An Alternative to Poultry Seasoning

by Athena Hessong

Replace the poultry seasoning with an alternative for a change to your recipe.

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Poultry seasoning is a mixture of herbs and spices used to flavor 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 flavor for turning traditional recipes into new creations, but other replacements for poultry seasoning aim to closely replicate the flavor of packaged seasoning mixes. Choose an alternative based on your reasons for not using poultry seasoning in your cooking.

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, as suggested in "Thanksgiving 101." Increase the amount of Cajun spice mix to use 1 tbsp. per 1 tsp. 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.

Homemade

Make your own poultry seasoning from dried spices. Combine equal parts of dried, ground parsley, marjoram and summer savoy. Add to this dried thyme and sage in half the amount of the first three ingredients. For instance; if you used 1 tbsp. each of the first three ingredients, add 1 tsp. each of dried thyme and ground sage. Once the herbs are combined, store in an air-tight container and use to replace poultry seasoning in any recipe.

Sage

A dominant flavor in poultry seasoning is sage. This is a highly potent herb with a strong flavor, especially when dried. Replace dried poultry seasoning with 3/4 the amount of dried sage. Add 1/4 the amount of poultry seasoning needed as dried thyme, if you would like a closer flavor to poultry seasoning without using a large number of herbs and spices. For instance; if your recipe calls for 2 tsp. of dried poultry seasoning, use 1 1/2 tsp. dried, ground sage and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme.

Fresh Herbs

Dried herbs lose their flavor over time. The best way to get the freshest flavor 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 tsp. 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.

References (5)

  • "Thanksgiving 101"; Rick Rogers, et al.; 2007
  • "Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue"; Paul Kirk; 2010
  • "Food That Says Welcome"; Barbara Smith; 2007
  • "Eat to Defeat Menopause"; Karen Giblin; 2011
  • "The 300 Calorie Cookbook"; Betty Crocker Editors; 2009

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images