About Ginger Uses, Pairings and Recipes

About Ginger Uses, Pairings and Recipes



Ginger is the rhizome, or underground stem, of a small plant that grows two to four feet in height. The ginger rhizome is consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice.

Imagine the cutest gingerbread man cookie, with white icing eyes, nose and mouth. Now breathe in the aroma. It’s sweet, peppery and a bit floral, with a hint of citrus. There are lots of spices in gingerbread, but ground ginger plays the headlining role. And baked goods aren’t its only claim to fame. Ginger’s pungent, spicy smell and a slightly sweet and spicy taste makes it a popular choice in savory dishes in cuisines around the world.


Ginger is used to add flavor to food and drinks, and has also been used as a traditional medicine in some cultures.

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is used to add flavor to food and drinks, and has also been used as a traditional medicine in some cultures.

Ginger Drinks to Try:


Ginger is one of the few spices that can walk the fine line between savory and sweet. We love it in pumpkin pie and quick breads, spice cookies and ice cream. Yet it’s also an essential ingredient in savory dishes, such as Chinese stir-fries, Indian curries and Moroccan spiced kebabs.

Ginger has enjoyed some unusual uses, including warding off the plague during Henry VIII’s time. In the 19th century, ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale and then stirred into the drink with a hot poker. Today, ginger is an essential ingredient in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes.

Ginger Snaps and More Desserts

Zesty and aromatic, ginger is a natural for all kinds of sweets. Ginger snaps, spice cake, fruit tarts, pumpkin pie, blueberry muffins—you name it! The sugar in the recipe tempers ginger’s sharp flavor, leaving mellow warmth in its place.

Is it time to give your cheesecake recipe a complete makeover? How about going tropical? Flavor the batter with ground ginger and substitute lime juice and zest for the lemon. We suggest using ginger snaps for the crust. They’ll intensify the flavor.

Lemon is a delicious partner for ginger. We like to spike our classic lemon bar recipe with ground ginger. Ginger is also a tasty way to switch up lemon cookies and any basic pound cake recipe.

Ginger Dessert Recipes

Indian Cuisine

Ginger is a key member of the spice cabinet for Indian cooks. You’ll find it in rubs for grilled meats, seasoning blends for vegetable curries, even in the richly spiced tea called chai. We love the flavor of ginger in the classic chana masala, or chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. It’s a surprisingly easy—and delicious—Tuesday night meal.

Indian Cuisine Ginger Recipes

Caribbean Cuisine

Caribbean kitchens are no strangers to the gentle fire and spice of ginger. You’ll find it in everything from drinks made with ginger beer to meat and sweet potato stews. Its pungent aroma is one of the reasons Jamaican jerk seasoning smells so enticing on and off the grill. Learn more about Caribbean Cuisine.

Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, and Winter Squash

Ginger has a natural affinity for pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. These starchy vegetables provide the perfect canvas for ginger’s spicy, floral heat. Add ginger, along with gratings of nutmeg and black pepper, to any recipe for sweet potato casserole. Who needs marshmallows when you have this much flavor? Check out our Ginger Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Casserole.


The answer depends on whether you’re using ginger for a savory or sweet recipe. If it’s savory, such as a stir-fry or curry, then fresh ginger will do the trick. Use a tablespoon of fresh ginger for each teaspoon of dried. If the recipe is sweet, as in spice cake or ginger snap cookies, use fresh ginger or ground allspice, cinnamon, mace, or nutmeg.


The shelf life of ginger depends on how it is stored and the form in which it is stored.

  • Fresh gingerIf stored properly, fresh ginger can last for several weeks to a few months. To prolong the shelf life of fresh ginger, wrap it in a paper towel and store it in a sealable plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Dried gingerDried ginger can last for several months to up to a year or more if stored in a cool, dry place, and away from light. Keep it in an airtight container.
  • Ground gingerGround ginger has a shorter shelf life compared to dried ginger, it's recommended to be used within 6 months, as the volatile oils that give ginger its flavor and aroma will gradually decrease with time.
  • Ginger juice and ginger oilGinger juice and ginger oil can last for a few months if stored in the refrigerator, it's recommended to check for any sign of spoilage such as smell or change of color before using.

Overall, you should check for any signs of spoilage such as mold, off odors, or any change in texture or color. if you notice any of those signs, it's best to discard the ginger. Check out how long spices last for your favorite spices.


Ginger pairs nicely with these herbs and spices. Try them together the next time you're in the kitchen cooking something up for lunch or dinner. If you are more interested in running slim, check out our recommended 5 Must Have Spices to Add to Your Kitchen.

  • GarlicMcCormick partners with family owned farms to grow garlic that can be used as powder or minced. It adds instant flavor into whatever you’re cooking because our bottles contain garlic and only garlic, and nothing else. Garlic is a member of the lily family, native to Central Asia and cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. It’s the most pungent of the lilies, with a strong flavor and aroma. Unless you’re using it to ward off vampires, as people have done since the 1700s, it pays to use allium sativum with a gentle hand.
  • Red PepperMcCormick Red Pepper is made from the seeds and pods of red chili peppers. We test each new crop of field-grown peppers for color, flavor, aroma and heat. The chili pepper is one of the most spicy members of the capsicum family. There’s no better place to turn if you’re looking to add spicy, intense flavor to any dish. You know your crushed red pepper is fresh if it sets your nose tingling when you take that first whiff. It should be a deep red color, with flecks of yellow seeds. Ground red pepper, also called cayenne, started life in the New World as a particularly intense member of the capsicum family of chili peppers. It has since traveled the globe, bringing intense chili heat and vivid red color to every kitchen it enters.
  • CinnamonOur pure cinnamon lends a warm, sweet aroma to everything from morning toast to cookies, and it also has a savory side, with earthy, mahogany-colored flavors
  • Cumin: Cumin is one of the top 10 selling spices in the U.S. The spice dates back to Egypt 4,000 years ago, and McCormick Cumin is hand-harvested, sun-dried and carefully screened so you know you're getting nothing but the purest flavor. Add this spice for a warm flavor and earthy color to everyday soups, stews, meats and vegetables.
  • Turmeric: McCormick Turmeric hails from India, where it’s considered a sacred part of Hindi culture. We monitor its progress from field to package to ensure consistent color and quality in every bottle. The turmeric plant hides its brilliant color underground, showing only glossy green leaves and multi-petaled white flowers. But dig up the root, carefully clean and dry it, and you have an extraordinary spice beloved as much for its color as its flavor. Our pure turmeric in ground form is a lively partner for infusing curries, soups, stews, rubs, marinades and vegetable and rice dishes with beautiful color and citrusy aroma.


The very finest ginger comes from small holder farmers on one to two acre plots of land off the Malabar Coast of India.

McCormick Ginger is grown from roots planted just before the start of monsoon season. About nine months later, when the leaves of the plants die back, the roots are harvested by hand, carefully washed and gently dried in the sun.

We test every batch, every year, to ensure that each bottle of McCormick Ginger delivers consistent flavor, aroma and heat. You’ll know your ground ginger is McCormick if it tickles your nose, like the sweet fizz of ginger ale.



Ready to use more ginger in your recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with McCormick Meal Planner. Create a Flavor Profile to save all your favorite recipes and create grocery lists for easy shopping. You will also get custom recommendations based on your saved items to make your meals! 

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