Make a simple turkey seasoning recipe using staples like thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Perfect for the holidays and beyond.
Homemade Turkey Seasoning Recipe photo by Taste of Home

This turkey seasoning recipe features aromatic dried herbs and robust garlic. It’s an easy way to add tons of flavor to your holiday dinner centerpiece, whether you’re planning to roast a turkey, grill a turkey or even deep-fry a turkey. But first, you’ve got to learn how to season a turkey. You can use marinades or brines and inject flavors, but the easiest (and quickest) way to make a tasty bird is to use a smart blend of turkey spices.

Many people lean on store-bought spice blends, but you can easily create your own with our turkey seasoning recipe. Once you have the seasoning down pat, follow our guide for how to cook a turkey for the best-tasting bird this holiday season.

Turkey Seasoning Ingredients

  • Dried herbs: Rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme are classic herbs in any poultry seasoning. Don’t use fresh; dried is the best for rubs and seasonings.
  • Spices: Garlic powder and black pepper add a subtle kick to the seasoning.
  • Salt: Kosher salt is a must for your turkey spices. If you only have table salt, use just half the amount called for.


Step 1: Combine the herbs and spices

A Plate Filled With an Assortment of Aromatic Spices, Including Cinnamon, Turmeric, and Cumin.TMB Studio

In a small bowl, combine the salt, crushed rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk together until well combined. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Variations

Make it smokier: To make a smokier turkey seasoning, mix about 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne into this dry rub. Doing so will get you that oh-so-good smoky flavor.

Make it spicier: To turn up the heat, throw some cayenne and chili powder into the mix. We recommend about 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon chili powder for this recipe.

How to Store Turkey Seasoning

A Silver Spoon Filled With Aromatic Turkey SeasoningTMB Studio

To ensure your turkey seasoning stays fresh, store the blend in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will be good for up to six months.

Turkey Seasoning Recipe Tips

How do you season a turkey?

Seasoning a turkey is very simple. Gently rub the dry seasoning on top and underneath the turkey skin and inside the turkey for maximum flavor.

Should I put butter or oil on my turkey before seasoning it?

You don’t need butter or oil on your turkey, but it helps create a crispier skin while it cooks. For the best results, add the oil before you add seasoning. For butter, stuff it under the skin and season the top. Better yet: Add the seasoning to softened butter, and rub it all over and under the skin.

How can you tell when a seasoned roast turkey is done?

Your roast turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird (usually the thighs) registers between 170º and 175º (165º for a turkey breast). For the most accurate reading, avoid touching the thermometer to any bone. If you do not have a meat thermometer, pierce the skin of the mid-thigh with a fork and look for clear juices. Clear juice means it’s done.

How else can you use turkey seasoning?

This seasoning blend works wonders on roast chicken or even pork chops. A sprinkle on a fluffy baked potato with butter sounds pretty delish, too.

Turkey Seasoning

Use this simple rub over your turkey to create the delicious flavors your family craves during the holidays. While the turkey roasts, it will fill your house with the nostalgic aroma of Thanksgiving dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Homemade Turkey Seasoning Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 5 min.


1/4 cup


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. To use on whole turkey, rub under skin, over skin and in body and neck cavities before roasting.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 teaspoon: 1 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.