Winning Flavour Combos that’ll Rock your Kitchen Socks

A list of my five top flavour families that will become your new go-to for cooking. Simply mix and match flavours with your choice of meat, vegetables or salad and you can be confidently creative.

Go-to spice and flavour combo list

One of the main reasons people turn to packets and jars for their cooking is they don’t know what flavours work together. Am I right?

Cooking from scratch is relatively easy providing you know what goes with what. Once you have a range of spices on hand you can make all sorts of thing without even checking your cupboard. The biggest bonus is that you’ll be saving yourself from all the extra preservatives, flavours and numbers that go into the premix sauces and packets.

Below is a go-to list of my five top flavour families that will become your new go-to for cooking. Simply mix and match flavours with your choice of meat, vegetables or salad and you can be confidently creative.

This post is also great for those who get a pre-packed vegetable box and wonder: what can I do with this vegetable?

The amount in brackets after each flavour relates to an approximate amount per one kilo of meat or cooking vegetable.

For example, if you are feeling a bit of Mexican inspiration you could take:

  • one kilo of mince to make into patties or nacho mix
  • slow cooker beef cuts eg. chuck steak
  • chicken drumsticks for the slow cooker
  • chicken thighs or breast
  • a mix of sweet potato & kidney beans & other vegetables

Then decide on a cooking method:

  • add your choice of spices to onions after they are sauteed before adding meat
  • coat meat before grilling or pan frying
  • mix through a can of crushed tomatoes, add meat and or vegetables and place in the slow cooker
  • sprinkle on vegetables or a roast and put in the oven
  • season vegetables and meat before throwing on the BBQ

Then decide what you want to do with it:

  • a simple meal served with a salad
  • mexican rice bowls
  • naked burritos
  • regular burritos
  • enchiladas
  • tacos
  • nachos
  • portion up for easy go-to freezer meals

There are no limits once you know what flavours go together.

Below are my five main go to’s: Mexican, Italian, Greek, Thai & Indian

Mexican Flavours

Select from the following to add to approximately one kilo of meat or veg:

  • Garlic 2-3 cloves
  • red or brown onion 1-2
  • Oregano 2-4 tsp
  • Cumin 1-2 tsp
  • Ground coriander 1/2-1 tsp
  • Paprika (sweet or smoked) 1/2-1 tsp
  • celtic or sea salt 1 tsp
  • bay leaf 1-2
  • Chilli 1/4-1/2 tsp ot to taste

Friends of Mexican flavours:

  • freshly squeezed lemon or lime
  • sour cream or greek yoghurt
  • salsa
  • avocado/ guacamole
  • fresh coriander
  • tasty cheese
  • wraps, corn chips, brown rice, tacos
  • vegetables: iceberg lettuce, carrot, corn, tomato, avocado, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli

Mexican Recipes from Taco Mix, Whole Foods Mexican Chicken, Slow Cooker Mexican Beef, Red Cabbage and Apple Coleslaw, Fresh Mexican Salad, Guacamole

Can easily be gluten-free if served with rice or corn products

Greek Flavours

  • Garlic 3-4 cloves
  • Oregano 1 tb
  • Thyme 1-2 tsp
  • Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • celtic or sea salt 1 tsp

Friends of Greek flavours

  • honey
  • nuts: walnuts, almonds, pine nuts
  • fresh lemon wedges
  • parsley
  • celtic or sea salt 1 tsp
  • olive oil
  • mint
  • Greek yoghurt
  • feta cheese
  • flat bread, Turkish bread, potatoes
  • vegetables: spinach, silverbeet, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, olives, leeks, potato

Greek Recipes from tzatziki, Slow cooked Greek Lamb, Greek Pork Belly, Lentil and Barley Salad, Babaghanush, Greek Salad, Spanakopita

Italian Flavours

  • Garlic 2-3 cloves
  • Oregano 1 Tb
  • Brown or Red onion 1-2
  • carrot and celery finely chopped (1-2)
  • rosemary, sage, dried basil, thyme, marjoram 1 tsp (all stronger flavours so go easy and don’t mix too much)

Friends of Italian flavours:

  • fresh parsley
  • fresh basil
  • celtic or sea salt 1 tsp
  • olive oil
  • cracked pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • cheese- parmesan, ricotta, tasty,
  • crusty bread, pasta, pizza base
  • vegetables: rocket, tomatoes (fresh or tinned), mushrooms, lettuce mix, cucumber, olives, eggplant, zucchini, potato

Italian recipes from bolognese, slow cooked beef cheeks, pizza dough, pesto, caramelised onion, garlic mornay sauce, bruschetta, garlic bread, Napoli sauce, pizza

Thai Flavours

*I cut corners when it comes to Thai curry after finding what I think is the perfect brand of curry paste: Mae Ploy- no added nasties and just packed full of flavour. I use 1 Tb of this paste in its various flavours (red, green, massaman, Penang) to flavour 500g-1 kg of meat. For Thai inspired soups, salads and dressings I use the following:

  • Lime 2 Tb
  • Fish sauce 2 Tb
  • Garlic 1-2 cloves
  • Brown sugar (or rice malt syrup) 2-4 Tb
  • Chilli 1 birds eye chilli or 1 tsp of dried chilli or to taste
  • Kaffir lime 2 leaves per curry
  • Coconut cream or milk 1-2 400 ml cans

Friends of Thai flavours:

  • jasmine rice
  • bean thread or vermicelli noodles
  • rice noodles
  • fresh coriander
  • fresh mint
  • vegetables: bean sprouts, pak choy, bok choy, broccoli, carrot, spring onions, cucumber, snow peas, sweet or regular potato in Massman curry

*no cheese and generally gluten-free

Thai recipes from pad thai, Thai beef salad, massaman curry, Penang chicken curry, green curry, red curry, coconut rice

Indian Flavours

  • Garlic 3-4 cloves
  • brown onions 1-2
  • Cumin seed or ground 1 tsp
  • Ground coriander 1 tsp
  • Tumeric 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala 1 tsp
  • cardamom 1/2 tsp
  • cloves 1/2 tsp ground approximately 4 cloves
  • cinnamon 1 stick or 1/2 tsp
  • black pepper 1 tsp
  • nutmeg 1/4-1/2 tsp
  • mustard seeds 1/2-1 tsp
  • fenugreek 1 tsp
  • celtic or sea salt 1-2 tsp

Friends of Indian flavours:

  • fresh coriander 
  • yoghurt
  • basmati rice
  • naan or wraps
  • salad vegetables: cucumber, tomatSpanishish onion, carrot
  • cooked vegetables: tomatoes, potato, spinach, carrot, brocoli, cauliflower,

*generally no cheese aside from perhaps a spinach and cheese curry and easily gluten-free when served with rice

Indian recipes from Vindaloo, butter chicken, spinach and cheese curry and coming soon tandoori tikka recipe

That’s it for now!

Now that you have a starting point you’ll get better at adapting to your own personal tastebuds and thus your cooking gets better and better.

spices flavours that go together





Hope this helps,



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