As its name suggests, all purpose seasoning is a way to easily add complex flavors to your dishes without having to measure out multiple spices separately. There are many different all purpose seasoning blends with flavor profiles that differ based on which spices are used and how much of each spice is used. As with any spice, you will need an alternative if you run out or can’t find it at the grocery store. If you need an all purpose seasoning substitute in a hurry, try one of the options below.
Your best bet: Make your own all purpose seasoning
Most powdered all purpose seasoning blends consist of spices that you can find in most grocery stores. These include garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. You may already have all of the necessary ingredients in your spice cabinet.
If you are making a large batch, it may actually be more cost effective to purchase bulk spices and blend them yourself rather than to buy a large quantity of a pre-made blend. Using fresh whole spices by grinding them yourself can result in a significantly more flavorful seasoning blend when compared to pre-mixed blends.
To make all purpose seasoning, simply assemble the ingredients you want in your preferred amounts. Making your own blend allows you to customize the flavor profile to suit your own tastes or to complement a particular set of dishes.
A decent second choice: Adobo seasoning
Adobo seasoning is widely used as an all purpose seasoning throughout Latin America. Its origin is in the Spanish use of spices and vinegar preserve food. People found that they liked the flavor of the marinated food, so the spices have continued to be popular even after the need for marination as a preservative diminished. Adobo seasoning blends contain many of the same spices used in typical all purpose seasonings. These include the staples like garlic, black pepper, and salt. These spices are known for being complementary to a large number of foods. Oregano is often included and is another versatile ingredient that you can pair with many other savory flavors.
Use adobo seasoning as a 1:1 substitute for all purpose seasoning.
In a pinch: Creole seasoning
Creole seasoning is a spice blend that most people associate with food from Louisiana and food from New Orleans in particular. It is a blend of traditional European herbs and spices, many of which can be found in all purpose seasoning. While it does contain more herbs than might be found in many all purpose seasoning blends, it still provides a savory flavor profile similar to that of all purpose seasoning, which means that it can work in a vast range of dishes. Use Creole seasoning to flavor many different types of vegetables, meats and seafood.
Creole seasoning is an effective 1:1 substitute for all purpose seasoning.
Cajun seasoning is another mix of spices from Louisiana. Known for being somewhat hotter than Creole seasoning, Cajun seasoning provides many of the flavors that you want from an all purpose spice blend.
Like adobo seasoning, fajita seasoning is a Latin American blend of spices that is versatile enough to flavor a variety of savory ingredients. Spices that tend to show up in fajita seasoning blends include paprika, garlic, and black pepper.
Low sodium soy sauce is a great substitute for Bragg’s Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning. Since both are made from soybeans, it has essentially the same appearance and flavor.