Basic Spice Blend [VIDEO]

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Making your own custom spice blends is an affordable way to add flavor to your meals. This basic spice blend is a great all-purpose mix to add to your spice cupboard!

spice blend swirled in dish

Truth: you don’t need a lot of money to eat well.

Truth: you don’t even need a lot of ingredients to prepare a delicious meal.

Truth: you can prepare a basic spice blend with just five ingredients and use it all week long to add dramatic flavor to the simplest of dishes, making them absolutely delicious and not so so-so.

Here’s how:

Basic Spice Blend

I love making my own spice blends. I find that I can make my own seasoning mixes cheaper, tastier, and healthier than commercial blends. No thank you to excess sodium, preservatives, anti-caking agents, and who knows what else. I keep a few jars in my cupboard for adding flavor to main dish proteins, salad dressings, vegetables, and even homebred breads.

One of my favorite homemade seasoning mixes is this Basic Spice Blend. It really is basic —  only five ingredients — but it packs a punch.

spices arranged in dish

What are basic spices to keep on hand?

Like I said, it’s amazing what a few spices can do to the simplest ingredients. Basic spices to keep on hand in your cupboard include the following:

  • salt
  • pepper (ground and whole peppercorns)
  • garlic powder
  • paprika (smoked and sweet)
  • onion powder
  • dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary
  • ground cumin
  • ground turmeric
  • cayenne
  • crushed red pepper

I combined five basic spices into this amazing spice blend. It’s super versatile. I use this Basic Spice Blend in marinades, on roasts, in stew, and in skillet mixtures. It’s all-purpose, simple to make, and so delicious!

mixed basic spice blend in a bowl

What are uses for basic spice blend?

This spice blend is a great, all-purpose mix. You can use it as a rub for grilled meats or for tossing with cut potatoes or oven fries prior to baking.

I like to use it in these recipes:

How do you save money on spices?

There are several ways that you can save money on spices:

  • Buy in bulk as the unit price on large bags or canisters of herbs and spices is less than when you buy it in a small jar. Split the purchase with a friend or two if you don’t want to buy a lot.
  • Store herbs and spices in the freezer to extend their shelf life. Stored at room temperature, they should be replaced every six months.
  • Check to see if your local health food store allows you to scoop out your own from bulk canisters. You can buy just enough to use for a few weeks if you don’t want to load up.

bowl of basic spice blend

Keep a jar of this on hand at all times. Once you taste it, you will not want to be without it. And it really takes just seconds to mix up. Don’t believe me? Watch!

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spices arranged in dish
Basic Spice Blend
Prep Time
3 mins
Total Time
3 mins
This basic spice blend is a great all-purpose mix to add punch and flavor to soups, stews, roasts, and grilled meats.
Course: Seasonings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basic spice blend, spice blend, spice mix
Servings: 16 teaspoons
Calories: 6 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a lid or a small dish. Shake or stir to combine. Store in a dry, cool location.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/16 (1 teaspoon) of the recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Basic Spice Blend
Amount Per Serving
Calories 6 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 437mg19%
Potassium 31mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 440IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Basic Spice Blend

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. karen b says

    would this be a good blend for like greenbeans & other veggies? I am going to try it. also what is the difference between smoked paprika & plain paprika?

    • Smoked paprika has a little more BBQ taste to it. smoky. You can use regular sweet paprika if you like. And I would use it lightly on vegetables. It’s a pretty hardy blend.

  2. Cristi Paton says

    Where / how do you store it?? I put the taco seasoning in the freezer. Can this go in the spice drawer?

  3. Janet says

    When I use up a store bought spice jar, I sterilize it in boiling water, let it air dry and then use it to store my home made spice blends. If your spices typically come in plastic bottles, another good storage option is a 2 oz glass canning jar. These are easy to clean, store, and label.

  4. Karen says

    Made and used this for the first time, this week. We loved it. I think this will be a great replacement for TJ’s South African Smoke seasoning, which is addicting, but only sold seasonally.

    • Great! Good to know about the TJs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one.

      • Karen says

        When they have it, it is next to and in a grinder just like the Everyday Seasoning. That should be your next DYI recipe. 🙂

        • I just saw this seasoning mentioned in one of their recipes. I will have to check it out. Though I’m stumped what “real food” ingredient I could buy for the smoke part.

          • MamaC says

            South African Smoke is my absolute favorite from TJ’s. I’ve been known to buy multiple jars so I don’t run out. It’s smoked paprika flakes, sea salt (coarse grind), garlic, and basil. I’ve never been able to find smoked paprika flakes (much less organic), but there’s no reason it couldn’t be made with the ground form. Thanks for the idea!!!

          • Who knew that smoked paprika was smoky enough? Mischief managed. Thanks!

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