If you do a lot of your own cooking, you’ve probably got certain seasoning combinations “set” for some of your more frequently prepared recipes. Cooking can become a messy and laborious process once you start adding a wide variety of spices to each dish while maintaining very specific seasoning balance. You can save yourself a lot of time (and grief) in the kitchen by preparing bulk quantities of some of your most popular flavor combinations.

Creating your own custom spice blends will cut down complexity in the kitchen, allowing you to manage one or two spice containers instead of scrambling to gather up ten different spices each time you cook. Spice blends can be prepared for different ethnic styles of cooking as well as for specific types of dishes.

Creating the perfect spice combination is an art form, and exact spice proportions should be determined based on individual taste. Below are some suggestions for some basic spice mixtures to get you started. Feel free to adjust them as necessary or come up with your own. Also, remember to add salt sparingly. You can always add additional salt to a dish if your spice blend isn’t salty enough, but if you make it too salty, it will end up beyond repair. 

Spices

Mexican Blend

  • ½ c. cumin
  • ½ c. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • Salt (to taste)

Italian Blend

  • ½ c. oregano
  • ½ c. basil
  • ½ c. marjoram
  • ¼ c. rosemary
  • ¼ c. thyme
  • ¼ c. sage
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper

Curry Powder

  • 1 c. ground coriander
  • ½ c. ground turmeric
  • ¼ c. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. fenugreek
  • 2 Tbsp. dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Spice Mix

Creole Blend

  • ½ c. paprika
  • ¼ c. oregano
  • ¼ c. basil
  • ¼ c. garlic powder
  • ¼ c. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt (to taste)

Jamaican Jerk Blend

  • ¼ c. onion powder
  • ¼ c. garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. allspice
  • 3 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • Salt (to taste)

Burger Rub

  • ½ c. garlic powder
  • ½ c. onion powder
  • ¼ c. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Za'atar

  • ¼ c. sumac
  • ¼ c. thyme
  • ¼ c. marjoram
  • ¼ c. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Chinese Five Spice

  • ¼ c. ground star anise
  • ¼ c. ground cloves
  • ¼ c. fennel
  • ¼ c. cinnamon
  • ¼ c. ground Szechuan peppercorns

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ¼  c. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. nutmeg
Spice Blend