Poultry seasoning is a mixture of herbs and spices used to flavour turkey, chicken and stuffing.
If you cannot find this or distrust store-bought mixtures for a lack of freshness, there are alternatives. Some substitutions for poultry seasoning change the flavour for turning traditional recipes into new creations, but other replacements for poultry seasoning aim to closely replicate the flavour of packaged seasoning mixes. Choose an alternative based on your reasons for not using poultry seasoning in your cooking.
- 2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1½ teaspoons ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
- ¾ teaspoon ground rosemary
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Store in a clean spice bottle.
Alternatives to Poultry Seasoning
Cajun Spice Seasoning
For added spice to stuffing, or when making a Cajun-inspired deep-fried turkey, replace the poultry seasoning with Cajun spice seasoning. Increase the amount of Cajun spice mix to use 1 tablespoon per 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, and adjust the amount up or down based on your palate’s heat tolerance. The need to increase the amount of Cajun spice mixture is because these mixtures have salt added to them, which does not appear in poultry seasoning. This spicy mixture contains cayenne peppers, garlic, onions, salt and other spices. Taste the mixture or use a trusted brand before adding large amounts to your recipe. Bottles of Cajun spice seasoning mix are available in the spice aisle of grocery stores.
A dominant flavour in poultry seasoning is sage. This is a highly potent herb with a strong flavour, especially when dried. Replace dried poultry seasoning with ¾ the amount of dried sage. Add ¼ the amount of poultry seasoning needed as dried thyme, if you would like a closer flavour to poultry seasoning without using a large number of herbs and spices. For instance; if your recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of dried poultry seasoning, use 1½ teaspoon dried, ground sage and ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
Dried herbs lose their flavour over time. The best way to get the freshest flavour in your recipe calling for dried poultry seasoning is to use fresh herbs. The potency of the fresh herbs is greater than a can of poultry seasoning. When using fresh instead of dried herbs, add them at the end of cooking, and use three times the amount of dried herbs required. To substitute for 1 teaspoon of dried poultry seasoning, use one sprig each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano. Place the fresh sprigs whole into the recipe and remove them just before serving.