21 Must-Have Spices and Herbs in the Kitchen

Choosing the best spices and herbs for recipes can sometimes be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with all of them. This list will share some of the most popular ones to keep on hand.

These are some of my favorite spices I use in cooking. There are so many wonderful herbs available at grocery and specialty stores. You can even grow them in your home or garden. These go hand in hand with these top herbs for baking.

Must Have Spices and Herbs

There really are so many different ones available that I could not name them all here in this post. I really like fresh herbs and essential oils but there are some dried ones too and they can enhance or break your family friendly food recipes.

The following is an excerpt taken from Fooducate:

We often hear the term “herbs and spices”. As any amateur chef knows, herbs and spices are vital ingredients in many dishes. They add flavor, aroma, color, texture and even nutrients.

The Difference Between Herbs and Spices

But have you ever stopped for a moment to think what the difference is between the two families of food flavor enhancers?

Both ingredients are parts of plants (fresh or dried) that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They’ve also been known to preserve foods, cure illness and enhance cosmetics.

The difference between the two is where they are obtained from a plant.

Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant.
Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.

When using dried or ground spices you really need to use the less is more method, in my opinion, but taste test to get just the right amount of spice. A general rule according to Spice Island is 1/4 ts to start per 2 cups of meat. For Garlic and Cayenne, start with 1/8 ts.

Storage Tips for Spices

  • Ground Spices 2-3 years
  • Whole Spices 3-4 years
  • Herbs 1-3 years
  • Seasoning Blends 1-2 years
  • Extracts 4 years

I’m sure all of us have a few spices on our shelf, that we don’t even remember buying. Make sure you store in a cool dark place and replace every few years.

I know there are some spices I only use every 1 or 2 years and a very small amount, but the freshness and aroma won’t be as good if they are not replaced.

If you love Italian food you will love cooking with basil. They also make great herbs in popsicles and green smoothies.

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Kosher Salt

Crushed Red Pepper

Garlic powder











Cream of Tartar


Sit back in the comfort of your home and order these spices and herbs from Amazon Prime Pantry and get free shipping.

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  1. This would be a great list for someone that is just starting out!! Creating a pantry!! Found you on Wine’d Down Wednesday!! I would love if you stop by my place tomorrow and share some of yor favorite things on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday – Link party!! I’d love to have you!!

  2. I love love love cilantro! For the life of me, I keep forgetting to re-stock on one of the herbs that ran out and I can’t remember which one it is! Last night, as I was cooking, I thought to myself “go buy ____ at the store.” Well that didn’t do me any good since I obviously can’t remember what I have to buy! LOL

    This is a great list though and those herbs should be in everyone’s basic cabinet. Albeit, ginger isn’t one of my go-to ingredients. ­čÖé

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