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The Best Turkey Rub (Fresh or Dried Herbs)

The Best Turkey Rub (Fresh or Dried Herbs)

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.

Recipes to use this seasoning on: Smoked Turkey, Sous Vide Turkey Breast, Smoked Turkey Breast, Smoked Turkey Wings.

Sliced turkey breast on a silver baking sheet.

Turkey Rub

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
  • Sugar
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste

This turkey seasoning recipe is pretty close to the very popular Prime Rib Rub

Plate of spices with a spoon.

Dry Brine

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. 

Sous vide turkey breast plated with mashed potatoes.

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.

Picture of fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley on white plate.


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!

Close up of a cooked smoked turkey on a striped cutting board. A knife and large fork are next to the bird.


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.

Bowl of turkey dry rub with a spoon.

Expert Tips

  • 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.

Various spices to make a turkey rub on a deckled plate.

The Best Turkey Rub

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.
5 from 31 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Rub
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dry Rub Recipes, Spice Mix
Servings: 1 Batch
Calories: 64kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $2.00



  • 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.


Note 1 – Add more or less salt, to taste.
Note 2 – To use fresh ingredients, use 1 tbsp of fresh ingredients to 1 tsp of dried spices.
Note 3 – This spice mix recipe makes approximately 1/4 cup.


Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 4655mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg
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