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Turkey Seasoning | The Recipe Critic

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Look no further for the BEST turkey seasoning recipe you will ever make! The combination of herbs and spices in this rub will flavor your turkey to perfection and it will be your go-to turkey rub.

All the classic herbs and spices of Thanksgiving dinner are packed into one perfect blend for your bird! Your turkey will take on the most amazing flavors. I love adding flavorful seasonings to make any meat or poultry taste incredible. Try this baked chicken, this delicious chicken recipe, or my favorite air fryer pork chops for tasty seasoned meat.

Top view of turkey seasoning in a small white bowl with a wooden spoon inside and tan kitchen towel next to the bowl.

Turkey Rub

This turkey rub is a combination of aromatic dried herbs and savory spices. I love the blend of thyme, rosemary, and sage because they are all meant to be together on a turkey. There is just something about their complementary flavors that make Thanksgiving turkey magic!

Rubbing these flavors into your turkey will guarantee the tastiest bird your guests will ever have. I guarantee that you will always be asked to be in charge of the turkey after everyone tastes this dry rub. And if you’re asked to be in charge of the turkey, you can make the meal complete with my Grandma’s stuffing, my Dad’s potatoes, and these easy 1-hour rolls!

Turkey Seasoning Ingredients

The best part about this turkey seasoning rub is that you most likely have all the herbs in your cupboard! These delicious herbs and spices are the perfect combination to enhance the flavors of your turkey. You will LOVE the taste of your turkey and this will be your go-to rub recipe for every turkey you cook.

  • Dried Thyme: The distinct flavor of thyme is perfect for turkey.
  • Dried Rosemary: Aromatic and delicious on poultry.
  • Dried Sage: Sage is a wonderful compliment to the rub.
  • Dried Parsley: Parsley is a perfect herb for the turkey.
  • Paprika: I love the subtle smokiness the paprika adds!
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is my favorite for enhancing seasoning flavors.
  • Cracked Black Pepper: Always cracked black pepper!
  • Garlic Powder: Everything tastes better with the flavor of garlic.
  • Onion Powder: Onion powder is a perfect spice in this seasoning.

How to Make the Best Seasoning For Turkey

Making this turkey seasoning is the easiest part of your Thanksgiving dinner! It only takes 5 minutes to put it together, and you will love how fast it is. The best part is that you can make this dry rub ahead of time because it will be ready to go when you need it. Anything that you can make before Thanksgiving day is a win in my book!

  1. Combine Ingredients: Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Rub: Rub the entire seasoning mix all over a 10-13 pound turkey making sure to get the top and bottom. Then cook your seasoned turkey according to your recipe.
  3. Store: If you aren’t using it right away, store it in a sealed container for up to 2 months.
First process photo is the dried herbs and seasonings on a plate. Second photo is the ingredients in a bowl being whisked together. Third photo is a close up view of a spoon lifting out a spoonful of seasoning.

Tips and Variations

Homemade seasonings are my very favorite because you have complete control over your end result! You can change up the heat level, add additional flavor, or even double the recipe so that you always have some on hand. Here are a few ideas on how to change things up with this turkey seasoning. 

  • Make Ahead: I like to make this turkey rub a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving so that it’s ready to go! It’s great to make a big batch of seasoning because you have it on hand anytime you need to season poultry, meat, or fish.
  • How Much Seasoning To Use: This recipe makes about ⅓ cup and is good to rub over an entire 10-14 pound turkey.
  • Use Dried Herbs, Not Fresh: Dried herbs in your spice rack have a much longer shelf life than using fresh herbs. Fresh herbs tend to have a higher moisture content and can lead to spoiling and growing mold early on.
  • Less salt: If you find it a tad too salty, then reduce the salt a little bit at a time. Kosher salt is best because you can control the salt flavor better than table salt.
  • Make it Spicy:  Add some spice to your seasoning with a little cayenne pepper or chili powder.
  • Make it a Little Sweet: Try adding 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the rub. It adds a touch of sweetness and caramelizes a bit.

Top view of turkey seasoning in a small white bowl with a wooden spoon and tan kitchen towel next to the bowl.

How To Store Turkey Seasoning

This homemade turkey rub is a custom blend of seasonings for your Thanksgiving turkey. Once you make this at home and see how delicious it is, you will never buy turkey seasoning at the store again! Homemade seasonings are the best because the herbs are fresher and you can customize the flavors.

  • In a Sealed Container: Once you have mixed your ingredients together then store the seasoning in an airtight container. Keep in a cool, dark place then store for up to 2 months.

Close up view of a wooden spoon lifting out a spoonful of seasoning. A tan kitchen towel is next to the bowl.

Butter or Oil the Turkey First

Turkey is always better with the addition of butter or oil because it makes the skin golden and crisp! Although it’s not necessary, feel free to rub butter or olive oil all over your turkey before adding the turkey seasoning. The extra fat from the butter or oil helps make the turkey tender and rich in flavor. Then generously rub your turkey seasoning all over the turkey and you’re set!

  • Unsalted Butter: I like to use unsalted butter so that I can control the sodium.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil has the best flavor but you can use any oil you would like.

  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Rub the seasoning all over the turkey making sure to get the top and bottom. Then cook your seasoned turkey according to your recipe.

  • If you aren’t using it right away, store it in a sealed container for up to 2 months.

Serves: 1

Calories38kcal (2%)Carbohydrates8g (3%)Protein2g (4%)Fat1g (2%)Saturated Fat0.2g (1%)Polyunsaturated Fat0.3gMonounsaturated Fat0.1gSodium6982mg (291%)Potassium174mg (5%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar0.4gVitamin A1209IU (24%)Vitamin C7mg (8%)Calcium73mg (7%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Seasoning

Cuisine American

Keyword thanksgiving, turkey seasoning

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