Kitchen Pantry Essential Spices & Seasoning Must Haves

Kitchen Pantry Essential Spices & Seasoning Must Haves


Rich, flavorful home cooking starts with the right seasonings. But curating your spice rack can feel intimidating. That’s because there’s no single right answer for which spices to buy. It all depends on your tastes and preferences. 

But we’re here to help. Here’s some essential spices that will help you get set for cooking, plus the must-have spices for different cuisines and dishes to curate your spice rack to your unique culinary tastes. 


Start With A Basic Spice Set Of Essential Kitchen Spices

When you’re stocking your spice rack, start with the most adaptable seasonings that are used in many cuisines and dishes, so you’ll be able to prepare a range of dishes. These must have spices for your pantry include:

  • Warming and earthy flavors: Warming spices add richness to your foods, while earthy flavors add balance to bright, sweet or acidic ingredients. Pick up cumin, cinnamon, ginger and paprika

  • Bright and herbaceous seasonings: These seasonings add vibrancy to your dishes. Grab oregano, bay leaves and parsley. 

  • Savory seasonings: Onions and garlic are essential in virtually any cuisine, so add onion powder and garlic powder to your arsenal for easy seasoning. 

  • A source of heat: Add a fiery kick to your foods with cayenne or red pepper flakes.

  • Tableside basics: Quality sea salt and black pepper seem basic, but help your dishes taste their best. 


Add Essential Kitchen Spices From Your Favorite Cuisines

At-home cooking can replace your favorite takeout — hello, homemade Pad Thai! — and it’s worth picking up a few seasonings that are particularly important to your favorite cuisines. Here are the essential spices to have for worldwide cuisines:

  • Caribbean cuisine: Bring the taste of the tropics home with Allspice, which is native to the Caribbean, and is key for seasoning meats, soups, stews and more. 

  • Chinese cuisine: Pick up white pepper to add earthy flavor to Chinese dishes, and sprinkle sesame seeds on your noodle dishes and stir fries for better-than-takeout results.

  • Indian cuisine: Many Indian dishes include some variation on curry powder, so pick up a bottle to bring Indian-inspired flavor home. And purchase cardamom, a warming spice used in Chai, biryani, curries and more. 

  • Italian cuisine: Summer herbs take center stage in Italian cooking, so stock up on basil and rosemary for authentic flavor. 



Add Must-Have Spices Based On Favorite Foods

Finally, think of your all-time favorite recipes for guidance on rounding out your seasoning collection. If Taco Tuesday is a mainstay in your home, pick up taco seasoning so you’re always prepared (and get inspired by these Top 10 Taco Tuesday Recipes!). And if you love your morning bagel, a bottle of Everything Bagel Seasoning makes it easy to add your favorite flavor to other dishes, too. 

Seasoning Recipes To Try With Your New Spice Rack 

Try Some Of Our Favorite Spices

Learn More About Seasonings & Spices 

Finding essential spices for your kitchen doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are no wrong answers, and we’re here to help. Create a Flavor Profile to find new recipes to make with your new spice collection, and find your next family favorite.

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