Simple All-Purpose Seasoning Recipe (To Use For Everything!)

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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.

Overhead shot of all-purpose seasoning in an ornate glass jar with labelled lid at the side.

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.

Tip

If you love this simple dinner hack, check out my Greek gyro seasoning blend too (similar but different!).

About the ingredients

All the ingredients needed to make an all-purpose seasoning including paprika, mixed dried herbs, salt and pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder.

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.

Garlic powder.

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!

A person's hand lifting a spoonful of all-purpose seasoning out of a pretty see-through jar on a marble background.

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!

Storage tips

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!

Top Tip

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.
  • 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.

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Overhead shot of all-purpose seasoning in an ornate glass jar with labelled lid at the side.
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Simple All-Purpose Seasoning Recipe (To Use For Everything!)

Pack flavor into chicken wings and thighs, minute steak, pork chops, soups, casseroles, potatoes, vegetables and more with this homemade all-purpose seasoning. It takes only a few minutes to make up a batch to go in your pantry to grab whenever you need to add a little more 'pizzazz' to a dish. You only need 7 simple basic herbs and spices, and it's so easy to swap things in and out to suit your taste.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 tablespoons

Equipment

  • spice jars with bamboo lids

Ingredients  

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
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, (substitute with white pepper)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

How to use: As a dry rub for chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, salmon, or any other meat or fish. Rub generously all over. Mix a teaspoon into meatballs or burgers. Use to season potatoes such as homemade fries or roast potatoes. Sprinkle over roasted or vegetables. Stir a teaspoon or more into soups, casseroles and stews.
Make into a paste to massage into meat by adding 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of brown sugar or honey if you like. Try this on pork, salmon or make this air fryer rotisserie chicken if you have an air fryer!
To make into a marinade, stir about half of the seasoning into 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. 
Variations: Add a pinch of chili flakes or red pepper flakes for a little heat, or half a teaspoon of cinnamon for sweetness. Substitute in half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of any other herbs and spices you have or like, such as dill, tarragon, mint, cilantro (coriander). For pork, try a large pinch of fennel seeds. For salmon, add extra dill and parsley.
How much to use: Use around 1 tablespoon of the seasoning per 2 pounds (1 kilo) of meat or fish, or to taste. There are no rules, really. Just rub or sprinkle to taste. 
Storage: Store in an airtight container such as a jar with a lid in a cool, dry and dark place such as your pantry. Label with the contents and date. Lasts for 6 to 12 months if the herbs and spices you use are fairly fresh.

Nutrition

Calories: 19kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 876mg, Potassium: 78mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 574IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 3mg
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About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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