How to Use Different Spices

How to Use Different Spices

Bland chicken & rice can get boring quickly… here are ways to use different spices and spice mixes!

Even though many of these seasonings are Trader Joe’s brand - all brands are very similar - get them from whatever store you have near you!

Trader Joe’s Basil and Oregano

Basil & Oregano


  • You can buy these as dry seasonings OR have small plants in your home & eat them fresh! Just a word of warning - basil needs a LOT of water! I give my plant a full cup every morning.

  • These pair very well together! I also typically pair these with salt & pepper

What to use it in/ on

  • Italian dishes of all types like meats, veggie side dishes, cheeses, pasta & pasta sauce dishes

  • Vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant - sprinkle basil and oregano in stir-fry’s or when you’re baking these veggies

  • Meats like poultry, fish, lamb, and pork - make a “dry rub” by seasoning meats with basil, oregano, salt & pepper and pressing these seasonings into the meats before cooking to make them super tasty. I also like to season meats after they come out of the oven for a little more flavor.

  • Soups

  • Make-your-own salad dressings

  • Make-your-own tomato sauce or canned, roasted tomatoes

Trader Joe's Everything Bagel Lemon Pepper and Everyday Seasonings

Everyday Seasoning Mixes - Lemon Pepper, Everyday, and Everything Bagel


  • You can buy these as dry seasonings OR have small plants in your home & eat them fresh! Just a word of warning - basil needs a LOT of water! I give my plant a full cup every morning.

  • Also, as with all of these seasonings, these pictured are Trader Joe’s specific but Mrs. Dash brand, and pre-mixed seasonings from any grocery store are good!

What to use it in/ on

  • Seriously… you can use these on about anything!! Definite crowd pleasers. Here are a few of my go-to’s

  • Tuna fish - mix it with mayo

  • Eggs - hard boiled, fried, etc.

  • Frozen veggies - steamed or sautéed

  • Cauliflower rice - with grated parmesan cheese!

Trader Joe's Red Chili Pepper

Red Chili Powder/ Flakes


  • This is a mix of different types of dried hot peppers. Spicy!

What to use it in/ on

  • Chilis - make one with beans, ground turkey, and canned tomatoes

  • Veggies - zucchini, corn, bell peppers, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes

  • Protein - fish, chicken, beef

  • Rice

  • Soups and sauces

Trader Joe's Cinnamon



  • Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of several tree species - it’s great as a spice for food and also has a great aromatic appeal!

What to use it in/ on

  • Cookies and other desserts- makes them so flavorful!

  • Coffee grinds - add them to the grinds before you

  • Baked sweet potato - did you know that you can bake a potato in the microwave?? Poke holes in it with a fork. “Bake” it for 5 minutes on each side in the microwave.

  • Oatmeal - make it with nuts & a banana!

  • Baked apples - just cut them up & put them in the microwave!

Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix

Taco Seasoning Mix


  • Taco seasoning mixes are typically combinations of chili powder, garlic powder, onion Powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin and salt. PHEW! I’ll use a pre-mixed seasoning mix thanks :)

What to use it in/ on

  • TACOS :)

  • Nachos

  • Fajita vegetables - stir-fried peppers and onions. This makes a delicious side dish for many proteins!

Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds


  • So flavorful and adding them can even seem a little fancy! I typically wouldn’t recommend keeping track of seasoning mixes if you’re watching your calories, but I’d track sesame seeds since they can add up.

What to use it in/ on

  • Poke bowls - with tuna or smoked salmon, edamame, rice or cauliflower rice

  • Edamame

  • Rice or cauliflower rice

  • Veggie side dishes like stir-fried broccoli

  • Sprinkle some over salads

  • Tahini!

Garlic seasoning and garlic salt Trader Joe's

Garlic Powder or Garlic Salt


  • A step up from salt & pepper! :) So versatile - you can use it on most savory dishes.

What to use it in/ on

  • Veggies - mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and more!

  • Protein - tofu, chicken, beef, you name it! Dry rub the seasoning on the meat before you cook it - press it in!

Salt and Pepper

Salt & Pepper of course!


  • The basics! Seriously you can use these on anythingggg 😉

What to use it in/ on

  • Stir-fried, steamed, or baked veggies

  • Starches like rices, pasta (probably just salt not pepper), quinoa

  • Sheet-pan veggie & protein meals like chicken and broccoli or salmon and snap peas

  • Dry-rubs on meats - before you cook them, press salt & pepper into the meat, or let sit for 30 minutes before cooking if you have time

How long do spices keep in the pantry?

Ground spices will keep for 1-3 years. Check the expiration dates every spring for some Spring Cleaning!


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How to Use Different Spices

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