We list out the best poultry seasoning substitutes for you here. Also, if you would like to make your own poultry seasoning recipe, we have instructions for you below.
If you’re a fan of a hearty Thanksgiving turkey, then you must be quite well-acquainted with poultry seasoning.
Poultry seasoning is a flavorsome blend of spices that is usually used in poultry dishes. However, you can also use this seasoning in veggie meals for a fun and unique twist of flavors.
I love to use poultry seasoning in all sorts of meat and veggie dishes for its divine burst of flavor.
Given my excessive (read: justified) use of poultry seasoning, I often run out of it. This is when I rely on my trusty poultry seasoning substitutes. These substitutes can help you out in a pinch, and you can easily use them in any dish.
Read on to find out your favorite poultry seasoning substitute!
Here’s a summary table for these substitutions:
|Herbs de Provence
|Equal parts substitution
|Add sage for a flavor closer to poultry seasoning
|Equal parts substitution
|Dishes where a lemony flavor is acceptable
|Add sage to match poultry seasoning flavor
|Homemade Poultry Seasoning
|Mix equal parts of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper
|Direct substitute for poultry seasoning
|Tailor the mix to your taste preferences
Poultry Seasoning Substitutes
There are various blends of herbs and spices that you can use in place of poultry seasoning. Each seasoning has its own taste and will add to your dish distinctly. Here are the seasonings that you can use instead of poultry seasoning:
1. Herbs de Provence
The herbs that are used in herbs de Provence are grown in the Provence region of France, hence the interesting name. This seasoning is readily used in many Provencal recipes. While the spices used in herbs de Provence certainly vary from the spices used in traditional American poultry seasoning, they aren’t all that different.
A traditional blend of herbs de Provence usually includes herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. All three of these herbs are also found in poultry seasoning blends.
However, most blends often include lavender, which is why the flavor profile of this seasoning varies from traditional poultry seasoning.
You can use this substitute in your cooking when you run out of poultry seasoning. Just make sure to add some sage to the dish since herbs de Provence doesn’t contain sage, which an essential ingredient in poultry seasoning.
Adding sage will make your dish’s flavor profile much more similar to the classic version.
- Ratio: Use in equal amounts as a substitute for poultry seasoning.
- Application: Add sage to the blend to mimic the flavor of poultry seasoning more closely.
Za’atar is a staple in Arab cooking and relies heavily on more or less the same herbs used in European cooking such as thyme and marjoram. However, Za’atar also includes the sumac spice, which is made from dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flower and has a taste somewhat similar to that of lemon juice.
This means that Za’atar has a different flavor profile than poultry seasoning. However, you can still use it in the same recipes instead of poultry seasoning.
- Ratio: Substitute in equal parts for poultry seasoning.
- Application: Suitable for dishes where a slightly different, lemony flavor is acceptable.
3. Italian Seasoning
Since Italian seasoning is a blend of European herbs, it’ll provide quite a similar flavor to your dish as poultry seasoning. Despite its name, Italian seasoning is an American invention.
This blend of seasoning was invented to make it easier for the immigrants in the US to find and use the herbs that are an essential part of the Mediterranean cuisine.
Almost all Italian seasoning blends contain herbs such as thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. However, Italian seasoning doesn’t contain sage, so make sure to add some to your dish for an authentic flavor that’s close to the flavor of poultry seasoning.
- Ratio: Use in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for poultry seasoning.
- Application: Add sage to achieve a flavor closer to poultry seasoning.
4. Homemade Poultry Seasoning
If you want your dish to have that classic taste, then try making poultry seasoning at home. It’ll surely be the best poultry seasoning substitute with the most authentic flavor.
Although different blends of poultry seasoning have different ingredients, which you can add according to your taste, some essential ingredients remain the same. Poultry seasoning has lots of herbs including the classic thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. These are all herbs that we use in our cooking quite regularly, so you’ll most likely have them in your spice rack.
To make your own poultry seasoning, you’ll need the classic herbs as well as sage, which is truly the star ingredient of traditional poultry seasoning blends.
Additionally, you’ll need to add some powdered spices such as garlic powder and black pepper to the poultry seasoning blend. You can also add ginger and nutmeg for a complex and delightful flavor profile.
However, if you want to keep things simple, then you can make an easy poultry seasoning blend with some thyme, sage, and black pepper.
- Ratio: Mix thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper in equal parts to create your blend.
- Application: Use as a direct substitute for store-bought poultry seasoning.
What Is Poultry Seasoning?
Poultry seasoning is a blend of spices that usually contains herbs such as sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. It also contains crushed spices such as black pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder.
Some blends of poultry seasoning also contain ground cloves, celery salt, and celery seed. The spices in poultry seasoning are grown, dried, and then ground-up together.
This blend of spices and herbs is commonly used in poultry dishes. However, despite its misleading name, poultry seasoning is completely vegetarian and vegan, which means that you can easily incorporate it into your vegetarian and vegan meals.
What’s in poultry seasoning?
Poultry seasoning ingredients are thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper. Of course, different people create various versions of poultry seasoning but these are the most common ingredients.
If making homemade poultry seasoning we prefer to add in oregano and salt.
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on the best poultry seasoning substitute options. You can use herb de Provence, Italian seasoning, and Za’atar in place of poultry seasoning.
However, if you want an authentic poultry seasoning flavor, then make your own at home.
So, what’re you waiting for? Go ahead and experiment with these poultry seasoning substitutes to find out which one you like the best!
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- Combine Herbs: In a small bowl, mix together the dried thyme, sage, marjoram, and rosemary.
- Add Spices: To the herb mixture, add the ground nutmeg and black pepper. Stir well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Grind (Optional): For a finer texture, transfer the mixture to a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Grind until you reach your desired consistency.
- Storage: Transfer the poultry seasoning to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. This mix will keep its flavor for up to six months.
- Use: Use this homemade poultry seasoning in any recipe that calls for poultry seasoning. It's perfect for seasoning chicken, turkey, stuffing, and various other dishes.
- Feel free to adjust the proportions of the herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences.
- If you don't have one of the ingredients, simply leave it out or substitute it with a similar herb or spice.
- This seasoning can also be used as a rub for meats or added to vegetable dishes for extra flavor.