Uses For Herbs and Spices

Uses for herbs and spices

Below I’d like to share with you the basic list of uses for herbs and spices that I started with. Their proper use leads to better-flavored and distinctively different dishes.

Developing a natural sense of when to use which herbs and spices, and in what quantities, is one of the things that separates gourmet chefs from everyday, household cooks. It is amazing what some of these ingredients can do to improve a dish.

This list provides a few basic uses for herbs and spices:


Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Fruits, braised meats, relishes


Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Asian cuisines, breads, pastries, cheeses


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Tomatoes, eggs, chicken, fish, salads, cheeses, lamb


Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Cabbage, pork, beans, veal, rye bread, beef


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Eggs, salads, soups, chicken, vegetables


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Soups, potatoes, eggs, fish, cheeses, chicken


Form: Fresh leaves
Suggested Uses: Mexican cuisine, chicken, fish, shellfish, salads, salsa


Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Braised meats, fruits, pickles, stocks, marinades, baked goods, beverages


Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Stews, eggs, chili, sausages


Form: Fresh or dried leaves; whole seeds
Suggested uses: Leaves or seeds in soups, salads, fish, shellfish, breads, vegetables; seeds in vegetables, potatoes, pickles


Form: Whole seeds
Suggested Uses: Sauces, eggs, lamb, pickling, stews, sausages


Form: Fresh root or powder
Suggested uses: Meats, curries, stews, pastries, Asian, Caribbean and Indian cuisines


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested uses: tomatoes, green vegetables, game, stews, meats, poultry, sausages


Form: Ground
Suggested Uses: Rice, eggs, beverages, relishes, curries


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Stews, marinades, beef, poultry, game, lamb, veal


Form: Threads or ground
Suggested Uses: Stews, soups, fish, shellfish, chicken, breads, rice, potatoes


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Pork, tomatoes, beans, pasta, stuffings, charcuterie, poultry


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Eggs, salad dressings, chicken, fish, tomatoes, sauces


Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Stews, soups, tomatoes, charcuterie, chicken, fish


Form: Ground
Suggested Uses: Relishes, eggs, breads, rice, curries

I suggest you refer back often to this listing of some of the major uses for herbs and spices. Getting a good feel for their use, which one(s) and how much, will definitely help your progress as a gourmet cook.

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About Chef Kathy

My name is Kathy Davault. I am an award winning chef and author, and have enjoyed cooking for over 30 years. I decided to go to culinary school to become a chef because I knew there was more to cooking than just following recipes.

I started my website in 2006 to offer an abundance of information on many of the things I learned in culinary school. I have a real passion for cooking and want to share all of my tips and techniques with you.

If you are serious about cooking, and would like to be considered a real chef without going to culinary school, let me show you how. You will truly leave a lasting impression on your family and friends, and become the talk of the party with your fabulous dishes!


Chef Kathy

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