier to measure than powders.
Whole leaf oregano will retain the best flavor over time. But coarsely crushed leaves offer a good midpoint for usability and freshness. Choose powder for intense flavor integration or pastes for convenience.
Pricing and Budget
Dried oregano is relatively affordable. Pricing considerations include:
- Size - Per ounce pricing ranges from $1-5. Larger bottles are more economical for frequent cooking.
- Processing - Pre-ground and paste versions cost slightly more than whole leaf. But still within affordable range for most.
- Quality - Boutique, organic or specially sourced oregano costs more. But still reasonably priced compared to other dried herbs.
- Quantity - Buying in bulk usually provides discounts compared to small jars. Can save substantially on volume.
- Brands - National brands are priced higher versus private label products. But not always noticeable difference in quality.
For occasional use, a small 2-4 oz bottle of oregano offers good value. Those who cook Mediterranean or Italian fare frequently can buy larger bulk sizes. Even premium oregano remains budget-friendly for most households.
Uses in Cooking
Dried oregano shines in a wide array of savory recipes:
- Italian - Oregano is essential for pizza, pasta sauce, chicken parmesan, and eggplant dishes where its robust herbal flavor shines.
- Greek - Pair oregano with lemon, olive oil and vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and spinach for Greek cuisine. Use in tzatziki, spanakopita, Greek salad, and souvlaki.
- Mexican - Mexican oregano accentuates chili, salsa, tacos, and enchiladas. Add to beans, corn, and chicken for extra dimension.
- Mediterranean - Incorporate into shakshuka, chicken kebabs, lamb roasts, vegetable bakes, and stuffed peppers.
- American - Oregano works well in chili, meatloaf, stews, marinades for grilled meats, and ranch dressing.
- Roasted Vegetables - Toss carrot, potato, zucchini, or cauliflower with oil and oregano before roasting.
The savory, aromatic qualities of oregano mean it works with just about any meat, vegetable, legume, or cheese. An essential for Italian and Mediterranean cooking.
Here are some frequently asked questions about purchasing and using dried oregano:
What's the shelf life of dried oregano? Properly stored in a cool, dark place, dried oregano will retain optimal flavor and aroma for 1-2 years. Oregano stored in the fridge after opening may last a bit longer.
Should I buy ground or whole oregano leaves? Whole leaves retain flavor better over time. But ground oregano incorporates more easily during cooking. Choose based on your needs and planned usage.
What recipes use a lot of oregano? Mediterranean and Italian cuisine rely heavily on oregano. Try pasta sauce, pizza, roasted vegetables, dips, dressings, lamb, and chicken dishes. Mexican and Greek foods also showcase oregano well.
Can I substitute dried oregano for fresh? Dried oregano has a more concentrated, potent flavor. Use about 1/3 the amount of dried oregano compared to fresh. Start with less dried oregano and adjust amounts as needed.
Should I buy oregano from Mexico or Greece? Both options provide high quality oregano. Mexican oregano has a distinctive lime-citrus taste that's perfect for Latin dishes. Greek oregano offers an intense pungency that shines in Mediterranean cuisine.
Dried oregano is an extremely versatile herb that brings warm, earthy flavor to a wide variety of savory recipes. When purchasing dried oregano, carefully check the appearance, aroma, texture and packaging date to obtain the freshest product possible. Select containers that block light and air to maintain the essential oils after opening. Whole oregano leaves retain maximum flavor over pre-ground options. But ground varieties incorporate more easily while cooking. Oregano produced in Mexico and the Mediterranean offer regional variations that are well-suited for Latin and Greek cuisine respectively. With proper storage and handling, dried oregano can last 1-2 years for optimal taste and fragrance to elevate everyday cooking.