UtterlyHome.com may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Every good home cook and kitchen has a set of common 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 the best spices to season your popcorn with or want to incorporate the health benefits of herbs and spices into your home, below are the essential spices to stock in your spice rack.
15 Seasonings That Add Up to a Perfect Pantry
This spice 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 must have spices and seasonings is a good start for beginner cooks and are the base for any home kitchen.
Below you will find a list of common spices and the spices every kitchen should have.
1. Kosher Salt / Sea Salt
First on our list of kitchen spices is 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 and makes it another one of the essential spices in your kitchen.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is great and high on the list of kitchen spices. It 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, of course, its a whole lot less prep work than dealing with the chopping and slicing of fresh chili.
4. Garlic Powder
Although fresh garlic maybe stronger, garlic powder is a good alternative and can save time when you have been working all day or just have a busy schedule. If you are looking to make a quick dinner with all the taste then this is essential for your spice rack especially as certain dishes require very finely chopped garlic and this offers a fast solution and puts it on our list of must have spices.
Alternatively, buy a jar of minced garlic to have the best of both worlds.
5. Ginger Powder
When considering the must have seasonings that you might require, this is great to have. Ground ginger lasts longer and tastes stronger than fresh ginger so that is a win-win situation for some dishes, of course, some recipes do call for fresh ginger but there is plenty out there that use the Ground Ginger or have the option of doing so. Ginger is a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, Indian cuisine, chicken marinades, and spice rubs.
6. Paprika Powder
This list would not be complete without Paprika. Again, a time saving powdered spice that lasts much longer than the fresh vegetable. It adds subtle heat, earthiness, and smokiness which is great for roasts and stews and much much more.
7. Dried Thyme
Dried thyme, one of the most common spices, as it is an ingredient in many European cuisines like French and Italian seasoning as well as everyday meals. A staple 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, steak seasoning and, again much much more. Definitely one of the kitchen spices for your cupboard.
9. Dried Oregano
Mexican and Italian dishes are especially not complete without a touch of oregano. This herb adds a slight lemon flavor and earthiness to a lot of tomato sauces, Italian being the most obvious, pizzas and more, but have this in your spice rack and you won’t go far wrong.
10. Dried Basil
The final essential dried herb on our list of common spices is Basil, good for Italian seasoning and French dishes, it elevates pizza, pasta dishes, salads, well by now you know the rest, and much much more. All of the kitchen spices listed here are so versatile we could talk you through so many recipes, but unfortunately, we have to refrain.
11. Curry Powder
There are lots of different curry blends so take your time in finding your favorite. Look for a bright color and layers of flavor to be your star in Indian food and rubs.
Cloves are a powerful spice and as such are used sparingly in many Asian dishes including fried rice and broths. Try adding cloves to chicken marinades and beef rubs for grilling. They can an awful lot of flavor to many a recipe.
If you are a baker then cinnamon is probably already in your spice rack, if not two, as it has to be one of the favorites. Aside from baked goods, cinnamon is also an ingredient in roasted vegetables, chicken and meats, and the list goes on.
The flavor of nutmeg is not far off from cinnamon but not quite as sweet. It tastes delicious with vegetables, creamy dishes like mac and cheese and for seasoning steak and other meats. So if you are looking to answer the question of what spices should I have? Then this is one of them.
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 rubs and marinades also use cumin powder.
There is nothing wrong with using dried or powdered seasoning and herbs in your cooking. These basic seasonings prevent wastage, money and as a bonus also cut down your cooking time.
These are the 15 essential spices every kitchen should have. With these in your pantry, you are set to cook dishes from all over the world, we hope you enjoyed our list of spices.