Basil vs Oregano on Pizza: Which Herb Reigns Supreme?

When considering typical herbs for pizza toppings, there is a handful that immediately comes to mind. Oregano and basil are two of the most often used herbs on pizza, and for good reason.

Basil and Oregano on Pizza

They each have unique qualities that can enhance the flavor of any pizza.

Which is better, though? In order to make it simpler for you to decide which herb to use on your next pie, we’ll compare basil and oregano on pizza in this piece.

Let’s talk about oregano first. Oregano is a staple ingredient in Italian cookery and is regularly added to pizza sauce and toppings. It can provide extra subtlety and richness to your pizza with its strong, pungent flavor.

Oregano is also widely known for its health benefits due to its high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. If you want to give your pizza a robust, earthy flavor, oregano may be the way to go.

On the other hand, fresh basil, a milder herb, is regularly added to the pizza. It pairs well with cheese and tomato sauce and has a sweet and somewhat spicy flavor. Basil is a potent source of vitamin K and has antibacterial properties.

If you want your pizza to taste lighter and fresher, basil can be a terrific option. Taste and the type of pizza you’re making ultimately determine whether to use oregano or basil.

Basil vs Oregano: What’s the Difference?

Herbs are a crucial component of the sauce and toppings when cooking pizza. Two of the most popular herbs for preparing pizza are basil and oregano, but what distinguishes them from one another?

Basil and Oregano

Let’s examine basil and oregano’s flavor profiles, fresh vs. dried, and application in preparing pizza in more detail.

Flavor Profile

Basil tastes sweet and slightly minty, with hints of clove and anise. When fresh, it has a strong, peppery flavor that weakens when dried.

Oregano, on the other hand, has a strong, earthy flavor with undertones that are pungent and slightly bitter. When it is fresh, the flavor is undetectable, but when it is dried, the flavor intensifies.

Fresh vs Dried

Fresh basil leaves have a strong aroma and a bright green color, making them a popular choice for garnishing pizzas. Dried basil leaves, on the other hand, have a milder flavor and are often used in pizza sauces.

Fresh oregano leaves have a slightly bitter taste and are used sparingly in pizza-making. Dried oregano leaves have a more intense flavor and are commonly used in pizza seasoning blends.

Use in Pizza-Making

Both oregano and basil are utilized in various ways when preparing pizza. Pesto frequently contains basil, which is frequently used as a fresh or cooked pizza topping.

Oregano is a staple of traditional pizza ingredients and is frequently used in pizza sauce.

When cooking pizza, basil, and oregano can complement other flavorful components. For instance, oregano complements fennel, paprika, and black pepper while basil goes well with garlic, lemon, and cheese.

To produce an Italian spice blend for homemade pizza seasoning, dried basil, and oregano can be combined with additional herbs like marjoram and thyme.

As an alternative, a straightforward mixture of ground black pepper, garlic powder, and dried onion flakes can be used as a traditional pizza seasoning.

Oregano and basil each have distinct flavor profiles and are used to make pizza. Oregano is bolder and earthier, whereas basil tastes sweeter and more herbal.

Both herbs can be combined with other herbs and spices to make distinctive pizza seasoning combinations. They can be used fresh or dried.

Oregano on Pizza: Pros and Cons

When it comes to pizza, oregano is a popular herb that is often used as a seasoning. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of using oregano on pizza.

Basil and Oregano on Pizza

Flavor Profile

Oregano has a strong and pungent taste that can add depth and flavor to a pizza. It has an earthy and slightly bitter taste that is often described as being similar to thyme or anise. Oregano is also aromatic and can add a pleasant scent to a pizza.

Fresh vs Dried

While fresh oregano can be used on pizza, dried oregano is more commonly used as it has a stronger flavor. However, it is important to note that the flavor of dried oregano can vary depending on the quality and age of the herb.

Use in Pizza-Making

Oregano is a commonly used spice in pizza-making. It is often used in combination with other classic pizza seasonings such as dried onion flakes, garlic powder, and ground black pepper to create a homemade pizza seasoning.

Oregano can also be used in combination with other herbs such as basil, marjoram, and Italian seasoning to create a milder and more complementary flavor profile.

When using oregano on pizza, it is important to consider the other ingredients in the pizza. Oregano works best with savory ingredients such as tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables.

It can also be used in combination with other spices such as fennel and paprika to create a more complex flavor profile.

One of the cons of using oregano on pizza is that it can have an indistinguishable flavor when used in large quantities.

This can be especially true if the oregano is dried and has lost some of its flavor. It is also important to note that oregano can be overpowering if not used in moderation.

Oregano can be a great addition to a pizza if used in moderation and in combination with other complementary ingredients.

Its strong and pungent flavor can add depth and complexity to a pizza, but it is important to consider the other ingredients in the pizza and to use oregano in moderation.

Basil on Pizza: Pros and Cons

When it comes to pizza toppings, basil is a popular choice for many people. It adds a fresh, aromatic flavor that complements the other ingredients on the pizza. However, there are both pros and cons to using basil on pizza.

Basil and Oregano on Pizza

Flavor Profile

Basil has a sweet, slightly peppery flavor that is often described as “herby.” It is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, including pizza. Its flavor profile makes it an excellent complement to savory ingredients commonly used in pizza-making, such as tomatoes, garlic, and cheese.

Fresh vs Dried

Fresh basil is often preferred for pizza toppings because it adds a bright, fresh flavor and aroma. However, dried basil can also be used and is a convenient option when fresh basil is not available.

Dried basil has a milder flavor than fresh basil but still adds a complementary flavor to pizza sauce and toppings.

Use in Pizza-Making

Basil is commonly used in pizza-making in a few different ways. It can be added to pizza sauce or sprinkled on top of the pizza as a finishing touch. Some pizza recipes call for a mix of herbs, including basil, to create a homemade pizza seasoning blend.

Basil can also be used as an ingredient in pesto, which can be used as a pizza sauce alternative.

Overall, basil is a popular choice for pizza toppings due to its complementary flavor profile and versatility in pizza-making.

However, while basil can add a sweet and aromatic flavor to pizza, it may not be the best choice for those who prefer a milder flavor profile.

Varieties of basil, such as lemon basil, holy basil, and Thai basil, can also be used on pizza for a unique flavor twist.

However, it’s important to note that these varieties may have a slightly different flavor profile than sweet basil.

Basil is a great addition to pizza toppings and can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer fresh or dried basil, it can add a complementary flavor to your pizza.

Just remember to use it in moderation so that its flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients on your pizza.


After comparing basil and oregano, we can say that both herbs are excellent choices for pizza. Basil has a sweet, herbal flavor with minty and peppery notes, while oregano has a bold, earthy flavor with pungent and strong notes.

Both herbs complement savory ingredients commonly used in pizza-making.

If you’re looking for a classic pizza flavor, basil is the way to go. It’s a staple in Italian seasoning and pizza sauce and adds an herbal, aromatic flavor to your pizza.

However, if you’re looking for a sharper herb with a more indistinguishable flavor, oregano is the right choice. It’s a key ingredient in many classic pizza seasonings and pairs well with garlic, cheese, and vegetables.

When it comes to using these herbs on pizza, there are a few things to keep in mind. Fresh basil leaves are perfect for summer salads and marinara sauce, while dried basil is ideal for pizza dough.

On the other hand, fresh oregano leaves are best used in cooked dishes, while dried oregano is perfect for pizza sauce and homemade pizza seasoning.

It’s important to note that basil and oregano are not the only herbs you can use on pizza. Italian seasoning, which typically contains a mix of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, is a great option.

You can also experiment with other herbs like parsley, cilantro, and sage to create unique flavor profiles.

In terms of nutritional value, both basil and oregano have a comprehensive profile. Oregano is richer in micronutrients and contains more carbs, protein, fiber, and fats, while basil has fewer sugars.

Both herbs contain no amount of cholesterol and are rich in potassium, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, folate, and vitamin K.

Whether you choose basil or oregano for your pizza, you can’t go wrong. Both herbs have their unique flavor profile and are perfect for enhancing the taste of your pizza.

So go ahead and experiment with different varieties of basil and oregano to find your perfect pizza flavor!


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