8 Homemade Spice Blends That Are Kitchen Essentials

As a home cook, it can be difficult to come up with tasty recipes without having it become boring and routine. Here’s where spices come to the rescue. Not only do they add heat, depth, zest, and flavor to any dish, they are also known for their numerous health benefits. These benefits include:1 2

  • fighting infection
  • decreasing inflammation
  • improving heart health
  • boosting metabolism
  • improving digestion
  • maintaining brain health

You can elevate your cooking with spices but it can be difficult to decide which ones to mix and match if you’re not familiar with them. These 8 spice blends come in handy. Just mix them up, label, and store them. Simply sprinkle over your dishes to add that little extra something!

Note: Feel free to adjust the amount of salt in these mixes or leave it out completely. This will help you control the amount of sodium in your food.

1. Cajun Seasoning

This seasoning is great in
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Cajun seasoning is filled with a depth and smokiness that lends well to dishes like gumbo and jambalaya. It goes well with chicken, seafood, and rice dishes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

Directions

  1. Mix together well and store in a labeled airtight container for up to 6 months

2. Fajita Seasoning

Fajita seasoning is great for taco night.

There’s no reason to get storebought fajita seasoning that’s overly salty and filled with artificial ingredients anymore. This seasoning is perfect for taco nights. It’s great on beef, chicken, and sauteed veggies. It’s also great for flavoring rice.

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Mix together well and store in a labeled airtight container for up
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    to 6 months

3. Garam Masala

Add this to your curries for aroma.

If you like Indian food, garam masala is a definite must in your spice cupboard. Add a sprinkle to your curries towards the end of cooking to add aroma. Make sure not to cook it too much as it can turn bitter. If you’re adventurous, add some to popcorn or roasted nuts, for a subtle curry flavor to your snacks.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 green cardamom pods, green husks removed
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 (3-inch) stick of cinnamon

Directions

  1. Add these spices to a dry pan and toast until they become fragrant.
  2. Then, add these spices to a spice grinder and grind until fine.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 6 months

4. Chinese Five Spice

This blend works great in stir-fries.

Chinese

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five spice is amazing in stir fries. You can use it to flavor meats such as chicken, duck, and beef. Add it to noodle dishes for that extra kick.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 (3-inch) stick of cinnamon
  • 5 pieces of whole clove

Directions

  1. Add these spices into a dry pan and toast until they become fragrant.
  2. Then add these spices to a spice grinder and grind until fine.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and store for upto 6 months.

5. Berbere

Berbere is a very spicy blend.

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend that has quite the kick! Be warned, the heat in this spice mix is not for the faint-hearted. Berbere is not just great in curries, you can add it to a tray of root vegetables with a touch of olive oil and roast for an interesting side to any meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3⁄8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3⁄8 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1⁄4 tsp
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    ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground cloves

Directions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients well and store in a labeled airtight container for up to 6 months

6. Za’atar

This middle eastern spice blend is great on flatbread.

This middle eastern spice blend has a slight tang to it thanks to the sumac. Sumac is a deep red spice made from the dried sumac flowers. It provides a sourness that balances out the other rich flavors really well. Traditionally this mix can be added to flatbreads along with olive oil or mixed in with labneh (a thick yogurt-like product) for a delicious and healthy spread. You can mix it in with greek yogurt instead for a healthy alternative to a ranch or blue cheese dip.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp marjoram
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp coarse salt

Directions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients well and store in a labeled airtight container for up to 6 months

7. Smoky Dry Rub

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This dry rub works well on any kind of roast meat. It provides a smoky sweet flavor thanks to the brown sigar which caramelizes in the high heat. The other ingredients provide plenty of heat, smokiness, and savoriness that combine to create a delicious flavor. Crust it onto any cut of meat before roasting at high heat.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Directions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients well and store in a labelled airtight container for up to 6 months

8. Jerk Seasoning

Jerk seasoning is traditionally used on chicken

This carribean spice blend is traditionally used on chicken. So this can be a great way to switch up your usual roast.

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It works great on baked sweet potato wedges or mixed in with yogurt, or low fat cream cheese for a quick healthy dip.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Directions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients well and store in a labelled airtight container for up to 6 months

The good news about spices is that they add flavor with no extra calories. Once you get used to working with them, you can figure out which dishes work well with which blends. These spice blends are sure to elevate your food to a whole new level.

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