What seasonings can be used in place of salt that will still add flavor to foods?

There are many ways to lower your sodium intake without sacrificing flavor. You might try herbs, spices, and seasoning blends when cooking. Here is a list of some options for adding taste and zest to your food without using extra salt.

Create your favorite flavors using herbs and spices:

Fish

  • Bay leaf
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Dry mustard
  • Green pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Marjoram
  • Onion
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Savory

Beef

  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Cloves
  • Dill
  • Dry mustard
  • Green pepper
  • Horseradish
  • Marjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Thyme

Poultry

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Green pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Pork

  • Allspice
  • Applesauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Dry mustard
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Marjoram
  • Onion
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Thyme

Breads

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Dill
  • Poppy seed

Vegetables

  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Dry mustard
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Pasta

  • Basil
  • Garlic or roasted garlic
  • Oregano
  • Poppy seed

Potatoes

  • Dry mustard
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

General tips:

  • Fruit juices can be used as marinades or as sauces or glazes thickened with cornstarch.
  • Jams, preserves, honey, and maple syrup can be used for glazing meats or roasted vegetables.
  • Brown sugar can be mixed with savory spices as a rub for dry meat.
  • All types of vinegar (cider, wine vinegar, Balsamic, rice, or flavored) can be used as marinades or to drizzle on veggies or fruit.
  • Citrus juices and/or citrus zest (orange, lemon, grapefruit etc.) can be added to marinades and rubs or squeezed over meats, pasta, rice, and/or veggies.
  • Hot spices and peppers, such as cayenne, jalapenos, and roasted chipotle peppers, are useful.
  • Plain yogurt mixed with seasonings can be used to marinate and tenderize meat.
  • Sesame oil or herb- infused oils can be drizzled on meats, veggies or breads, rice, and/or pasta.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy