Make Before You Buy: Spice Blend Recipes

I love those easy-peasy spice blends. I’d have one box of spices for chili, a bottle of cajun for Jambalaya, a bottle for grilled meats, a packet for taco night…the list goes on. But then, so does the grocery bill. When hubs and I decided to start eating healthier, I started reading the labels of everything- including my spices.

Do you know how many different spice mixes include sugar??? Just about every kind of taco seasoning! And what the crap is modified food starch anyway? Silicon dioxide? Ok, I think I’ve read that this isn’t a big deal, but…why the hell am I eating it? Oh, and since when did my favorite spice blend go up to $1 an ounce???

Screw that- besides, space in my cabinets is already limited. So, instead here’s my nifty list of spice mixes you can do at home- on the spot- and then just throw it all back in the cabinet for next time. I typically keep mine in one of those little plastic basket things so I can just pull out one or two items and then put the basket back- instead of moving half a dozen bottles to find the one I want. If you want to be even more organized, write these on something that matches your kitchen (mine’s neon, so…) or copy/paste/print and tape it to the inside of your spice cabinet.

If you regularly use all of these spice mixes (or think you will) the complete list of what you’d need to make all of them is: Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, White Pepper, Mustard Powder, Ginger, Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder, Oregano, Sea Salt, Marjoram, Dried Dill, Dried Parsley

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmet
1 tsp clove

2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
a dash of cayenne pepper

Chili Seasoning:
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder

4 1⁄2 teaspoons chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried minced onion

“Essence of Emeril”
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

3 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp white pepper (This can be left out if you can’t find it on sale.)
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

Poultry Seasoning:
2 3/4 tsp. rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Italian Seasoning:
1/2 c basil
1/2 marjoram
1/2 c oregano
1/4 c rosemary
1/4 thyme
2 Tbs garlic

1/4 parsley
1 tbs dill
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp black pepper


SAZON!!!! (If you haven’t had Goya’s Sazon- you’ve never eaten. For reals. When I first discovered this stuff I ate it on literally everything for about a month. Also, the stuff in the packets has MSG, so add at your own peril when you make your own.)

1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (achiote) or saffron
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp of this = 1 pkt of Goya’s Sazon


I recommend trying Ranch powder on your steamed veggies (especially broccoli), and italian is great in any kind of pasta. Poultry seasoning works well on turkey AND pork roast, and try “essence” on popcorn or eggs. No, really- it’s amaze!


Grow and dry your own dill, parsley, basil, garlic, onion, and anything else you can. If you can grow it, dry it in the oven or dehydrator and then crush/grind/pulse in the food processor. To keep dried herbs fresh longer, add a sachet of rice or one of those silica packs from jerky and other foods.

What other spices/spice blends to you keep in your kitchen? What do you use them for?

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