With Thanksgiving arriving this week, I have had herbs and spices on my mind. One thing I always seem to forget to buy is poultry seasoning. That’s something that seems like it should be in my spice cupboard. It got me to thinking that I should make my own homemade poultry seasoning to have on hand and then I’d never be without it when I need it. The poultry seasoning blends you find on store shelves vary a little. I’ve seen some that include a little ginger or dried lemon peel. But most have the same basic ingredients – sage, rosemary, and thyme. I came up with a blend according to the herbs I use most often, and happened to already have in my cupboard. The result is an ultra fresh, flavorful herb blend that beats any of the ones I’ve bought previously. Let me show you how easy it is to make homemade poultry seasoning.
The ingredients are simple. I like to dry my own herbs during the summer and early fall. They are a lot fresher than the herbs available at the grocery store. However, bottled dry herbs will be just fine for this as well, just a little less potent. In my blend, I included marjoram, nutmeg, peppercorns, sage, thyme, and rosemary.
First I remove the dried herb leaves from their stalks or stems.
Next I put them all together in my spice grinder – minus the nutmeg. That is freshly grated separately and added at the end.
Pulse until everything is ground. I don’t do this very finely. I still like to see the individual herbs in there.
Last, it goes into a bottle to be use all season long. I don’t make a lot at once because it really is best when it’s very fresh. This recipe makes about 4 Tablespoons of poultry seasoning.
I don’t add salt to this because I prefer to add salt separately depending on the recipe. I also did not include lemon peel, though I have in the past, because sometimes I want to use this in a recipe where the lemon flavor doesn’t quite fit in. The nutmeg gives it a little hint of spice without being overwhelming and without tasting too spicy. I wouldn’t add cinnamon or cloves, but a pinch of allspice instead of nutmeg would be fine.
If you already know which herbs you prefer over others, feel free to add more or less than the amounts I’ve listed below. I tried to keep the ratio of sage, thyme and rosemary equal so one didn’t outshine the other. I love the way those three taste together. I didn’t add their other complementary herb, parsley, because I find that it does not taste as good as fresh and I did not have any on hand. I did have marjoram, which I really like. I used a little less because it does have a stronger flavor. Other herbs you could add – tarragon,
A note about the spice grinder – I received mine as a gift from my husband a few Christmases ago. If you don’t have a spice grinder, or a mortar and pestle, you can still make your own by rubbing the herbs between your fingers until they are finely crumbled and substituting ground pepper for the peppercorns. A coffee grinder can be used, just be sure to clean it very well before and after using it to prevent the coffee or the herb mix for tasting like each other.
Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and it will keep in your spice cupboard for 3-6 months, maybe longer if your herbs were really fresh.
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme, packed
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, packed
- 1 Tablespoon dried sage leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, packed
- ¼ teaspoon peppercorns (or ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper)
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Add the peppercorns to a spice grinder and pulse until they are coarsely ground. Add the herbs and pulse until they are at a medium coarse grind, or finer, if desired. Add the freshly grated nutmeg and pulse a few more times. Transfer the poultry seasoning to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a dark, cool place. Will keep fresh for 3-6 months.
- Alternatively, a mortar and pestle can be used in place of the spice grinder. Or rub the herbs between your fingers and use ground pepper in place of the peppercorns.
- Yield: about 4 Tablespoons
Homemade Poultry Seasoning
1 Tablespoon dried thyme, packed
1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, packed
1 Tablespoon dried sage leaves, packed
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, packed
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns (or 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Add the peppercorns to a spice grinder and pulse until they are coarsely ground. Add the herbs and pulse until they are at a medium coarse grind, or finer, if desired. Add the freshly grated nutmeg and pulse a few more times. Transfer the poultry seasoning to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a dark, cool place. Will keep fresh for 3-6 months.
Alternatively, a mortar and pestle can be used in place of the spice grinder. Or rub the herbs between your fingers and use ground pepper in place of the peppercorns.
Yield: about 4 Tablespoons