By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
Herbs and spices are the easiest way to impart flavor to food, but they also tend to give novice cooks anxiety. Out of all of those little green flakes and brown powders, how are you supposed to know which ones go with which foods? And is it worth buying a whole jar if you only need a pinch for a recipe? Many cooks turn to pre-made seasoning blends and packets as shortcuts, but those are not only pricey--they can also be loaded with salt and other additives. Making your own herb and spice blends is easy, and you stay in control of the sodium. Your health and your taste buds will thank you!
Here, we've gathered 10 of our favorite seasoning blends that you can make yourself.
Use this spice blend on any grilled meat or fish: Try pork, steak, shrimp, or even salmon! You will want to make a big batch of the spice rub to always have some on hand. Cumin adds smokiness, while chili powder and red pepper flakes heat things up. Garlic adds depth, and oregano offers warmth.
Get the recipe!
With just three ingredients, this flavorful rub is simple to make. Dried mushrooms pair well with coffee beans and unsweetened cocoa. We like it on pork roast, topped with mole sauce.
Make this tonight!
This blend has a lengthier list than some of the others, but all the ingredients are quite common and inexpensive. One reviewer said she'll never use anything else on meat. That's quite a stamp of approval!
Your New Go-To Seasoning
This Asian staple has--you guessed itójust five ingredients. These spices are all familiar, but here they are combined in an unexpected way. Peppercorns, cloves, anise, fennel, and cinnamon have a complex flavor profile that, when combined, is perfectly balanced.
The Secret Blend for Perfect Chinese Food
Recipes that Use Five Spice Mix
This all-purpose spicy seasoning mix is great on chicken and fish. With 10 ingredients, the flavor is deep and interesting, though the ingredients are likely already in your spice rack. Give it a spin and find out! If you don't like heat, skip the crushed red pepper and cayenne.
The Best Blend for Low-Sodium Diets
Want to know the secret to great chili? Start with great spices: cayenne, cumin, garlic, smoked paprika and chili powder. Tip: The only difference between light and dark chili powder is color.
Take your chili from so-so to sensational!
This will become one of your most-used seasoning blends. Combine oregano, basil, sage, rosemary and red pepper flakes to season all your Italian favorites: meatballs, spaghetti sauce, pizzas, garlic bread, meatloaf, soups...so many you might want to double the batch.
Easy Italian seasoning in no time!
Three ingredients and one minute stand between you and the tastiest taco seasoning you'll ever try. Spicy and smoky, this mix works well with beef, pork, chicken, beans and tofu. It's quite versatile.
Taco night just got tastier.
There's no need to buy pumpkin pie spice. You can easily make your own at home. And it makes a great hostess gift for any fall event! Feel free to double or triple this recipe.
Make your own pumpkin pie spice!
Use this spice blend in your jambalaya or any recipe where you need a dash of Cajun flavors. The only new-to-you spice is likely coriander, the leaves of which you would recognize as cilantro. Coriander is made of whole or crushed cilantro seeds.
Get the recipe.