January 17, 2020

How to Make Chicken Flavourful With These Best Spices For Chicken

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Wondered how to add more flavour to chicken without putting any extra effort. This list of selected best spices for chicken is all you need to make different types of chicken dishes.    

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best spices for chicken and herb marinade on chicken legs

Chicken is one of the most eaten protein by most non vegetarians.

It is fairly easy and quick to cook and can be used in a variety of ways.

The neutral taste of chicken also makes it easy to add flavour to chicken and create different types of chicken dishes such as roast, curry, stew, soup, pan fried. The options are many.


If you are looking for inspiration on how to dress up this pale bird then the answer lies in your spice cabinet.

A good seasoning for chicken, marination or a combination of spices make a world of difference to how the chicken will taste.

Adding a selection of spices and herbs is one of the best way to season chicken.

I use spices for chicken depending the type of dish I wish to cook.

Make way for Ms. Spice & Mr. Herb and dress up that chicken into a new avatar.


This is where this complete printable list of some of the best spices for chicken will come handy.

I have broken down the list to give you an idea of making spice combinations with chicken to make different meals.

The chicken and spice combination dish you choose depends on how much time you have to cook and what your family’s favourite chicken dish is ie. is it baked, curry, roasted etc.

Chicken is a very versatile protein that can be cooked in many different ways with many different flavours.

So let’s check the list of spices for chicken along with recipes for ideas.



One of the best thing about cooking with chicken is that it goes well with almost all kinds of flavours and ingredients.

Depending on the type of dish you wish to make with chicken, simply choose from the below list of best spices for chicken.

The list has been divided according to the the cut of chicken you have or the type of dish you wish to make.

Best Spices for Chicken Soup

I think we, meaning (chickentarians) have at least once if not more times made some type of chicken soup.

For your next chicken soup, apart from black pepper add some or a combination of two or three of the spices and herbs listed below to jazz up your chicken soup recipe.

1. Bay Leaves 

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When frying the chicken pieces for making soup or boiling the broth add a few bay leaves. This will give a subtle woody fragrance to your soup broth.

2. Cayenne Pepper 

Cayenne Pepper
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If you want to add a bit of a spicy kick to your bland chicken soup then cayenne pepper will do the job without overpowering.

Adding cayenne also helps with cold and flu symptoms.

Pepper is not only good for making spice rubs. Try adding it to your soup for a soothing smokiness! You won’t regret it.

3. Rosemary

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Rosemary is not only great for fish but also for chicken especially when added to soups.

You can use either fresh or dried rosemary to give any soup a soothing aromatic touch.

It is considered to be a medicinal herb used to improve digestion.

COOKING TIP – Be careful when adding rosemary to any dish. It is a strong herb so overdoing can ruin the taste of your dish.

4. Thyme

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Just like rosemary, thyme is another fragrant herb that can be used both fresh or dried.

Thyme adds a herby aroma to the soup broth. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice to give is a zesty garden-fresh taste.

COOKING TIP – Add thyme with other herbs such as oregano for added flavour. Also, remember to use it sparingly.

5. Coriander leaves

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Click image to buy fresh coriander leaves online

Adding fresh coriander leaves to any chicken soup will give it an instant burst of freshness and flavour. Simply add a handful at the end and serve.

COOKING TIP: Don’t discard the coriander stem and stock. Use it as it has a lot of flavours.

Recipes using some of the best spices for chicken soup

Herb loaded chicken soup 

Tibetan chicken noodle soup

Chicken Paprikash 

Best Spices for Chicken Breasts, Legs & Thighs

1. Cumin powder

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Click image to buy cumin powder online

One spice that can be used in many foods and in many cuisines.

Cumin powder is one such spice that can be used alone or added with other spices and herbs on a piece of chicken to add an extra touch of flavour.

Simply add a teaspoon and taste the difference.

2. Oregano

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The greeks add oregano in many of their chicken dishes and there is a reason why.

A simple dressing made with oregano, garlic and some lemon juice is all you need to make a delicious meal in minutes.

3. Tandoori Masala Spice Blend

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If you happen to be a lover of Indian food then Tandoori chicken is something you may have not missed trying on the menu.

It is one of those spice blends that spark joy to your soul. Buy a bottle and use it. You won’t regret it.

COOKING TIP – Add tandoori masala with yoghurt to make your chicken piece tender soft.

4. Taco Seasoning

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What tandoori is to India food, Taco is to Mexican.

A mellow blend of spices that is versatile to be used in multiple ways.

Adding some to chicken is one of the easiest ways to pump up the flavours.

5. Smoked Paprika

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It may not be BBQ season or you may not have time to heat up the grill, but adding smoked paprika to chicken lends a woody, smoky aroma.

Simply rub smoked paprika on chicken and use it in any dish.

COOKING TIP– Make sure you buy the smoked paprika and not the regular one. They are two different spices.

Recipes using some of the best spices for chicken breasts, legs & thighs

Sheet pan chicken thighs with chipotle glaze

Easy South-west chicken 

Chicken Tikka 

Chicken Souvlaki

Baked Salsa chicken 

Best Spices for Chicken Curry

1. Curry Powder

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When you think of curry, one of the main spice to come to your mind (most non-Indians) is Curry powder.

It may intrigue you to know that unlike popular assumption, curry powder is not really an Indian spice. You can read this post on how to use curry powder for cooking and easily make homemade curry powder. 

When cooking chicken curry, all you need to do is add 2 teaspoons of curry powder and follow this easy step-wise guide on how to cook chicken curry to make authentic Indian curry sauce at home. 

2. Green Cardamom

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Also known as the queen of Indian spices, cardamom adds a citrusy freshness to any curry sauce. 

Strong without being overpowering and aromatic, it is one of my most favourite and essential spices to have.

It is a whole spice, which can either be added whole to any liquid or made into powder and added to the dish.

COOKING TIP – Use cardamom with other spices such as curry powder, cumin powder or coriander powder for some truly great flavour.

3. Cumin powder

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Click image to buy cumin powder online

Another spice which is commonly used in multiple cuisines and has multiple uses is cumin powder.

Subtle and non-hot spice is also one of the must-have spices to add to a curry dish.

A spoon or two added directly to the curry sauce would do the trick.

4. Coriander powder

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Click image to buy coriander powder online

Just like its cousin cumin, coriander powder compliments other spices or alone to bring out an authentic tasting curry.

Most curry recipes will include both cumin powder and coriander powder to be added.

It is mild and non-hot and imparts a woody spicy taste to the dish.

COOKING TIP – Add a teaspoon of cumin and coriander powder to curry sauce for a well-rounded taste.

5. Garam Masala

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You must have heard about one of the essential Indian spice blend called Garam Masala.

Do not mistake curry powder to be the same as Garam Masala powder.

They are two different spices and used for different cooking purposes. 

Garam Masala is a blend of strong spices and if overused in a curry then can be overpowering and make the dish taste bitter.

It is normally added during or at the end of the cooking process.

COOKING TIPThis guide on using garam masala powder in cooking will be very useful when using the spice.

Recipes using some of the best spices for chicken curry

Spicy Cranberry Chicken Curry 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Instapot chicken curry 

Slow cooker Moroccan chicken curry 

Chicken rezala with yoghurt and cream 

Best Spices For Baked Chicken

1. Parsley

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Parsley is a great combination when making a baked chicken dish.

It gives the chicken a fresh flavour.

Combine it with lemon, garlic or other mixed herds for added oomph.

You can either use fresh or dried parsley for a simple herby chicken bake.

2. Za’atar Spice Blend

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Za’atar is a flavour packed spice blend of the Meditteranean.

Made with aromatic spices, this is the only spice you will need to add to your chicken and bake it with other vegetables for a super easy one sheet pan dish.

3. Chipotle chillies or cayenne pepper 

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In case you want to retain the original flavours of the chicken yet like a subtle spicy kick, then adding Chipotle chillies is the easiest way to yet the unique balance of flavours.

Chipotle Chillies is a type of jalapeno peppers that are dried and smoked.

The smoky aroma will give you an instead idea of how flavoursome this spice can be.

It is a chilli commonly used to make adobo seasoning.

4. Jerk Chicken Spice Blend

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Just like Za’atar, Jerk spice seasoning belongs to the Caribbean.

Jerk is a cooking style belonging to the Jamaica which refers to marinading chicken with the spice blend before baking it.

It can be a bit spicy hot depending on the kind of blend you use but the flavours are absolutely divine.

5. Mixed Herb Seasoning

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If spicy hot is not your taste then, go herby with adding a dash of mixed herb seasoning to your chicken.

Mixed herb lends a mild aromatic flavour, that caters to most palate.

You can either choose to make a sauce with mixed herbs and bake your chicken or simply use it as a marinade.

Recipes using some of the best spices for Baked chicken

Oven-baked chicken with chimichurri sauce 

Za’atar chicken tenders with vegetables

Baked chicken drumsticks 

Jamaican baked jerk chicken 

Parmesan crusted bruschetta chicken 


The amount of spices or seasoning to use to flavour the chicken depends on how the quantity of chicken you have and also whether you adding other ingredients to it.

If you are unsure about the amount then start by adding a little. You can always add more later if you wish.

Below is a guide of how much and when to add the spices for each type of chicken dish:

For making chicken soups and curries 

1-2 tsp for a pound or 500 grams of chicken

For making baked, grilled chicken legs, breasts or thighs.

1 tablespoon for a pound or 500 grams of chicken.

When making dry or semi dry chicken dishes it is best to ensure that the pieces are covered well with the spices or seasoning for absorbing optimum flavour.


Adding spices to chicken at the right time is also important in order to get the best taste.

When making soups

Add it during the cooking process and cook along with other ingredients

When making curries 

You can choose to marinade the chicken with the spices before you start cooking.

You should always add the spices during the cooking process along with other ingredients.

When making baked or dry chicken dish 

Marinade the chicken with seasoning and rub the seasoning in well before you start cooking.


Adding different aromatic herbs and spices to chicken is one of the easiest and best ways to bring out many flavours and cook various dishes with it.

I hope that the above list of spices for chicken gives you ideas to experiment with spices or herbs that may already be there in your pantry.

Simply click on this link here to access the list of the spices and herbs to use for cooking chicken or pin the image below.

Enjoy spicing UPP!!


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