Jamie’s Spice Mix

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A simple and easy way to save money on groceries can be found right in your spice cupboard. Mix up your own spice blends to add flavor and save money. This recipe for Jamie’s Spice Mix will add zest to any meal.

Jamie's Spice Mix

One of the ways that I dramatically cut grocery costs years ago was to switch from buying expensive spice packets and blends to mixing my own. I buy spices in bulk at a greatly reduced cost, storing the extras in the freezer to extend their shelf life.

When I want a seasoned salt or blend, I mix my own. One of my go to blends is based on what that my sister mixed up for her wedding favors years ago. I named it in honor of her. It’s included in my book since it’s featured in several of the recipes.

I’ve been using it a lot lately on pizza, pulled chicken, and other dishes. I realized that before I share those recipes, I need to share the spice blend.

This spice blend features lemon zest. In many of my early batches I used dried lemon peel that you can find in the spice aisle of your local store. Mixing this blend with dried lemon peel makes it shelf stable.

However, I have such an excess of fresh lemons that it seems silly to go buy the dried variety. When I make the blend with fresh lemon zest, I simply store the blend in a covered jar in the freezer.

This blend is fabulous on grilled meats, stirred into marinades, sprinkled on buttered pasta, and mixed into dressings. I’ve topped bread sticks and pizza dough with it, flavored marinara sauce with it, and stirred it into pulled chicken.

Use it in Last-Minute Pizza Sauce, Quick Meat Sauce for Pasta, and 5-Ingredient Pizza. It’s also good in Lemon and Herb Rice Pilaf, Stone Soup, and Pizza Margherita.

It’s versatile, flavorful, and cheap!

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Jamie's Spice Mix
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
Mix up your own spice blends to add flavor and save money. This recipe for Jamie's Spice Mix will add zest to any meal.
Course: Seasonings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade spice mix, Jamie's Spice Mix, spice mix
Servings: 12 (makes about 2/3 cup)
Calories: 15 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Place the mixture in an airtight plastic container or freezer bag and store in the freezer.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1 tablespoon of the recipe. Store or freeze leftovers promptly.

Nutrition Facts
Jamie's Spice Mix
Amount Per Serving
Calories 15 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 584mg25%
Potassium 66mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 473IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

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

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  1. Julie says

    When I get my kitchen back I plan to mix up a batch.

  2. Kathy says

    This sounds fabulous!

  3. Erica says

    Is there a good alternative for celery seeds? It is something I have never bought but will add it to my spice cupboard in the future! 🙂

    • Jessica says

      @Erica, you can leave them out if you want. It’s the one ingredient in this that I consider optional.

    • Barbara W. says

      You can make your own celery salt with 2 parts celery seed and 1 part salt. I think that is the right proportion. Otherwise,
      find homemade celery salt proportions.

  4. Your spice mix recipe sounds great. Bet it’s good on avocado too!

  5. Ellen says

    If you’re using plain ol’ salt from the blue box, how much should you use? I had the idea that you can’t substitute 1 to 1 with sea salt… Also, is it the same amount of dried lemon peel as it would be fresh lemon zest? Thanks!

    • Jessica says

      Thanks for asking this question. I needed to specify that it was fine sea salt and somehow that slipped my mind. I’m not sure which blue box you’re talking about, though. My kosher salt comes in a blue box and that would not be 1 to 1. But, in this recipe you can use any fine salt in the same proportion as what’s listed. Use slightly more kosher salt, if you’re using that.

  6. Ellen says

    I meant the Morton salt in the blue box with the little girl with the umbrella on it. 🙂 I haven’t gotten fancy with salt, yet. No kosher over here…

    • Barbara W. says

      I believe Kosher salt is less bitter than regular table salt. Usually you can use less kosher. Also, it sticks better on slippery slopes, like watermelon wedges. It is a flat grain versus round, which tends to roll around on many food items.

  7. viviana says

    This is great but I do not do spicy food at all neither does my daughter so can i omit thr cayenne pepper?

    • Yes, definitely omit that. It’s not overpowering, but if it upsets the tummy or whatever, your body would notice even if the tastebuds didn’t.

  8. Barb says

    I just made a spice blend that had garlic cloves in it the resulting seasoning blend had plenty of salt so I am sure it would have kept but the moistness bothered me. Tonight I dried it out in a warm oven (about 200 degrees). It worked very well and now the mixture sprinkles nicely. Might work for your lemon peel. You could dry the end product or dry the peels prior to making them mix.

    • Clever!

    • Sandra says

      Good idea! I used some fresh lemon peel that I had stored in the freezer and the resulting blend was clumpy with the moisture. I think I’ll toss it around in a hot cast iron and try to dry it out a bit. Thanks for the great idea!

  9. Katha Pierce Horton says

    Does anyone have a seasoning mix for red beans and rice? We like ours spicy.

  10. cindy3539 says

    Mixed this up and used it in the “last minute pizza sauce”. It was really good.

  11. Matt R. says

    You recommend storing it in the freezer, why is that? Is it because of the lemon zest? If I leave the zest out do you still recommend to store in freezer?

    • If you leave out the lemon zest or use commercially dried “lemon peel”, you can store it in the pantry.

  12. I was just reading through some of the recipes for the Easy Lunches Freezer Cooking Plan, and I was like, “Hey! These are from my (your) cookbook!!” It took me a minute to realize that you are the author of my favorite freezer-cooking cookbook. I just wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU for the amazing book. I use it every week when I do my weekly freezer cooking. It’s a gem to be sure.

    • Well, that’s fun! I’m so glad you love the book AND read the blog. The best of both worlds. 😉

  13. I love this mix! I use it AT LEAST twice a week…In pizza sauce and in something/everything else. It’s good on pretty much everything. I make it up by the quart and keep it in the freezer to be at-the-ready. Delicious!!

    • Yay! So glad to hear that it’s a favorite. I need to mix it in bigger batches. I’m always running out!

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