I firmly believe that anyone who so desires can be a decent cook, and it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of time or money. To that end, this is a list of the 10 essential items you should keep stocked in your pantry to season your recipes with for maximum flavor. If you don’t keep anything else, don’t let yourself run out of these and you will always be able to whip up a solid meal.
Note: I am not including salt and pepper. I am going to assume that everyone keeps those on hand. Also, the list below is not in any particular order.
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10 Spices and Seasonings Every Kitchen Should Have:
- Spice: Rosemary – great on chicken or in soups
- Spice: Italian Herb Blend – essential for Spaghetti Sauce or in butter blends on Italian bread
- Spice: Cinnamon – use in all manner of baked goods, or sprinkle on top of a Chai spice latte
- Spice: Garlic Powder – good for any Italian dish or to season homemade oven baked fries
- Spice: Nutmeg – adds a spicy kick to baked goods, complements cinnamon
- Spice: Parsley – excellent garnish, good in soups
- Spice: Paprika – use to season fries, chicken, or fish
- Seasoning: Taco Mix – use to season Mexican rice, beef or chicken for tacos, or to marinate chicken for Pollo Loco
- Seasoning: Italian Dressing Mix – use to marinate chicken or to flavor steamed sugar snap peas. This is the kind I use.
- Seasoning: Montreal Steak Seasoning – use for marinating steak or to flavor steamed broccoli or carrots
Now, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are lots more spices and seasonings in my spice cabinet that I use on a regular basis, but if I was trapped on a dessert island (see what I did there?), these are the ten that I would want to find in my island kitchen, along with plenty of fresh island fruit and seafood. Also, my island kitchen would be constructed of palm branches with a hard wood floor and granite countertops, and it would face a clear blue ocean with dolphins frolicking in the waves.
What favorite spices and/or seasonings would you include on this list?