This Homemade Poultry Seasoning recipe is a simple blend of aromatic herbs and spices that you might already have in the pantry, and it does amazing things to chicken, roast turkey, and even pork. You’ll never run out of delicious ways to use it.
Use Homemade Poultry Seasoning on a Thanksgiving-style Roasted Turkey, Rotisserie Chicken or Grilled Pork Chops this weekend. And if you love all things DIY, take a look at some other fun spice blends and custom dry rubs you can make yourself out of easy-to-find ingredients.
Is anyone else curious--what is poultry seasoning? Those expensive little jars in the spice aisle seem to have only one job: chicken. And is the high cost really worth it?
The answer is that the best poultry seasoning is just a mixture of basic herbs and spices that taste especially good on chicken, duck, or turkey. It doesn’t have to stop there, though. In fact, thyme, sage, or rosemary tastes fabulous on almost anything--the more herbs, the better.
This recipe lets you make your own savory all-purpose seasoning, which you can add to soups, stuffing, or marinades. Rub some olive oil over a whole chicken or holiday turkey and give it a good coating with the spices before roasting it in the oven. Add a little salt and pepper. That's all you need, and your holiday turkey will be the best one yet.
This recipe for Homemade Poultry Seasoning is:
- Vegan (in case you’re wondering)
- Gluten free
- Sodium free (you can add your own salt, or leave it out)
- Free of fillers, chemicals, and artificial ingredients
- 100% delicious
Making jars of Homemade Poultry Seasoning to give away in holiday gift baskets? Super idea! Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Poultry Seasoning ingredients:
The ingredients on the label for poultry seasoning Spice Islands, McCormick, Tesco, and Kroger sells sometimes just lists “other spices”, which can be a bit of a mystery. Here, it’s broken down in glorious detail. (Oh, sweet mystery of poultry seasoning, at last I’ve found you!)
- Black Pepper.*
*(You can add salt, or keep it out—it’s up to you.)
What is marjoram?
Marjoram is a close relative to oregano. Both plants are members of the mint family, but marjoram is a little milder than oregano. If you have a hard time finding it, just use a smaller amount of oregano in the recipe.
Herbs in Poultry Seasoning: fresh or dried?
Poultry Seasoning made with dried herbs keeps well and can be used anytime. In a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, it keeps for months in the cupboard without a problem.
One of the great things about DIY spice blends is that they’re really affordable to make. It’s easier than ever to source fresh spices in bulk, either online or at stores with a bulk section, so you can buy just what you need.
Now you have the perfect substitute for poultry seasoning from the store, plus you get a fresher product at half the price. No more tiny $7.00 jars, sitting on the shelf!
However, if you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh herbs and you want to put them to work, chop everything up very finely using a chef's knife. Make the blend the day you need it, and just make enough for the recipe you’re cooking. The leftovers won’t stay fresh with the moisture of the fresh herbs.
How to make Homemade Poultry Seasoning:
Once you gather all your ingredients, there's nothing to it.
Simply combine the measured amounts of the dried herbs together: sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary. Then add the ground pepper and the grated nutmeg.
By the way, don’t go out of your way to find ground herbs and spices. You can grind up the dried leaves at home.
How to grind dried herbs and spices:
Use a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder to whir everything into a uniform texture. A bullet blender, or an extra coffee grinder that is kept just for grinding spices does an excellent job at this!
If you like a really smooth dry rub, sift the blend through a fine-mesh sieve to eliminate any coarse bits.
Once mixed, poultry seasoning will keep in the pantry for up to a 6 months in an airtight container or spice jar.
What can be used instead of poultry seasoning?
Don’t fret if you only have a couple of the recipe ingredients. Feel free to mix them together and improvise—the chicken isn’t fussy!
The best poultry seasoning substitute could include a blend of sage, dried thyme, and marjoram. Also, feel free to get creative; a basic blend of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme will do the trick nicely.
Is chicken seasoning the same as poultry seasoning?
Yes and no…maybe. Often, the term 'poultry seasoning’ and ‘chicken seasoning’ are used interchangeably. That doesn't mean they both have the same ingredients, though. There's a million companies (and thousands of recipes) out there making seasonings for everything and everyone. Read the ingredients carefully.
Chicken flavoring, on the other hand, usually means that there’s a chicken-based ingredient lurking in there somewhere, like bouillon or chicken-flavored powder. Save that for another use.
Homemade Poultry Seasoning Recipe
- 2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 3/4 teaspoon ground rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and pepper. Store in a cool dry place.
To grind spices:
- If you have whole dried spices such as rosemary, sage, or thyme leaves, add to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and process until finely ground. To ensure the smoothest possible texture, sift through a fine-mesh sieve if desired.