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How to Make Homemade Spice Blends

How to Make Homemade Spice Blends

Photo of 5 silver spoons full of spices. Spoons are resting on a slate background. Spoons are full of (left to right) red pepper flakes, yellow turmeric powder, orange saffron threads, a cream colored powder, and dried parsley. Bay leaves, whole star anise, and cinnamon sticks are scattered around. The text "Homemade Spice Blends" and the Big Plate logo are over the photo.

We can’t wait to share how easy it is to make your own homemade spice blends. While prepackaged blends are convenient, homemade versions are far superior for several reasons:

  • Sometimes you need a seasoning blend but you just can’t get to the store to buy the prepackaged ones
  • Homemade seasoning blends can be customized to your particular taste (spicier, milder, saltier, sweeter, less of something you don’t like, etc.)
  • You know exactly what’s in your homemade seasoning blends, allowing you to avoid allergens, unhealthy ingredients, or high calorie fillers (read about some undesirable ingredients here)
  • Making your own seasoning blends at home will save money
  • The exercise of making your own seasoning blends will help you learn more about the foods you love and what makes them taste so good–it will improve your foodie knowledge
Recipe for homemade Chili Seasoning spice blend: 2 Tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 Tbsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper, 1 Tbsp flour.

Chili Seasoning

This spice blend is (obviously) perfect for making chili. Some additional foods that this blend will complement include beans, stew, and eggs. Feel free to customize this blend by adjusting the amounts; chili is pretty forgiving. You may also want to experiment with adding smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or chicken and beef bouillon. One more thing to note is that the brand of chili powder can really affect the flavor of your chili, so buy the best you can afford and see what brands taste the best to you!

Recipe for homemade Taco Seasoning spice blend: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp chipotle powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne.

Taco Seasoning

The packet of taco seasoning has become a kitchen staple for most of us, but this blend is so quick and easy to make yourself! The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can use taco seasoning for. It goes great on beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans, eggs, potatoes, game meats, roasted vegetables, and more. If you are using it in dishes that need some thickening, try adding flour or cornstarch. Dial the chili powder and cayenne up or down to change the level of spiciness.

Recipe for homemade Cajun Seasoning spice blend: 1 Tbsp white pepper, 1 1/2 tsp thyme, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp oregano, 3 Tbsp paprika, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper, 1 tsp cayenne.

Cajun Seasoning

A Cajun spice blend may not be something you’re used to keeping on hand, but once you realize how delicious and versatile it is, you’ll want to keep a homemade Cajun spice blend on hand at all times! Use this mix to flavor gumbo, jambalaya, or red beans and rice. Put it in your batter for fried chicken, fish, and okra. Use it as a rub for seafood, chicken, or other meats. Put it in a sauce you serve over pasta or rice. Add it to tartar sauce, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, or catsup to make the Cajun version of these condiments. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Recipe for homemade Pumpkin Pie spice blend: 3 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp ground cloves

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Sometimes it’s hard to use up the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in the cabinet before they expire and/or lose their flavor. Our advice is to mix your own pumpkin pie spice so you can keep from wasting these delicious spices. In addition to the classic pumpkin pie, use this mix in pumpkin rolls, pancakes, lattes, scones, candy, pumpkin mousse, yogurt, cheesecake, tea, pumpkin bread, ice cream, oatmeal, pumpkin butter, soup, cupcakes, cookies, milkshakes, and more!

Recipe for homemade Italian Seasoning spice blend: 2 Tbsp oregano, 2 Tbsp parsley, 1 Tbsp thyme, 2 Tbsp basil, 1/4 tsp sage, 1 Tbsp rosemary, 1 Tbsp red pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder

Italian Seasoning

Have you ever run out of Italian seasoning and been at a complete loss as to what was in it? Here’s that Italian spice blend demystified. Use this in your spaghetti sauce, pasta bakes, lasagna, Italian soup, pizza toppings, meatballs, meatloaf, grilled vegetables, cheesy garlic bread, beef and mac, pork chops, breading for fried vegetables, Italian biscuits and breads, marinara dip, herbed butter, and on oven roasted tomatoes. Cut back on the red pepper if you like it milder (or even cut the red pepper out altogether).

Recipe for homemade Ranch Seasoning spice blend: 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp parsley, 2 tsp dill, 1 tsp dried chives, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp tarragon, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1/2 cup buttermilk powder

Ranch Seasoning

Hopefully you already know about the magic of ranch seasoning for dressing, dip, chicken, potatoes and other roasted vegetables, pork, macaroni and cheese, soups, popcorn, steak, street corn, cheese balls, lobster rolls, and bloody Marys. If using ranch mix like this is new to you, TRUST US that you need to get braver with how you use ranch dressing mix. You probably don’t have buttermilk powder on hand, but it will be worth procuring some so you can keep this versatile blend in your cabinet at all times. This spice blend may even warrant an entire canister! It will become your secret ingredient in…almost everything.

Recipe for homemade BBQ Seasoning spice blend: 1 Tbsp paprika, 2 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp celery salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp cumin

Barbecue Seasoning

This one might be our most controversial seasoning, as barbecue seasoning (especially here in Texas) is a RELIGION. So as is true with all these blends, customize this blend to your taste! Our recipe is just a great place to start. Other seasonings to experiment with in this mix include oregano, cayenne, chipotle powder, and ground coriander. Use this as a rub for any kind of meat that you cook low and slow. Mix it with catsup to make a barbecue sauce. Stir it into baked beans. Mix it with mayonnaise to make a barbecue aioli. Put it into meatloaf. Use it to season sloppy joe meat.

Recipe for homemade Curry Seasoning spice blend: 1 1/2 Tbsp turmeric, 2 Tbsp coriander, 2 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp ground mustard, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ginger

Curry Seasoning

You may or may not be used to cooking with curry, but it is growing in worldwide popularity and is a delicious addition to any cook’s repertoire. This easy curry blend will be versatile in your kitchen. Use it in soups, stews, marinades, dressings, hamburgers, hummus, potato salad, egg salad, and even scrambled eggs. Add this seasoning early in your cooking process, as it tastes best when having been heated over time. You’ll also get the richest flavor when you combine this homemade curry spice blend with a liquid like coconut milk, chicken broth, yogurt, or even water.

Recipe for homemade Jerk Seasoning spice blend: 2 tsp allspice, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp garlic, 1 Tbsp thyme, 1 Tbsp ginger, 2 Tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp cayenne

Jerk Seasoning

Jerk seasoning mix may not be something you keep whipped up at all times, but it can be an impressive addition to the flavors that come out of your kitchen! To make it even more authentic, use scotch bonnet peppers instead of cayenne (although cayenne makes an acceptable substitute since ground scotch bonnet peppers can be hard to come by around here). Mix this blend with broth to make a base for a jerk-flavored soup or stew. Mix it with equal parts oil and vinegar for a meat marinade. It also makes as delicious dry rub for any kind of meat. Mix it with mayonnaise for a tasty sandwich spread. Blend it with fresh avocado for a unique dip. Sprinkle this mix over hot fried potatoes, and dip them in catsup mixed with jerk seasoning for a Caribbean twist on fries.

Recipe for homemade Poultry Seasoning spice blend: 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp marjoram, 2 tsp rosemary, 1 Tbsp thyme, 4 tsp sage, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp parsely.

Poultry Seasoning

Why does it seem like the poultry seasoning is always lurking in the spice cabinet, ignored and in the way, until you need it, and it’s suddenly gone? Never have that problem again, now that you know how to make your OWN poultry seasoning blend! Use it as a rub on chicken, turkey, pork, veal, lamb, and game birds. Use it to season stuffing, dressing, poultry casseroles, and poultry gravy.

Just THINK of all the delicious foods you can make and all the money you’ll save by making these delicious spice blends in your own kitchen. Big Plate has some tools that could help like mortar and pestle sets for grinding mixing seasonings. We carry a variety of dredge containers for storing your custom spice blends. This little spice funnel is the perfect way to get seasonings into any container with no mess. This beautiful spice carousel looks great in any kitchen and keeps all your favorite spices handy. Stainless steel bowls, sauce cups, and measuring spoons are perfect for measuring and mixing spices, as they won’t absorb any flavors. We also carry the Finamill spice grinding system, which grinds any spice or mixture of spices you put in one of the pods. You can stack and store the pods for easy access and no cross contamination of spices you want to grind!

These custom, homemade spice blends would also make excellent holiday gifts! Package them in a cute container, label them, and wrap them up for teachers, employees, family, and others on your gift list.

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