5 Essential Spices Every Home Cook Needs in Their Pantry


Five spoonful of spices for home cooking

You need to have the right ingredients in your kitchen if you want to become a good cook. Spices provide an immense amount of flavor to the dishes they are added to. However, you can’t keep them in your kitchen forever: while they won’t necessarily go bad, they will lose their flavor, and your cooking will suffer as a result.

This means that you should be updating your stocks of spices in your pantry relatively regularly. However, what are the most essential spices you should keep around? Read on for a few of the essential spices that you need to keep in your cupboard!

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a spicier version than regular chili powder or pepper. Made out of dried peppers, you can add cayenne pepper to meats, soups, vegetables, and pretty much anything else that you want to give a kick to. Remember to balance it out with creams, butter, or milk if you add too much to a single dish. 


Cinnamon is forever a crowd favorite, and while usually associated with baked goods like cookies, muffins, and pancakes, it can actually be used in savory dishes. Add cinnamon to chilis or soups to give it a little tang that other spices just can’t compare to. Obviously, using cinnamon is essential if you want to make your own homemade cinnamon rolls – a staple in early morning breakfasts when you have guests over. 

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is a great way to add a little savory twist to most dishes, from rice to steaks. Garlic powder can be a replacement for actual garlic, which gives you more flexibility when following recipes and saves you time chopping vegetables while cooking. 


Rosemary has a wild, woody taste that is quite distinctive. It works very well in rubs and sauces for red meats like steaks and pork chops. Rosemary can also be used in baking dishes and is a great way to create savory buns and pies. 

Vanilla Extract

While calling something vanilla is the same as calling it plain, and not exactly a spice, vanilla extract is a must for your kitchen. It can be added to all sorts of baked goods for added flavor, like pancakes and cookies. You can even infuse it into alcohol if you want to make special vanilla-flavored cocktails!

Everyone Has a Different Set of Essential Spices

There is a wider variety of spices that you can use than colors in the world. While the above five spices are some of the essential spices that work well in both savory and sweet dishes, there are many more that you should consider keeping in your home. Experiment with recipes and see what you enjoy and end up using the most, and keep your pantry well-stocked with your favorites!

For more information about how to properly set up your kitchen, check out our reviews of kitchen appliances and cooktops!

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