25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

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Isn’t it wonderful when you can cook from scratch? Today I have 25 items I recommend for your spice rack so you can have an easier time doing that “from scratch cooking.” This will be a good start for those who are just beginning to fill a pantry. Please let me know some of your favorites and I will add them to the list.

25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

1. Vanilla Extract and Beans

Vanilla adds so much flavor to whipping cream, pie fillings, cookies, and cakes. And don’t forget those vanilla beans for Creme Brulee. How To Cut A Vanilla Bean For Creme Brûlée and Recipe

2. Sugar/Honey/Sweetener of Choice

Nowadays it seems a lot of people are diabetic, for one reason or another. But we still need a sweetener of choice for eating, cooking, and baking.

I use sugar, honey, brown sugar, and granulated Stevia. In case you missed my post, How to Make Brown Sugar, or this post, Sugar: Everything You May Not Know

Here is some information on Stevia, Stevia: Everything You Need to Know, and this post on honey, Honey: Everything You Want to Know

3. Coarse/Fine Salt

We use different salt textures for different dishes. In case you missed this post, Salt: Everything You Need to Know. When I bake my potatoes in the oven to make the outside crispy, I oil the potatoes

4. Pepper/Peppercorns

I love to use a pepper grinder with peppercorns on my cooked vegetables, the flavor is so awesome with freshly ground pepper. Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

5. White Ground Pepper

I had to add this one because I had actually forgotten about white pepper until a reader reminded me about it. I ordered two of the White Ground Pepper containers and gave one to a daughter.

White pepper is typically a bit milder than black pepper so you can add more to your dish, depending on the brand you purchase.

It’s perfect for white mashed potatoes, white cream sauces, and even Cream Chipped Beef on Toast/Biscuits because the color is the same as the dish.

6. Seasoning Salt

This seasoning salt is also known as Lawry’s Salt, to me anyway. I use it for homemade fries, steaks, hamburgers, roasts, and even some roasted vegetables. Lawry’s Salt or Johnny’s Seasoning Salt

7. Celery Salt and Celery Seeds

It’s great to have some celery salt ready to sprinkle in a soup or stew. If you don’t have dehydrated or freeze-dried celery, celery salt is a great option to put just the right amount of celery flavor in your dish.

Read More of My Articles  15 Kitchen Appliances That Save Time and Money

8. Dry Mustard

I use this when I make my own shrimp cocktail sauce. You take ketchup and stir in some dry mustard, and whisk away. Be careful not to put in too much or it may be too hot for your taste buds!

I add a small to any dish where I want just a little extra kick. It’s great when you are making salad dressing as well.

9. Chili Powder vs. Chili Seasoning

I use chili powder in my chili, it is a combination of cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sweet red peppers. It doesn’t have a thickener in it. They rarely specify the ingredients on the bottle. Chili Powder

Chili seasoning consists of various spices and does have a thickener in the bottle. It’s typically ready to add to your favorite chili with very few other seasonings. The chili seasoning is made up of chili powder, paprika, garlic, salt, and other ingredients. Chili Seasoning

10. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a fragrant bark with a sweet, fruity flavor. Most cinnamon in Northern America is cassia cinnamon. It’s perfect for baked goods, quiches, soups, stews, and added to your morning cooked oatmeal.

11. Ground Ginger

Dried ginger has a different flavor than fresh ginger, but nonetheless, it’s awesome! It makes the best gingerbread cookies, gingerbread, and many other baked goods. In case you missed this recipe, Gingerbread Cookies: You Will Love These

12. Onion Powder and Onion Salt

By now you probably know I buy bags of frozen chopped onions when they go on sale. All I have to do is cut the bag open and start frying those onions, or I can add them to soups and stews.

But having some onion powder is nice because sometimes I only need the flavor, not so much the chopped onions. It’s easy to use and you can sprinkle more as needed for taste.

13. Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt

I love fresh garlic, but sometimes, having dried garlic powder is perfect when you want to add a quick boost of garlic to a dish you are making.

14. Ground Cumin

Cumin is the second most popular spice used in the world, crazy, huh? It has a warm and earthy taste and is best to add when you first start your dish because the flavor will be enhanced as the cooking time increases.

15. Dried Oregano

Nothing says Italian like oregano in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, or homemade pizza sauce. If you love the smell of fresh oregano, you may want to plant some in a mason jar. The Best Herbs To Grow In Mason Jars

16. Dried Sweet Basil

Years ago, a friend taught me about adding dried sweet basil to my homemade soups. It was a game-changer for me.

I have dehydrated my own basil and ground it myself, but I always have a bottle or two of crushed sweet basil in the pantry.

17. Paprika/Smoked/Hungarian/Sweet

Paprika is made from a special blend of red and yellow bell peppers that are dehydrated and ground to perfection. It can be spicy, sweet, or mild. I grew up sprinkling it on deviled eggs. In case you missed this recipe, Classic Deviled Eggs

Read More of My Articles  34 Things You Need To Know About Food Storage

18. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper (aka red peppers) is a spicy powder made from tropical chiles. If you want to add a little “heat” to a dish, this will do it. I also use it in my recipe, Quick And Easy Healthy Spicy Nuts Recipe

19. Parsley Flakes

I love the flavor of parsley and having a large jar in the pantry makes my soups and stews taste so much better. I typically buy the large container at Costco because I use a lot of it in the wintertime when making soups.

20. Dried Bay Leaves

Here is another game-changer for soups and stews. I add a whole bay leaf to a pot of soup or stew and remove the leaf when I’m ready to serve the soup or stew to my family.

The flavor is incredible. Bonus, people place a bay leaf in buckets of flour to keep the bugs away.

21. Red Pepper Flakes

This is a must-have in my kitchen. I sprinkle them on pizza after it’s baked, add it to chili’s, stews, or soups for a little bit of heat to the flavor.

22. Nutmeg

Nutmeg has a sweet, warm, spicy flavor. You can buy it ground or grate it yourself! You will love to grate it, I promise. Just be careful with your fingers on the Microplane. Organic Whole Nutmeg and Microplane Zester/Grater. Nutmeg is perfect for eggnog, cookies, and pies.

23. Dill Weed vs. Dill Seed

The dill seed is the fruit you see on the dill plant. The dill weed is the leaf and stem of the dill plant. You may think dill is just for pickles, but it is used for many other things as well. In case you missed this post, this is one of my favorite recipes, Homemade Bread With Dill

24. Curry

Curry is a combination of turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and chili pepper. It’s funny because some people really love curry dishes while others don’t like the taste. I love curry if it’s mild. My husband doesn’t care for any curry dishes. So many restaurants serve delicious dishes with curry.

25. Pumpkin Pie Spice

October and November are the best months to have this spice on hand. If you don’t have a container of it on hand, it’s quite easy to make yourself. This was my mom’s recipe.

Grab a bowl, add these ingredients and whisk away: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 1-1/2 teaspoons Allspice, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves. Yep, it’s that easy to make.

It’s pumpkin pie time, and so much more!

Readers Suggestions:

Kay: also add ground cloves for baking (whole cloves too if you make homemade cider) and thyme is used in a lot of my recipes.

Alice: My all-time favorite seasoning salt is Spike. Spike Seasoning

DMWalsh: I’m more of a celery seed person than celery salt. 

Suzanne: I have: Allspice, Anice, Basil, bay leaf, Caraway Seed, Cardamom, Celery Flakes, Celery Seed, Celery Salt;
Chili Powder, Chives, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Sugar, Cloves, Whole Clove, Coriander, Cream of Tartar, Cumin,
Dill Weed, Fennel, Flax Seed, Garlic Powder, Ginger, Herbes de Provence, Italian Seasoning, Lemon Peel, marjoram,
Mustard Ground, Mustard Seed, Nutmeg, Nutmeg Whole, Onion Granules, Onion Minced, Orange Peel, Oregano, Paprika,
Parsley, Poppy Seed, Poultry Seasoning, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame Seed, Thyme, Tarragon.

Final Word

I hope you enjoyed my post today on the 25 items I recommend for your spice rack! Let’s make this list longer, let me know which ones you would add. Life is so good if we cook from scratch and eat at home. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Spices and Seasonings Depositphotos_118359806_S

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  1. Great list Linda! I would add onion salt and garlic salt. I use those a lot. Also add ground cloves for baking (whole cloves too if you make homemade cider) and thyme is used in a lot of my recipes.

    I love getting spices at Costco or Sam’s Club. Sam’s seems to have a bigger selection. Both have Johnny’s seasoning salt – which I like a lot better than Lawry’s. Costco has an amazing cinnamon and I love getting a large jar of it.

  2. My all time favourite seasoning salt is Spike. They also have a salt free version. Ingredients are Salt Crystals (Earth and Sea), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (No Added MSG), Soy Granules, Mellow Toasted Onion, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic, Orange Powder, Dill, Kelp, Horseradish, Mustard Flour, Orange and Lemon Peel, Celery Granules and Powder, Sweet Green and Red Bell Peppers, Parsley Flakes, Celery Root Powder, White Pepper, Turmeric, Rosehips, Summer Savory, Onion Powder, Parsley Powder, Mushroom Powder, Coriander, Fenugreek, Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Spinach Powder, Cloves, Cumin, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Tarragon, Cinnamon, Safflower, Paprika, Tomato, Rosemary, Celery Seed Ground. You can make your own version as well, lots of recipes online, but I like the real thing. You can buy it in a shaker bottle or a couple of sizes of larger boxes.

  3. I’m more of a celery seed person than celery salt. Around here it’s easy to find in well stock supermarket spice aisles, but things are getting harder to find all the time as the supply chain disruptions continue. I tend to stock the non-salt versions of spice blends and then add salt as needed – I feel it gives me more flexibility.
    And seeing this list reminds me I need to sprinkle some dried oregano on my next pizza. Yum!
    Thanks for the informative articles. Appreciate all you do for the community.

    1. Hi DmWalsh, that’s a great idea on the no-salt versions. I like it! It is getting harder to find things, I totally agree. I added celery seed to the post, thank you!! Linda

  4. Hi all, That is a really good list. I don’t cook with salt (horrors) unless the recipe calls for it but that was due to my father in law not being able to have added salt. SO I learned (trial +error,emphasis on error, LOL) how to cook with a variety of spices and herbs. One thing I would like to mention, be careful of the seasoning mixes. One of my DIL’s cannot have MSG so most of the things like Accent/Lawry type mixes I can’t use due to the MSG in it. Don’t be afraid to use some of the “exotic” spices, like sumac or garam masala. You’d be surprised how they taste. Of course it will be trial and error til you hit on what the family would like but have a blast experimenting with them.

    1. Hi Kathy, oh my gosh, I was just reading about garam masala! I need to order some!! Yeah, MSG is a big issue for many people. Great reminder about cooking with less salt. We do need to experiment with different spices, we can stretch rice and beans with so many different spices! Great comment, Linda

      1. Yes It’s amazing how little we need to add salt to things IF you use your spices and herbs. Now I’m NOT saying lose the salt altogether because we do need some salt but a lot of the foods we’ve been used to buying have a lot of salt in them due to the processing. It might take you and the family awhile to get used to not having salt in the food but I think it’s worth it.DO have to tell on DH’S oldest brother though. When he was first married , his wife couldn’t understand why he’d grab the salt cellar and salt his food. So one day she added a lot of salt to the dish and sure enough he did not taste it and added even more salt. SO she finally asked why he didn’t taste the food first, he told her because of FIL not being able to have added salt,it was just habit, they all just put salt on the food when they first sit down to eat. Needless to say he does taste the food first before just grabbing the salt.

  5. I keep garlic powder and onion powder, but not the salt. I’m on limited sodium, so I have to watch it. We don’t use a lot of salt anyway, but I keep some on hand at all times. In fact, several boxes.

  6. Here’s the Pecan Pie Bars recipe.

    Pecan Pie Bars
    Servings: 24 Yield: 9 x 13 inch pan

    1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
    ½ cup margarine, softened
    1 egg
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 ½ cups dark corn syrup
    ½ cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup chopped pecans
    ⅔ cup yellow cake mix

    Step 1 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
    Step 2 
Reserve 2/3 cup cake mix.
    Step 3 
Mix together remaining cake mix, margarine, and 1 egg. Pat in prepared pan.
    Step 4 
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
    Step 5 
Beat together 3 eggs, vanilla, reserved 2/3 cup cake mix, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Pour on cake in pan. Sprinkle pecans on top.
    Step 6 
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30-35 minutes.

    Nutrition Facts
    Per Serving: 263 calories; protein 2.6g; carbohydrates 40.9g; fat 10.8g; cholesterol 31.5mg; sodium 254.7mg.

    © Copyright 2021 allrecipes.com. All rights reserved.
    Printed from https://www.allrecipes.com 10/08/2021

      1. Linda, they are so good! That’s the only pecan pie I make. I could eat my weight in them. 130 pounds! And I’ve shrunk 2 inches. I’m now 5’3”. But, life is good. Almost as good as the Pie bars! LOL

  7. Hi Linda,
    I am a BIG spice lady. I have the largest spice rack I could find hanging on my wall. It contains square spice bottles and I have them sitting in alphabetical order. The rack holds 45 jars of spices and I could actually use another shelf.
    I have: Allspice, Anice, Basil, BAyleaf, Caraway Seed, Cardamom, Celery Flakes, Cellery Seed, Celery Salt;
    Chili Powder, Chives, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Sugar, Cloves, Whole Clovre, Coriander,Cream of Tartar, Cumin,
    Dill Weed, Fennel, Flax Seed, Garlic Powder, Ginger, Herbes de Provence, Italian Seasoning, Lemon Peel, margarom,
    Mustard Ground, Mustard Seed, Nutmeg, Nutmeg Whole, Onion Granules, Onion Minced, Orange Peel,Oregano, Paprika,
    Parssley, Poppy Seed, Poultry Seasoning, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame Seed, Thyme, Tarragpm.

    That’s my list and I use all of them at one point or another.

    Thanks for the list.

    1. Hi Suzanne, oh my gosh, I can almost picture your spice rack! You are my kind of woman, alphabetical and all square bottles. I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing this!!!! Linda

  8. We buy bulk spices from XXX and XXX and a local organic store. They are all stored in the freezer and I fill my spice jars when needed. So much cheaper and a better quality if you order spices freshly ground rather than buying from the grocery stores. Also, for you vanilla bean enthusiasts our there look up Indrivanilla co=op. They gather up orders then do a bulk order of bean from different countries. Very interesting site.

    1. Hi S.Lynn, oh my gosh, what a great idea about freezer our spices and filling the jars as needed. I love it! Vanilla beans are so expensive, thanks for the tip on where to buy them! I love hearing new things, thank you! Linda

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