Every good home cook and kitchen has a set of staple spices in the kitchen pantry. Follow the seasoning directions of a recipe is key in creating delicious meals.
Whether you’re looking for great tricks and spices to season your popcorn with or want to incorporate the health benefits of herbs and spices into your home, below are the best spices to stock in your spice rack.
15 Seasonings That Add Up to a Perfect Pantry
This spices list includes spices and herbs that are common ingredients for recipes ranging from oven-baked sweetness to chicken seasoning to Indian spices.
There are more exotic spices available on the market, but having a spice rack with these seasonings is a good start for beginner cooks and are simply must-haves for any home kitchen.
1. Kosher Salt / Sea Salt
Every dish needs a bit of salt, even the sweet treats. Salt brings out all the other flavors in the dish so add a pinch to everything.
Kosher salt is the most versatile variant because it has the most neutral taste and a nice flaky consistency. The next best salt alternative is sea salt but keeps this inside a spice grinder so that you have better control over the thickness and amount of salt.
2. Peppercorn Blend
Choose peppercorns over powdered pepper and choose a peppercorn blend over black peppercorns. These two simple swaps make a whole lot of difference in your cooking and seasoning.
Again, using a pepper grinder gives you more control over the coarseness of the peppercorns. A peppercorn mix also adds more depth to each dish.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper lets you add a bit of heat to dishes without it being overpowering. Its that little tingle on your tongue that adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish.
Dried cayenne pepper is easier to cook with than fresh chili peppers. You don’t have to worry about differences in heat between chili peppers and its a lot less prep work.
4. Garlic Powder
Although a fresh garlic clove tastes stronger, garlic powder saves you time. Also, certain dishes require very finely chopped garlic so having the powder version saves you time.
Alternatively, buy a jar of minced garlic to have the best of both worlds.
5. Ginger Powder
Ground ginger lasts longer and tastes stronger than fresh ginger so that is a win-win situation. Ginger is a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, Indian cuisine, chicken marinades, and spice rubs.
6. Paprika Powder
Again, a time saving powdered spice that lasts much longer than the fresh vegetable. Paprika adds subtle heat, earthiness, and smokiness which is great for roasts and stews.
7. Dried Thyme
Dried thyme is a common ingredient in many European cuisines like French and Italian seasoning. It is also one of the staple spices for chicken along with the next two classic Mediterranean herbs.
8. Dried Rosemary
Rosemary is a very unique flavor that is somewhat like umami but also has a hint of pepper and lemon. It is one of the great fragrances in stews, roasts, bread and steak seasoning.
9. Dried Oregano
Mexican and Italian dishes are not complete without oregano. This herb adds a slight lemon flavor and earthiness.
10. Dried Basil
The final essential dried herb for Italian seasoning and French dishes is dried basil. It elevates pizza, pasta dishes, and salads.
11. Curry Powder
There are lots of different curry blends so take your time in finding your favorite spice blend. Look for a bright color and layers of flavor to be your star in Indian food and spice rubs.
Cloves are a powerful spice that is used sparingly in many Asian dishes including fried rice and broths. Try adding cloves to chicken marinades and beef spice rubs for grilling.
If you are a baker then cinnamon must be in your spice rack. Aside from baked goods, cinnamon is also an ingredient in roasted vegetables, chicken and meats.
The flavor of nutmeg is not far off from cinnamon but less sweet. It tastes delicious with vegetables, creamy dishes like mac and cheese and for seasoning steak and other meats.
Cumin is a common ingredient all over the world from Arabic cuisine to Asian meat dishes, chili, and curries. It adds a smokey flavor to the dishes so many spice rubs and marinades also use cumin powder.
There is nothing wrong with using dried herbs and powdered spices in your cooking. These basic seasonings prevent wasting fresh spices and cut down your cooking time.
These were the 15 essential spice in your spice rack. With these herbs and spices in your pantry, you are set to cook dishes from all over the world.