10 Spices for the Minimalist Kitchen

If you want to cook minimalistically you don’t need many spices. Really, it is possible to limit this list more, but these are the 10 spices that I find myself using continually.

(I did not include salt and pepper, as everyone, typically, has salt and pepper on hand.)

10 Spices for the Minimalist Kitchen

  1. Basil, use in meatballs, meatloaf, soups and tomato based dishes.
  2. Cayanne, excellent on meat, soups, sauces, chili and Mexican dishes
  3. Chili Powder, marinades, chili, Mexican dishes
  4. Cumin, definitely in chili, also used in marinades, and Mexican dishes.
  5. Garlic Powder, I use garlic in pretty much every savory dish I make!
  6. Onion Powder, use in every savory dish. (And if you are a ranch dressing fan, this makes homemade ranch taste like ranch.)
  7. Oregano, marinades, tomato based dishes, and a great addition to chili and taco seasoning.
  8. Smoked Paprika, could there be a better spice?! Use on roasts, steak, meatloaf, eggs, in marinades, oh, everything savory.
  9. Cinnamon (Saigon), a sweet spice, and wonderful in breakfast dishes and desserts, but also adds an interesting touch to stir-fries
  10. Ginger Powder, another sweet spice, great in desserts, but a must for stir-fry dishes and marinades.
Regarding garlic, onion and ginger: it’s quite possible to keep these fresh and not have the powders in your spice cabinet. I’ll leave that up to you and your individual lifestyle and cooking habits. Diced onions, grated ginger and minced garlic taste delicious in meals, but does take a bit more time.
Often I will have garlic and onions on hand, but I personally find dicing & chopping enjoyable. I keep the powders in my spice drawer for quick meals.
Check out my simple recipes in my 5 Ingredient Recipe Index

About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m the Joyful Space Specialist. it’s my desire help others create a joyful space of their own and enjoy their time spent at home.


  1. Anonymous on 09/04/2013 at 2:45 PM

    I love your site and am trying to implement your suggestions. I’m so thankful I found you!

    PS I think the above article has an error. Instead of “If you want to cook materialistically” – I think you mean the opposite (i.e., “minimalistically”). Right?

    • Rachel on 09/04/2013 at 7:17 PM

      Oh thanks! (Oh both accounts!) 🙂

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