Make Spice Rubs and Seasonings for Neighbor Gifts

Spice mixes make a fun neighbor gift.



Seasoning mixes and spice rubs can be fun neighbor gifts. Technically they’re a “gift from the kitchen,” but you don’t have to even turn on your oven to make them.

It’s fun to come up with your own custom mix to share as a neighbor gifts or in the office gift exchange.  You can use small jelly jars or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, or buy spice jars or shakers. (I found a big selection of glass spice jars for reasonable prices at Cost Plus World Market, but I’ve also found them at For Your Kitchen in Clearfield, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree.)  Do a little competitive pricing, because the cost of jars will multiply with the number of neighbor gifts you’re making.

I like to add a label listing the ingredients, in case your recipient has an allergy or reactions to certain spices.

When you prepare your mix, you can try the layered look when you measure in your seasonings (as in the photo above). But all it takes is one jiggle to mix up all those carefully arranged layers. I prefer to mix it all together.

You can use the appropriate line,  “Seasoned Greetings!”  on your gift tag.

If you don’t have a favorite blend of your own, here are some recipes to get you started. My advice is to mix up a half-size recipe at first,  taste and tinker with it. You may want to add a little more oregano, less cumin, or whatever appeals to your taste buds.

If you have a favorite seasoning that you’d like to share here, leave a comment with your recipe!  I’d love to try a new blend.

All-Purpose Seasoning Salt:

2/3 cup salt

1/3 cup dried parsley flakes

3 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons onion powder

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon celery salt



This is my basic rub for grilling or barbecuing just about any meat, poultry or seafood. I especially like to use it on my Thanksgiving turkey (and the inside cavity) before smoking it. Don’t be scared by cup each of salt and sugar; there’s a lot of garlic, onion, paprika and other herbs and spices to balance it out.

1 cup salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup garlic powder

1 cup paprika

1 cup onion powder

1/2 cup cumin

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup oregano or marjoram

1/4 cup parsley flakes

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

Makes about 6 cups, or 12 half-cup containers of rub.


American 5-4-3-2-1 BBQ Rub

5 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika

4 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons coarse salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

Makes about 3/4 cup of seasoning.



1/4 cup dried basil

1/4 cup dried oregano

3 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2  teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Optional: 1 teaspoon marjoram

Makes about 1 cup.



2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons onion powder 

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons ground coriander (optional)

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Makes about 3/4 cup