The 10 Most Common Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

We all know that variety is the spice of life. Similarly, spices can add a much-needed dose of variety to your lifestyle and cooking regimen. Whether you're a veteran chef or a budding culinary enthusiast, a core lineup of common spices is essential to creating the dishes you crave. To help you get started, we've put together a list of the essential spices to have in your kitchen.

Read on to discover the 10 most common spices no kitchen should be without.


Michelle Arnold/Getty Images

TurmericВ is not only one of the best spices to have on hand but alsoВ helps promote healthy circulation and prevent inflammation, among a host of otherВ health benefits. To effortlessly incorporate it into your diet, try cooking this earthy, peppery spice with Indian dishes or meats. You can even stir it into your favorite smoothie.


Michelle Arnold/Getty Images

Chopping garlic is one of those time-consuming, yet ultimately rewarding parts of cooking up your favorite dish. Sprinkling a bit of this essential spice into pastas, soups, and meat dishes (even inВ powder form), can add a burst of flavor. And its array ofВ health benefitsВ doesn't hurt either.


Victoriya89/Getty Images

BasilВ (though technically an herb) is a must for traditional Italian and French cooking and absolutely deserves a place on your spice rack. As a bonus, basil is consumed for its addedВ health benefits,В including its high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties.


John Block/Getty Images

From Mediterranean pastas to a range of South American dishes,В oregano adds a fresh and flavorful twist to a number of beloved entrГ©es.

A sprinkle ofВ oregano in your eggsВ adds a little Italian flair to this everyday dish. Try it for your next at-home brunch.


Triocean/Getty Images

ThisВ key spiceВ adds zest and a bold, refreshing edge to any dish. Ginger aids inВ digestion and cardiovascular healthВ and also can be added to at-home smoothies and fresh-pressed juices.


Michelle Arnold/Getty Images

Warm and richly aromatic,В nutmeg is a signature ingredient for fall and winter baking. It's also perfect for dark sauces and spice-forward meat preparations (and for sprinkling on top of hot cocoa).


Nathalie Pellenkoft/Getty Images

Cinnamon is a sumptuous, deliciously aromatic spice that'sВ a key ingredientВ for anyone who loves to bake. Note: ItВ isn't just a major component of muffins and cookies, but also ofВ savoryВ stews and curries.

Black Peppercorn

Michelle Arnold/Getty Images

FreshlyВ ground black peppercornВ is one of the most versatile common spices andВ adds a touch of flavor and depth to virtually any dish. While many variations come with their own built-in grinding mechanism, this key spice might just inspire you to acquire aВ spice grinder.


Michelle Arnold/Getty Images

Cumin is aВ distinctive cornerstone of Middle Eastern cooking. It'sВ delectably earthy, mellow, and perfect for complex dishes as well as basics like quinoa, rice, and braised veggies.


Annick Vanderschelden/Getty Images

As one of the most colorful common spices to grace your kitchen shelf,В paprika boasts a lusciously smooth flavor. Ground from sweet red pepper pods, paprika is ideal for preparing everything from seafood to red meat. It's also tame enough to be used as a garnish.

Next, discover sevenВ mouthwatering garlic mashed potato recipes.