Basic Pickling Spice Blend

Make your own pickling spice blend! Mustard seed, black peppercorns, and cinnamon (or allspice!) are essential. The rest are mix-and-match. Lasts for up to a year and makes enough for several batches.

Pickling spice in a measuring cup: cinnamon, bay leaves, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, dill seeds, alspice berries, red pepper flakes
Emma Christensen

Are you planning on making lots of pickles? If so, you might want to try mixing up your own blend of pickling spice! It’s very simple to throw together, and one batch is enough for lots and lots of pickles.

Basic Pickling Spice Blend in a measuring cup
Emma Christensen

Spices in This Pickling Blend

If the ingredient list looks a little long to you, don’t worry! You really can pare it down to just the basics. For me, the essentials are the mustard seeds, black peppercorns or red pepper flakes, and at least one of the sweet spices (allspice, cinnamon, or cloves). As long as you’ve got those in the mix, you can customize your blend however you like.

How Much Pickling Spice to Use

Whatever mixture of spices you end up with, you’ll want to use about 1 1/2 teaspoons per pint of pickles (or 1 tablespoon if you’re canning in quart jars). Mix ‘em up and get pickling!

Ways to Use This Spice Blend

You can use this blend when pickling cucumbers, green beans, carrot sticks, beets, or even sliced red onions, my favorite hamburger topping. It’s a versatile mix with a flavor profile that’s both savory and sweet, with a little kick of heat.

Recipes for Using Your Pickling Spice

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Basic Pickling Spice Blend

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 16 servings
Yield 1/2 cup

Use as many or as few of the spices below to created your own signature spice blend. I recommend using mustard seeds, black peppercorns or red pepper flakes, and at least one of the sweet spices (allspice, cinnamon, or cloves), and then as many of the other spices as you like.

All of the spices listed in the recipe are for whole spices. Do not substitute ground spices.


  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tablespoon cinnamon chunks)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds

  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon dried minced ginger, optional

  • 8 whole cloves

Special Equipment

  • Mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder


  1. Crush the cinnamon and bay leaves:

    In a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, break down the cinnamon stick into small (about 1/4 inch) pieces. Transfer to a small bowl, then repeat with the bay leaves, crushing them into small pieces of about the same size. Transfer them to the bowl as well.

  2. Mix up the spice blend:

    Stir in the rest of the spices. Use a small funnel to transfer the mixture to a spice jar, or use it right away. The spices will keep in a tightly-lidded jar for up to 1 year.