11 Poultry Seasoning Substitutes to Cook Appetizing Dishes with

When it comes to cooking poultry, the seasoning will either make or break the success of your recipe. There are so many kinds of seasoning available on the market that offer various kinds of flavor and aroma to your meal. You can either get mixed ones or just the straight raw ingredients depending on your taste. For easy reference, check out this list of the best poultry seasoning substitutes.

Poultry Seasoning Substitute

Top 3 Best Poultry Seasoning Substitutes

1. Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is a popular choice to substitute poultry seasoning. It mostly consists of the same ingredients so you can get an equally delicious result for your cooking.

Made up of several herbs often used in Italian cuisine, this is also an effective flavor enhancer to your poultry dishes. Italian seasoning is a mix of rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram. These are often the mainstays for this blend.

Others swap marjoram for basil because of the availability of the latter. Some also like to increase the tang by adding sage, oregano, fennel seeds, garlic powder, and even red-pepper flakes. 

If you have the four herbs in your pantry you can make your own Italian seasoning or if not, you can buy this blend of herbs and spices in the market.

Read more: Best Italian Seasoning Substitutes For That Delicious Meal

2. Herbs De Provence

Herbs de Provence is created in France and is another fantastic substitute for poultry seasoning. It is similar to Italian seasoning with its mixture of herbs but it has a more distinct aroma.

Featuring many ingredients like thyme, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, and oregano, you can use this to season poultry and is best used in dishes like roasted chicken.

Some variations of Herbs de Provence use lavender flowers which is something not so preferable when it comes to poultry recipes. Be sure to take note of it. Other blends of this seasoning include tarragon, fennel seeds, bay leaves, and chervil.

3. Turkey Rub

From the name itself, turkey rub can be used to work as a poultry seasoning substitute too. It’s best to use poultry with darker meat like duck, goose, and turkey.

One recipe for this seasoning is a combination of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, sugar, dry mustard, chili powder, and cayenne. Another toned-down flavorful blend is a mix of salt, brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, onion powder.

Turkey rub also has a lot of varieties with some using fewer spices, some with over ten ingredients, and some a fair mixture of herbs and spices. It depends on your preferences but just make sure you at least have thyme, rosemary, sage, and paprika if you want to make your own.

Top 7 ingredients to use instead of poultry seasoning:

Poultry seasoning is made up of many ingredients. If you don’t have the actual blend ready, try to stock up on some of the following herbs and spices that can give your poultry dishes an aromatic and flavorful taste.

1. Rosemary

An essential herb that makes up poultry seasoning, you can use this ingredient to add flavor and aroma to your poultry recipe. Rosemary has a strong taste and fragrance so be careful not to use too much.

Rosemary gives your dishes a fragrant scent but it cannot bring out the full flavor of poultry by itself. You can mix and match it with other herbs and spices. If you don’t have those, just simply adding salt and pepper in the blend can amp up the flavor.

This herb goes well with herbs like thyme, sage, and oregano which are actually some of the main ingredients for poultry seasoning. You can rub the mixture or just the rosemary with salt and pepper on the poultry to season or marinade.

2. Marjoram

Marjoram is an aromatic herb with medicinal and cooking attributes. It’s not as known as other ingredients but it is a great addition to your recipes. You can also use it to replace poultry seasoning but not on its own.

This kind of herb has a little citrusy, floral, and woodsy flavor. It can give your dishes a rich mouth-watering aroma. You can use either dry or fresh marjoram to season your chicken, rub your turkey, or even add it to stews.

Marjoram goes well with sage and garlic so you can mix these three for a more flavorful seasoning.

3. Thyme

One of the most commonly used herbs in the world, thyme is an important ingredient in poultry seasoning itself. It has a unique flavor that can add more tang to your dish but it’s not an overpowering taste.

Thyme has an earthy, minty, and slightly lemony flavor which can add good zest and aroma to a recipe. It has a sharp flavor but is not very strong so blending it with other ingredients is recommended.

You can use thyme with a variety of herbs and spices like rosemary, garlic, basil, and nutmeg. 

4. Sage

Sage is an herb popular in various international tribes for many centuries. It has a strong herbal aroma and earthy flavor that gives your dish extra flavor.

With hints of mint, lemon, and mild pepper, it’s used in various recipes like stuffing, meat marinades, pastries, and sauces. As for many herbs, sage can make the taste of your recipe more pronounced.

You can use sage with thyme, marjoram, and rosemary to replicate the taste of poultry seasoning. Adding more spices and herbs in the mix also works. Just make sure you don’t use too much of the strong-flavored herbs so they won’t overpower your poultry’s taste.

5. Oregano

Oregano is not a part of poultry seasoning, though some varieties do include this spice. It has a well-rounded flavor and intense fragrance that makes it popular in Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean cooking.

This herb falls between sweet and spicy, with a bit of bitterness, minty, and earthy taste. It has a versatile yet distinct tang so it can increase the aroma and taste of your recipes. This spice works well with meat including turkey or chicken.

You can use oregano with rosemary, marjoram, garlic, and basil for even better results.

6. Garlic

For most Asian households, garlic is an essential veggie that is widely used as a flavoring in cooking. It is very much used as an herb or spice because it is as aromatic and effective in bringing out the flavors in a dish. 

Garlic can influence and reinforce the overall flavor of poultry. The taste does not replicate that of a poultry seasoning, but it can be a much more delicious substitute.

If you are adamant about recreating the closest possible taste to poultry seasoning, use garlic with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

7. Parsley

Parsley is a common garnish for many recipes. It has a peppery taste with a touch of earthiness making it a good addition to any dish.

This herb goes well in chicken recipes. It can add umami to your dish plus an aroma that can improve the overall palate of your meal. 

8. Salt and Pepper

If your pantry is mostly out, you’re still very much likely to have salt and pepper. It’s the simplest combination but still effective in improving your cooking.

While you can most definitely not replicate the taste of poultry seasoning with just these two, it can still bring a salty and spicy flavoring to your food. Choosing great quality sea salt with black pepper can enhance the taste of your poultry dish to a satisfying result.


1. What is poultry seasoning made of?

Poultry seasoning is a combination of herbs and spices used to marinate or season poultry dishes. There are so many varieties to this seasoning but on average, it consists of rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. Poultry dishes may come out bland if cooked on their own but with this seasoning, the aroma and flavor are deeply enhanced making for an appetizing meal.

2. Is poultry seasoning the same as bouillon?

Bouillon is typically made from dehydrated meat stock, a small portion of fat, vegetables, MSG, salt, and seasonings shaped into a small cube. It is also a flavor enhancer so technically, it works the same as poultry seasoning. However, bouillons are mostly commercial products so if you prefer natural ingredients, try making your own poultry seasoning made from raw herbs and spices.

3. What is a good substitute for poultry seasoning in stuffing?

Any of the items listed above can make for a good substitute for your stuffing. If you’re not too sure, start with some sage, rosemary, and thyme for your herb fillings. The rest you can mix and match depending on your recipe.


Herbs and spices can be used as poultry seasoning substitutes to cook appetizing dishes. Depending on your preference, whether you like spicier results or you want to make your recipe more aromatic, use a combination of the ingredients listed above with their attributes in mind. You can make a lot of savory meals without using poultry seasoning.

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