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The 10 Best All Purpose Seasonings in 2020

Life is better with a little flavor. Fortunately for us, we’ve got several different all purpose seasonings that we can use to spice up our sometimes-bland meals. But which all purpose seasoning is the best choice?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 best all purpose seasoning out there, and let you know which ones are best from a budget, health, and flavor standpoint. We’ll also give you some ideas for how to use all purpose seasonings, tips for considering which brand to choose, and even share how you can make your own all purpose seasoning!

Best Pick

Lawry’s Salt Free 17 Seasoning

Lawry’s Salt Free 17 Seasoning is great—17 different herbs and spices without any salt provides some of the best and healthiest flavor out there.

Budget Pick

McCormick Himalayan Pink Salt with Black Pepper and Garlic All Purpose Seasoning

For anyone interested in mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt, McCormick’s Himalayan Pink Salt with Black Pepper and Garlic All Purpose Seasoning is a delicious (and lower sodium) option. 



1. Lawry’s Salt Free 17 Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Premium selected, high-quality ingredients
  • 17 different herbs and spices are included
  • Includes unique ingredients that aren’t found elsewhere (lemon peel, dill, carrot, and celery)
  • Perfect for health-conscious individuals
  • Certified Kosher
  • Salt free
  • Suitable for individuals following a gluten-free diet
  • Has an extended shelf life—stays fresh for 720 days!

Lawry’s is a well-known name in the world of flavor. In addition to their line of spices, the Lawry’s brand actually owns several different restaurants. To say that they know a little something about how to make good food is an understatement.

Established as a meat packing business in the early 1880s, Louis Frank was the first name associated with the Lawry’s brand. He eventually passed on his legacy to his son, who would continue to pass it on to family members as the brand started to purchase restaurants (including LA’s oldest restaurant!).

It wasn’t until 1938 that, after many long nights of experimentation, Lawrence Frank developed a delicious combination of 17 spices and herbs that were designed to work well with prime rib. This is when the Lawry’s line of seasonings was born with their Seasoned Salt!

Today, third and fourth generations of the families behind the Lawry’s brand continue the nearly 100-year-old legacy. Part of that legacy comes with their all purpose recipe blend seasoning. It has been designed specifically for chefs to create extraordinary meals—but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used by anyone in any type of meal (even sprinkled on grilled cheese!). 

Pros

  • Made for chefs, great for everyone
  • Different ingredients allow it to work well with any entree, appetizer, or sauce
  • Doesn’t contain salt, perfect for individuals on a low-sodium diet
  • Suitable for a kosher or gluten-free diet
  • Easy pour spout
  • Long shelf life

Cons

  • If used in a large quantity, the peppery taste might be too strong for some

2. McCormick Himalayan Pink Salt with Black Pepper and Garlic All Purpose Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Combination of garlicky, citrusy, and sweet flavors makes for a unique and delicious flavor profile
  • Contains Himalayan pink salt
  • Certified paleo
  • Great gluten-free option
  • Non-GMO project verified
  • Just 9 ingredients

Willoughby M. McCormick started his company more than 130 years ago—in a basement no less! Since then, it’s become a global leader for flavor, diversity, sustainability, and philanthropy. The company has won several awards throughout the year and you can feel confident that a purchase from them is a good choice.

Why does their all purpose seasoning taste so good? It’s been scientifically formulated. The researchers and scientists at McCormick have developed an EsSense Profile, which measures the emotional response of humans when they eat certain flavors!

Next time you enjoy avocado on toast with a sprinkle of McCormick’s all purpose seasoning, you’ll know that it was designed to make you happy!

Pros

  • Himalayan pink salt contains more minerals than regular salt
  • Tastes great when used on meat-free dishes (but is great with meat, too!)
  • Only 9 ingredients, but still provides a lot of flavor
  • Doesn’t contain any genetically-modified ingredients

Cons

  • Contains salt and significant amount of sodium (800 mg per teaspoon serving, which is still lower than many other options)
  • It has a strong onion flavor which might not be enjoyed by some
  • Garlic is coarsely chopped and a bit dry

3. Special Shit Premium All Purpose Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Delicately blended gourmet seasoning that’s unlike any other
  • Well-known and respected brand in the world of flavor
  • Perfect for a funny and flavorful gift
  • Well-rounded taste brings out flavor of whatever it’s used to season
  • Large tub will last a while

With a brand name that’s just as clever as their Special Shit all purpose seasoning, Big Cock Ranch has developed a range of seasonings that are as funny as they are flavorful—including Bull Shit Steak Seasoning, Chicken Shit Poultry Seasoning, and Aw Shit Hot n’ Spicy Seasoning.

Their range of seasonings, including their all purpose seasoning, are amazing on meats, in sauces, and just to sprinkle onto already-cooked meals. 

Pros

  • While small, it’s a source of potassium (28 mg)
  • One of the best all purpose seasoning options for grilling
  • Strong salt, pepper, and garlic flavors work well when combined with vinegar or oil to create a marinade

Cons

  • High sodium, just one tsp contains 960 mg
  • Meat tenderizer may be an unnecessary ingredient for people not using it for meat
  • Calcium stearate used as an anti-caking agent may not be vegan friendly (most is derived from cows or pigs)
  • One of the more expensive options on this list

4. McCormick Garlic and Onion, Black Pepper and Sea Salt All Purpose Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Made with real spices and herbs
  • Convenient shake-on tub
  • Perfect blend of garlic, herb, and heat flavors
  • Ideal for individuals following a paleo or gluten-free diet
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Contains sea salt

Similar to their Himalayan Salt all purpose seasoning, the McCormic Garlic, Onion, Black Pepper & Sea Salt All Purpose Seasoning is great to add to anything. Designed to be used as a flavor boost for meals like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches, this all purpose seasoning is great to just add a shake heere, and a shake there. With this all purpose seasoning, you don’t even have to measure! 

If you do want to incorporate it into a meal, however, that’s pretty easy to do, too! We love measuring out a few teaspoons to add to roasted pork or mashed potatoes. And with a brand name like McCormick, we can feel confident that we’re buying the best of the best in terms of flavor. They aren’t a Fortune 1000 company for no reason!

Pros

  • Contains chili for a little bit of spice
  • Unique ingredients like mustard bran and lemon peel provide an interesting flavor profile
  • Just a little bit provides a lot of flavor
  • Affordable option
  • Works well with breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes

Cons

  • The pieces of garlic and chili peppers are rather large, some might prefer a finer grind
  • Strong pepper taste

5. Simply Organic Italian Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Made with all organic ingredients, all finely picked and of the highest quality
  • Pure and potent flavor
  • Uniquely sweet, spicy, and aromatic
  • Glass jar
  • Non-GMO project verified
  • Certified kosher
  • Each purchase supports the Simply Organic Giving Fund
  • ETO-free (considered carcinogenic)
  • Free of additives, preservatives, and artificial colors

The simple ingredients included in this Italian seasoning blend (oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage) are all 100% organic and sourced directly from real growers. As soon as you open the jar, your nose will experience a powerful smell and your mouth will probably be watering right away! Add this to spaghetti, bread, pizza, or popcorn—you’re sure to love it. 

Buying from a company that’s so committed to healthy, organic, natural food should come as a sigh of relief when you sprinkle on some of Simply Organic’s Italian seasoning to your meal. They only source the best and most sustainable and ethical ingredients, and you can really taste the difference.

Even better, with every purchase form Simply Organic, money gets donated to their Simply Organic Giving Fund, which is designed to support organic and sustainable farming communities. Already, more than $2 million has been donated, meaning that we’re one step closer to making organic food more accessible for everyone!

Pros

  • All ingredients have been sustainably sourced
  • Salt free, 0 mg of sodium
  • Distributed by a USA-based company
  • Bottle design means that you can clearly see what’s inside (and the name is also included on the lid, making it perfect for a crowded spice rack)
  • Very fragrant and flavorful

Cons

  • Italian flavor may not work with all dishes
  • Not certified vegan as the brand also handles milk and egg products
  • Some rosemary and thyme stems may be present (which are a little harder to chew)

6. Goya Adobo with Pepper All Purpose Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • The #1 brand of Latin all-purpose seasonings
  • Container size is perfect for measuring and sprinkling onto already cooked meals
  • MSG free
  • Suitable for individuals avoiding gluten
  • Sugar free

This Goya seasoning can easily be used when grilling, cooking something in the Crock Pot, or roasting meat or vegetables in the oven. It’s also great for use anytime of the day—on sunny-side eggs in the morning, mixed into soup for lunch, and sprinkled over grilled fish in the evenings! 

Adobo is a well-known brand. As the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, it has been one of the biggest names in Latin cuisine since the company was started in 1936.

Pros

  • Simple flavor profile, but enough to spice up any dish
  • Doesn’t contain anything spicy, so it’s a great choice for people who can’t handle heat
  • 794 servings for 28 OZ bottle!

Cons

  • Citrus flavor might be too strong for some taste buds
  • Tricalcium phosphate used as anti-caking ingredient may cause constipation or dry mouth in some
  • High in sodium, 1400 mg per teaspoon!
  • Adobo name is misleading, it doesn’t contain any chili peppers

7. Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning

Highlighted Features

  • Ancient Greek formula
  • Perfectly prepared blend of 13 ingredients
  • Distinctive flavor tastes excellent on meats, seafood, wild game, vegetables, eggs, and even in vegetable juices

Cavender’s seasonings are all made in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas since 1969. The family-owned-and-operated business has been a well-known (and loved) company when it comes to flavor.

Their all purpose Greek seasoning can be used on anything, and we mean anything! From popcorn and homemade croutons to homemade Chex party mix, you’re sure to use up the 5 pound container in no time (we know we did!).

Pros

  • Shelf life is at least two to three years
  • Large plastic container is recyclable or reusable

Cons

  • Relatively high in sodium, 964 mg in one teaspoon
  • Contains MSG
  • Contains allergens (corn and soy)
  • Contains sugar
  • Ingredient list is confusing, it contains “five other spices”

8. Simply Organic Spice Right Everyday Blends All-Purpose Salt Free

Highlighted Features

  • All purpose blend tastes great on everything
  • Ingredients have been organically and sustainably sourced
  • Pure and potent flavor, no preservatives or artificial ingredients
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Sales support their Simply Organic Giving Fund
  • Certified organic
  • Compliant with kosher diets
  • Non-irradiated

If you’re looking for something salt-free, sustainably produced, and versatile and robust, this all purpose seasoning should be in your pantry! It tastes amazing on nearly anything and everything—fish, meats, vegetables, or soups, anything that could use a little savory boost!

Not only will your mouth thank you when you bite into that baked potato that’s been seasoned with Simply Organic all purpose blend, the planet and humanity will too! Each purchase helps to support organic and sustainable agriculture. It also helps Simply Organic with their annual giving program, which supports the millions of food insecure people in the United States and Canada.

Now, that’s a win-win!

Pros

  • Salt-free, good choice for those on a low-sodium diet
  • Real ingredients like organic tomato, organic carrot, and organic orange peel provide a uniquely delicious flavor profile
  • Tastes really fresh, like the herbs have been freshly picked
  • A little seasoning goes a long way, so the bottle lasts a while
  • The glass bottle is easy to recycle or reuse

Cons

  • Unique ingredients might taste floral to some people
  • One of the more expensive options

9. Frontier All Purpose Seasoning Salt-Free Blend

Highlighted Features

  • Salt free blend is tasty and flavorful
  • All-natural
  • Non-irradiated
  • Frontier is a co-op (owned by members) that supports people and planet
  • Contains citrus and aromatic herbs for a unique flavor profile

Since 1976, Frontier Co-op has been one of the world’s leading suppliers of seasonings and spices. As a member-owned cooperative, sustainability and giving back are priorities for the brand. In fact, 4% of their annual profits get donated to charities and philanthropic initiatives!

We love this blend and how well it tastes on anything. It can be rubbed into meats before grilling or sprinkled onto tofu before baking it.

Pros

  • Glass bottle can be recycled or reused
  • Unique ingredients make up for lack of salt
  • Contains silicon dioxide which is used instead of ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen)
  • Sodium free, kosher

Cons

  • Sweeter than some of the other all purpose seasonings
  • Because of the thyme and basil it may taste more like an Italian seasoning
  • Flavor is relatively mild, some people may not be able to detect it

10. Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning - Original Recipe

Highlighted Features

  • A savory blend of spices that are perfect for any dish—meats, seafood, veggies, popcorn, and more
  • Made in Mississippi
  • Unique ingredients like molasses, brown sugar, and vinegar give it a unique and slightly sweet flavor profile
  • MSG-free
  • Low in sodium

This is one of the best all purpose seasoning options that can be used as a rub on meats like chicken, ribs, or brisket. Want to know a better tip? Add it to sour cream and serve as the most delicious chip dip! You won’t be able to go back to store bought chip dip after trying this!

Pros

  • Low in sodium (although the exact amount can’t be found anywhere)
  • Great for anyone avoiding MSG
  • Molasses and vinegar powder provide a flavor that’s unlike any of the other all purpose seasonings listed here

Cons

  • Contains sugar
  • Contains preservatives (citric acid)
  • Ingredient list includes “spices” but we don’t know what exactly these are

Things to Consider When Buying All Purpose Seasoning

All purpose seasoning is great; it’s a perfect complement to nearly any food and it’s quick and easy to use.

Here are a few things for you to consider when shopping for your next jar of all purpose seasoning.

What to Use All Purpose Seasoning On?

Wondering what you should use all purpose seasoning on? We’ll make the answer pretty easy: it can practically be used on everything!

We love adding all purpose seasonings to grilled, baked, or roasted meats like chicken, steak, ribs, and lamb. It’s also great on fish, mixed into a pasta dish, on your morning eggs, sprinkled onto pizza, and mixed into hamburger before grilling.

You can use all purpose seasoning to add some flavor to your favorite veggies, spice up some mashed potatoes, or season rice. It can be used with vinegar and oil in homemade salad dressing, can be used to flavor homemade crackers or bread, and is great to add to beans or lentils for some extra flavor!

Sometimes, you just need a little bit of flavor without having to put any thought into it—and that’s why all purpose seasoning is a must-have for any kitchen pantry or spice rack!

Are There any Health Benefits of All Purpose Seasoning?

What’s one of the best things about all purpose seasoning? Its versatility. It can be used in a variety of savory applications. Because it’s easy to incorporate and can add a burst of flavor to nearly any food, it’s a great thing to have when trying to eat healthier.

For anyone trying to incorporate more vegetables into their diet, all purpose seasoning is a great thing to have on hand—you can spice up (literally!) that steamed broccoli or sauteed kale. With the flavorful help from all purpose seasoning, pretty soon you’ll be craving roasted carrots instead of potato chips!

But the health benefits of all purpose seasoning continue. While few of the all seasoning varieties listed here have significant nutritional value, some of them do have certain characteristics that make them a healthy choice.

For example, there are some low-salt or completely salt-free options that are great for anyone who is trying to reduce their sodium intake. With these choices, you can have all the flavor, with little or no salt.

Additionally, because all purpose seasonings are just combinations of spices and herbs, they are low in fat or completely fat-free! Similarly, because these blends contain so few ingredients, many all purpose seasonings are also low in carbs.

So, for anyone who’s been diagnosed with high blood pressure or obesity, all purpose seasonings are a great way to add flavor to healthy foods like vegetables and lean proteins without adding salt (with the reduced salt or salt-free versions) or adding fat or carbohydrates.

In addition, some of the specific spices that are commonly found in all purpose seasoning have their own range of health benefits:

  • Salt: Sodium (in moderate amounts and for people who don’t suffer from any cardiovascular issues/high blood pressure) is essential for transporting water in our body. It helps the body transport other nutrients too. Sea salt and pink Himalayan salt are better options.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder can help to lower cholesterol levels. Garlic is also a good choice for boosting our immune systems.
  • Onion powder: Similarly, onion powder can also help to support a healthy cardiovascular system. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory powers are great to ensure good overall health.
  • Oregano: Oregano has been used for millennia as a powerful antioxidant that supports immunity.

Are There any Health Concerns with All Purpose Seasoning?

We can’t mention all of the benefits of all purpose seasoning without at least mentioning the health concern, of which there’s really only one: sodium.

Even in low-salt or salt-free varieties of all purpose seasoning, many still contain garlic salt or onion salt, which respectively have 1,850 mg and 1,620 mg of sodium in each teaspoon!

In the United States, we eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium per day. The recommended daily value is only 2,300 mg, so for many of us, we’re eating way too much.

While a lot of this sodium comes in the form of processed and cured meats, sandwiches, pizza, bread, cheese, and soups, it’s also important to realize that some all purpose seasonings contain a lot of sodium. So, always double check the label and look for sodium levels and hidden sodium sources (like garlic salt and onion salt).

Making Your Own All Purpose Seasoning Mix

For anyone who’s DIY inclined or simply wanting to experiment with different flavors, we’d recommend trying to make your own all purpose seasoning mix!

What are the Best Spice Combinations?

The flavor profile of all purpose seasoning varies between the different brands. Many will have stronger savory notes of onion and garlic, along with the flavor of salt. Some will incorporate citrusy or sweet flavors, too.

The all purpose seasonings listed here are designed to be used on everything—from eggs in the morning to steak for dinner, and everything in between. Each of them slightly vary and will suit individual preferences better.

To understand why certain spices work so well together so that you can plan your own DIY all purpose seasoning, let’s take a look at some common spice combinations:

  • Cajun: Cajun seasoning is generally a mixture of spices and herbs like thyme, paprika, garlic, cayenne peppers, and oregano. This goes well with meat and fish, especially when they’re blackened in a hot cast iron skillet.
  • Chinese five spice: This is a classic Asian-style blend that is generally used in stir-fries or to season fatty meat (like duck). It includes a mixture of spicy and sweet spices like cinnamon, cloves, Sichuan peppers, fennel, and star anise.
  • Curry: What goes into the curry spice depends on the region in which it’s being made. Generally though, you can expect to find things like turmeric, coriander, cumin, and red pepper. Curry is many times used as an all-purpose seasoning because it works so well with vegetables, meats, soups, and curries.
  • Everything bagel: This is one of the most iconic flavor profiles that was originally just used for bagels but now is found on nearly everything! The sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and dried garlic works great on everything (and is so good you could almost eat it plain!).

We’ve explored several different all purpose seasoning recipes, and here some ingredients that are commonly included:

  • Salt (can be omitted for lower sodium levels)
  • Garlic powder (substitute for with fresh garlic for lower sodium levels)
  • Onion salt (substitute for with fresh onion for lower sodium levels)
  • Paprika
  • Red pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground bay leaves
  • Chili powder

This recipe from Allrecipes.com is free of salt and a perfect option for anyone with high blood pressure or simply wanting to reduce their sodium intake. The recipe is simple, just mix garlic powder with dried basil, dried parsley, dried savory, ground thyme, ground mace, onion powder, and ground black pepper (check actual recipe for amounts).

There’s another salt-free recipe from Tasty Thin that’s also Whole30 approved. All you need is garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, parsley, and black pepper (check actual recipe for amounts). 

Conclusion

Is your mouth watering now for something seasoned and flavorful? Ours is too! Good thing we have so many tasty all purpose seasonings to choose from, all with different flavor profiles and benefits.

Now that you know some of the best all purpose seasoning mixes available out there, as well as how to make your own, you can start to incorporate more flavors into your snacks and meals. We hope that you’re excited to try something new; let us know in the comments when you discover a great way to use one of these all purpose seasonings!

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