Suitable Herbs And Spices To Use In Different Foods And Dishes

herbs and spices pairings

Herbs and spices – what goes with what food? What types of herbs or spices to use in a particular dish like chicken, beef, beans, or others?

Spices and herbs can make your dishes amazingly tasty, also the same dish can taste different with different combinations of spices and herbs.

Knowing what kinds of flavoring ingredients to use in a dish and how much to use is essential to good cooking.

Most spices and herbs do not pair well with every type of dish. Also, some herbs and spices aren’t compatible with their extreme differences in flavors. This article digs into the right spices and herbs you can use in each type of dish in including meats, fish, vegetables, and others.  

List Of Herbs And Spices Pairings For Foods

Preference of taste would definitely vary for each person, one may like the flavor of spice but others may not like the same flavor. Here we have put together the list of spices and herbs compatible with common dishes. You’ll need to experiment to know which appeals to you and others in your family or groups.

Must Read: Complete List Of Spice Substitutes

Here are the best herbs and spices you can use in different foods.

VEGETABLES

Check out the list of common vegetables and the spices and herbs compatible with each of them:

  • Asparagus: Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Beans (dry): Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Onions, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Thyme
  • Beans (green): Basil, Caraway, Clove, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Savory, Thyme
  • Broccoli: Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Cabbage: Basil, Caraway, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory
  • Carrots: Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Cauliflower: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon
  • Corn: Chervil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage, Thyme
  • Cucumbers: Chives, Dill, Garlic
  • Eggplant: Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Thyme
  • Mushrooms: Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Parsnips: Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory, Thyme
  • Peas: Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Potatoes: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Spinach: Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme
  • Squash: Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Marjoram, Dill, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory
  • Tomatoes: Basil, Bay Leaf, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme

NON-VEGETARIAN DISHES  

Here is the list of commonly used non-vegetarian dishes and the spices and herbs pair well with them:

  • Meat: Basil, Bay Leaf, Caraway, Cumin, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme
  • Chicken: Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Borage, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Oregano, Sage, Savory, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Marjoram, Onion, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Eggs: Anise, Basil, Caraway, Cayenne Pepper, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Fish: Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Lamb: Basil, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Onion, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Pork: Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon
  • Turkey: Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Veal: Bay Leaf, Curry Powder, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano

FRUITS

When you are making smoothies, juices, or salad with fruits, you can use the following spices and herbs:

  • Allspice, Anise, Cinnamon, Cloves, Lemon Balm, Curry, Ginger, Mace, Mint, Nutmeg, Pepper, Rosemary

SIDE DISHES

  • Rice: Basil, Fennel, Lovage, Saffron, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Bread: Basil, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Stuffing:  Garlic, Marjoram, Onion, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

FLAVORED OILS

Here is the list of commonly used flavored oils and the herbs and spices to use in them.

  • Olive Oil: Cardamom, Celery Leaves, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Oregano, Saffron, Thyme
  • Peanut Oil: Chervil, Tarragon, Shallots
  • Safflower Oil: Cardamom, Coriander Leaf, Dill, Ginger
  • Walnut Oil: Lemon Verbena, Lemon Thyme

FLAVORED VINEGARS

Look at the list of commonly used flavored vinegars and the spices and herbs to use in them.

  • White Wine Vinegar: Borage, Cardamom, Dill, Garlic, Fennel Leaf, Mint, Orange Peel, Rosemary, Raisins, Parsley, Shallots
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Parsley, Sage, Shallots
  • Cider Vinegar: Cinnamon, Chilies, Dill, Garlic, Nasturtiums, Oregano
  • Rice Vinegar: Rose Petals, Violet Petals

HERBAL TEAS

There are several blends of herbal teas used for various health benefits. Here is the list of spices and herbs usually used in herbal teas:

  • Chamomile, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrus Peels, Fennel, Ginger, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, Licorice Root, Marjoram, Nettle Leaf, Peppermint, Spearmint, Red Clover, Rosehips, Roses, Rosemary, Thyme

How To Get Maximum Flavors Out Of Herbs And Spices?

Here are the tips for getting the best out of herbs and spices:

Soak the dried herbs in a liquid for at least 15 minutes before use; you may use water, vinegar, oil, broth, or lemon juice for soaking the herbs.

Rub the spice and herbs onto the poultry, meat, or fish before cooking.

For herbs used for salad dressing, soak them in vinegar or other cooking acids for at least 15 minutes before dressing the salad.

Use herbs roasted/soaked in melted butter for adding into steamed or boiled vegetables.

Most herbs lose their flavor in prolonged high-flame cooking; therefore, add herbs to your dishes about 10 minutes before the completion of cooking.

Most dried herbs have a heavily concentrated amount of flavor than the fresh herbs, so use 2 to 4 times more fresh herbs than dried herbs depending on the flavor potency of the herb.

The Bottom Line

We have just seen the best spices and herbs you can use in different foods and drinks. Using the right blend of spices and herbs in your dish is an art of cooking that needs to be mastered over years of cooking. Choose the agreeable spices and herbs for your dish according to the flavor combinations you love to have. Always start using the flavoring ingredients in small quantity and if needed add more of them only after tasting.

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