Top 10 Spices Every Home Cook Should Have

Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, having the right spices on hand can make all the difference in creating a delicious meal.

But with so many spices to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are must-haves.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of the top 10 spices every home cook should have at their disposal.

From classic staples like salt and pepper to exotic flavors like turmeric and cardamom, these spices will help you create mouthwatering dishes sure to bring your family closer together around the dinner table.

Ginger Powder

A sprinkle of ginger powder will add sweet warmth and subtle earthiness to recipes like soups, stews, and baked goods.

It’s an extremely versatile and useful spice to have in your pantry with a unique flavor and aroma that can add a special something to any dish. It can be used to make everything from curries to marinades to soups. It also has many health benefits, such as helping fight inflammation, reducing nausea, and aiding digestion.

When using ginger powder, a little goes a long way, so it can last you a long time. It can be used as a substitute for fresh ginger root, as it has a milder flavor. You can also mix it with other spices, such as turmeric or cumin, to create more complex flavors.

Ginger powder is an affordable and easy way to enhance the flavor of your dishes. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, adding a unique flavor and aroma to any meal. If you’re looking for a way to add a bit of zing to your cooking, ginger powder is a must-have spice. It’s an essential item for any home cook and a great way to add a bit of flavor to your cooking.

Via Food & Wine


Salt is the backbone of every home cook’s pantry. It’s the secret ingredient in just about every recipe, and it’s the one thing that can turn a dish from okay to oh-so-good. Without even a pinch of salt, food can taste plain or flat. That’s why having a healthy supply of salt in your kitchen is essential for bringing dishes to life.

However, you must get the right type of salt. When speaking with seasoned chef Ron Scott from Carnivorous Life, he mentioned that Himalayan salt and sea salt are the two types that he recommends. Sea salt retains more traces of minerals that have numerous health benefits. So next time you make a trip to the grocery store make sure you check the label twice.

Chili Flakes

Not only do chili flakes add flavor and heat to dishes, but they can also be used to customize a dish to your tastes. Chili flakes are incredibly versatile, so you can use them for almost anything. From adding heat to soups and stews to sprinkling them on pizza or tacos, chili flakes provide a unique flavor kick to whatever you’re cooking. 

They can also be used to make your chili powder or add a bit of a kick to your dry rubs or marinades. Best of all, they’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive, so you can always have them on hand in your pantry. 

Whether you’re a novice or a professional chef, chili flakes are a must-have spice that can help you take your cooking to the next level.


This list isn’t in any particular order, but if it was, pepper would be near the top. There are a variety of types to choose from – black, white, and green are the most common. It combines well with salt on pretty much any dish you can think of. I’ve met people who won’t eat a meal unless it’s seasoned with salt and pepper.

There are so many ways to incorporate pepper into your cooking and make every meal interesting and unique. Grinding your own pepper offers a fresher flavor and richer aroma – so consider investing in a pepper mill. 


Paprika might be my favorite cooking spice. Not only does it add vibrant color to any dish, but it also packs a punch of flavor. Paprika is a great way to add mild, smoky heat to dishes that may otherwise lack depth. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews to salads, and can be used as a dry rub or marinade for meats.

Paprika is a great way to add a unique and delicious flavor to soups, sauces, and even snacks. Its vibrant red hue looks fantastic when sprinkled on top of dishes, making them more visually appealing.

Its versatility makes it an ideal spice for any cook. The spice is also relatively inexpensive, making it a great way to add flavor without breaking the bank. It’s a must-have spice for any home cook looking to add flavor and color to their dishes.


Cumin is a spice that should always have a place in your pantry. Its earthy flavor is essential to countless dishes, including curries, chili, and tacos. With its nutty and warm notes, it’s no surprise that cumin has been used as an essential culinary ingredient for centuries.

Cumin can help bring out the sweetness of vegetables like carrots and potatoes, as well as the heat of chilies. It’s also available at most grocery stores and supermarkets in both ground form and whole seed form.

By keeping cumin on hand, you can quickly elevate any dish from ordinary to extraordinary with its smoky-flavor tone. Plus, with its versatility and availability, you’ll never be short on flavor options when cooking up something delicious in your kitchen.

Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder has been a staple in my pantry for years. It has an incredible ability to impart rich, earthy flavor to many dishes and can be used as a seasoning or an ingredient.

Like the sun setting over the horizon, garlic powder provides a warm, cozy atmosphere in any dish. A sprinkle of dried garlic flakes or garlic powder can take a bland meal from ordinary to extraordinary.

Garlic powder has many uses, whether you are looking for a subtle hint of flavor or a bold punch. It can be used as a rub on meats, added to sauces for extra depth of flavor, or mixed into casseroles for a delicious, savory kick.

Garlic powder is also versatile enough to be used in sweet recipes like cakes and cookies for an unexpected flavor twist.


Turmeric allows home cooks a lot of flexibility in the kitchen. Yet it also packs a powerful punch of health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, turmeric helps reduce chronic inflammation and can help prevent certain diseases.

When used in conjunction with ginger root and cayenne pepper, it’s believed to have even greater anti-inflammatory effects. Turmeric has also been linked to improvements in brain function and memory recall.

From adding a hint of spice and color to curries and soups, to marinating meats and vegetables, there are so many delicious ways to use this versatile spice. To bring out the flavor and aroma of turmeric, try combining it with other spices like ginger powder, chili powder, or cumin.

Whether you’re new to cooking or an experienced chef, turmeric can be a great addition to your culinary repertoire.


This warm and inviting spice is a staple of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s also the secret ingredient that can transform a simple dish into something truly special.

Cardamom comes in two forms: pod and ground. The pods are dark green with small black seeds inside, while ground cardamom is more concentrated and aromatic. Both have their uses, so it’s best to keep both on hand for maximum versatility.

Here are three ways you can use this versatile spice:

  • Add a pinch of ground cardamom to your morning coffee or tea for an exotic twist
  • Use freshly crushed cardamom pods to infuse a fragrant oil or syrup
  • Sprinkle ginger cardamom over roasted vegetables like squash or carrots for a unique flavor combination


Basil is not only incredibly flavorful and versatile, but it’s also incredibly nutritious. It’s high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and manganese, which are important for bone health and blood clotting. Plus, it has a unique flavor that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to sauces to pasta.

It’s easy to find fresh basil in many markets, and it’s just as simple to grow your own, making it an accessible and affordable spice for anyone on a budget.