One of my early memories growing up was watching my mom cook huge batches of pasta sauce in the kitchen. She’d use our own Italian herbs from the garden that we dried ourselves to create the spaghetti seasoning. The aroma was amazing as it filled the entire house!
To this day I’ve never bought a jar of premade seasoning to season my sauce, and you don’t have to either. It’s so easy to make and gives you full control over the quality of ingredients. And don’t forget it also saves you money which I love!
About My Spaghetti Seasoning
Spaghetti seasoning is made by combining specific dried Italian herbs and spices together that make your dish of pasta taste delicious.
Keep in mind that this recipe I’m sharing is specifically for seasoning a spaghetti sauce. Not all pasta recipes use the same quantity and selection of Italian seasonings used in this custom blend.
Even the type of pasta used can determine which seasonings you use.
The spaghetti spices used in this recipe are literally the same as what’s in my Italian spaghetti sauce which uses tomato puree as the base.
- Dried parsley
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Garlic powder
Optional Seasonings and Notes
Here are some helpful tips about using these optional seasonings.
Onion powder – This is optional. Not everyone likes onion in their spaghetti sauce, and some Italians are very picky stating that only fresh onions should be used. I’ve done it multiple ways. However, I won’t use I dried minced onions because I feel the flavor is too intense and seems to have a different aroma.
I recommend sauteing a freshly diced onion, then add the tomatoes and seasonings to the sauce. The reason why I say this is because a spaghetti sauce is generally thick and chunky. The onions help give it that texture. If however, that’s not possible and you don’t want that – then use 1 tsp onion powder to equal 1 medium onion.
Red pepper flakes
This can be added for a more spicy spaghetti seasoning.
My Italian father always added his red pepper flakes to his spaghetti for extra spiciness, but my mom never added it directly to the sauce. So I understand that some people really love a spicy spaghetti sauce, and that’s why I’m adding it to the list as optional along with the appropriate amount to use.
Adjust as you see fit.
Spaghetti Spices and Herbs to Avoid
Ask 10 Italians how to make spaghetti and you’ll get 10 different answers. So I try to be as flexible and open-minded as possible when it comes to variations for my readers. But friends, I’ve checked many of my old Italian cookbooks and never, and I mean never, have I seen any spaghetti sauce recipes that call for any of the following.
Rosemary – This is NOT an herb to be used in spaghetti sauce. Italian it is, but not for pasta seasonings.
Marjoram and thyme – I’ve seen some store brands use these in their mixes and I have never figured out why. Perhaps it’s more American-European but these are not typical in authentic Italian sauces – at least not where my family and my husband’s family are from.
How to Make Your Spaghetti Seasoning
All you need to do is mix all your spaghetti seasonings in a bowl and then store it in an air tight container or glass jar. I’m not sure if I can make it any simpler! I like to use small mason jars which you can purchase online at Amazon. Make sure to label and date the contents.
Spaghetti Seasoning Recipe for Large Quantity
This recipe is for a single batch of sauce – about 32 ounces – just like a store bought jar of sauce. Double the recipe accordingly for larger quantities.
Here’s what I recommend for a 6 Quart large pot of sauce. You can also manually adjust quantities in the recipe card below.
- Dried parsley – 6 Tablespoons (1/3 cup)
- Dried oregano – 1 ½ teaspoons
- Dried basil – 1 Tablespoon
- Garlic powder – 1 ½ teaspoons
- Onion powder – 2 Tablespoons (optional)
- Red pepper flakes – 1 ½ teaspoons (optional)
How Long will Spaghetti Seasoning Last?
I like to keep my dried herbs and seasonings in the pantry in mason jars or empty herb jars that I’m reusing. For maximum freshness, use in 3 months but they will keep up to year. If you keep them that long, expect the potency to diminish over time, especially after 6 months.
How Much Seasoning Mix Do you Use?
Now that you’ve got your seasoning mix all made, how much do you use for a batch of sauce? I’d recommend 1/8 cup (1 ½ Tablespoons) of seasoning mix per 32 ounces of spaghetti sauce. Use more for larger sauce quantities.
Can You use this Mix with Other Pasta Sauces
It’s important to understand that a spaghetti sauce is known for being bolder and fuller in flavor and consistency which is why this blend of herbs and spices include oregano and basil, instead of just parsley. So be careful if you use it in other sauces that are meant to be more delicate and subtle in flavor.
For example, even when I make a basic marinara sauce from tomato paste, I don’t use oregano at all. It would be too overpowering. My quantities are a little different because I want a more delicate flavor.
Use Your Spaghetti Seasoning for Gifts
By making your special blend of seasonings, you can also use it as a gift, or part of an Italian gift basket! My sister gave me three different types of herb mixtures from her garden last year during Christmas which I thought was pretty cool.
My recipe uses a good amount of parsley, then basil and then oregano. I don’t use equal parts of each because the potency varies. For example, oregano is a very strong aromatic herb and a little goes a long way.
Too much oregano and you’ll feel like your eating pizza sauce on your spaghetti. If your oregano is old, then it will have lost much of its potency and you’re better off either drying more oregano or buying a new jar.
If you grow your own oregano, I recommend growing Greek oregano as that has more flavor than Italian oregano and is slightly spicy.
Where to Buy Dried Herbs
If you want to make your own spaghetti seasoning mix but don’t have all the ingredients, or want to make it in bulk, then I recommend purchasing the ingredients individually online.
I also recommend purchasing organic herbs as I find their flavor is more intense and it’s good to avoid the direct exposure of chemicals in the pesticides and fertilizers.
Here are some resources.
Thrive Market features lots of organic products and are offering $60 in free groceries when you join. We’ve been a member for years and it’s worth the quality in my opinion.
VitaCost is owned by Kroger and often has items like spices and herbs.
Amazon provides organic herbs, here are some links you can use.
If You Like Spaghetti, Check out These Other Posts
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My full personal Philips Pasta Maker review for making homemade pasta!
Find out how long spaghetti lasts in the fridge!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for spaghetti seasoning! If you try it or you decide to modify it let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 Tbsp Dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp Dried basil
- 1/4 tsp Dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion powder optional
- 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes optional
- Take all of your dried herbs and spices and mix together in a bowl. Make sure everything is blended and combined evenly. Give it a good shake to make sure the garlic powder is evenly distributed.
- Pour into a glass jar like a mason jar, or other air tight container with a lid.
- Label and date the contents on the outside of the jar. Store for up to 6 months.
- This seasoning for spaghetti sauce will last for up to 6 months if stored properly as noted in the recipe. However, if you keep it up to a year it can still work but the flavor will not be as strong.
- Always taste test. My herbs may be stronger than the kind you buy or grow. So feel free to adjust quantities as you see fit.
- Remember that as you use this recipe in your sauce, the flavors will blend more as you cook it longer. Follow my recipe for my homemade Italian spaghetti sauce recipe.