When you’re cooking something up in the kitchen, it can be easy to get caught up in the recipe.
But what if I told you that there are spices, herbs, foods, etc that pair perfectly with turmeric?
These combinations aren’t just good—they’re great.
And they’ll give your dish an added flavor and depth that will have your taste buds doing a happy dance.
So whether you’re looking for recipes or simply want to try out some new ingredients, here’s our top ten picks for pairing turmeric with other foods.
What Spices Go Well with Turmeric? (15 Spices)
Despite its popularity, turmeric can be overwhelming on its own.
Turmeric’s flavor is overwhelmingly earthy and bitter, almost musky, with a bit of peppery spice thrown in for good measure.
Luckily, there are a number of spices out there that pair well with it—and we’ve rounded up the best ones here!
Here are our favorites:
Cinnamon goes great with turmeric because it helps to balance out the flavor of the spice by adding sweetness and depth to your dish.
Use this combo in sweet or savory dishes like curries and stews.
Cloves have a warm, spicy taste that pairs perfectly with turmeric’s earthiness.
Try using them together in recipes like curries, stews, soups, or even baked goods like scones or muffins!
Ginger is another popular pairing for turmeric because they both share a similar earthy quality but offer different flavors and textures as well—ginger has more heat while turmeric has more bitterness.
You can use these two together in savory dishes like soups or stews or add them to your favorite smoothie recipe!
4. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds are often used with turmeric because they share similar warm flavors and spices like cinnamon go well with both of them as well!
Try adding some cumin seeds to your favorite curry recipe for an extra kick of flavor!
If you’re looking for something that packs a serious punch, garlic is one way you can do it—especially when paired with turmeric!
The two flavors complement each other well without being too overpowering; try them together in stir-fries or other spicy dishes that need some extra kick!
6. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers offer a bit more heat than other spices on this list, but they also add more depth and complexity to your dish than something like cinnamon would alone would provide—plus they bring out some sweetness from the turmeric itself without being overpowering!
Try using them together in stir-fries or curries for an aromatic kick that you won’t forget!
Cumin is another spice that will help you balance out the strong flavors in turmeric without taking over the dish itself.
It’s also great with other Indian spices like garam masala and cardamom, which you can use to make an Indian-inspired chicken stew or lentil soup (or any other recipe!)
Paprika is a great way to add some heat to your dish without overwhelming it with heat alone—it has just enough kick to add an extra layer of complexity to your dish without overpowering everything else going on there too!
9. Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds have an earthy flavor that pairs well with turmeric’s bitter notes, but they also have a light sweetness that offsets them nicely too!
They’re also great for adding texture to dishes like soups or stews where you want something crunchy in addition to all those other flavors going on at once.
10. Cassia/Ceylon Cinnamon
This variety of cinnamon has a deeper flavor than regular cinnamon sticks and goes great with foods that need an extra kick!
We love it in creamy sauces, soups and stews—especially when paired with other similar flavors like black pepper or cardamom!
The combination of coriander and turmeric is another classic pairing—and just like cinnamon, this combination helps to balance out the flavor profile of both ingredients while also adding some umami flavors to your dish.
12. Black pepper
You may have heard that black pepper makes everything taste better—and this is no exception!
Add some black pepper to your turmeric-based dishes to give them an extra kick of heat and depth.
Nutmeg is another spice that pairs well with turmeric because it adds a sweet element that balances out some of the bitterness inherent in turmeric.
Try using nutmeg with other spices when cooking Indian-inspired dishes like curries or stews!
14. Bay leaf
Bay leaf is another natural way to take down some of the bitter notes in turmeric and make it more palatable for your palate.
You can use bay leaf in a variety of ways—we recommend using three or four bay leaves along with a teaspoon of ground turmeric for maximum flavor impact!
This one’s pretty obvious!
Curry powder is basically just a blend of turmeric and other spices that complement each other nicely.
It’s warm and earthy, but not overpowering like the turmeric can be.
We recommend using it in your cooking or baking whenever you have some leftover turmeric lying around to get rid of—it’ll help take away some of the bitterness without adding too much flavor of its own (just make sure you only use enough to balance out any bitterness).
What Herbs Go Well with Turmeric? (10 herbs)
So what herbs go well with turmeric?
Let’s take a look at some of our favorites:
Ginger is a root that adds a spicy flavor to dishes and can also be used to add some color.
Some people may not like the taste of ginger, though, so you might want to use it sparingly.
Coriander is an herb that has a mild flavor and is often paired with other spices like cumin or cardamom to make your dish pop.
It also adds some color and texture, but it’s best used sparingly so as not to overpower your dish’s flavor profile.
Mint adds a refreshing flavor and color to your dishes, making it perfect for soups or stews!
If you’re not into minty flavors, try pairing it instead with other herbs like cilantro or basil—it’ll give you an interesting new taste combination!
Cilantro is one of those herbs that can be used in many different ways—as a salad green or garnish, or blended into sauces and curries.
The flavor is slightly bitter, but not overpowering, making it a great complement to the earthy flavor of turmeric.
And while it might seem like they’d clash together, cilantro actually pairs well with many other flavors too!
Parsley brings some freshness to dishes that can use a little spring-cleaning—especially those that call for meaty flavors like lamb or beef.
It’s also great in soups because it will help boost their flavor without dominating them!
6. Caraway seeds
Another great herb for pairing with turmeric is caraway seeds, which have even more earthy notes than turmeric itself!
They’re also quite bitter and have some peppery spice to them as well—so they’ll play well together on your plate!
7. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are best known for their distinct nutty flavor, which makes them perfect for pairing with almost any savory ingredient—especially in Indian dishes!
They’re also visually striking when ground up because they turn into little yellow specks throughout your recipe.
This is why they’re often paired with turmeric or curry powder in recipes that call for both ingredients—the contrast between their flavors really makes them stand out on the plate (or bowl).
8. Oregano Leaves and Dried Oregano Powder
Oregano leaves are known for their robust flavor (and sometimes bitterness), and dried oregano powder can add more depth of flavor than fresh oregano leaves (but not as much as fresh oregano).
Both have a strong smell that pairs well with the earthy base of turmeric—they’ll help bring out some of the subtle undertones in your dish while still allowing you to enjoy the main flavors of each ingredient separately!
Thyme is another great choice because it pairs well with turmeric’s earthy notes while bringing its own bold flavor to the table as well!
You can use either fresh or dried thyme in recipes—just keep in mind that you’ll need at least twice as much fresh thyme as you would dried if you’re using that instead!
A little goes a long way with sage.
You can use it in small amounts to add an earthy hint without overpowering your dish’s flavors—and if you’re trying to cut down on salt content in your diet, it’s a great ingredient for replacing salt without sacrificing taste!
What Foods Go Well with Turmeric? (10 Foods)
The first thing you should know about pairing turmeric with other foods is that it’s really all about matching the flavors.
If you think about what flavors go well together, you’ll find that most things will go well with turmeric because it’s such a strong flavor.
The easiest way to think about this is by thinking about what flavors already exist in the dish you’re making—and then adding some turmeric to balance out those flavors.
So what foods go well with turmeric?
Let’s take a look at 10 of our favorites:
1. Sweet potatoes
Turmeric goes great with sweet potatoes.
The deep purple color of the sweet potato compliments the earthy yellow tone of the turmeric beautifully.
You can also try pairing these two together in a curry dish or even just roasting them together for a side dish!
The sweetness of honey helps balance out the intensity of turmeric’s earthiness.
Try drizzling honey over your turmeric-spiced roasted sweet potato wedges.
They’re so tasty!
3. Coconut milk/cream
If you’re looking for something creamy but don’t want to use dairy products, coconut milk is an excellent alternative!
It pairs wonderfully with the mellow taste of turmeric without taking away from its own distinct flavor profile—giving you more opportunities to experiment with different combinations than ever before!
Asparagus is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be prepared in so many ways.
We love pairing it with turmeric because it adds a bit of earthy richness while still letting the flavors of both ingredients shine through—allowing us to create unique recipes like this one!
Yolks are rich in fat, which means they have a high smoke point—so when you fry them, they won’t burn as easily as other types of food (like meats).
Eggs are also incredibly versatile—you can boil them or scramble them or fry them.
They’re also easy to store and can last for up to 2 months if refrigerated properly!
Try mixing turmeric into your scrambled eggs next time you make them; it will give them an extra pop of color while still retaining their delicious flavor profile!
When cooking rice, add some turmeric while boiling the water or sautéing it with other spices (like cumin or curry powder).
This will give your rice a beautiful golden color while adding a subtle earthy taste that complements most meals—especially curries!
Quinoa is another great option for pairing with turmeric because it absorbs flavors very well without losing its own unique flavor profile—so go ahead and give it a try!
Beans like kidney beans or chickpeas will go well with turmeric because they have a similar earthy flavor profile that blends nicely into each other’s flavors without overpowering them too much!
Try adding some beans into your next curry dish or soup—you won’t regret it!
9. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a fantastic way to get more vegetables into your diet without having to worry about adding extra carbs or calories!
When paired with turmeric it will give you an earthy flavor that’s sure to please even the biggest foodies out there!
10. Lemon Juice
When it comes to pairing flavors, lemon juice is one of our favorite ways to add some brightness and tanginess to any dish—especially when it comes to something as rich as a curry dish!
The acidity cuts through the richness of the coconut milk and helps bring out the earthy notes in your turmeric.
It also adds just enough tartness that makes it pair well with many other ingredients as well!
What Fruits Go Well with Turmeric?
There are so many options when it comes to choosing the perfect fruit to accompany your turmeric dish, but some are better than others.
Here are some of the best options:
Apples are packed full of antioxidants, making them an ideal choice for pairing with turmeric.
Their tartness will balance out the spice, while their crispness will add texture that balances out the softness of the other ingredients.
Try swapping out your usual apple pie filling for one made from chopped apples and turmeric instead!
Another fruit packed full of antioxidants, bananas work well with turmeric because they’re sweet enough to balance out its flavor without being too overpowering (like apples).
You could also try adding banana slices into your smoothies or oatmeal!
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are also excellent choices for pairing with turmeric because they complement its earthy taste while adding a bit of sweetness to offset the spice.
Try tossing together a bowl of mixed berries with some sliced apples and some rice milk or soy milk to make a delicious smoothie!
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can be used in many different ways when paired with turmeric.
You can use them as garnishes on your dishes or toss them into your beverages or smoothies for an extra zing of flavor.
They also add a nice splash of color to any dish they are included in!
Melons such as watermelons or cantaloupes are also very good at complimenting turmeric’s earthy flavor.
They’re sweet enough that they don’t need much help from other ingredients when paired with this spice; just toss them in a salad or chop them up into cubes for snacking!
6. Other Fruits
Other fruits that work well with turmeric include oranges and grapefruits—especially if you’re looking for something sweet but not overly sweetened (and who isn’t?).
All three of these fruits pair well with the flavor profile of turmeric because they can stand up against its strong taste while still adding their own unique flavors to make a perfect dish.
Fruits like peaches and nectarines also go well with turmeric because they’re full-bodied fruits that have a lot of natural sweetness to them.
They’re also quite versatile when it comes to cooking—you can use them as an accompaniment in soups or salads, or even just eat them as a snack on their own!
What Vegetables Go Well with Turmeric? (13 Veggies)
There’s no question that turmeric is a powerful spice.
It’s got an earthy, bitter flavor that’s almost musky, with a bit of peppery spice thrown in for good measure.
But what vegetables do you pair it with?
We’re here to help you find out!
Carrots are sweet and flavorful, but they can be overpowering if you don’t serve them alongside something more neutral like rice or potatoes.
The combination of the two makes for a great meal that will leave your taste buds satisfied without making you feel like you’ve just eaten a whole bag of candy.
Potatoes are another vegetable that go well with almost anything, but especially other starchy foods like rice or pasta (which we’ll get to later).
They’re also great on their own—just cook them in some olive oil and garlic until they’re nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!
Spinach has a deep green color that matches nicely with turmeric’s golden-yellow hue.
It also pairs well with potatoes because it soaks up their starchiness like a sponge does water!
This makes it perfect for dishes like aloo gobi masala or palak paneer.
4. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a leafy vegetable in the cabbage family that has a mild flavor and crunchy texture similar to lettuce or celery leaves, but with more color and flavor than either of those options provide on their own.
Mushrooms are another super tasty vegetable that pairs well with turmeric because they’re neutral in flavor, yet hearty enough to stand up to the spice in the spice-blend.
Plus they have a unique texture that combines meatiness with softness—a little bit like meatballs!
You can use any type of mushroom in this recipe (button, portobello, crimini) but try to choose organic mushrooms whenever possible because conventional ones are often grown using pesticides which can be harmful to your health over time (especially since you’ll be eating them every day).
6. Broccoli Rabe (aka Rapini)
Broccoli rabe has a slightly bitter taste that pairs perfectly with the overwhelming bitterness of turmeric.
It has an almost mustardy flavor as well, which adds another dimension to this dish—one that will keep your palate interested until the very last bite!
These two foods also complement each other in terms of color: broccoli rabe is dark green while turmeric is bright orange-yellow. This contrast makes them both pop on your plate!
7. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an extremely versatile vegetable because it has such an earthy flavor and can be used in so many different ways: roasted with olive oil, mashed into soup or casserole recipes, baked into chips… the list goes on forever!
8. Green Beans
Green beans are milder than carrots and offer a fresh crisp texture that balances out the richness of turmeric’s flavor profile perfectly.
They’re also easy to prepare and cook quickly so you can get back to your day without having to worry about spending hours over the stovetop!
Like green beans, peas have a crunchy texture that will help balance out the overwhelming bitterness of turmeric while still giving you plenty of nutrients to keep you healthy!
Plus peas taste great with butter sauce!
Zucchini is light and refreshing—it has almost no taste at all!
That makes it perfect for cutting through any overpowering flavors in your dish (like those from your turmeric!).
We love pairing zucchini with tomatoes because they both have such bright colors that make this dish pop on your plate!
And did we mention how easy it is to grow? You could even plant some in your garden today!
Tomatoes are tangy and full of flavor—and they’re also very versatile!
You can use them in pasta dishes or salads or just eat them on their own as snacks (we won’t tell).
They pair perfectly with turmeric because the bitterness balances out the sweetness in both ingredients.
12. Leafy greens (like kale or collard greens)
Leafy greens are great because they’re both dark in color and full of flavor—and when combined with turmeric, they make an awesome side dish or meal starter!
Just make sure that when preparing leafy green dishes with turmeric, don’t overdo it on the spice: You don’t want to overwhelm your whole dish with an overpowering flavor profile!
Onions are another vegetable that can be overpowering if used on their own.
However, when paired with other foods like meat or fish, they add a nice savory flavor that helps bring out the natural sweetness in those meats—and it also gives them more depth than just salt could offer alone!
A great way to enjoy both together is by making an Indian curry dish with chicken or lamb and adding plenty of onions!
Spices, Herbs & Foods That Go Well with Turmeric
- Cumin Seeds
- Chili Peppers
- Caraway seeds
- Cassia/Ceylon Cinnamon
- Black pepper
- Bay leaf
- Fenugreek Seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut milk
- Cauliflower Rice
- Lemon Juice
- Citrus fruits
- Other Fruits
- Bok Choy
- Broccoli Rabe
- Butternut Squash
- Leafy greens (like kale or collard greens)
- Pick any of the ingredients from this list to use with turmeric.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to enjoy your meal in no time!