This Is the ONE Seasoning I Put on Everything

A small dash of this Croatian staple completely transforms any dish!

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August 01, 2021

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Ever since I was a little kid, there’s always been one grocery store staple that’s held a permanent place in my parents' spice cabinet. No, it’s not oregano or basil or even salt and pepper. It’s Vegeta! Known throughout Eastern Europe as “the gourmet secret to Mediterranean cooking,” Vegeta is my family’s go-to secret ingredient for nearly every meal.

The real magic behind Vegeta is due largely to the combination of dehydrated vegetables that make it up. Unlike other seasoning salts which rely heavily on herbs and spices, Vegeta contains bits of carrots, parsnips, onions, potatoes, celery and parsley, plus black pepper, nutmeg and salt. It’s a combination that is as bold as it is tasty. And at just $6 a can, it’s super affordable too!

Though it can be a little salty for those who’ve never cooked with it before — the brand also offers a MSG free version — adding just a small spoonful of Vegeta easily transforms any dish. I’ve added it to everything from chicken noodle soup and tomato sauce to barbecued meat and roast chicken and potatoes; each and every time, I’m still blown away by the depth of flavor it adds to the meal overall. You can also add Vegeta at the beginning, middle or end of cooking, so it’s perfect for those times you find yourself wishing there was a quick fix for your bland Sunday roast or your flavorless fish filet. (Yes, you can even put it on fish!)

Vegeta is also a product of Croatia, so it has an extra-special place in my heart. Using Vegeta while I’m cooking helps me feel closer to the Croatian side of my family, especially my grandma who still lives there. While I might not be in the same room as her while she’s making her roasts and soups, I know at some point during the day we’ll both reach for our container of Vegeta. And that just makes dinnertime a whole lot better.

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