Best Substitutes For Poultry Seasoning (Check Them Out)

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Substitutes For Poultry Seasoning



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Poultry seasoning has become quite popular with Thanksgiving turkey. It is used as a rub for most poultry meat like chicken and turkey.

While the term ‘poultry seasoning’ might suggest that the seasoning is only used for poultry meat, that is not always the case. Poultry seasoning can be comfortably used in pork, veal, and lamb.

It may also be used as a seasoning for food dishes such as poultry stuffing, dressings, casseroles, meatloaf, herbed bread, and herb sauces.

There are popular brands of poultry seasoning in many stores and supermarkets. However, it can be frustrating when you run out of poultry seasoning while preparing your favorite dish.

The good news is that with few ingredients, you can make homemade poultry seasoning, or you may opt for substitutes for poultry seasonings like Italian seasoning or za’atar.

Uses of Poultry Seasonings

Poultry seasoning has been the classic seasoning for all poultry meat, and it’s usually associated with the Thanksgiving turkey. It is also used to season turkey, chicken, and chicken stuffing.

 However, the use of poultry seasoning is not only limited to poultry but can be used to flavor meat or veggie burgers, pot pies, soups, and more. It is also a great way to add a lot of flavors to tofu marinades and vegetable soups.

Poultry seasoning can be comfortably used in pork, veal, lamb, casseroles, meatloaf, herbed bread, and herb sauces.

What Can I Use Instead of Poultry Seasoning? (Substitutes For Poultry Seasoning)

As mentioned earlier, the best substitutes for poultry seasoning are homemade poultry seasoning.

However, if you don’t have the ingredients or the time to whip up one, you can comfortably opt for some of the substitutes discussed here.

1.Herbes de Provence

This is a popular seasoning found in the region of France and which shows up in many Provencal recipes.

This is one of the closest substitutes to poultry seasoning. However, it doesn’t contain sage which is one of the essential ingredients in all poultry seasoning.

When using Herbes de Provence as a substitute for poultry seasoning, keep in mind that it might contain lavender which might not be what you want in a poultry seasoning substitute.

2. Italian seasoning

Italian seasoning will provide similar flavor notes as poultry seasoning. In most Italian seasoning blends, you will find herbs such as rosemary, marjoram, and thyme.

It’s worth noting that sage is not in Italian seasoning blends, but adding sage will make it a closer match to classic poultry seasoning.

3. Za’atar

Za’atar is popularly used in Arab cooking and contains marjoram and thyme, which are also basic ingredients in poultry seasoning.

It is important to note that za’atar also includes sumac, so it has a somewhat different flavor profile from poultry seasoning; however, it should still work in the same recipes.

Poultry Seasoning Recipe

Instead of searching for popular substitutes for poultry seasonings, you can comfortably make your homemade poultry seasoning.

As it stands, most chefs prefer to mix up their poultry seasoning since it is noticed that most brands like McCormick’s or Bells are usually heavy on the sage, which dominates other spices. 

You should also have it in mind that thousands of poultry seasoning recipes exist online. You will thus have to find the perfect mixture of spices and herbs to give your poultry seasoning a classic flavor unique to yourself.

The ingredients and amounts presented here are suggestions only. Feel free to mix it up depending on your needs and preferences.


  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon savory
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram (oregano can be used but in less quantity)
  • 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest


Use a mixing bowl or food processor to mix or blend the ingredients, then store in an airtight container.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Poultry Seasoning Made of?

Sage and thyme are two essential ingredients found in all poultry seasoning recipes. Poultry seasoning is typically made of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper.

Based on your preference, you may add nutmeg, sage, onion, garlic, rosemary, black pepper, ginger, Mediterranean thyme, parsley, marjoram, red bell peppers, ground coriander, allspice, Greek oregano, and savory to your homemade poultry seasoning mix.

Can You Substitute Italian Seasoning for Poultry Seasoning?

Italian seasoning is considered a good substitute for poultry seasoning as it contains marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.

Even though Italian seasoning doesn’t have sage – a classic ingredient in poultry seasoning, it is still a good substitute.

Can I Use Chicken Bouillon Instead of Poultry Seasoning?

No. Bouillon cannot be used to replace poultry seasoning. Bouillon is used to enhance a poultry seasoning blend.

What Is the Best Poultry Seasoning?

The best poultry seasoning includes:

  • McCormick Ground Mac
  • Bell’s Seasoning
  • Dan-O’s Original Seasoning
  • Spicy Dan-O’s Original Seasoning
  • The Gourmet Collection Seasoning Blends Kickin’ Chicken Finger Lickin’ Spice Blend-Cooking Seasoning
  • Grace Jerk Seasoning
  • Jamie Geller Shawarma Spice Seasoning
  • Lawrys Perfect Blend Chicken & Poultry Rub (2 Pack)
  • Penzeys
  •  Frontier

What Ingredients Are in Mccormick Poultry Seasoning?

The ingredients in Mccormick poultry seasoning are thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg.


The term poultry seasoning might suggest that the spice is only used in chicken and turkey dishes, but this post shows that such isn’t always the case.

Poultry seasoning gives a savory, aromatic taste to dishes, making it a classic in the Thanksgiving turkey.

While poultry seasoning has been replicated by many big brands and can be found in almost all stores in most cities, the homemade poultry season is usually preferred by most cooks as it affords them the flexibility to create new tastes.

When it comes to the substitute of poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning and Herbes de Provence can serve as suitable substitutes. However, the primary ingredient in poultry seasoning, sage, is missing from both blends.

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