Simple All-Purpose Seasoning Recipe (To Use For Everything!)
on Jan 12, 2024
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Save yourself the pain of having to grab 7 different containers from the pantry on a busy weeknight! Instead take a few minutes to mix together this very simple homemade all-purpose seasoning ahead of time. Then use it to take all your favorite dishes from ‘meh’ to ‘mmm’ – from meat and fish to potatoes, vegetables, stews and more.
What is all-purpose seasoning?
First things first, what are we talking about here exactly? Well, all-purpose seasoning is a mix of herbs and spices that you can use to add flavor to almost anything you’re cooking. Sprinkle it on top of chicken or steak, salmon, or roast potatoes, stir it through casseroles, soups or stews, or add it to anything that just needs a bit of extra ‘oomph’.
it’s hard to think of a dish this everyday seasoning wouldn’t work with. Let’s just call it the super hero of your spice cabinet!
Why you’ll love this recipe
✔ Quick and easy. This recipe uses only 7 ingredients (including salt and pepper!) that you probably already have in your pantry. Mix them together, store in a container, and you’re done.
✔ All natural ingredients. Isn’t it great when you know exactly what’s in something? Skip the ‘extra’ ingredients you can find in some store bought spice blends and stick to what you know.
✔ Tailor it to your taste buds. You get to be in control here. Tweak the ratios, skip an ingredient you don’t like, or add something else that you do like. You’ll find specific ideas in the ‘tips’ section below.
If you love this simple dinner hack, check out my Greek gyro seasoning blend too (similar but different!).
About the ingredients
Paprika. Regular or smoked. Whichever you choose, this sweet and peppery spice is essential to the flavor of your DIY seasoning.
Dried herbs. Any mixed dried herb blend will work. I usually use a mixed herbs blend with Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, or marjoram. If you don’t have anything like this in your pantry, feel free to use a mix of separate herbs that you have e.g. basil, oregano and parsley.
Cumin. Warm and earthy, a little of this goes a long way in an all-purpose spice blend.
Onion powder. It’s also possible to use dried onion flakes instead.
Salt and pepper.
How to make all purpose seasoning
There is nothing more to this recipe than simply mixing all the spices and herbs together well. You can do this in a spice jar, or in any container with an airtight lid.
I simply spoon everything into the jar, screw the lid on, and shake until everything is mixed up!
How to adapt the recipe
It’s easy to adapt the recipe to suit your taste! Prefer to reduce the salt a bit? Go ahead! Like a fiery kick to your seasoning blend? Add a pinch of chili flakes, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
Other tasty additions could include:
- half a teaspoon of dried dill, tarragon, or mint
- a pinch of fennel seeds, celery seeds, or ground cilantro (coriander)
- half a teaspoon of cinnamon for a hint of sweetness
You might also like to vary the herbs and spices you use depending on what you’re making. Cooking pork, for example? Sage, thyme, rosemary and fennel are all good choices. What about salmon? Parsley, tarragon and dill all go really well.
On the whole, just use whatever you like or already have in the pantry!
I would recommend labelling the seasoning container with the contents and the date. This way you’ll know when it might have gone past its best.
You’ll know it’s time to replace it if it’s clumping or caking or if the color or aroma changes. The color could turn dull, for example, or the smell not as intense as you remember. Not sure? 6 months to a year is a good rule of thumb, as long as the herbs and spices you used were fairly fresh to begin with.
Remember to store the seasoning in a cool, dry place. The pantry is the obvious choice!
I recommend just making a small batch of seasoning (as described in the recipe) so that it’s easy to use it all up before it goes stale.
How to use it
The possibilities are virtually endless! Use this seasoning blend:
- as a dry rub for baked chicken thighs, chicken wings, pork chops, shrimp or salmon, or for any kind of meat or fish. Simply rub generously all over before cooking for a flavorful crust.
- to mix into meatballs or burgers. Mix a teaspoon or two into the meat to really ramp up the flavor.
- to season homemade french fries or sweet potato fries.
- on roasted vegetables or sautéed vegetables such as green beans or butternut squash. Just sprinkle generously all over before cooking!
- in soups, stews and casseroles. Try adding a teaspoon or two to this baked chicken and chorizo, or use 3 teaspoons in this Greek lentil soup recipe instead of all the separate spices, for instance!
- Use to flavor a salad dressing, marinade or sauce.
If you prefer to make the seasoning mix into a paste that you can massage into the meat or fish to keep it moist and juicy, simply add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. You could rub this all over a whole chicken before roasting it, for example (check out this air fryer rotisserie chicken recipe if you have an air fryer!)
For a hint of sweetness, also add a teaspoon of honey or brown sugar into the paste. This sweeter version goes particularly well with pork and salmon.
For an easy marinade, mix around half of the homemade spice blend with a quarter cup of olive oil, half a cup of Greek yogurt and the juice of half a lemon. Use to marinate up to 2 pounds (1 kilo) of meat or fish. If you love Greek style food, these easy baked chicken skewers are made similarly to this!
How much to use
As a rough guide, use around 1 tablespoon of the seasoning for every 2 pounds (1 kilo) of meat or fish. For potatoes and vegetables, simply sprinkle over generously. For soups, stews and casseroles, start by adding 1 teaspoon, then taste and add more towards the end of the cooking time if you like.
Simple All-Purpose Seasoning Recipe (To Use For Everything!)
- spice jars with bamboo lids
For dry rub
- 2 teaspoons paprika, regular or smoked
- 2 tablespoons dried herbs, I like Italian mixed herbs (usually includes some or all of: oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin, (increase to 1 teaspoon if you like)
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, (substitute with white pepper)
- Mix all of the spices and herbs together in an airtight container such as a spice jar.2 teaspoons paprika, 2 tablespoons dried herbs, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Label the jar with the contents and date and store in a cool, dry place such as the pantry for 6 to 12 months.