Recipe: Homemade Pickling Spice

Rating: 4.8 stars based on 119 reviews

Most include the following basic spices:

Bay leaves

Mustard seeds (yellow or brown)

Peppercorns (black, white, red, or green)

Other spices may include:

Allspice berries

Cardamom seeds

Celery seeds

Dried chili peppers (whole or flakes)

Cinnamon sticks

Coriander seeds

Whole cloves

Dill seeds

Fennel seeds

Dried ginger

Juniper berries

Mace blades

Star anise



  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns (again, whole peppercorns, not ground pepper)
  • 1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds (yellow are fine, but I like how black mustard seeds look in the mix)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cloves (again, only whole cloves work; ground cloves don't add the right flavor)
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or dried chilli flakes (optional; I add them for some heat, but if you don't like spicy, feel free to cut the amount down or leave them out entirely)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (not fresh, it will be too sharp)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional, the warm homey flavor of nutmeg adds some depth of flavor I like a lot)
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 cinnamon stick, smashed or crumbled (optional, but I highly recommend the earthy aromatic element cinnamon adds.)


  • If you like, you can toast the allspice, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes for a deeper flavor before adding the other ingredients. In any case, mix everything together and store whatever you don't use that day in a glass jar or similar vessel.


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