Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes)OK, it’s happened to all of us before. You’re making dinner and there are lots of flavorful ingredients in your dish, but for some reason it just tastes…bland. Boring. Uninspired. I made a burrito bowl the other week and even though it was piled high with veggies and proteins of all shapes and colors, I couldn’t get over how dull the dish tasted. The next night I experimented and added a ton of different seasonings and spices, and it made a world of difference—it was so much better! Spices are, well, the spice of life for the food world. So if you feel like your dishes could use an extra kick, I would highly recommend trying some new seasoning combinations to elevate the flavors. Probably the most commonly used seasoning mixes would be for chili, pizza, and tacos, and I’ve got delicious suggestions for all three!

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes) Pizza: This one is probably my favorite, but that’s because pizza is my favorite food, so I’ll declare that bias up front. I’ve tried this seasoning on both homemade pizza and store-bought frozen pizza, and I absolutely love it! I used to always sprinkle a generous amount of pre-made Italian seasoning on our pizza, and it definitely helped, but this seasoning mix makes the Italian seasoning look like a fool. It’s so much more complex and flavorful and adds a lot of dimension to the taste. I add it before I bake the pizza, but you could use it on top of a takeout pizza as well.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes) Chili: This is definitely a chili (and a “chilly”) time of the year for us here in Missouri, so it’s a good idea to have a good seasoning mix on hand to make the dish more exciting. This seasoning is really well-rounded, and it’s on the milder side as far as heat goes (which I like). Of course you can add more of the spicy ingredients if you like your chili hot. I omitted the flour on this recipe (a lot of the reviews suggested that). If you are making a chili recipe that calls for a packet of seasoning (usually single packets have 1 oz of spices in them), then I would start with 2 tablespoons of this seasoning and add more if needed. I ended up using about 3 tablespoons total for my chili recipe.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes) Tacos: My husband and I are big fans of Mexican food, so tacos always sound good to me. I love how this seasoning mix tastes different from any packaged seasonings that I’ve tried. I think the chili powder in this mix adds a bit of a smokey chipotle taste, and it makes the flavor a little more unique. Just sprinkle the seasoning over your meat as you brown it (or over beans if you make veggie tacos instead). We used around 2 tablespoons for a pound of ground beef and I omitted the flour from this recipe as well.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes) Of course, like anything you are mixing together, take a look at the ingredients first and tweak anything as needed. If you know you hate any hint of cumin, then leave it out! Addicted to garlic? Add more! Love/hate spice? Adjust the red pepper flakes. Also, I did notice that some people said sea salt (especially large grain) can’t really be measured the same as table salt, so dial back the sea salt a bit if you are substituting that in a recipe until you know just how salty it will taste. You can also leave out the salt and salt to taste if you want to have complete control over the salt level. The other thing I love about searching for seasoning mixes is that most recipe sites have lots of reviews where other people give tips about any adjustments or ways they like to use the seasoning. Very helpful. You can use a spice or coffee grinder to grind your spices together, or you can use a mortar and pestle as well. This grinding step isn’t required, but it does help to release more flavor.

You can also use these seasonings in other similar dishes (like the pizza seasoning in spaghetti sauce or lasagna and the taco seasoning in burritos, etc.) This set of three seasonings would also make a great hostess gift when you go to a housewarming party or a present for a foodie friend (these are the spice bottles that I bought). Once you start trying homemade seasonings, you’ll get really into finding out what other mixes are out there for other dishes too. Do you have any homemade seasoning mixes you swear by? Now go and, in the immortal words of a certain all girl group from the 90s, “spice up your life!” xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • SO smart! Man, why haven’t I ever thought of this before? Haha. I always find myself asking that question over and over again when I read your lovely blog. You girls are geniuses!
    I’m definitely going to do this. I always find myself buying straggly labeled seasonings for different dinners and then having to toss out old packets months later. My husband and I definitely have tried and true dinners we go to every week, so making homemade seasonings would save us time and money! Thank you!

    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  • SO smart! Man, why haven’t I ever thought of this before? Haha. I always find myself asking that question over and over again when I read your lovely blog. You girls are geniuses!
    I’m definitely going to do this. I always find myself buying straggly labeled seasonings for different dinners and then having to toss out old packets months later. My husband and I definitely have tried and true dinners we go to every week, so making homemade seasonings would save us time and money! Thank you!

    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  • Such a great post- thanks! I always use a combination of different herbs and spices but have never thought to put them together by myself- such a great idea. Will be doing this as soon as we move into our own place!

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

  • This is so smart! A great way to use excess spices too. I try to buy my spices at the farmers market, but then they come in bulky plastic containers. I need to invest in some of those glass spice bottles for sure 🙂

  • Its only 11a.m here in Paris but I you made me really hungry and now I need a tacos right this minute! lol
    Rhizlaine
    https://quintessenceparisienne.wordpress.com/

  • great ideas! I think these would make fabulous gifts too…although Christmas IS over. 🙂
    www.getchaglowon.com

  • Yes, yes and yes! Homemade seasoning is the only way to go. It tastes so much better and is much more cost effective.

  • Crowd-sourcing question: anyone know a good ‘cajun’-style spice mix? I’ve tried a few different ones and I’m still not thrilled with the results.

    I love this post, Laura!

  • Thanks! I got them here:
    http://www.amazon.com/DecoBros-Spice-Bottles-label-Chrome/dp/B00LKSTIQ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422568000&sr=8-1&keywords=DecoBros+12+Spice+Bottles+w%2F+label+Set%2C+Chrome

    Laura 😉

  • Thanks! I got them here:
    http://www.amazon.com/DecoBros-Spice-Bottles-label-Chrome/dp/B00LKSTIQ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422568000&sr=8-1&keywords=DecoBros+12+Spice+Bottles+w%2F+label+Set%2C+Chrome

    Laura 🙂

  • I love this! I can see us using a ton of that pizza seasoning in our house! Where did you get those great jars?

  • Sounds delish.I love spicing up dishes (I’m very found of super spicy food). Unfortunatly I have a new boyfriend who seems to have grown up on very blend food (I’ve tasted his moms cooking a few times and boy does it taste like nothing). I’m slowly introducing him to new tastes but since he’s also been spoiled….it’s a difficult project! But I will not give up until he appreciates a little taste in his diet 😉

  • I hate boring tasting food – spices and herbs are life savers! I’ve never tried a pizza seasoning mix, but i do love a good taco mix!

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • I love this idea. And it gives me the perfect reason to start going through my spices and reorganizing!

  • This is great! Do you have any other seasoning mix ideas? I want to hear more! How about for soups, breakfast food seasonings, chicken/fish seasoning? more more more!

  • They all sound amazing! Especially the pizza one!

    www.peonyandpeach.blogspot.com

  • Love this. This would be a cute gift idea for someone who just got a new house/apartment, newly weds, etc. It would be fun to experiment with different jars and labels for each as well.

    I wonder if Josh could build a spice rack of some sort? Like the ones that you twirl. Love those!

  • Great post. Homemade spice blends are always better! I dry the herbs from my garden at the end of summer so I can enjoy them all winter long. Try adding un-sweetened baking cocoa to your chili (I use Ghirardelli), it adds a “je ne said quo” depth to it. Happy cooking!! xox Cate

  • Though I’ve only bottled my seasoning mixes for camping, I always ALWAYS use my own spice blends. One major tip for chili seasoning, cinnamon. Cinnamon is a must for the perfect chili flavor. I love the idea of gifts!

  • Genius idea!! 😉
    I love the hand-written labels, and can’t wait to try this!
    Keep up the amazing work!
    Love,
    Isabella

  • This would make perfect gifts! I love how simply and cute you made your labels! I too am a fan of pizza, I could probably eat it everyday! 😉

  • This is a great idea. I have a spice blend that includes around 10 spices that I use for street tacos and fajitas, and it’s a bit tedious to put together because of the number of spices it includes. It would be a good idea to have it premixed and on hand.

    Love this pics. Thanks for sharing.

    http://absolutelytara.com

  • So cute! I love how the labels are what the seasoning goes on, not necessarily what it’s made of!

  • I’ve been making my own taco seasoning mix for awhile now– I’m trying to eliminate weird chemical ingredients from our food where I can, and that’s an easy adjustment to make. Though I still need to tweak the flavors, since I haven’t quite managed to get a taste like the packets my family always used! Never thought of DIY Italian seasoning, I’ll have to give that a try.

    I also found a recipe for dry ranch dressing mix that works out really nicely for crock pot recipes, at least.

  • Very nice idea, you can also try using these spices in other recipes too, like making a soup or pasta dish with the taco and chili spices. Great to have on hand.

  • I just did a batch of taco seasoning, it just used more chili powder, and I love it. Hadn’t though of Italian though! Good idea

  • I always make my own spice mixes but for some reason I never though of making a larger batch and packaging it up and labeling it like this! Such a good idea! And definitely time saving compared to making up a small, single serving spice mix every time I cook.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Laura!

    xx Kathryn
    http://www.throughthethicket.ca

  • Another great idea. What a cute hostess gift! I love making homemade things to give to people.

  • These make great gifts! My friends gave me taco seasoning for Christmas and I loved it. I used it last night.

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