A List of Herbs And Spices For Cooking

  • By: Ann Williams
  • Time to read: 8 min.

A List of Herbs and Spices for Cooking

Welcome to our aromatic journey as we present an extensive list of herbs and spices for cooking. These herbs and spices not only add flavor and taste to our favorite dishes, but also offer many health benefits as well.

From widely used staples to lesser-known treasures, explore the rich world of herbs and spices that have been enchanting taste buds and captivating cultures for centuries.

This list of herbs and spices is a helpful guide to add taste to dishes, like for flavoring vegetables. This is a good way of adding more vegetables to your diet for healthier eating. For more information, click on – Ways To Add More Veggies To Your Diet


You might also be interested in – A List Of Herb and Spice Substitutes

Common Herbs And Spices List

Common herbs and spices list

Here is a list of herbs and spices and what they are frequently used in cooking for. Some are popular in different countries but are lesser known in other areas.


  1. Allspice


Known for its warm and aromatic flavor, allspice is commonly used in Caribbean and Middle Eastern dishes, adding depth to stews, curries, and marinades.


  1. Angelica

Its stems and seeds are often candied and used in confectioneries. Angelica leaves are employed in herbal teas and as a decorative herb in salads.


  1. Anise

With its distinct licorice-like taste, anise is a staple in sweet and savory dishes. It flavors desserts, liquors, and traditional Mediterranean dishes.


  1. Asafoetida


Frequently used in Indian cuisine, asafoetida lends a unique onion-garlic flavor to vegetarian dishes and lentil-based curries.


  1. Bay Leaf

The aromatic bay leaf infuses soups, stews, and sauces with a subtle, earthy flavor, commonly used in Mediterranean and Indian cuisines.


  1. Basil

Basil leaves

A classic herb in Italian cooking, basil brings a fresh, peppery taste to pasta dishes, salads, and pesto sauces.


  1. Bergamot

Known as “bee balm,” bergamot leaves add a citrusy, minty flavor to teas and salads.


  1. Black Cumin

Used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, black cumin seeds are sprinkled over bread and added to spice blends for a nutty and slightly bitter taste.


  1. Black Mustard

Black mustard seeds are commonly used in Indian and Asian cooking, providing a pungent kick to pickles, curries, and spice blends.


  1. Black Pepper

Black pepper

An essential spice worldwide, black pepper elevates virtually any dish, from savory to sweet, with its sharp and mildly spicy flavor.


  1. Borage

The delicate blue flowers are used to garnish salads and desserts, imparting a subtle cucumber-like taste.


  1. Brown Mustard

Brown mustard seeds are a key ingredient in various condiments and pickles, contributing a spicier kick compared to the yellow mustard variety.


  1. Burnet

The leaves of burnet are utilized in salads and soups for their mild, cucumber-like taste.


  1. Caraway

Popular in European cuisines, caraway seeds enhance the flavor of bread, sauerkraut, and hearty stews.


  1. Cardamom

This aromatic spice is widely used in Indian and Middle Eastern desserts, rice dishes, and chai tea for its sweet and slightly floral taste.


  1. Cassia

Similar to cinnamon, cassia is used in baking and spiced beverages, offering a warm and slightly spicy flavor.


  1. Catnip

Apart from its recreational use for cats, catnip leaves can be steeped in tea for a soothing and mild minty taste.


  1. Cayenne Pepper

This fiery spice adds heat to various dishes, sauces, and rubs, popular in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines. This is a popular spice on our list of herbs and spices.


  1. Celery Seed

Celery seeds

Celery seeds contribute a distinct celery flavor to coleslaw, potato salad, and pickles.

For information on celery salt, click on – Celery Salt Substitute


  1. Chervil

A delicate herb used to season egg dishes, soups, and salads, adding a subtle anise-like taste.


  1. Chicory

Chicory leaves add a slightly bitter note to salads and are often roasted and ground to create a caffeine-free coffee substitute.


  1. Chili Pepper

A cornerstone of global cuisines, chili peppers range from mild to fiery, adding intense heat and flavor to countless dishes, sauces, and salsas.


  1. Chives


These mild, onion-flavored leaves are often used as a garnish for salads, soups, and creamy sauces.


  1. Cicely

Known as “sweet cicely,” its anise-like seeds and leaves are employed to sweeten desserts, fruit dishes, and herbal teas.


  1. Cilantro

Common in Mexican and Asian cooking, cilantro leaves and stems infuse dishes with a fresh, citrusy taste, perfect for salsas and curries.


  1. Cinnamon

cinnamon spice


An aromatic and versatile spice, cinnamon elevates sweet treats, oatmeal, and savory dishes with its warm, comforting flavor.


  1. Clove

Cloves are used in baking, desserts, and spiced beverages, imparting a strong, sweet, and slightly bitter taste.


  1. Coriander

Derived from cilantro seeds, coriander offers a warm and fresh flavor to spice blends, pickles, and curries.


  1. Costmary

Costmary leaves, also known as “alecost,” are used in salads, soups, and sauces, providing a minty and balsamic touch.


  1. Cumin

A staple in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mexican dishes, cumin seeds deliver a smoky and nutty flavor to rice, curries, and tacos.


  1. Curry

An iconic blend of various spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fenugreek, curry powder is a cornerstone in Indian, Thai, and South Asian cuisines, providing a rich, hot and complex taste to curries and stews.


  1. Dill

dill herbs

Dill leaves and seeds are widely used to flavor pickles, fish, and creamy sauces, offering a fresh, tangy taste.


  1. Fennel

Fennel seeds and leaves add a fresh anise-like flavor to sausages, seafood, and Mediterranean salads.


  1. Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are a crucial element in Indian curries and spice blends, providing a slightly bitter and nutty taste.


  1. Filé

A key ingredient in gumbo, filé powder thickens and imparts an earthy flavor to the iconic Creole dish.


  1. Ginger

Fresh or dried, ginger adds a zesty, slightly sweet taste to stir-fries, curries, and baked goods.


  1. Grains of Paradise

Also known as “alligator pepper,” these seeds offer a peppery and citrusy kick to spice blends and marinades.


  1. Holy Basil

Revered in Thai cuisine, holy basil leaves lend a peppery, clove-like flavor to curries and stir-fries.


  1. Horehound

Horehound is used to create herbal cough drops and teas due to its pleasantly bitter taste.


  1. Horseradish

A pungent root often grated and mixed with vinegar or cream, horseradish adds a sharp kick to sauces and roast meats.


  1. Hyssop

Hyssop leaves provide a minty, slightly bitter taste to salads, soups, and herbal teas.


  1. Lavender


Lavender flowers are a delightful addition to desserts, syrups, and beverages, imparting a fragrant, floral flavor.


  1. Lemon Balm

Known for its lemony scent, lemon balm leaves are used in teas, salads, and desserts for a refreshing touch.


  1. Lemon Grass

Widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine, lemon grass offers a citrusy, aromatic flavor to curries, soups, and marinades.


  1. Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena leaves are prized for their intense lemon flavor, used in desserts, teas, and fruit salads.


  1. Licorice

Often used as a sweetener in herbal teas and candies, licorice root has a distinct anise-like taste.


  1. Lovage

Lovage leaves and stems add a savory, celery-like flavor to soups, stews, and salads.


  1. Mace

Derived from the outer covering of nutmeg, mace has a warm, aromatic taste, often used in baking and spice blends.


  1. Marjoram

A member of the oregano family, marjoram leaves enhance the flavor of roasted meats, vegetables, and tomato-based dishes.


  1. Nutmeg

Nutmeg, whether ground or grated, adds a sweet and nutty taste to baked goods, creamy sauces, and hot beverages.


  1. Oregano

A staple in Italian and Mediterranean cooking, oregano leaves bring a robust, slightly bitter flavor to pizzas, pasta dishes, and salads.


  1. Paprika

Paprika spices

This vibrant spice comes in various forms and heat levels, adding a sweet and smoky taste to dishes like goulash and Spanish rice.

You might be interested in this article – Sweet Paprika Substitute


  1. Parsley

A versatile herb, parsley leaves are used as a garnish and flavor enhancer in a wide range of dishes, from soups to grilled meats.


  1. Peppermint

Peppermint leaves are used to make soothing herbal teas and enhance the flavor of desserts and cocktails.


  1. Poppy Seed

Poppy seeds are sprinkled over baked goods and salads, lending a nutty taste and crunchy texture.


  1. Rosemary

A robust and aromatic herb, rosemary leaves are used in roasts, marinades, and bread recipes.


  1. Rue

Rue leaves are employed sparingly due to their intense bitterness, adding a unique flavor to Mediterranean dishes.


  1. Saffron

As one of the most expensive spices, saffron threads color and flavor dishes like paella and risotto with a distinctive floral taste.


  1. Sage

Sage leaves infuse stuffing, meat dishes, and sauces with a warm, earthy flavor, popular in Mediterranean cuisine.


  1. Savory

Both summer and winter savory are used to season beans, stews, and sausages, offering a peppery and slightly bitter taste.


  1. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are a common topping for bread and Asian dishes, providing a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. You can get both white and black sesame seeds.


  1. Sorrel

Sorrel leaves add a tart, lemony taste to salads, soups, and sauces, commonly used in French cuisine.


  1. Star Anise

This star-shaped spice imparts a licorice-like flavor to Asian dishes, especially in braised meats and soups.


  1. Spearmint

With a milder taste than peppermint, spearmint leaves are used in beverages, salads, and desserts.


  1. Tarragon

Tarragon leaves have a distinct anise flavor, elevating chicken dishes, sauces, and vinegar infusions.


  1. Thyme

A versatile herb, thyme enhances the taste of roasted meats, vegetables, and soups, providing a warm and earthy flavor.


  1. Turmeric

Turmeric spices

Known for its vibrant yellow color, turmeric is used in curries, rice dishes, and smoothies, imparting a warm and slightly bitter taste.


  1. Vanilla

Vanilla pods or extract enrich desserts, beverages, and sauces with a sweet and fragrant flavor.


  1. Wasabi

Often served with sushi, wasabi adds a pungent and fiery kick to various dishes and dipping sauces.


  1. White Mustard

White mustard seeds are used to make traditional mustard condiments, providing a milder taste compared to the black and brown varieties.



Common herbs and spices


From savory to sweet, each herb and spice in this comprehensive list brings its unique flavor profile to countless culinary creations.

Whether you’re exploring new cuisines or adding depth to familiar dishes, our list of herbs and spices are sure to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your cooking experience.

Embark on a flavorful adventure and savor the rich tapestry of herbs and spices that have delighted palates throughout the ages.


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