Imagine a spice that’s so irresistibly flavorful, people search far and wide for how to get to their hands on it — meet Tuscan Heat Spice. It’s a staple in HelloFresh’s meal delivery kits for pairing with meats, fish, pastas and salads. Devotees can’t get enough of the stuff, and it’s easy to see why: This blend, which is like a spicy Italian seasoning, makes it easy to add rich and nuanced flavor. So when we stumbled on a copycat recipe, we were excited to try it. All you need are 6 ingredients likely already in your pantry, and it comes together in minutes. So now you can skip the pricey delivery service and enjoy all the flavors whenever you want. Keep reading to learn how to make Tuscan Heat Spice and inspiration for using it in your everyday meals.
What is Tuscan Heat Spice?
Tuscan Heat Spice is a salt-free seasoning that features a mix of dried basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, ground fennel and cayenne pepper. Although this blend has a similar earthy and piney taste as standard Italian seasoning, it also packs a spiced kick. So a little can go a long way for waking up the flavors of your favorite recipes!
The best way to use Tuscan Heat Spice
To get the most from a seasoning like Tuscan Heat Spice, consider the timing of when you add it to a dish. Sprinkling it into sauces or stews too early in the cooking process could cause the spices to lose their volatile oils. These natural oils not only give spices their taste and aroma, they contain chemical compounds that can help protect against inflammation, aging and cancer. (For more on the benefits of seasonings, read our stories on herbs and spices for reducing high blood pressure. and the best spices for weight loss.)
Retain as many of the volatile oils as possible by adding this blend toward the end of the cooking process — unless you’re using it to marinate raw meat, fish or veggies. Alternatively, cold dishes can greatly benefit from allowing this seasoning to sit on the food for several hours in the fridge. That lets the flavors really meld together to make sure every bite is delicious. Now, let’s prepare the DIY spice that rivals pre-made seasoning blends.
How to make Tuscan Heat Spice
On the Reddit page for HelloFresh fans, devotees shared a recipe cheat sheet that includes ingredient measurements for homemade Tuscan Heat Spice. Here are the ingredients and quantities you’ll need to make a little more than ½ cup of this seasoning.
Homemade Tuscan Heat Spice
- 4 Tbs. dried basil
- 2 Tbs. dried rosemary
- 2 Tbs. dried oregano
- 2 Tbs. garlic powder
- 1 Tbs. mild cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbs. ground fennel
- Active: 5 mins
- Total time: 5 mins
- Yield: more than ½ cup
- In small bowl, mix together ingredients until fully combined.
- Pour seasoning bend into airtight container, preferably spice jar or bottle. Store in cool, dry place for around 1 to 3 years. (Click through for tips on how to tell when seasoning expires.)
2 recipes using this spice blend
In any recipe, you can swap Italian seasoning for Tuscan Heat Spice to infuse dishes with a peppery taste. Try adding the DIY seasoning to these recipes and savor a mouthful of bold flavors!
Jarred sauce and melty mozzarella jazz up this twist on a comfort-food favorite.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup + ⅓ cup marinara sauce
- 1 tsp. Tuscan Heat Spice
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1½ lbs. (80/20 or 85/15) ground beef
- 1 onion, grated
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- Active: 20 mins
- Total time: 1 hr., 20 mins
- Yield: 6 servings
- Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In bowl, beat eggs, ½ cup sauce, seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in crumbs; let stand 1 minutes.
- Add ground beef and onion; stir gently until just combined. Shape beef mixture into loaf; transfer to baking dish. Spread remaining ⅓ cup sauce on top.
- Cook until meat thermometer inserted in center registers 165°F, about 50 minutes, topping with cheese during last 5 minutes of cook ing time. Let stand 10 minutes. before slicing. If desired, garnish with oregano.
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Cannellini beans and canned tuna make this refreshing salad super filling.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp. Tuscan Heat Spice
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
- 2 (5 oz.) cans tuna packed in water, drained
- 1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Active: 15 mins
- Total time: 15 mins
- Yield: 4 servings
- In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, zest and seasoning. Add beans, tuna, cucumber and tomatoes; toss until evenly coated and combined.
- If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon wedges.
Note: For extra flavor, allow salad to sit in fridge covered for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
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