Enhance the Flavor of Your Food

The flavor of many foods can be enhanced without using calorie-laden sauces and gravies. Here are some great ways to use herbs to “spice up” your meals and bring out the natural flavors of your food. Don’t be afraid to experiment—try small amounts of several seasonings to find the right combination.

Meat Seasoning Ideas

To Season This...

Try One of These...

Poultry basil, cranberry sauce/relish, ginger, fresh mushrooms, marjoram, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage,   summer savory, or thyme
Lamb curry powder, basil, garlic, mint, mint sauce/jelly, onion, oregano, parsley, pineapple rings, or rosemary
Pork apple juice, applesauce, garlic, marjoram, onion, sage,  spiced apple, or spiced crabapple
Beef bay leaf, butter, chive, dry mustard, garlic, green pepper, marjoram, mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme, or tomato  
Veal apricots, basil, bay leaf, currant jelly, curry, garlic, ginger,  marjoram, mushrooms, oregano, pepper,  spiced chervil, or summer savory
Fish basil, bay leaf, curry, dill, dry mustard, garlic, green pepper, lemon butter, lemon juice, marjoram, mushrooms, paprika, parsley, tarragon, thyme, or tomato

Vegetable Seasoning Ideas

The flavor of any veggie can be enhanced by using bay leaf, dill seed, and vinegar.  Or, try combining water, vinegar, and dry mustard to make your own healthy mustard spread. 

To Season This...

Try One of These...

Asparagus chives, herb butter, or lemon juice
Green Beans dill seed, chives, lemon juice, nutmeg, marjoram, onion, rosemary, or scallions
Broccoli lemon juice
Cabbage dill seed, or mustard dressing/paste
Cauliflower nutmeg
Corn chives, curry, onions, or parsley
Peas chervil, chives, fresh mushrooms, lemon juice, mint, onion, or parsley
Potatoes green peppers, mace, onion, or parsley
Squash allspice, basil, ginger, mace, or sautéed onion
Sweet Potatoes glaze of cinnamon/nutmeg, or escalope with apples & sugar
Tomatoes basil, chives, curry, marjoram, onions, parsley, or sugar
Green Peppers chives, curry, onions, or parsley

Create Your Own Spice Shakers
Making your own herb combinations will save you time (and money) when making recipes.  Plus, a homemade spice shaker with a handwritten label makes a wonderful holiday gift for your favorite cook!  Try making your own blends (like a simple "Italian Blend" of basil and oregano), or use the suggestions below. 
(Mix all ingredients well and place into a shaker with a secure lid.)

Basic Spice Shaker

Herb & Onion Blend

Enhanced Seasoning

1 Tbsp. ground marjoram

1 Tbsp. ground savory

1 Tbsp. ground thyme

1-1/2 tsp. ground basil

1-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1-1/2 tsp. ground oregano

1/4 cup instant chopped onion

1 Tbsp. sweet basil

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper

1 tsp. crumbled thyme leaves

1 tsp. marjoram leaves

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. dried dill weed

2 Tbsp. paprika


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Member Comments

Great information, thanks. Report
Going to save this one! I’ve always wanted to learn how to use more spices and this is a great help! Thanks! Report
This helps so much. I think you should also had garlic to string beans. Report
Great article! Thanks! Report
Nice mix thanks SP Report
Great article. Thanks for the suggestions. This is very helpful to me. Report
I like using many different spices when cooking. Report
Thanks Report
Some great instructions, will print and put on frig Report
Good article. Report
i have only been on keto diet for a few days down 4 lbs. i do not feel hungry at all. i drinks lots of water. Report
thanks Report
spices mmm
My family still prefers foods to not have herbs in them, no matter how fresh or organic. They like chili powder or paprika, but nothing green, especially parsley and cilantro makes them sick, just the smell of it is disgusting. So salt and pepper is mostly enough. Rosemary and tarragon also is off putting. Report


About The Author

Tanya Jolliffe
Tanya Jolliffe
Tanya earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics and nutrition and has more than 20 years of experience in nutrition counseling and education. She is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. See all of Tanya's articles.