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Spice Blends for Effortless Weeknight Dinners

Easy sheet pan dinner recipe.

Between work, school, and everything in between, we don’t always have enough time to focus on weeknight dinners. We asked our spice merchants for their favorite easy dinner recipes, inspired by one of our gourmet spice blends.

They also chose a protein, a side dish, and a vegetable or two that can be cooked in little time with even less effort. This is when spice blends and a good sheet pan, or stovetop skillet, come in most handy. Nothing beats having dinner prepped in less time than it takes to cook, with only one piece of cookware to scrub afterwards.

If you have a spice blend-inspired recipe you would like to share, email us at, or leave us a comment below.

Weeknight Grilling: Carne Asada Skirt Steak

carne asada steak with onions and cilantro

Protein: 2 pounds skirt steak

Serve with: Warm tortillas, raw onion, cilantro, and fresh limes.

Spice Blend: Carne Asada ExactPack

exactpack seasoning for carne asada steak

Skirt steak is spicy and succulent when seasoned with this carne asada rub, made with a blend of salt, chiles, granulated garlic, onion powder, oregano, cloves, and star anise.


Method: Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Preheat grill or grill-pan to med-high heat. Clean and lightly oil surface.

In a large bowl, combine skirt steak, seasoning packet and light brown sugar.

Use hands to coat the steak thoroughly with the seasoning and sugar mixture.

Grill steak for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness and preferred doneness.

Remove from grill, sprinkle with salt to taste, and let meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

—Spice House Test Kitchen

Weeknight Grilling: Oaxacan Ancho Chile Grilled Chicken

grilled ancho chile chicken breast cutlets over rice

Protein: 2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into cutlets

Swerve with: Warm tortillas, Spanish rice, or on top of a fresh salad.

Spice Blend: Ancho Chile Grilled Chicken ExactPack

exactpack seasoning for tasty grilled chicken

The deep flavors of ancho chiles and coffee beans make for exceptionally flavorful chicken. Our ancho chile grilled chicken recipe seasoning packet helps you put together a flavorful dinner in less than an hour.


Method: Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine spices, 2 tablespoons honey, juice of half a lime, 4 tablespoons olive oil, and 1teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl and whisk together.

Place the sliced chicken cutlets in the bowl and combine until chicken is coated with marinade.

Marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Grill chicken on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

—Spice House Test Kitchen

Breakfast for Dinner: Maple Garlic Bacon

Protein: 1 pound thick-cut bacon

Veggies or Side Dish: Eggs, pancakes, or sliced fruit

Spice Blend: Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning

One of our most popular blends, this seasoning is sweet, savory, and made with real Wisconsin maple sugar. Gateway to the North compliments pork, baked beans, and sweet potatoes.



Method: Preheat oven to 400.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange strips of bacon so that they lay flat with no overlap.

Bake bacon for 6-10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Gateway to the North. Return bacon to the oven and bake until crispy, about 4 minutes more.

Eat as soon as it's cool enough not to burn you, if you can wait that long.

—Lonnie, Culinary Specialist

Breakfast for Dinner: Spicy Poached Egg Avocado Toast

Protein: 1 egg

Veggies or Side Dish: Toast, avocado, and fresh fruit

Spice Blend: Vulcan's Fire Salt

Vulcan Fire Salt owes its spicy, deep flavor to a secret ingredient discovered by The Spice House's founder many decades ago. Sprinkle it on popcorn, garlic bread, or scrambled eggs.



Method: Toast bread in a skillet pan with olive oil.

Top toasted bread with sliced avocado, a squeeze of lemon, and olive oil to taste.

Top avocado toast with a poached egg (*see below) and season with Vulcan's Fire Salt.

Some fun garnishes to add are fresh microgreens, sliced radish, or a piece of bacon.

To poach an egg:

Bring 4 cups of water to a bowl. Add a splash of white vinegar to the pot.

Crack egg into a small bowl. (This helps prevent any bits of shell getting in your food.)

Use a whisk and stir the pot of water to create a whirlpool. Gently drop one egg into the center of the whirlpool and let it cook for 4-6 minutes. (Cook eggs one at a time.)

—Spice House Test Kitchen

Simple Shrimp Tacos

Protein: 1 or 2 pounds raw shrimp (16/20 size)

Veggies or Side Dish: Steamed rice, or chips and salsa.

Spice Blend: Taco Seasoning

Work is hard. School is hard. Life is hard. Taco night, thank goodness, is easy. It starts with taco seasoning blended from mild chiles, tomato, garlic, onion, and our freshly ground spices.



Method: Drain all water from shrimp, pat dry with paper towels, and remove tails. Mix a splash of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of The Spice House's Taco Seasoning. Add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, and a pinch of salt if desired. Toss shrimp in spice/oil mixture until everything is thoroughly coated.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook them for five minutes, stirring shrimp often for even cooking. Once shrimp are cooked thoroughly, transfer to a bowl, and use the same pan to warm corn tortillas. Serve shrimp with desired toppings like diced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce.

—Frank, Marketing

Vegan Tempeh Tacos

Protein: 1 LB Tempeh

Veggies or Side Dish: Red bell peppers, spinach, and portobello mushrooms.

Spice Blend: Salt Free Adobo Seasoning

Originally used in Spain and Portugal for curing meat, adobo's rich flavors are delicious with vegetables, too. Today, our adobo spice blend is great for making quick, weeknight tacos.



Method: Saute 1 block cubed tempeh, 1/2 of a red bell pepper (sliced), and 3 sliced portobello mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin or Chipotle Olive Oil, partially covered, until portobellos begin to soften.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of juice from a can of Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce, plus 1 chopped chile pepper from the can. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of Adobo Seasoning, stir to combine. (See notes for another version with your own make-ahead chile paste!)

Cook for an additional minute or two, stirring constantly so as to not burn the paste.

Serve on a warmed tortilla, garnished with your favorite toppings. I like to add sliced jalapeños, cilantro, green onions, and my own Cumin Lime Vinaigrette. See notes for that recipe too!

Tips & Notes: For extra deep flavors, try making your own chile paste ahead of time. This recipe for Smoky & Spicy Chile Seasoning Paste can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month, saving you time to have a quick taco night each week!

Cumin Lime Vinaigrette: Whisk together 2 tablespoons each of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin.

—Stephanie, Wholesale Accounts Manager

Roasted Smoky Salmon Filets

Protein: Salmon filets

Veggies or Side Dish: Roasted cauliflower florets or steamed rice

Spice Blend: Smoked Spanish Sweet Paprika

Made from peppers slowly dried over an oak fire, this Smoked Spanish Sweet Paprika forms the flavor base for chorizo and patatas bravas, and pairs well with grilled chicken or roasted salmon.



Method: Bring 5 cups of salted water to a boil and blanch cauliflower florets for 3 minutes to parcook them before roasting. Place salmon and blanched cauliflower in a roasting pan and squeeze half a lemon over both before adding olive oil, smoked paprika, cracked black pepper, and sea salt. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Pull out salmon, cover with foil and let rest. Turn up the oven to 425 and roast cauliflower uncovered for another 5 minutes. Serve with an extra wedge of lemon and enjoy.

Chasity, General Manager, The Spice House Evanston


Curried Red Lentils

Protein: Red lentils

Veggies or Side Dish: Steamed Basmati rice or warmed flatbread

Spice Blend: Vadouvan Curry powder

This is a French interpretation of a masala spice mix from southern India called Vadavam. This Vadouvan French masala curry has a rich, savory flavor that comes from sweet, freeze-dried shallots and aromatic curry leaves.



Method: Finely dice 1/2 cup of red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 shallots, 1 jalapeño and place in a large pot with 3 tablespoons of ghee or butter. Sweat vegetables on low heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion and shallot begin to brown. Add 3 cups water, 1 cup red lentils, and 1 tablespoon of Vadouvan seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Let simmer until lentils break down, about 20-25 minutes. Skim the cream off a can of full fat coconut milk; set aside in an airtight container and use at another time. Uncover the lentils, and add the remaining coconut water to the lentils. Stir to combine and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Salt to taste and serve!

Stephanie, Manager, The Spice House Milwaukee


Maple Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Protein: Pork tenderloin

Veggies or Side Dish: Roasted brussels sprouts, and cubed sweet potato, carrots, or butternut squash

Spice Blend: Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning

One of our most popular blends, this seasoning is sweet, savory, and made with real Wisconsin maple sugar. Named after the maple industry hub of Marinette County, Gateway to the North compliments pork, baked beans, and sweet potatoes.


Method: Scatter veggies on sheet pan and sprinkle generously with Gateway to the North. Bake at 375 for about ten minutes while prepping pork. Rub Gateway onto pork tenderloin and sear in an oiled pan over high heat, rotating every couple minutes to ensure even sear. Transfer to sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, flip pork & veggies, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until pork internal temp has reached at least 145 degrees and veggies are tender. Allow pork to rest before slicing.

—Christina, Human Resources

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Candied Bacon

Protein: Thick cut bacon

Veggies and Toppings: Sweet potatoes, room temperature butter, and sliced chives

Spice Blend: Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning

One of our most popular blends, this seasoning is sweet, savory, and made with real Wisconsin maple sugar. Named after the maple industry hub of Marinette County, Gateway to the North compliments pork, baked beans, and sweet potatoes.


Method: Preheat oven to 375. Stab potatoes with a fork, drizzle in olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake potatoes for 60 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a knife. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange strips of bacon so that they lay flat with no overlap. Bake bacon for 6-10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Gateway to the North. Return bacon to the oven and bake until crispy, about 4 minutes more. Slice potatoes open, drop a piece of butter in, and garnish with pieces of candied bacon and chives.

Geoff, Marketing

Lemony Za’atar Chicken and Potatoes

Protein: Chicken drumsticks

Veggies or Side Dish: Red potatoes, peeled and quartered.

Spice Blend: Za'atar

From the Arabic for thyme, our za'atar is mixed with lemony sumac, nutty sesame, minty hyssop, and oregano. Spread it on a pita with olive oil, or sprinkle it on roast vegetables, meatballs, and kebabs.


Method: Mix 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of za'atar and salt/pepper to taste. Evenly coat drumsticks and potatoes and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Spread onto a prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with lemon slices and garnish with fresh herbs.

—Vanessa, Director of Marketing

Homestyle Chorizo Tacos

Protein: Ground pork

Veggies or Side Dish: Chopped onions, cilantro, and pico de gallo salsa.

Spice BlendMexican Chorizo Seasoning

Mexican style chorizo is a fresh version of Iberian sausage. Take our spice blend and mix it with ground pork shoulder, ground turkey, or ground tofu to make homestyle Mexican chorizo. Perfect for tacos or a breakfast skillet.


Method: Season two pounds of ground pork with six tablespoons of Chorizo seasoning and two tablespoons of lime juice or red wine vinegar. Fry the seasoned meat in a large skillet, using a spatula to break up the meat. Serve with warm tortillas and toppings of choice.

—Charlie, Chief Operations Officer

Baked Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Herb chicken thighs baked in the oven for an easy dinner.

Protein: Chicken thighs, bone in and skin on.

Veggies or Side Dish: Baked asparagus, roasted potatoes, or arugula salad.

Spice Blend: Mediterranean Herb Blend

This all-in-one blend can be used for poultry, pork, or roasted potatoes. Our Mediterranean Herb Blend is made to be a perfect-every-time solution for the beginner cook, or to help hurry along a thirty-minute meal.



Method: Place chicken on a sheet pan. Juice a lemon, add a splash of olive oil, sprinkle liberally with Mediterranean Herb Blend, toss chicken until coated. Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Uncover and continue baking at 425 till the chicken skins are golden and crispy with an internal temperature of 165. (You can add asparagus at this time too.)

Chasity, General Manager, The Spice House Evanston

Stovetop Thai Curry

Easy Thai chicken curry made in one pot.

Protein: Diced chicken, tofu, or tempeh

Veggies or Side Dish: Jasmine rice, bell peppers, carrots, or cauliflower.

Spice Blend: Thai Red Curry Powder

This Red Curry Powder is versatile, medium in heat, redolent of galangal and lime, and delicious when combined with coconut milk. Add fish sauce or vegetable oil to create a curry paste. 


Method: Make a curry paste with 2 tablespoons of Thai Red Curry Powder and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce—or vegetable oil if making vegan.

In a large pot, mix curry paste with a can of coconut milk, bring to a boil, add your protein of choice along with diced bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower or whatever veggies you want. Simmer for 5-10 mins.

Serve over rice with green onions, cilantro, and chile flakes.

Clayton, Manager, The Spice House Milwaukee




neal hauser on February 11th, 2022

Would love to see some roast vegetable recipes –

Shay on January 28th, 2022

I am so glad to have discovered The Spice House! I feel I can really make quality and tasty food with the right seasonings now. The meal plan spices with menu suggestions are genius.

Janie Sills on August 26th, 2021

Thank you for providing more and more delicious and easy to prepare recipes especially during this year of increasing at-home eating. I have tried many with much success. One addition that would be appreciated would be to include more salt-free seasonings from time to time to enhance the flavor of recipes.

Spice House on March 11th, 2021

Hi Kathie,

Those veggies are seasoned with our Za’atar blend, sea salt, and crushed red pepper!

Kathie on March 11th, 2021

Hi – You led this page off with a sheet pan of veggies, but did not include that recipe. Can you please let us know what you put on them? Thanks.

Jan Koch on March 11th, 2021

I really like the Salmon Seasoning blend. I have bought it for gifts for my friends who like salmon. It made my seafood avoiding husband a convert!
I put 2 Pacific coho or sockeye fillets on a foil lined sheet pan and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salmon seasoning and place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. While salmon is roasting prepare creamy Horseradish and dill sauce.
Combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Mix well. This can be prepared early and kept in the refrigerator.
Add a little milk or cream if a thinner sauce is desired. Enjoy!

Amerika on February 16th, 2021

I like your recipes and spice news.

Jo on February 15th, 2021

How many pieces of chicken and cups/pounds of potatoes will the ingredients for Lemony Za’atar Chicken and Potatoes spice blend cover? Serves 4, 6, more?

Spice House on February 15th, 2021

Hi Josn,

For the salmon recipe, you can add these ingredients to your own taste. A good place to start would be 1 teaspoon of oil for every 8oz filet. Then 1/2 teaspoon each of paprika and black pepper, before adding salt to your personal taste.

Josn on February 15th, 2021

The roast salmon recipe looks good, but where are the amounts for the oil, spices, etc.?

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