15 Spice Blends to Use Instead of Salt
Whether you're keeping your blood pressure in check or just want more control over the amount of salt in your dishes, these salt-free seasoning blends are the perfect choice. Ranging across global cuisines — from Jamaican to Ethiopian to French and beyond — you'll find a world of flavor in each unique mix. Keep a few jars of these spices handy, and you'll be cutting out salt in no time and not missing it at all.
All-Purpose No-Salt Seasoning Mix
You may use half of your spice cabinet in this seasoning mix, but it will be worth the effort once you take a bite of meat or veggies sprinkled with this tasty blend. Featuring garlic powder, cayenne, ground mace, and a world of herbs, it's sure to become a new go-to spice blend.
Easy Garam Masala
Traditionally, garam masala is made with whole spices that are individually toasted and blended together. But this simple version skips those steps and instead relies on ground spices for an easy and delicious Indian seasoning. Mix it into curries, mash with samosa fillings, or sprinkle atop naan before baking.
As delicious as they are, those pre-made packages of taco seasoning are sodium bombs. This recipe replicates all the flavor without the salt, including cornstarch as a thickener to ensure your ground beef (or other desired taco filling) is properly coated with spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika.
Starting with a base of onion and garlic powders, this seasoning blend is bumped up with a mix of Italian herbs, dry mustard, cayenne, celery seed, and more. If you plan on putting it in a salt shaker, give the mix a quick run through the food processor to make the herbs small enough to sprinkle.
Blackened Seasoning Mix
Get a taste of Cajun cooking with this salt-free seasoning that's perfect for blackened fish or meat dishes. You can adjust the cayenne to your preference, halving it for sensitive palates or doubling it for true spice lovers.
Berbere Spice Blend
"I love berbere spice, a classic Ethiopian spice blend, but it never occurred to me to make my own," says Chef John. "Actually, authentic berbere spice would use whole spice seeds/pods, toasted, and ground. But I usually toast the spices during the cooking process." This seasoning is excellent rubbed onto cuts of meat before roasting, mixed into cooked lentils, or sprinkled over steamed veggies.
Homemade Poultry Seasoning
Store-bought poultry seasoning is often overwhelmingly salty. Instead, try this homemade version that keeps all the flavor with essential ingredients like sage, thyme, and marjoram. Don't skip the smidge of nutmeg, it adds an earthy depth that's delicious.
Lebanese Seven Spices
Using heady spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cumin, along with Middle Eastern favorites like cardamom and coriander, this Lebanese-inspired mix can't be beat. "Wonderful blend. I especially enjoy it on my eggs and a sprinkle on my tabouleh," says reviewer P.
This bold blend of Italian herbs will blow any pre-made variety out of the water. Dressed up with some red chili flakes and dried savory, this will become your new go-to for seasoning tomato sauces, vinaigrettes, and more.
An Eastern Indian favorite, this five spice blend is a fun way to change up your usual seasoning choices. It's traditionally made with kalonji seeds, but this recipe uses dried oregano instead for an easier-to-find substitute. You can cook with the spices by sautéing them in oil as a base for curries, blending into a powder and rubbing onto meats, or using it as a pickling spice.
Spicy Herb Seasoning
With a hit of cayenne and some zing from the dried lemon peel, you won't miss salt at all with this spicy seasoning blend. Want to make things even more savory? Follow reviewer pamjames' lead and use smoked paprika for an extra depth of flavor.
Herbs de Provence
A classic French seasoning, herbs de Provence provides plenty of herbaceous flavor while getting a hit of floral from the lavender. "This goes great in salads, fish, chicken, beef and pork," says Mariposa.
Salt-Free Spicy Herb Seasoning Blend
"This delicious, spicy seasoning blend is wonderful on anything from meats to fish to veggies and even popcorn," says recipe creator Christina. "Because the ingredients are those most of us always have on hand, it's a cinch to whip up."
Tandoori Masala Spice Mix
Tandoori masala appears as an ingredient in many Indian recipes, but if you don't have an international grocery store nearby it can be hard to get your hands on a bottle of it. Instead, make this salt-free version at home for a blend of seasonings that is earthy, savory, and just a hint spicy.
Jamaican Curry Powder
Packed with coriander, cumin, anise, allspice, and more, you won't be able to stop sprinkling this curry powder on any Jamaican dishes you make. There's no heat to this blend, but recipe creator Monty says you can spice it up with the addition of some cayenne. "This is a great recipe and tastes just like the Caribbean curries I had as a kid," says reviewer Jimmy Ray.