Today I am sharing the top 31 Herbs and Spices Every Homestead Needs to Make Any Dish. If you keep these seasonings on hand, you’ll have everything you need to make just about any type of cuisine.
31 Herbs and Spices Every Homestead Needs to Make Any Dish
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1. Whole peppercorns
Fresh ground pepper adds a savory bite to any dish. Whole peppercorns last forever and are great to keep on hand. There are several colors of peppercorns to choose from, from red to green, black to pink, and white, these little fruits add aromatic and spicy notes to any dish.
Medicinally, peppercorns help to aid in digestion by helping the stomach to produce acid and break down proteins. As with most whole spices, it’s recommended to lightly toast them before using them to activate the essential oils in them and release their flavor and aromatic qualities.
To do this, you simply toss the peppercorns in a dry, preheated skillet for a few minutes, stirring to let the heat touch all sides of the peppercorns. Cool completely and proceed to grind and use as you normally would. While you can buy separate peppercorn colors for different culinary purposes, a good rainbow blend is also nice to have on hand.
2. Ground pepper
Likewise, having a few varieties of pre-ground pepper in your pantry is always convenient. The two most common ground peppers to keep on hand are white and black.
The biggest difference between peppers is when they are picked and how they are processed. White pepper is picked at peak ripeness and then is soaked after harvest and the outer skin is removed, leaving the white inside. It tends to be to milder than black pepper and is preferred in white sauces for aesthetic purposes.
Black peppercorns are picked unripe and left to dry, which causes their skin to darken. They are much more pungent and flavorful than white pepper.
3. Various salts
Kosher salt, table salt, and sea salt are three that I regularly keep stocked in my own pantry but there are many flavored and natural salts to choose from that are used in various ways when cooking. Flake salt is great for finishing sweet baked goods, smoked salt is delicious when used with BBQ dishes and black Hawaiian salt lends an earthy flair to dishes.
Used in Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking, cumin is a must-have spice for your pantry. It’s also great for chilis, roots vegetables, and more.
5. Red pepper flakes
Red pepper flakes add a kick to any dish. We use them on homemade pizza, in various sauces, soups, and stews.
Used in Indian and Asian cuisine, Tumeric also boasts several health benefits that secure it a spot in our pantry! Popular for reducing inflammation, Tumeric also adds beautiful golden color to dishes.
7. Bay leaves
Bay leaves add a depth of flavor to long-cooking dishes like stews, soups, and sauces. They also work well in meat brines.
Garlic is very versatile and can be bought in several forms from fresh bulbs to minced, granulated, or even powdered. We usually have several forms in our pantry to use for various purposes.
Great for baked goods but also in several types of cuisine, cinnamon is a staple for us. There are four main types of cinnamon available:
- Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon Cinnamon or Mexican)
- Cinnamomum burmannii (Korintje Cinnamon)
- Cinnamomum cassia (Saigon Cinnamon)
- Cinnamomum loureiroi (Royal Cinnamon)
There are different types of paprika that fall between sweet and hot. Both are great to have on hand for a variety of dishes. There is also smoked paprika that is delicious on eggs and in meat dishes.
When you need a little heat, reach for cayenne! Cayenne is delicious in Asian cuisine and chili, but also in sauces and more.
Chili powder is awesome for chilis, soups, meats, and more. It’s great as a rub and also used in many Latin dishes.
Pungent herbal flavor, oregano is used in all types of cuisine.
Aside from Italian dishes, basil can be used in all sorts of dishes. It also makes a delicious iced tea and has several medicinal properties.
Like other herbs, rosemary is delicious in many cuisines and is also medicinal in nature. Rosemary is fantastic with polenta or roasted meats. It’s also a helpful tea for respiratory infections.
Thyme pairs well with meats, vegetables, or fish dishes and lends a savory tone.
An ingredient in Chai Teas, Cardomom is used to flavor Indian-inspired dishes, adding warmth and depth.
18. Mustard seed
Mustard seeds add a sharp, zingy flavor to pickled products. They are also a popular ingredient in curry dishes.
From fresh to dried minced or powdered, onions add lots of flavor to any dish.
Popular in Asian cuisine, ginger adds warmth and bite to any dish. It’s especially good in broths! We keep fresh and dried on hand at all times in our pantry. It also has several medicinal benefits.
Curry is a blend of spices and ingredients to flavor curry dishes. You can find it in powder or paste forms.
This spice blend comes from Louisiana and is great on seafood and other Cajun dishes.
This spice is great for all those Autumn and holiday baked goods, but also works well for spiced beverages like cider and eggnog!
A must-have for pickling, dill also works well for homemade sauces, dips, and various dishes.
Coriander is used in Spanish, Mexican, Latin, and Indian cuisines. It’s a common ingredient in spice rubs, marinades, chilis, sauces, soups, and curries.
Not just a garnish! Parsley is great when used anywhere a fresh taste is desired.
Another good spice to have on hand for baked goods and beverages. Cloves are also aromatic and useful in certain spicy dishes.
Saffron adds a sweet floral taste to dishes and is used in Indian and Moroccan cuisine. It also adds beautiful golden color to dishes.
Great for meats, vegetables, and fish, sage is another herb that is a must-have for the pantry. It is delicious on sweet potatoes and carrots!
30. Vanilla beans
Vanilla beans, vanilla paste, and vanilla extract are staples for the home baker. It is used in many common baked goods from cookies to cakes, frostings, and more.
31. Celery seed
Celery seed adds an umami vegetable flavor to dishes without adding unnecessary bulk. It adds a great flavor layer to soups, stews, meats, fish, and vegetables.
What herbs and spices are essential to your homestead pantry?
With these herbs and spices, you are well on your way to being able to cook any type of cuisine. I hope this inspires you to expand your pantry and try new dishes on your homestead!