Spice Up Your Life with these Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings!

vegan and vegetarian seasonings

Yes, it’s true. Vegetarian and vegan food is often thought of as tasteless, bland, and generally “no-fun” by people who might not know any better. But we know differently! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to vegan and vegetarian seasonings to help you add some spice to your dishes…and your life!

You can listen to us discuss our favorite vegan and vegetarian seasonings here…

…or read on for a quick summary of what we discuss.

10 Of Our Favorite Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings


  1. Steak or Poultry Seasoning 

Don’t let the name fool you! Steak and poultry seasonings don’t contain meat. They’re called this because these blends contain herbs and spices often used to season meat.

You can make your own very easily or buy off-the-shelf products. While these seasoning blends are usually 100% vegan and gluten-free, always check the label just to be sure. You’ll also want to be sure to check the labels to ensure no MSG has been added.

There are plenty of recipes available online for both steak and poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning contains herbs including sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and marjoram, and spices like nutmeg cloves. Steak seasoning ingredients can vary a lot more, but some common ones are pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, and salt.


What can I use this with? 

Poultry and steak seasonings are really good to use in dishes that typically call for meat. 

For example, using poultry seasoning in vegan chicken noodle soup such as this one from Simple Vegan will give you the same great flavor as traditional chicken noodle soup minus the meat! 


  1. Taco Seasoning 

Taco seasoning is one of my FAVORITE vegetarian seasonings. Here’s a shameless plug for our own homemade taco seasoning recipe

The ingredients in ours (which are pretty typical) are:

    • Chili powder
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Dried oregano
    • Paprika
    • Ground Cumin
    • Sea Salt
    • Fresh-cracked black pepper


What can I use this with? 

We love adding this taco seasoning to crunchy tacos made with Gardein Beefless Grounds or to our vegetable enchiladas. This seasoning adds a Mexican flair to any dish! 


  1. Liquid Smoke

Storytime! Back in the 19th century, a guy named Ernest Wright happened to notice a black liquid dripping from a stove. He figured out that this black liquid was the result of smoke coming in contact with cold air. 

After some experimentation, he was able to condense the hot smoke-flavored liquid and voila! Liquid smoke was born! 

Liquid smoke makes a PERFECT vegetarian seasoning because adding it to veggies and in other recipes can bring back that “grilled-out” flavor without any meat.

By the way, Wright’s is STILL making liquid smoke!


What can I use this with? 

Liquid smoke is a great addition to any dish in which grilled or smoked meats usually take center stage. 

Check out this Texas Style Vegan BBQ recipe from Brand New Vegan that features MUSHROOMS in place of meat!


  1. Black Salt

    Black salt, also known as kala namak, is a type of rock salt that has a sulfuric taste and smell. 

    Naturevibe Botanicals 100% Natural & Healthy Himalayan Black Salt
    • Kala namak is a kiln-fired rock salt used in South Asia with a sulfurous, pungent-smell.
    • Black salt, as compared to common salt, has lesser sodium content that makes it an amazing cure for water retention.

    Buy on Amazon!

    What can I use this with?

    Before you say, “Ewww!”, consider that the taste and smell add that “eggy” flavor back to recipes that call for eggs. Try a pinch of black salt in your next tofu scramble or in this recipe for Vegan/ Gluten-free Chilaquiles from One Green Planet.


  2. Nutritional Yeast

    The Nooch! Considered a STAPLE vegan seasoning, nutritional yeast is a great alternative to cheese. Unlike cheese, it has very little fat and contains a good amount of protein, B vitamins, and fiber. 


    What can I use this with?

    The question here might be instead, “what CAN’T you use this with?” It’s a super way to help wean yourself off of cheese, particularly if you’re new to a plant-based diet and are having trouble living without it. 

    I love it on popcorn, but you can also use it on mashed potatoes, and of course in vegan mac and cheese recipes like this one from Cookie and Kate.


  1. Tumeric

    Just like nutritional yeast, turmeric is another spice that packs a lot of health benefits in addition to providing great flavor in your dishes. 

    It contains potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and a few other minerals that can help in the treatment of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. 

    365 Organic Turmeric, 1.41 oz
    • Brought to you by Whole Foods Market.
    • Certified Organic, Certified Kosher.


    What can I use this with? 

    Since turmeric is related to ginger, it’s a great addition to Indian or Asian foods. We found a Tumeric, Miso with Ginger, Garlic and Tofu soup recipe over at Vegan Richa for you to try. 

    I like to throw a tablespoon of turmeric into my morning smoothie for an added nutritional kick. 


  1. Chili Powder 

    A very underutilized seasoning (in my opinion), chili powder is typically a combination of paprika, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.

365 Everyday Value, Organic Chili Powder Blend
  • Brought to you by Whole Foods Market. Our standards are what set us apart, and our quality is what keeps us stocking pantries, fridges, and freezers with the best natural and organic 365 Everyday Value products every day.
  • Product of the USA.
  • Certified Organic, Certified GMO-Free, Certified Kosher.

Buy on Amazon

It’s a GREAT vegetarian/vegan seasoning to make at home since it’s simple and you control the hotness level.


What can I use this with? 

Rather than insert the obvious chili recipe here, we’re excited to share this gem, Baked Chili Cheese Fritos, found on Minimalist Baker. You can serve these as a side for your favorite sandwich or add them as a topper on your favorite homemade tortilla soup!


  1. Liquid Aminos

    Liquid aminos are very similar to soy sauce but without all of the salt. They are made from fermented soybeans but are healthier because they don’t contain unhealthy chemical preservatives like sodium benzoate. 


    What can I use this with?

    Liquid aminos have an umami flavor and can serve as a substitute in any recipe calling for soy sauce, such as stir fry and fried rice.

    Check out this recipe for Easy Vegan Fried Rice from Mindful Avocado.

    1. Nutmeg

      I had forgotten about the comforting taste of nutmeg until Larissa reminded me that it is one of her favorite smells. 

      In addition to having a warm and soothing taste and smell, nutmeg is also great to help relieve indigestion, improve blood circulation, and help with detoxification. 


      What can I use this with?

      My favorite way to use nutmeg is in my morning coffee. I add a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon, both of which really help bring out the flavor of the coffee.

      If you’re looking for a great way to start out your day with a pinch of nutmeg, try this Vegan French Toast recipe from Love & Lemons, or this one for French Breakfast Puffs from the Food Network (during the podcast, Larissa mentioned a recipe but couldn’t find the exact one. This one was close!)


    2. Vegetable Broth or Bouillon

      When I took the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course offered by Rouxbe a few years ago, one thing I learned was how to saute without using oil. I was VERY skeptical about this but was determined to keep an open mind.

      Much to my surprise, it’s not only possible to cook without oil but the food tastes so much better without the greasiness and taste of the oil. 

      One method we learned for doing this was by using vegetable broth or bouillon in place of fattening oils. 


      What can I use this with?

      Vegetable broth is a staple for any vegetarian or vegan pantry. In addition to being a great way to replace oil when cooking in many recipes, it can add flavor to your homemade borracho beans, quinoa, stews, rice dishes, and so much more!

Here’s a video from Sweet Potato Soul where she shows you how to make two types of veggie broth. The first is a mushroom seaweed broth and the second is a more standard veggie broth.



There you have it…our top 10 vegan and vegetarian seasonings to spice up your life. Of course, as with many of these types of lists, we like to hear from our closed Facebook Group, the Peas and Carrots Society, to ask their opinion.

Never ones to disappoint, they added some of their own favorite seasonings and/or recipe additions that can help you add some pizzazz to your dish. 

Here are a few: 

      • Guacamole
      • Maple Syrup
      • Sesame Oil
      • Tahini
Trader Joes Green Dragon Hot Sauce - 2 pk, 18 oz each

-Green Dragon Hot Sauce is the top-selling hot sauce at Trader Joes.

-It is the perfect complement to rice, eggs, etc.

Buy on Amazon!

This one has taken the place of Sricha sauce for me, at least for now! Great as a condiment or for cooking!


We hope this guide to vegan and vegetarian seasonings will help you spice up those delicious dishes! If you’re looking to UP your cooking game, even more, be sure to check out the Forks Over Knives Online Cooking Course. I took the course in 2018 and learned a ton about plant-based cooking to include spices and seasonings.

Lifetime Access!
Forks Over Knives Cooking Course from Rouxbe
  • Learn to master knife skills
  • Cooking without oil and creating healthy stocks/ sauces
  • Time-Saving cooking strategies
  • Virtual Q&A's and instructor support

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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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