A well-stocked spice rack is a must for every home cook! Here are the 16 Spice Rack Essentials I keep in my kitchen all of the time to make cooking easier and tastier.
Disclosure: This post contain affiliate links. However, this list is entirely comprised of spices that I actually use in my kitchen on a regular basis.
Let’s talk about spice rack essentials. My number-one priority in stocking a new kitchen would be filling the spice rack with my favorite spices. I cook from scratch and avoid pre-packaged food as much as possible, so spices are a must! I would be lost without them.
These 16 spices and seasonings are ones that I use regularly in my recipes. While I occasionally will pick up another spice for a special recipe I’m trying (such as an Indian dish like Tomato-Butter Sauce), I rely on some combination of these 16 spices in my everyday cooking.
16 Spice Rack Essentials
1. Onion Powder
2. Garlic Powder
3. Black Pepper (I like to use a grinder)
4. Real Salt
5. Oregano Leaves
6. Rosemary Leaves
7. Basil Leaves
8. Thyme Leaves
9. Red Pepper Flakes
10. Ground Cayenne Pepper
11. Chili Powder
12. Ground Cumin
13. Ground Ginger
14. Ground Nutmeg
15. Ground Cloves
16. Ground Cinnamon
Out of these 16 spices and seasonings, I use the first 4 (Onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper) the most. Typically every meal I make uses these 4 spices, sometimes adding in a few others depending on the dish I am making.
How to Add Spices When Cooking
Cooking can be a bit less structured than baking because you don’t have to be as strict with measurements. You can add in a little more or a little less of a spice to customize the dish to your taste. I also like to add in spices that a recipe doesn’t call for to make it my own.
What about fresh spices and herbs?
Another favorite spice that I didn’t add to this list is cilantro. I use it regularly in recipes, but it is so much better fresh! I always buy it fresh from the store rather than using dried cilantro.
I also like to use fresh rosemary and fresh basil whenever I can. It really adds so much extra flavor!
Having a home herb garden is a great way to have these items on hand all of the time. I grow my own basil, green onions and more so that I can cut off a little whenever a recipe calls for it.
Would you add anything to this list? What are the spices that you use the most in your kitchen?
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