You don’t need a reason to season! Herbs and spices add a lot of value to turkey dishes, amplifying turkey’s natural deliciousness. While you may often reach for sage, thyme and oregano when you’re preparing turkey, there are many herbs and spices you may have in the cupboard that would nicely complement your bird. Turkey drinks in the flavors used to season it, making it the perfect canvas for any type of cuisine. Check out our list of five herbs and spices you may be missing!


Spatchcocked turkey on a grill

Rosemary is a popular herb, with its recognizable evergreen needle-like leaves. But did you know that it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6? Rosemary adds not only a lovely fragrance to your dish, but it can be used in a variety of ways. For example, in this recipe for Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Turkey, Robyn Lindars uses rosemary in a compound butter mixture to coat the bird before grilling.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are an underrated pantry staple that can take your turkey dish to the next level. They have a fresh, fruity and slightly minty aroma and are generally used dried and whole. While bay leaves add significant flavor, their toughness renders them mostly inedible, so most recipes call for their removal before serving. In a recipe that requires stewing or braising, such as Burgundy Braised Turkey Thighs, bay leaves add that savory bitterness that complete the dish.



If you’re looking to add a little “wow” factor to your meal, harissa is the spice for you. Harissa is a North African spice blend with a base of smoked chili peppers. It can be powdered or paste-like and in a variety of flavors, from smoky to spicy to tangy. If this bold red spice is out of your repertoire, we recommend using it how you would any chili sauce or paste. Nick Evans of Macheesmo slathered this spice over a Spatchcocked Turkey for a marvelous presentation at Thanksgiving, but we think it would fit nicely all year long!


If you’re searching for a warm spice to incorporate into your turkey dish, look no further than turmeric. Turmeric is an earthy, bitter root that is ground and used primarily in Indian dishes, such as Tandoori Turkey. Known for giving curry its yellow hue and its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is a great addition to spice up your mealtime, but remember, a little goes a long way with this spice!

Thai turkey pasta


Looking for zest? Put ginger to the test! Ginger is a fragrant Southeast Asian spice used in both sweet and savory foods. While ginger won’t be the star of the dish, it plays well with other spices to create a balanced savory flavor. In this recipe for Thai Turkey Pasta, ginger adds a hint of sweetness to the mix to offset the heat and sodium of other ingredients.