Spice jars

How to use up storecupboard spices

Looking to clear out your storecupboard? Find ways to use up common spices with our easy recipe suggestions like pasta dishes, curries and burgers.

Have some old spices taking up space in the cupboard? Put them to work with these easy recipes full of bold flavours. 


Learn how to properly buy and store your spices and how to determine their freshness.

Be sure to check out our spice grinder review to make the most of your spices.

How to store spices

The easiest way to tell if most ground spices are fresh is to smell them. If they have no aroma, it’s likely they won’t have any flavour either. Check them every few months and discard any that have lost their potency.

When it comes to buying, look for quality rather than quantity. As tempting as those big bags of spices are, be realistic about how much you can use while they’re fresh. If you do end up with more spice than you can get through quickly, decant what you need into a small container and freeze the rest.

Spices should be kept in airtight containers in a dark cool place. Label your containers clearly so you can see what you have when you open drawers or cupboards.

How to use up spices

Chilli powder

Make use of chilli powder with this family-friendly burnt aubergine veggie chilli. This top-rated vegetarian chilli is a super filling dish loaded with beans, lentils and veggies. For more inspiration, see our chilli con carne recipes.

Visit our chilli collection for the ultimate selection.


Cumin is an essential component of Cajun seasoning. Grill fully loaded Cajun chicken burgers for a dinner that packs a punch. Try adding cumin to our Cajun chicken gumbo or this Cajun spiced salmon.

Read more about cumin with our health benefits of cumin guide.


Mexican-inspired recipes are a great way to use up paprika. Try these easy chicken fajitas loaded with peppers and onions or customise your own with this fajita seasoning.

Discover our Mexican recipes for more dishes.


Cinnamon is great addition to sweet and savoury recipes. Start your day with this filling cinnamon porridge with banana & berries or any of our porridge recipes.

Learn about the health benefits of cinnamon with our expert guide.

Black pepper

Black pepper is a storecupboard staple for a reason. This versatile spice can be used in just about anything but we particularly love it in this gnocchi cacio e pepe covered in a creamy, cheesy sauce.

See our pasta recipes for more ideas.


Turmeric adds bold flavour and vibrant colour to all kinds of dishes. Add a teaspoon to our easiest ever paella loaded with seafood and chorizo. For more recipes, see our paella collection.

Discover the health benefits of turmeric.


Cardamom adds a subtle, fragrant spice to sweet and savoury recipes. Use up some overripe bananas with this banana, coconut & cardamom bread

Cardamom is also an essential component in chai seasoning. Try brewing a chai tea or bake this coconut chai traybake.


Infuse your dishes with an aromatic, warming spice like coriander. Use up a teaspoon of ground coriander in this healthy carrot & coriander soup, or try this spicy roasted parsnip soup.

For more ideas, see our soup recipes.

Curry powder

Mix some curry powder into your recipes for gentle heat. Add a few teaspoons to kastu curry sauce and make some family favourites. Use chicken or tofu in this versatile katsu curry or use the sauce in this simple katsu curry wrap.

Find more versions in our katsu curry recipe collection.

Garam masala

Garam masala is the perfect spice mix for curries, like this easy butter chicken. Use up heaps of garam masala in this madras curry paste to use in a variety of dishes.

Find tons of easy recipes in our curry collection.

Enjoyed these recipes? Find more inspiration…

Top 10 storecupboard recipes
How to keep your kitchen clean
What foods can I freeze?
Common ingredient substitutions


Which spices do you need to use up? Leave a comment below…