Spanish & Tapas

Classic Spanish Spice Blend


Here’s the big secret to a lot of my latest recipes! When I first boxed up my prided kitchen in Virginia and packed my bags for Spain, one of the hardest goodbyes was to my spice collection. I knew I wouldn’t get my suitcase successfully through airport customs with a box of fifty open spices – and without my clothes permanently smelling like chipotle, curry and Jamaican jerk blends. So once I started settling into my new kitchen, I started back up with the basics. My local market carries a limited selection, but enough to do the job. And during my travels, I’ve been able to pick up some seriously good finds from food markets. I have a massive bag of curry from Granada, smoked paprika from Berlin and dry harissa from Rome. But I realized I’ve been overlooking the most simple herbs for some time now! This blend was an attempt to recreate a Spanish spice blend I purchased a few times and fell in love with – but was incredibly overpriced, considering how basic the ingredients were.

Nothing too fancy. Most of these essential spices are easy and inexpensive to find with the exception of smoked paprika (my favorite spice of all time, in case you haven’t noticed from my previous recipes!) and dried pepper. For the dried pepper, I’ve been using nora peppers, which are not typically readily available in US stores, but are available in many online spice shops, such as Tienda. I have read up on the use of substitutions for noras, and have found that dried ancho chiles, otherwise known as poblano peppers, are an acceptable substitute with respect to the heat level. So if that’s a more suitable option for your location and budget, give it a try and let me know how it goes! Unfortunately, anchos are not something I’ve come across yet in Spain. How I miss Mexican ingredients!

I use this blend of spices so frequently these days, it just doesn’t make sense to make it separately every time I cook. So here’s the recipe for making it yourself and keeping a decent sized batch on hand. I put it all in a spice grinder to let the aromatics blend together and break down the peppercorns, rosemary and thyme.

Classic Spanish Spice Blend

  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried, flaked nora pepper

4 thoughts on “Classic Spanish Spice Blend”

  1. Great post! This will go straight into my Pinterest. Looks amazing, sounds amazing, can’t wait to taste it!

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