When starting out the adventure of home-cooking, you may wonder what kitchen basics you need to own in terms of spices. The following list is what I think is a great place to start in what dried spices your kitchen needs!
So when I first started home cooking, there were a lot of recipes that had spices I didn’t own yet. Because some spices can be expensive, I questioned which spices were actually worth buying and owning in my home.
I took many risks and bought spices that I never used and bought some that I use constantly! One thing this home will never produce is a tasteless, spiceless meal. So I use dried spices very often, and pretty much have to buy new ones every other week (I cook at home a lot).
So this list of dried spices is what I use almost on a daily, if not weekly basis when I cook at home. They are what I consider a great starting place for your kitchen spices and then you can get more adventurous from there!
1. Garlic Powder: This is my favorite and literally can be used with any type of cuisine that you are cooking! Whether it is Asian, Mexican, or Italian, garlic powder adds another layer of flavor that makes your home cooking that much better! This is a must have for your kitchen and totally worth spending money on!
2. Onion Powder: This goes along with garlic powder for almost every meal! The only time I would not use this is if I was making a dish that already has tons of onion or dried minced onion in it (you don’t want to over do it with the onion flavor). But this is definitely a necessity for your kitchen.
3. Paprika: There are tons of different paprika out there to buy; sweet, smoked, spicy… there is also just a basic paprika for your kitchen and that is what I usually buy. I use paprika alongside garlic and onion powder for just another layer of flavor and it usually adds such a pretty color to your meals! Definitely a must have.
4. Celery Powder/Celery Salt: Okay so this is one of my favorite spices I have recently found! It gives your food a deep, savory flavor of celery that adds celery to dishes you haven’t put it in or strengthens the celery flavor in dishes where there already is celery. It is a robust flavor that just makes your meals feel rich and delicious. I love this in pot roasts, soups, and pretty much everything!
5. Cumin: Okay so have you ever tasted taco meat and wondered what that major flavor is? That’s cumin! This smoky spice is perfect for Mexican style dishes, chilis, and smoky dishes like bbq. I love to even sprinkle a little of this over some fried eggs and breakfast goes up lik 10 more levels! This is a staple because many recipes call for this spice and it’s delicious! So I definitely recommend buying this one!
6. Chili Powder: This is a robust, and deep flavor necessary for many dishes! I use chili powder alongside cumin many times in my chilis or Mexican inspired dishes! I also use it when I want a hint of smoky spice without going as far as adding red pepper flakes or cayenne. I have a maple smoked bacon recipe where I use chili powder, ground pepper and maple syrup and bake THE most delicious bacon ever! This spice is a staple because it adds a great flavor to many dishes, and you’ll find many recipes call for chili powder! I definitely recommend!
7. Italian Seasoning: I love Italian Seasoning! It’s a mix of some delicious flavors like basil, oregano, and thyme. It’s perfect to add to grilled chicken, soups, spaghettis, and on top of pizzas to take them to the next level! It’s a great place to start in buying seasonings that take your food to the next level!
8. Dill Weed: THIS is my favorite! I was introduced to dill when I was introduced to Russian cuisine (my best friend’s mama is the best cook btw). Dill is what you think, the flavor in pickles, that is just so unique but so tasty! I love to put dill in chicken soups, on top of fish, and in sauces! A little goes a long way that’s for sure! One of my favorite stuffed bell pepper recipes calls for tons of dill and it is so delicious! This is a definitely a kitchen staple for me!
9. Dried Basil: Fresh basil is delicious! However, dried basil also brings a depth of flavor to your meals! I love to use basil in my tomato soups, Italian cooking, and spaghetti! When I am feeling fancy, I sometimes sprinkle some basil over my cold cut sandwiches, just to add some delicious flavor! This is used in many dishes and definitely worth having in your kitchen.
10. Cayenne Pepper/Red Pepper: So if you love a little kick to your meals, this is the spice for you. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! Funny story, I bought “red pepper” which is another name for cayenne and I didn’t know it. Put a ton of it in a recipe and had no clue as to why my tongue was burning; the culprit? Cayenne. So definitely use with care but cayenne adds a smoky, rich spice to your dishes and is great for the adventurous palette that loves spice! I use it in my chilis, soups, meats, and pretty much anything I want to add a little heat to! Definitely a must have in your kitchen.
So there’s my list of 10 Dried Spices to have in Your Home Cooking Kitchen! I own so many more of course, but these will get you started and make your meals THAT much better!
I hope this helps any new starting home cookers or even those starting out in a new home wondering what spices to buy! Let me know what you think, and as always, Happy Homemaking!