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10 Must-Have Basic Seasonings For Your New Kitchen – First Home & Apartment

These basic seasonings for your new kitchen feature a mix of dried spices and fresh herbs to elevate your cooking and make meal preparation a breeze.
basic seasonings for your new kitchen

If you’ve just moved into a new home or apartment and are looking for the best basic seasonings for your new kitchen, this post is for you.

Every time I move into a new place, I make sure to stock up on the essential kitchen seasonings.

By stocking up on these basic kitchen seasonings, you’re not just preventing overspending, but also ensuring that meal preparation becomes a breeze, even in those hectic first weeks. 

Having these spices at your fingertips will make you feel prepared and confident in your new kitchen.

However, determining which seasonings are essential can be tricky when setting up a new kitchen.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of must-have seasonings. They’re not just basic, they’re versatile. With these in your pantry, you’ll have the basics covered, making it easy to whip up a wide variety of delicious meals. 

Basic Seasonings For Your New Kitchen

1. Salt

Salt is one of the must-have basic seasonings for your new kitchen because it enhances the flavor of almost any dish. 

Himalayan pink salt

Whether you use sea salt, kosher salt, or my favorite, Himalayan pink salt, make sure to have some in your kitchen.

2. Cumin

Cumin has a warm, earthy flavor necessary to prepare many cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s perfect for adding extra depth to your recipes. 

I love to use cumin in soups and sauces. It’s also a perfect addition to guacamole, giving it a unique twist. Thus, I recommend you don’t skip this one.

3. Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of spices that adds a rich, complex flavor to dishes. It’s a must-have for making curries and spicing up soups and stews. 

I mainly use curry powder when preparing meaty dishes as it gives the meat a remarkable flavor that takes it to a whole new level, like in this curry goat meat pepper soup.

Turmeric and curry basic seasonings for new kitchen

4. Turmeric

Turmeric adds a vibrant yellow color and a slightly bitter, earthy flavor to dishes. 

Although I do not recommend using it in every dish, I love the flavor it adds to certain soups, stews, and rice. 

I also use it a lot when making my apple cider vinegar shot for its health benefits

Turmeric is commonly used in several Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. So, if that’s your preference, I recommend stacking up. 

5. Black Pepper

Black pepper goes well with everything and is one of the must-buy basic seasonings for your new kitchen. 

Freshly ground black pepper adds a warm, spicy note to your meals. 

Black pepper is perfect for seasoning everything from salads to steaks. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with it.

6. Thyme

Thyme is an aromatic herb that enhances the flavor of various dishes, including roasted meats, tomato soups, and vegetables. 

Thyme is a staple in many kitchens, and growing up in an African home, it was always an essential ingredient.

If you don’t like the taste of thyme, my recommended alternatives are oregano, Italian seasoning, or bay leaves. These can be used in a variety of dishes, giving you more options in your cooking. 

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a common spice that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s excellent for baking, curries, and so much more. 

I also use it in drink recipes to add a little bit of sweetness, like in this ginger-cinnamon hot chocolate

All Spice seasoning

8. Allspice

Allspice has a sweet and tangy flavor that combines the tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. 

It’s versatile and can be used in sweet and savory dishes, from baked goods to meaty dishes. 

If you can’t find allspice at your store, pumpkin pie spice is another great alternative that I recommend. 

9. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a must-have addition to your kitchen pantry if you like spicy food. 

Unlike black pepper, which adds a mild kick, cayenne pepper takes it up a notch to add an intense kick to your meals. 

It’s perfect for those who love a bit of heat in their dishes and can be used in various dishes, from soups to stir-fries.

chili powder seasoning

10. Chili Powder

Chili powder is a versatile blend of spices that brings a smoky, spicy depth to your meals. 

It’s my go-to substitute for paprika and is essential for making chili, tacos, and other savory dishes. 

While I often prefer using fresh chili peppers, chili powder is still perfect for enhancing flavor when fresh isn’t available.

Fresh Basic Seasonings For Your New Kitchen

In addition to dried spices, having fresh seasonings in your kitchen can elevate your cooking to the next level. Here are some fresh basics to always keep on hand:

Garlic cloves basic seasonings for your new kitchen

Garlic Cloves

Fresh garlic cloves are a kitchen essential. They add a robust flavor to various dishes, from sauces and marinades to roasted vegetables and pasta. Crushing or finely chopping garlic releases its full flavor potential.


Fresh ginger adds a spicy, aromatic kick to your meals and pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes. 

I prefer using fresh ginger over powdered because it offers a more vibrant and intense flavor. 

Grating fresh ginger can add freshness to stir-fries, teas, and marinades, like this Jamaican jerk chicken wings recipe.

onions basic seasonings for your new kitchen

Onions (Red, White, or Yellow)

Onions are a significant ingredient in countless recipes and are essential to always have on hand. 

Unlike onion powder, fresh onions bring distinct flavor profiles to your dishes: red onions are milder and great for salads, white onions are sharper and often used in Mexican cuisine, and yellow onions are versatile and sweeten as they cook. They form the base for soups, stews, sautés, and more.

Parsley & Basil

I always recommend keeping fresh herbs on hand such as cilantro, parsley or basil. 

Fresh parsley adds a bright, earthy note to your dishes. 

It can be used as a garnish or chopped and incorporated into recipes for added freshness. Parsley is excellent in salads, soups, and pasta dishes.

Basil on the other hand adds a sweet and peppery flavor to most dishes. Fresh basil leaves can be used in pesto, sprinkled on pizzas, or even added to salads and pastas. 

How to Store Your Seasonings

Proper storage is critical to maintaining the freshness and potency of your seasonings. 

Please keep them in a cool, dark place, and make sure the containers are tightly sealed. 

For fresh seasonings, store them in the refrigerator or freezer to extend their shelf life.

Additional Tips for a Well-Stocked Kitchen

  • Buy in Bulk: To save money, consider buying your seasonings in bulk. You can get bulk seasonings at an affordable price at places like Sam’s Club, Costco, or even online on Amazon.
  • Label Your Containers: If you transfer your seasonings to new containers, make sure to label them clearly and tightly seal them.
  • Rotate Your Stock: To keep your spices fresh, use the oldest seasonings first and note their expiry dates. Seasonings DO expire, so throw out any stale ones. 

By following these tips and purchasing these basic seasonings for your new kitchen, you’ll be well on your way to creating a well-stocked and efficient kitchen that’s ready for any culinary adventure.

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