What is in poultry seasoning?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 4, 2024

Introduction to Poultry Seasoning

Poultry seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is commonly used to enhance the flavor of chicken, turkey, and other poultry dishes. Its origins date back to traditional European cooking, where herbs were used to mask the gamey taste of wild birds. Today, poultry seasoning is a staple in many kitchens worldwide, prized for its ability to impart a savory, aromatic essence to a variety of dishes.

Common Ingredients in Poultry Seasoning

The specific ingredients and proportions in poultry seasoning can vary, but there are several key components that are commonly found in most blends. Here is a detailed look at the primary ingredients:


Sage is perhaps the most critical ingredient in poultry seasoning. Known for its slightly peppery flavor with hints of eucalyptus and lemon, sage adds a depth of flavor that pairs exceptionally well with poultry. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, believed to aid in digestion and improve brain function.


Thyme is another cornerstone of poultry seasoning. This herb has a subtle, dry aroma and a slightly minty flavor that complements the earthiness of sage. Thyme is also known for its antiseptic properties, making it a popular choice for both culinary and medicinal uses.


Marjoram is often included for its sweet, citrusy flavor with a hint of pine. It is milder than oregano, making it a perfect addition to the delicate flavors of poultry. Marjoram is also thought to have calming effects and is sometimes used in herbal teas.


Rosemary adds a robust, pine-like fragrance to poultry seasoning. Its strong, aromatic qualities can enhance the overall flavor profile of the blend. Rosemary is also rich in antioxidants and has been traditionally used to improve memory and concentration.

Black Pepper

Black pepper provides a subtle heat and a pungent flavor that helps to balance the sweetness of the other herbs. It is a versatile spice that can enhance almost any savory dish and is often included in poultry seasoning for its ability to tie the other flavors together.

Nutritional Yeast (Optional)

Though not a traditional ingredient, nutritional yeast is sometimes added to poultry seasoning for its umami flavor. It is a deactivated yeast that is rich in B-vitamins and provides a cheesy, nutty taste without the use of dairy.

Additional Herbs and Spices

While the above ingredients form the foundation of most poultry seasoning blends, some variations include additional herbs and spices to create a unique flavor profile.


Parsley is occasionally added for its fresh, slightly peppery flavor. It also adds a touch of color and can enhance the visual appeal of the dish. Parsley is rich in vitamins A and C, making it a nutritious addition.

Celery Seed

Celery seed can impart a slightly bitter, earthy flavor that complements the other herbs in the blend. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is sometimes used in traditional medicine.

Onion Powder

Onion powder is another optional ingredient that can add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to poultry seasoning. It is a convenient way to incorporate the flavor of onions without the need for fresh produce.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is commonly included for its rich, savory flavor. It can enhance the overall taste of the blend and is a convenient alternative to fresh garlic.

Homemade Poultry Seasoning

Creating your own poultry seasoning at home allows you to tailor the blend to your specific tastes and dietary needs. Here is a simple recipe to get you started:

  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. This blend can be used as a rub for poultry, mixed into stuffing, or added to soups and gravies.

Health Benefits of Poultry Seasoning

Beyond its culinary uses, poultry seasoning offers several health benefits due to its rich blend of herbs and spices.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Many of the herbs in poultry seasoning, such as sage and thyme, have natural anti-inflammatory properties. These can help reduce inflammation in the body and may be beneficial for conditions like arthritis.

Rich in Antioxidants

Herbs like rosemary and thyme are high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Digestive Health

Ingredients like sage and marjoram are known for their digestive benefits. They can help stimulate digestion and alleviate issues like bloating and indigestion.

Unique and Rare Ingredients

While the common ingredients listed above form the backbone of most poultry seasoning blends, some rare and unique ingredients can be used to add an exotic twist.


Lavender is sometimes included for its floral notes, which can add a unique depth of flavor. It pairs well with the other herbs and can create a more complex seasoning blend.


Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that adds a tangy, lemony flavor. It can be used to add a zesty kick to poultry seasoning, making it perfect for lighter, more citrusy dishes.


Fenugreek seeds have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that can add a unique twist to poultry seasoning. They are commonly used in Indian cuisine and can introduce a new dimension to your dishes.

Poultry seasoning is a versatile blend of herbs and spices that can elevate the flavor of your favorite poultry dishes. Whether you stick to the traditional ingredients or experiment with unique additions, the possibilities are endless. By understanding the components and benefits of poultry seasoning, you can create a blend that suits your culinary style and health needs, opening up a world of flavor and creativity in your kitchen.

Related Questions

What is poultry?

Poultry refers to domesticated birds that are raised primarily for their meat, eggs, or feathers. The term encompasses a variety of bird species, each with unique characteristics and uses. Common types of poultry include chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. These birds are integral to agricultural practices worldwide and serve as a vital source of nutrition.

Ask Hotbot: What is poultry?

What is poultry seasoning?

Poultry seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices specifically crafted to enhance the flavor of poultry dishes such as chicken, turkey, and duck. Often used in traditional recipes, it is a versatile seasoning that can be employed in various culinary applications beyond just poultry. Originating as a staple in American kitchens, poultry seasoning has been embraced globally for its ability to add depth and aroma to meals.

Ask Hotbot: What is poultry seasoning?