14 Easy DIY Spice Blends and How to Use Them
The ultimate guide for adding major flavor to your menu.
If you look at the spice aisle at the supermarket, you'll discover a world of flavor: There's an array of dried herbs from countries like Italy, India, China, and Mexico packaged in bottles for you to take to your kitchen and experiment.
The trick is not to spend all of your money on fancy, prepackaged spice blends. Most of your favorite seasonings can be made right in the comfort of your own home, and it's way more useful to buy each individual spice. Plus, you can eliminate salt or change the ratios to your liking. Try these DIY versions the next time you need some new flavor.
It's hard to find a fall dessert without this spice blend. For recipes that call for pumpkin pie spice, mix 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon ground allspice, 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger, 1/4 tablespoon nutmeg, and if you want a warmer flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of cloves.
Instead of buying containers to dump on your chili, taco meat, burgers, and grilled salmon make your own spicy powder at home. Stem and seed your favorite dried chilies, toast with cumin seeds, and blend together for the perfect, flavorful mix. Use this recipe in our Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas and Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges.
This Mexican-style seasoning is for more than just tacos. Chile powder adds a nice kick, while paprika, cumin, garlic, and red pepper give a punch of flavor. Season proteins with the mixture or use in recipes like our Tex-Mex Rice Bowl and Enchilada Casserole.
There's a definite kick from cayenne and crushed red pepper in this 13-spice blend. Sprinkle it over your favorite grilled protein or try it on our Jerk-Rubbed Catfish With Spicy Cilantro Slaw and Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa.
Combine your favorite Italian spices like oregano, basil, parsley, and sage for the perfect pizza topping and marinara sauce enhancer. We love it in pasta dishes, like our Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole.
Every blend of curry powder is a little bit different. This version fuses flavors like coriander, cumin, mustard seed, cloves, and turmeric for a delicate, slightly bitter blend. This recipe calls for fenugreek seed, an ingredient you can typically find at specialty markets.
The five spices you'll need for this blend are cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. Typically you can blend all ingredients in equal parts, and then adjust to your liking.
It can be really difficult to find this traditionally Middle Eastern fusion of flavor. Combine salt, sumac, sesame, and thyme for a delicious, homemade version. It's super delicious sprinkled over hummus and yogurt, baked onto pita bread, or used as a protein spice rub.
This super versatile spice is both nutty and savory from the combination of hazelnuts, cumin, thyme, and coriander. Mix it into rice dishes, add it to oil for a veggie dip or dressing, or sprinkle it over vegetables before you roast.
Add this North Indian spice blend to your soups, stews, and breads for a pungent bite. The flavors are similar to curry powder, but typically bring a warmer undertone from cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It's especially delicious in recipes like our Sweet Potato-and-Red Lentil Curry and Indian-Spiced Pea Fritters.
Imagine all of your favorite bagel toppings in one place. That's exactly what this fusion of sesame seeds, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds brings to your dishes. Sprinkle it over homemade bagels, rolls, rice, and even add it to smoked salmon dishes.
Though this blend of spices can vary in flavor, most have strong notes of warm ginger, cardamom,and cinnamon. This version adds a bit of allspice, nutmeg, and cloves for the perfect cup.