Top 10 Spices You Need For Easy Meal Recipes!

10 Spices to Always Have In Your Kitchen — Local healthy cooking expert, Morgan Jankovich shares the top 10 spices to always have in your kitchen for easy meal recipes!

10 Spices to Always Have In Your Kitchen | Sugar & Cloth

Black pepper - a essential spices to your kitchen | Sugar & Cloth

Though sugar may be in the name, my cooking expertise basically stops after standard baking and easy Pinterest meals.

Thus, I need a little tutoring in the kitchen area. I reached out to local expert (and all around sweetheart) Morgan of The Foodie Chef to create a simple Cooking 101 series to help us (or just me, ughm…) brush up on the basics.

First off, staple spices!

All of these spices are versatile for most cuisines.

From Tex-Mex to Italian, you can find a use for my top 10 spices to always have in your kitchen…

These staple spices are what I, Morgan use mostly in my kitchen. Since I’m located in Texas, I tend to have a Tex-Mex flare in my cooking which results in warm flavors.

10 Spices to Always Have In Your Kitchen | Sugar & Cloth

10 Spices to Always Have In Your Kitchen

1 — Bay Leaves Whole

 Goes well in simmering sauces like tomato sauce or even in hearty white bean and vegetable soup.

2 — Kosher Salt

A must in cooking, it enhances the flavor of meat, veggies and soup.

3 — Medium Ground Black Pepper


Another must in cooking. It adds a hint of mild spiciness to food.

4 — Cinnamon

A staple for savory and sweet items from baked apples to Mole.

5 — Chili Powder

A great addition to Tex-Mex cooking, especially turkey chili.

6 — Garlic Powder

I’m pretty sure I season everything with this!

7 — Cumin

This spice has such a distinct flavor, I love it in tomatillo salsa. It’s earthy and slightly citrusy and a staple in Latin American, Middle Eastern, North African, and Indian cuisines.

8 — Fox Point

I particularly love all of the flavors in this Fox Point Seasoning by Penzeys Spices. It’s a hand-mixed blend of salt, freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns.

This light and flavorful blend can be used with vegetables, poultry, fish and salads. Personally, it’s my go-to spice for eggs and fish.

9 — Pasta Sprinkle


Great for any Italian meal, Pasta Sprinkle by Penzeys Spices blends California basil, Turkish oregano, French thyme and minced garlic. 

I love putting mine in a Bolognese sauce. However, it’s also pretty tasty when topped on vegetables, poultry and fish. It’s also salt-free!

10 — Oregano

I love this spice for both Italian and Tex-Mex cooking. Its unique flavor adds more dimension to these cuisines.​ Oregano is earthy and slightly bitter, which intensifies when dried.

You can’t make pizza crust without oregano! 

Essential Spices For Tex-Mex Cooking

photo of how to make an easy chicken tortilla by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

In my Tex-Mex cooking, I use chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and salt and pepper.

These spices are perfect for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Of course, salt and pepper go well with everything!

All types of meat and veggies need to be seasoned with these to bring out their best flavor.


Ideal Spices For Eggs and Fish Cooking

10 Spices to Always Have In Your Kitchen | Sugar & Cloth

I love using Fox Point on eggs and fish. It really is my go-to blend of spices with dried shallots and chives.

Fox Point actually goes well on everything. It would be perfect inside my donut breakfast sandwich.

I also took a cooking class in Italy and learned that using oregano and pasta sprinkle are an ideal addition to a rich tomato sauce!



I highly recommend having all of these spices in your kitchen if you’re a beginner or even a chef! Are there any additional staples you always have on hand?

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  4. Excellent list! Will have to keep an eye out for fox point!

    I might add in a smoked paprika as well, takes simple roasted vegetables to another level entirely.

  5. Aw, I love seeing local bloggers featured! And I love all of these spices – except fox point, which I’ve never heard of :( adding it to my list to look for at Central Market, I’m sure they’ll have it!