Spaghetti sauce is a staple in many households, and it’s no wonder why. The combination of tangy tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and savory spices creates a mouthwatering dish that is loved by all.

But what herbs should you use to take your spaghetti sauce to the next level? Let’s dive in and explore some of the best options.

The Classic Trio

When it comes to spaghetti sauce, there are three herbs that are considered essential: basil, oregano, and parsley. These herbs provide a foundation of flavor that forms the backbone of any good sauce.

  • Basil: Known for its sweet, slightly peppery taste, basil adds a fresh and aromatic note to your sauce. It pairs particularly well with tomatoes, enhancing their natural sweetness.
  • Oregano: With its robust flavor and earthy undertones, oregano adds depth and complexity to the sauce.

    It’s often used in Italian cuisine and is a must-have herb for any spaghetti sauce recipe.

  • Parsley: While parsley may not be as pungent as basil or oregano, it brings a bright and clean taste to the sauce. It balances out the richness of other ingredients and adds a pop of freshness.

Exploring Other Options

If you’re feeling adventurous or want to add an extra kick to your spaghetti sauce, consider incorporating some additional herbs:


Rosemary is an herb with a distinct pine-like aroma and a slightly minty flavor. While it may not be traditionally used in spaghetti sauces, a small amount can bring a unique and unexpected twist to your dish.


Thyme is another herb that can elevate your sauce. It has a subtle, earthy taste that pairs well with tomatoes and other Mediterranean flavors. Use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf is often used in soups and stews, but it can also enhance the flavor of your spaghetti sauce. Its aromatic properties infuse into the sauce during cooking, adding a subtle depth that is hard to replicate with any other herb.

The Versatility of Garlic

No discussion about herbs in spaghetti sauce would be complete without mentioning garlic. While not technically an herb, garlic plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor profile of the sauce. Whether you choose to use minced garlic or opt for garlic powder, its distinct taste adds a deliciously savory element to your dish.

In conclusion, when it comes to herbs for your spaghetti sauce, start with the classic trio of basil, oregano, and parsley. These herbs provide a solid foundation of flavor.

If you want to experiment further, consider adding rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, or even some garlic for an extra punch. Remember, cooking is all about personal preference, so feel free to adjust the quantities and combinations of herbs according to your taste.