Must-Have Spices for your Plant-Based Kitchen

Season your food! That is one of my top tips for success when adopting a plant-based diet. Honestly, a good collection of must-have spices will equip you to create flavorful meals even if you aren’t adopting a plant-based diet! Here is my list of must-have spices for your plant-based kitchen.

Using spices and herbs in your meals helps you create recipes that mimic those you are used to. A spice blend like Poultry Seasoning can add a rich umami flavor that mimics roasted poultry. You might be wondering why I would mention that on a vegan page. Well, like many vegans and folks adopting a plant-centered diet, I didn’t do it because I didn’t like meat. I focused my meals on plants for health benefits. So replicating a nostalgic meal like Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey or store-bought rotisserie chicken can make transitioning to this way of eating easier. Check out my Chik’n Jackfruit recipe, which uses poultry seasoning to add the flavor I wanted to achieve.

Must-Have Spices for Your Plant-Based Kitchen

Most kitchens have garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, and cinnamon, but what spices should you have in your plant-based spice rack?

Top 29 Spices & Herbs

I’ve “narrowed” it down to my favorite 29. If you are new around here, I travel the US full-time in an RV, so space is limited. I’ve tried tons more spices and herbs but had to narrow down my favorites to fit in my spice drawer. I’m pleased with the variety and flavors.

I prefer to stock my spice rack with high-quality organic spices because they tend to last longer and provide a richer and more intense flavor in my meals.

As much as I love to use whole, fresh ingredients (I’m looking at you, garlic), I have an appreciation for a flavorful spice or herb to save time. So what is in my spice rack?

Let’s take a look! I’ve also added a note to any spices that I use outside of typical recipes to give you some creative ideas.

Allspice
Basil
Bay leaves
Cayenne *
Celery seed
Chili powder
Cinnamon – add a dash to your smoothie to help keep your blood sugar balanced
Cloves
Coriander
Cumin – add a dash to hummus
Dill – sprinkle on a sandwich or avocado toast
Dulse – can be used in place of salt on your meals – a little goes a long way
Fennel
Fenugreek
Garlic powder
Ginger – dissolve 1/8 tsp or add to tea to help with cramps or as a natural pain relieve
Ground Mustard
Kelp 
Nutmeg
Onion powder
Oregano
Paprika *
Parsley
Red pepper flakes *
Rosemary
Sage
Smoked paprika *
Thyme
Turmeric – add to hummus

*I store my pepper-based spices in the refrigerator so they retain their flavor longer.


The Best Spice Blends

I love a good spice blend, they are super easy to use and save time, but in my RV kitchen, I don’t have much room for loads of combinations. So I usually make my own.

Taco Seasoning: 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, cayenne pepper to taste, salt to taste. (makes enough for 1 recipe = to taco packet).

Pumpkin Pie Seasoning: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon cloves (makes about 1 1/2 teaspoons).

Curry Blend: 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, cayenne to taste (makes about 3 tablespoons).

Poultry Seasoning: 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon celery seed (makes about 1 1/2 teaspoons).

  • Italian seasoning
  • Tajin or Chile-Lime Blend
  • Everything Bagel Blend
  • Chicken Salt
  • Za’atar blend

Of course, we all have our favorites and then those that don’t suit our fancy, but with a list like this, you have a great variety to add more flavor to your meals. I hope you enjoy my recipes, where I put these tasty spices to work. I’d love to hear about your favorite spices. Drop a comment below and let me know what spice or herb I need to try next.

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