Make your own seasoning blends: 7 unique recipes

by Ron

Ron Haynes writes for The Wisdom Journal, a blog about making wise choices, improving your finances, and having a better life.

I love to make my own seasoning blends. It allows me to tailor the flavors to my particular tastes, and it also allows me to adjust the heat so my kids will enjoy their food as well. To top it off, I’m able to avoid all those unpronouncable chemicals that look like someone just ran their hands over the keyboard when coming up with a name (sodiumbicloroethylphosphotrimethylnitrite80 anyone?).

Here’s a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

Seasoned Salt

    6 tbsp salt (I prefer Kosher)
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1/2 tsp marjoram
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    2 1/4 tsp paprika
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/8 tsp dill
    1/2 tsp celery salt

Put all ingredients into a mini food processor or spice blender and give it a whir on low. Use anywhere you want a kick of flavor!

Blackened Seasoning

    4 tsp ground paprika
    2 tsp dried thyme
    2 tsp onion powder
    2 tsps garlic powder
    1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
    2 tsp salt (Kosher)
    2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to your taste – be careful!
    1 ttsp dried oregano
    3/4 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a jar, give it a good shake, and store in a cool, dark place. Shake up the jar well to distribute the spices before each use. I use this by putting a light coating of butter on a piece of chicken or fish, then covering it in the spice blend. Place the prepared meat on a scorching hot iron skillet (hint: use the grill outdoors to avoid setting off the smoke detector), and cook through, turning once. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Poultry Seasoning

    1 tsp Kosher salt
    1 tsp white pepper
    1 tsp paprika (try smoked paprika for a twist!)
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1/2 tsp ground bay leaves
    1 tsp garlic powder

Measure all ingredients into a jar or zip top bag, seal and shake well. Rub well into poultry before baking, grilling, or tossing in the crockpot. It really does jazz up poultry and keeps it from tasting bland.

Taco Seasoning

    1 tbsp chili powder
    2 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp powdered oregano
    1 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together. This makes the equilivant of a 1/4 ounce package of commercial taco seasoning mix. You can mix this into ground meat, or use as a seasoning rub before grilling chicken or skirt steak. We use it primarily for tacos and burritos and it tastes so much better than the commercially available mixes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

    2 tbsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp ginger
    1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp ground cloves

Measure all ingredients into a jar or zip top bag. Mix it into one cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of baked pumpkin, 1/4 cup of evaporated milk and two egg yolks. Then fold this into two whipped egg whites and 1/3 cup of sugar and bake in a prepared pie shell for a wonderful pumpkin pie.

Dry BBQ Rub

    6 tbsp brown sugar, tightly packed
    2 tbsp Kosher salt
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

Measure all ingredients into a jar or zip top bag. I rub this mixture on a pork shoulder and then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, I take the shoulder out and let it come to room temperature, then smoke it at 190 degrees for 20+ hours with hickory smoke. Again, my mouth is watering…

Southwestern Seasoning Blend

    2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
    1 tbsp ground coriander
    1 tbsp Kosher salt
    1 tbsp dried oregano
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tsp black pepper
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper

Measure all ingredients into a jar or zip top bag. This is a mixture that you can use on just about anything when you want that Southwest flavor kick. Try it on eggs, fish, or chicken for a powerful Tex-Mex taste.

Be willing to experiment with these and try some variations if you dare! Be careful when handling two things though, raw eggs or meats, and red pepper or cayenne. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling meat and whatever you do, don’t rub your eyes for at least two days after touching cayenne … trust me … the voice of experience!

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  1. What a unique post. I can’t wait to try the taco seasoning.

  2. I’m excited about the taco seasoning recipe, too! I’m really sensitive to monosodium glutamate (msg), which is almost always in those packages of taco seasoning. Thanks for this post!

  3. These are great! I’ve been dying to share a wonderful spice rub recipe that I’ve been using quite a bit, and voila … perfect venue!

    I picked up a fabulous book this summer called “Grill Everyday” by Diane Morgan. It’s chock full of wonderful rubs and grilling goodies, and my absolute favorite is the Espresso Cardamom Rub. It’s really unique and imparts such a deep, caramelized, earthy flavor.

    1/4 cup finely ground espresso coffee
    1/4 cup of Kosher salt
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I add a bit more of this)
    3 tablespoons of paprika
    1 tablespoon of cardamom
    1 tablespoon of ground ginger
    2 teaspoons of garlic powder

    Though it doesn’t say this in the recipe in the book, I like to take a few tablespoons of this rub and moisten it with olive oil before applying to the pork chops or chicken. The meat is so flavorful and moist!

  4. What about a “Makes everything taste like bacon” blend?

    Angie (from over at http://www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)

    Half Assed Kitchen’s last blog post…Roasted pumpkin seeds

  5. I’m planning to give seasoning blends as gifts this year.

    Vintage Mommy’s last blog post…Another Lap, Another Milestone

  6. love, love, love this post – I always love the idea of putting together a spice mix on my own rather than buying it! So much better and more economical – thanks for these ideas!

    jodi @ bpr’s last blog post…Christmas Planning – 9 Weeks and Counting

  7. Very cool! I am always looking for “the” taco seasoning. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah Bray’s last blog post…Make your own flash cards

  8. Glad everyone is liking this post!

    On the pumpkin pie, I forgot to add – 1/4 tsp salt and a 1/2 cup of butter to the mix! I was writing this recipe from memory …

    Ron@TheWisdomJournal’s last blog post…Is Your Job A One Hit Wonder?

  9. Thanks for these, they’re great. I can get dirt cheap bulk spices at my local health food co-op and also have a ton of those little IKEA glass jars so it’s off to make spice mixtures for me. :)

  10. What a great post! I live in Guatemala, so most of the blends that are common in North America aren`t available down here . . . this is perfect for me. Thanks.

    Expat Mom’s last blog post…Love`s True Kiss

  11. These look delicious:) Thanks for sharing.

    Shannon’s last blog post…Monday Menu Planning

  12. these are all great. i live in australia now and they don’t sell “pumpkin pie spice” in markets and i kept meaning to look up what to mix together so thank you. i think i will make up some of these for a Christmas gift for my husband who is a fantastic cook!

  13. What a fun sight! I saw you on the nester and stopped by! There is so much to look at…excuse me while I visit!
    -Sandy Toes

    Sandy toes’s last blog post…

  14. Thank you so much! I love to make my own seasoning blends! I had a GREAT chili one and lost it. Two years later and I still have not been able to recreate it.

  15. What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing your recipes. I can see how having pre-made spices could save you time in cooking and also help you get more creative! Plus you’d save some money not buying those expensive spice-packets. Great tip!

  16. Thanks for these recipes!! I’ve been using from-scratch seasonings for tacos, chili and spaghetti for a long time now and the flavor is always so much better than those packages from the store–and it’s such a money saver!! I can’t wait to try this seasoned salt recipe!

    Lora’s last blog post…A Postcard Swap

  17. I also may use this as holiday gifts to give. How long will these seasoning blends last?


  18. This is a great job! Well done. Thank you sharing your ideas and knowledge.

  19. avatar
    donna evans says:

    Thanks for the seasoning recipes…I had an allergic reaction to something about 4 yrs ago…Not even the best allergist in the city could figure out what it was. So, I stopped eating anything from a box or any processed foods in the interim and I did some serious soul searching on what I’d been eating for the prior 3 weeks. Chinese food came up twice. The logical find: MSG was the culprit. Having been eating fresh foods, avoiding processed additives and cooking everything from scratch, the symptoms slowly began to subside. I found that after 3 weeks I no longer needed my glasses (they were bifocals). So, the processed foods contained other chemicals and preservatives AND MSG by other names and in other forms. I occasionally eat out and if there is any MSG or suspect preservatives in the food, even in minute amounts, I can tell by my vision the next day. Amazing what we are doing to ourselves by the food we eat! Thanks again…

  20. I love the idea of making seasoning blend. I made some about a month ago and I really do use it, I am out of it and ready to make some more. Thanks all for the great idea.

  21. This post is like a gift from heaven to me! Thank you for such a useful information!

  22. avatar
    Jeorgia LaBarbera says:

    Fantastic, I can not use anything with MSG so I will be using these recipes.
    Cost is much less and Controlling the quality of ingredients is another plus.
    Would love a recipe for mixing a Morton’s Nature’s Seasons, seasoning blend.

  23. Thanks for the great recipes! What type of Chilli Powder do you recommend? In Australia we generally have 4 options available in the spice section of the grocery store; hot chilli, sweet paprika, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika: The hot chilli powder is very hot and I am wondering whether it would be suitable to use in your recipes and which brand you use; I might be able to buy some online.

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  26. avatar
    Loquacious says:

    Thanks for the recipes. The southwest seasoning is outstanding!

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