Swap Salt for Herbs and Spices in 2016

Making a New Year’s resolution? Don’t forget salt. Most Americans consume about a 1,000 milligrams of sodium over the amount recommended by nutrition and health experts. New research shows cooking with spices and herbs could help you ditch the saltshaker and meet sodium recommendations.

Keeping a resolution to cut salt from your diet is easy. Use simple spice swaps to create tasty, low-sodium meals.

From seasoning eggs with basil instead of salt to adding spices and herbs to no-salt tomato sauce, the McCormick Kitchens offer these easy tips and recipes to make low-sodium meals full of flavor:

  • Beat 1/8 teaspoon herb instead of salt into two eggs before scrambling.
  • Add oregano, garlic powder and red pepper to no-salt added tomato sauce for a tasty, low-sodium pasta dinner.

Here are some recipes for dishes that don’t call for any salt. These dishes don’t call for any salt. Instead, they swap in basil, garlic powder and oregano.

Fiesta Citrus SalmonFiesta Citrus Salmon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Salt-Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning, divided
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 pound salmon fillets


In small bowl, mix juice, oil and 1 tablespoon each seasoning and sugar. Place salmon in large, resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or longer for extra flavor.

In another small bowl, mix remaining seasoning and sugar. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with seasoning mixture.

Tuscan PastaTuscan Pasta

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine


In medium saucepan, mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and seasonings. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and onion; cook and stir 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir tomato sauce into vegetables.

Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package. Drain well. Place pasta in serving bowl. Add vegetable mixture; toss well.

Citrus Herbed Chicken with AsparagusCitrus Herbed Chicken with Asparagus

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick Black Pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 pound thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp McCormick Basil Leaves
  • 1 tsp McCormick Oregano Leaves
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


In shallow dish, mix flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Moisten chicken lightly with water. Coat evenly with remaining flour mixture.

In large, nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add 1/2 of the chicken pieces; cook 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding additional oil, if necessary. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

In medium bowl, mix stock, basil, oregano and reserved flour mixture until well blended. Add to skillet along with asparagus. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice.

Return chicken to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until heated through.

For more low-sodium tips and recipes — such as shaved vegetable salad with Italian herb vinaigrette — visit McCormick.com/recipes/low-sodium to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track. To see the full Anderson study, which examined the effects of a behavioral intervention that emphasized spice and herbs, and how it impacts sodium intake, visit McCormickScienceInstitute.com.