Elevate your Thanksgiving turkey recipes by using the best Turkey Rub Recipe! Infused with a classic blend of herbs and spices, this turkey dry rub mix will become your go-to seasoning every holiday season.
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As turkey doesn’t have a strong flavor it’s key to use the right seasoning; this simple turkey rub mix, made with dry or fresh herbs, is a great way to create an iconic Thanksgiving Day Turkey flavor. We use it alongside this Turkey Injection Recipe.
If using fresh herbs, you can also use them in the smoked turkey brine; this brine works for all turkeys- not just smoked.
- Rosemary, fresh or dried
- Thyme, fresh or dried
- Sage, fresh or dried
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried Mustard
- Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste
This turkey seasoning recipe is pretty close to the very popular Prime Rib Rub.
This turkey rub is perfect to use as a dry brine due to the use of kosher salt. Just rub it all over the bird and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (whole turkey) or up to 4 hours for a turkey breast or leg.
How To Season
To season, without dry brining, pat the turkey dry with a paper towel, coat in olive oil (or your selected binder), and rub with a very healthy dose of spice mix.
How Much Turkey Dry Rub To Use
This mix makes approximately 1/4 cup of seasoning, which is the perfect amount for a bird weighing 14-16 pounds. For a super large birdie, think 28 – 30 pounds, you’ll want to double the recipe.
If you’re making a turkey breast or legs, you will only need half.
If you want to amp up the flavor by utilizing a flavorful binder, we highly recommend using turkey bouillon or this Dijon mustard recipe. They add a flavorful twist compared to basic olive oil. Just coat the bird with your selected binder before adding dry turkey rub.
Fresh Herbs – Instead of using dried herbs, swap in fresh herbs. You will need to adjust the measurements for each fresh ingredient by using 3x the amount of dried.
For example, 1 tsp of dried rosemary would need to be replaced by 1 tbsp of fresh rosemary (= 3 tsp).
Like it Spicy? Throw in some red pepper flakes if you like a little heat. Start with 1 tsp and work your way up from there.
Like it Sweet? Increase the amount of sugar. You could also sub in brown sugar for white.
Garlic Obsessed? This homemade turkey rub can handle a double hit of garlic powder.
What Other Herbs and Spices Go Well With Turkey
Other herbs and spices that work well: oregano, paprika, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and even dried lemon or orange peels. Mix and match as you please!
This dry rub for turkey is versatile and will enhance the flavors of your bird, but it doesn’t stop there; it can be repurposed for non-turkey recipes as well. It really is an “all around” Turkey Seasoning Rub.
Tip – When using dry turkey rub in unconventional ways, always taste as you go to ensure that the flavor doesn’t become overpowering.
Here are some other uses for leftover seasoning:
Compound Butter – Mix with softened butter and spread on bread or rolls.
Chicken Seasoning – Rub onto chicken before roasting, grilling, or pan-searing.
Salad Dressing Base – Mix with oil and vinegar for a quick and flavorful dressing.
Soup Enhancer – Stir into soups or stews to give them a deeper flavor profile.
Vegetables – Sprinkle over roasted or grilled vegetables for an added depth of flavor.
Homemade Breadcrumbs (Pangrattato) – Toss with the breadcrumbs before baking.
Hamburger Seasoning – Mix into ground beef before forming into patties for flavorful burgers.
- Adjust the amount of salt in your turkey recipe rub to suite your taste preferences.
- Marinate the meat for at least an hour to ensure maximum flavor absorption.
- Store the turkey dry rub in an airtight container, for up to 6 months.
- Don’t forget to save the carcass to make turkey broth and the giblets for turkey gravy!
- If smoking the turkey, make sure to check out the list of The Best Wood For Smoking Turkey as well as 20 Pitmaster Tips for Smoking Turkey.
Before you go, check out the best wine with turkey pairings.
WITH DRIED INGREDIENTS
- 2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
- 2 tsp dried thyme (*Note 1)
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp granulated sugar (*Note 2)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp black pepper + more to taste
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months.