I have a cabinet full of spices and a fridge full of condiments, but if it really came down to it, I would only need 11 seasonings to get me by in my kitchen. These 11 seasonings add just the right flavor to almost every single thing I cook, from sweet and savory, to mild and spicy. I use them all on an almost-daily basis, and it’s pretty safe to say, if you stopped by, you would find everything single one of these items within my cabinets or fridge.
Garlic Salt// Anytime I want to add a little more pizzazz to a savory dish (which is basically all the time), I use this salt, sometimes along with my regular salt (I know, I know, sodium overdose). I especially love it for scrambled eggs and orzo.
Bouillon Cubes// I used to keep cans of broth on hand, but with limited space, these little cubes became so much more convenient. I use them for everything from sauces and soups to cooking rice and orzo to seasoning sautéing vegetables.
Garlic// Garlic is right up there with salt and pepper in my book. There is nothing that won’t taste better with a touch of garlic (well, except for your breath). And don’t even get me started on roasted garlic….
Balsamic Vinegar// Can I say ditto again? I go through balsamic almost as quickly as I do olive oil. Of course, I love it for dressings, seasoning veggies, tossing with pasta salad, but my favorite thing to do with balsamic, is to sauté chicken breasts in it along with a little garlic….so flavorful, so moist, and so easy (and in case you were wondering, we put our olive oil and vinegars in old wine bottles so they look prettier on the counter).
Sriracha// If you know me at all, you know my obsession with sriracha (and specifically sriracha mayo) is a bit out-of-control. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of heat to everything from soups, ramen, salad dressings, cole slaw, vegetables, meat, sushi, eggs, waffles…basically, this spices up your life.
Vanilla// Vanilla is, of course, the queen bee of dessert flavorings. But I also love adding a splash to coffee, tea or hot chocolate, my morning oatmeal, my Greek yogurt snack, and it’s even nice in some savory dishes. If you don’t already, you should make your own at home….it’s too easy not to.
Heavy Cream// Anytime you open my fridge there is a 99% chance you’ll find heavy cream in there. My Mom is the same way. Despite people’s confusion to me keeping such a high-fat product on hand, this truly is one of my favorite seasonings. Of course, it’s good for the usual whipped cream, homemade ice-cream, coffee creamer, and quick frosting, but it’s also a great addition to soup, stews, sauces, things such as orzo and risotto, scrambled eggs, it makes great biscuits, and you can even use it watered down in place of milk for baking purposes. If you’re worried about it going bad, just freeze it in ice cube trays, pop them into a ziplock bag, store them in the freezer, and then just add a cube or two into a pot of soup or sauce.
Parmesan Cheese// I know this is more a food than a seasoning, but believe me when I say, I use this as a seasoning on everything from sauces, soups, eggs, bread, biscuits, roasted vegetables, and salads.
Lemons & Limes// I love keeping lemons and limes on hand not only because the brighten up my kitchen and my daily 8 glasses of water, but because they are great for dressings, salads, fruit cup, smoothies, desserts, sauces, cooking chicken, fish or shrimp, and for seasoning grains (like lime in rice and lemon on orzo).
What seasonings do you always have on hand?