Best Seasoning For Chicken: Top 5 Spices, According To Culinary Experts

Chicken is a favored protein for many Americans. Properly prepared chicken will absorb the flavors of the spices added to it. When assembled with some forethought and planning, home made spice blends for chicken can be an absolute win. Lost in the kitchen? Some of the best seasoning for chicken makes food prep easy for a delicious meal.

On the topic of chicken wings, a recent study shows “there are so many different flavors of wings for your every craving – sweet, savory, spicy, combinations of these and so many more,” says Alvaro Andres, associate director at Hidden Valley Ranch, in a statement. “There’s no better way to cool down the heat from a hot wing than dipping it in a cool and creamy condiment like ranch.” Respondents also shared that the best way to dip their wings is once, without grabbing too much sauce (46%). However, those who dip their wings more than once dip an average of five times per wing.

Another recent study suggests chicken, a classic favorite, tops the list of foods those who enjoy eating meat look forward to cooking at barbecues this summer (53%). Other meaty picks include burgers (50%) and steak (48%). Chicken also reigned supreme among meat lovers’ favorite main dishes to cook at a barbecue (56%), while pescatarians opt for lobster (58%).

Selecting the right spices for your palate is obviously a personal choice. Making the adjustments so that the flavor is just right is the essential decision that will elevate your chicken dishes. By having a look at the best seasoning for chicken, StudyFinds hopes to lend a helping hand. Let us know your favorite spices for chicken in the comments below!

Cooked chicken breast in a cast iron skillet
Chicken breast in a cast iron skillet (© fahrwasser –

The List: Best Seasonings for Chicken, According to Experts


1. Garlic Powder

As a preamble to choosing your favorite spices and spice blends consider your own preferences above all else. “As with all spice rubs, you can customize the blend to your own taste. Omit the cayenne if you don’t like it spicy. Consider more pepper or reduce the salt to suit your palate. Add herbs and spices such as dried basil, parsley, marjoram or sage to give the rub a more pronounced green herbal note. Lemon, lime or orange zest add a citrus touch. Porcini mushroom powder gives the blend an earthy savory umami kick. You can find it upscale grocery stores and online,” says Simply Recipes.

Garlic (Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash)

Garlic powder is the most frequently cited spice across all our sources. “Garlic – Ubiquitous garlic can be found in every cuisine in the world. While it can be biting and strong when it’s raw, cooking mellows garlic’s sting and turns it sweet. Use it as an aromatic base for dishes like soups and stews, toss chicken in garlic and sauté, create a rich rub for a roast by mixing garlic in butter, or add to condiments like salsas and chutneys and put an ethnic twist on your plate. It’s difficult to find a chicken dish that doesn’t have garlic as a welcome, basic ingredient,” writes Spices Inc.

Another aspect to the appeal of garlic powder is how well it pairs with other spices, “Garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and cumin add savoriness and flavor to the chicken. Spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Cajun seasoning add heat and smokiness to the chicken,’ adds Masterclass.

 2. Onion Powder

Along with garlic, onion powder was named as an essential ingredient by all our sources. “Onion powder (or granulated onion) – the only difference between granulated onion and onion powder is that the powder has been ground finer, than the granulated onion. I prefer to use granulated onion because it’s less likely to clump over time, than onion powder,” advises Whitney Bond.

Onions (Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash)

In the role of an essential flavor, “Onion powder is another popular spice for baked chicken, adding a sweet and slightly pungent flavor to the meat. It is made from dehydrated onions and is a great alternative to fresh onions, especially for those who don’t like the texture of onions in their food. Onion powder also has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties,” mentions Hangry Hanna.

Another tip for applying spices, “Surprisingly, there are actually a lot of seasonings that pair well with chicken! This seasoning blend contains some of my favorites, such as basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and paprika. Should I Pat Chicken Dry Before Seasoning? Yep! I always rinse my chicken in cool water and then pat it completely dry using paper towels before adding my seasoning. This removes any excess moisture that could lead to soggy skin or dry meat,” adds Bake It With Love.

3. Dried Chilis/Cayenne pepper

Dried red chili powders, particularly cayenne pepper can add a spicy boost to your favorite chicken recipes. “You only need a handful of spices for this homemade chicken seasoning blend recipe. This robust blend of spices adds so much flavor to your savory chicken recipes and will have everyone begging for seconds! Peppers: Cayenne pepper, black pepper, smoked paprika. You can increase or reduce the amount of cayenne pepper used depending on your preference,” points out Low Carb Africa.

Cayenne peppers (Photo by Elle Hughes on Unsplash)

Many types of American regional cuisine, especially Cajun and Creole cooking, rely on cayenne pepper to supply the heat. “Cayenne pepper is a hot spice that adds heat and depth of flavor to baked chicken. It is made from dried and ground cayenne peppers and is perfect for those who like their food spicy. Cayenne pepper also has health benefits, such as boosting metabolism and improving digestion,” adds Hangry Hanna.

When considering the overall impact of your seasoning blend: “Chicken recipes are a dinner time staple, and a good chicken seasoning or chicken marinade makes all the difference when it comes to preparing juicy, flavorful chicken. I love using a dry rub when seasoning meat because it’s an easy way to add lots of flavor. Homemade spice blends are so simple to make and allow you to control the ingredients, salt and flavors,” states Kristine’s Kitchen.

4. Paprika

Paprika is an earthy ground red pepper that provides vibrant red color as well as a wide variety of flavors and heat. “Paprika – Chicken with paprika is a classic Hungarian dish and about as world-renowned as you can get. But don’t let paprika’s reputation as a mild-mannered spice fool you; you can find it sweet or hot, regular or smoked. Paprika takes chicken dishes and gives them gentle, savory warmth, and is a common ingredient in Spanish cooking too,” writes Spices Inc.

Ground paprika (Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash)

Personal praise for paprika as a go-to spice can also be found in our sources, “I used smoked paprika for that earthy and smoky flavor and I highly recommend you do the same. However, if you don’t have it at hand, you can use the regular paprika are amazing,” advises Chef Lola’s Kitchen.

However, with so many commercial spice blends available at the supermarket, it can be stressful trying to choose the best spices. “When you head to the seasoning aisle of your local grocery store, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There are SO many options for everything, including classic Chicken Seasoning! Instead of checking the labels on all of the containers for the best one, save yourself the headache by making this simple blend of ingredients! When you make your own seasoning mixes at home, you can control everything. Whether you want the blend to be sweeter, spicier, or more herbaceous, it’s all up to you!” raves Cookie Rookie.

5. Cumin

Cumin or Comino is a powerfully pungent spice that is prevalent in many types of international cuisine. “Cumin – Earthy cumin provides grounding notes that give savory chicken dishes a cozy warmth. We normally associate cumin with Mexican foods and can’t picture a chicken enchilada without it, but cumin is found in dishes across the globe,” says Spices Inc.

Cumin seeds (Photo by Pradeep Javedar on Unsplash)

Whole seeds and ground varieties are available and offer varying degrees of flavor and aroma. According to Hangy Hanna, “Cumin is a warm and earthy spice that adds a nutty and slightly smoky flavor to baked chicken. It is made from the seeds of the cumin plant and is a staple in many cuisines, such as Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian. Cumin also has several health benefits, such as improving digestion and reducing inflammation.”

As a final tip for creating the best flavors possible with spices, “Toast your ground spices for enhanced flavor. Chef Wolfgang Puck shares a pro tip about getting more from your seasonings, a practice he employs in his award-winning restaurants’ kitchens: ‘If you can, toast your peppercorns a little bit in the oven to release a little bit of the oil, and they will be even more fragrant. We do that with all of our spices. If it’s cumin, coriander seed: We toast them, then they have more flavor because they release their oil,'” recommends Masterclass.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

Lea la versión en español en Las Mejores Especias para Pollo: Las 5 Principales, Según Expertos Culinarios.



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