Make your own seasoning blends and save

Spice It Up with Homemade Seasoning Blends

by Kim Danger

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All you need is some spices and a measuring spoon!

If you like to cook, you've probably purchased a ready-made seasoning packet or spice blend at one time or another. While they are a convenient way to add some flavor to your recipes, they can be expensive. Did you know that you can purchase bulk spices and make your own seasoning blends right at home for the fraction of the price?

Bulk spices can be found at warehouse grocery stores or retailers such as Sam's Club. Stored in an airtight container, most seasoning blends will keep for up to six months. And, in a decorative bottle or jar they can make a fun gift for any gourmet!

Taco Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano

Combine seasoning mixture with 1 lb.drained ground beef and 3/4 C. water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Salad Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Tastes great mixed with Italian Salad dressing and pasta.

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Homemade Cajun Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Adds flavor to chicken, pork, and pasta.

Spaghetti Seasoning

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley leaves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dried green pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Salt-Free Seasoning

  • 1/4 cup crushed dried minced onion flakes
  • 4 teaspoons crushed dried vegetable flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened lemonade drink mix (such as Kool-Aid)

Great for those on a low-sodium diet!

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Poultry Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Add savory, marjoram, dill, allspice and ginger according to your own personal taste. The recipe above makes about 1 tablespoon, enough for 1 chicken dish.

Curry Powder

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Black pepper to taste

Grind the coriander and fennel seeds with the bay leaf. Combine with additional ingredients. Makes about 2 tablespoons.

Basic Rub Spice Mix

  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme

Rub this blend on meats before grilling.

Creole Spice Blend

  • 1 cup paprika
  • 1 cup dried basil
  • 1 cup dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup cayenne
  • 1/2 cup file gumbo
  • 1/4 cup chili powder

Emeril's Essence

  • 5 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme

A basic spice mixture used in dozens of Emeril Lagasse's recipes. Mix it up and keep some on hand to "kick" any dish "up a notch!"

Kim Danger is a self-proclaimed thrifty mom and owner/operator of the website She lives with her husband and daughter in Southern Minnesota. Visit her website today for more thrifty ideas

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