10 Spices Every New Cook Should Have in Their Kitchen

Since the start of quarantine, many of us have turned to the kitchen to get our minds off the outside world.

Instead of wasting your money on takeout every night, why not enjoy a nice, home-cooked meal? If you're relatively new to cooking, you're probably wondering what essentials you need to have on hand. From pots, to pans, to other accessories, there's lots to consider. But what about the spices that bring food to another level taste-wise?

Keep reading for the 10 spices every new cook should have in their kitchen:


Oregano is a staple spice everyone should have in their kitchen. It pairs amazing with marinades for chicken, lamb and seafood. It's also frequently used in potato dishes as well as meals featuring lemon. It's a versatile spice, and one you'll use often.

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Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Sometimes your meal needs that extra kick. That's where crushed red pepper flakes come in to play. This spice goes great with all sorts of Asian dishes and even atop fish. It also pairs well with many greens, including broccoli, kale chips, Brussels sprouts and more.



Turmeric is a versatile spice that pairs will with all sorts of foods. It's widely used in scrambles, frittatas and even with roasted vegetables. You'll definitely see it on the ingredient list for many grainy dishes, including rice, couscous, quinoa and more.


Salt + Pepper

Salt and pepper are such an obvious pairing of spices to have in the kitchen, but we figured some people need all the help they can get! Salt and pepper is used with anything from eggs, to meat, to veggies, to salads and pretty much everything else.



If you're not familiar with cumin, it's a staple spice used in all sorts of savory dishes. It's commonly used in curries, stews and chili. The spice itself gives off a sweet yet earthy taste and pairs well with meat, fish and an assortment of veggies.

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Garlic Powder

Chances are, you already have garlic powder or garlic salt in your kitchen. It's a versatile spice that all garlic lovers are guaranteed to enjoy. It pairs well homemade dressings, vegetables and sauces. It's popular in Mexican dishes and taco meats.


Lemon Pepper

Lemon pepper is an absolute must for any new chefs in the making. It's widely used with chicken dishes, fish, pastas and even salads. It gives food an extra kick and is known for being sprinkled atop avocado toast.


Chili Powder

When you want your food to pack a punch, consider adding chili powder. It's the perfect spice to accompany roasted potatoes, soup and even vegetables. Commonly used in Latin American dishes, chili powder is also great with tacos and enchiladas.



Paprika powder is typically a blend of crushed bell peppers and chilis, aka a spice with a kick. This spice is commonly used in chicken dishes, soups, rice and other savory dishes. It's also sprinkled over dishes for pops of color like atop deviled eggs or homemade mac-n-cheese.


Onion Powder

Onion powder is made up of, you guessed it, onions. This spice is a great addition to dips, dressings, scrambled eggs and stews. It's a staple spice in a lot of rubs for meats such as ribs, ground beef and even meatloaf.

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Love food as much as we do? Click HERE for the snacks from the '90s that we're still craving today.