bland food bethenny frankel

Is Your Food Too Bland? Here’s How to Fix It

If your food is too bland, this is the best problem you can possibly have. Bland food just needs more salt, sugar, acid, or spice. Sometimes it just needs that ineffable quality I call “zip.” That might come from pepper or spices, seasoning mixes, or the freshness of herbs.

In general, people tend to be stingy with salt because they think it is bad for them. Processed foods have tons of salt, but if you are making your own food from scratch, you don’t have to worry about using salt in amounts that will flavor the food. Almost all food can benefit from a little bit of salt, which brings out food’s natural flavor.

Then think about what else might give the dish character. Black and red pepper add spice. Acid, like a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice or a splash of vinegar, will add brightness and tang. Sugar adds sweetness, of course, and a chopped fresh herb or a sprinkle of ground spice can also bring a bland dish alive again. I also like to add Worcestershire sauce for “zip.”

The key here is to taste as you go and add just a little bit of seasoning at a time until you like the flavor.

This is an excerpt from The Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel, available on