DIY Spice Blends

01/13/12 Note:  When you’re done with this article, head over here for even more Spice Blend recipes!  Then mosey over here for some DIY convenience mix recipes!

Once you have a good assortment of herbs and spices in your kitchen, there is no need to buy all of those spice blends you see for sale.  Here are a few easy spice blends you can make yourself – ahead of time or right when you need them.  They’d also make great gifts if you doll them up in little jars!

There is no set amount or ingredient list for most spice mixtures, and probably a million different recipes for each type.  Feel free to adjust these recipes to suit your own tastes and needs.  Store herbs, spices, and  mixtures in airtight containers in a cool dry place.  Use within 6 months.

Bouquet Garni (makes approximately 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup dried parsley (classic ingredient)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried thyme (classic ingredient)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried bay leaf (classic ingredient)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary (optional ingredient)

Chinese Five-Spice Powder

  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
  • 6 whole cloves
(toast peppercorns in a heavy, ungreased skillet over medium heat, remove, repeat to toast anise, fennel, cinnamon & cloves.  In a clean coffee grinder, grind all spices until fine.)

Easy Garam Masala (see for a more authentic, toasted recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie Spice (makes approximately 8 teaspoons)

  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

or (makes approximately 8 Tablespoons)

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground allspice


Taco Seasoning (makes approximately 1 oz.)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Italian Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage


Chili Seasoning (makes approximately 3/4 cup)

EDIT:  I have modified this recipe to the proportions below.  I feel that the original version had too much flour and too little chili seasoning. And I think all chili should have cilantro!  I also added 1/4 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the blend, which you may choose to add or not depending on your preference.  I think it gives it a little body without making it taste at all like chocolate.

  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Learn more – more spice blend recipes and tips at


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  • Cynthia says:

    Not only is this a “penny pincher” tip, but where I live in Europe, these spice blends cannot be found, esp. chili, taco and pumpkin blends. Now I can make my own. Thanks so much.

    • Green Penny Pincher says:

      You are very welcome, Cynthia. Thanks so much for reading! p.s. Check out my 2nd post for even more DIY Spice Blends!

    • Calling the BS says:

      You must live in a very rare place.

      I’ve seen both taco mix and chili mix several european contries.

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