Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (2024)


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This homemade turkey rub is a blend of savory spices and herbs to make the ultimate poultry seasoning! A Homemade spice rub adds loads of flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey, while also delicious on chicken, beef, and pork! This blend makes enough for a 12 to 14 pound turkey.

Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (1)

When you want a turkey that is sure to impress, add tons of flavor with my homemade turkey seasoning! This recipe has the perfect blend of spices for your holiday turkey!

There are so many different ways to prepare a turkey, from brining to roasting, deep frying, in the instant pot or slow cooker and I am sure more to boot! This rub will turn your ordinary turkey into something bursting with flavor! AND it only takes 5 minutes to make.

This rub isn’t only delicious on turkey! It’s perfect for chicken, pork and beef too!

This rub is super easy. All the ingredients are most likely right in your pantry too!

Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (2)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Ground Red Pepper (Cayenne Pepper)
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Yes it really is that simple! So why not make your own and use those spices and herbs in your pantry!

How do you use a rub on a turkey?

This turkey seasoning can be used as a dry or wet rub on the turkey. Just make sure to pat turkey dry first with paper towels, this allows for a crispy skin. Then you are all set to proceed.

  • Dry Rub – Start by loosening the skin from the meat by placing fingers under the skin and gently pushing it away from the meat of the turkey. Take your hands and sprinkle the half the seasoning mixture under the skin of the turkey. Then apply the other half of the rub on top of the skin. This works great to fry a turkey or when smoking a turkey.
  • Wet Rub (Turkey Rub Butter) – You are going to apply as you would a dry rub except you will mix the rub with softened or melted butter. (Either way it will make a paste. The melted butter method I like to use when cooking in the slow cooker.) Next loosen the skin with your fingers and then apply the rub under the skin and spread it around evenly. Then rub remaining turkey rub butter over the outside of the skin. You may also use olive oil, but I recommend butter for better flavor and color. This works well for roasting, cooking in the slow cooker, or for an Instant Pot Turkey Breast!
Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (3)

Turkey Rub Variations

While I think this is the perfect blend, there are a few things you can do to change it up or customize to your taste.

  • Sweetness – Try adding a little brown sugar, honey or maple syrup for a slightly sweeter flavor!
  • Change up the Herbs – Feel free to change them up. If you like rosemary, sage or thyme – they go great on turkey too.
  • Smokiness – If you want a slight smoky flavor you could use a smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or chili powder.

When I make my rub I usually double this so I can use it on chicken, pork tenderloin or beef recipes. It is a great blend for grilling too!

Can you season turkey in advance?

Yes! This will just give the turkey more flavor. The night before serving place rub on turkey, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend doing this too early maybe 12 to 15 hours or so. Definitely no more than 24 hours. There is quite a bit of salt so if it sits too long it could become too salty. Then cook as recipe your directs!

Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (4)

Side Dishes to go with Turkey

  • Southern Collard Greens
  • Baked Mac and Cheese
  • Best Ever Lima Beans
  • Yellow Squash Casserole
  • Crock Pot Cornbread Dressing

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Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (5)


4.80 from 24 votes

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Turkey Rub Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 1 12 to 14 pound turkey

Author: Nikki Lee

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This turkey rub is a blend of savory spices and herbs to make the ultimate poultry seasoning! Homemade spice rub adds loads of flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey, while also delicious on chicken, beef, and Pork! Makes enough for a 12 pound turkey.


  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper, optional or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

  • Rub ingredients under skin and all around turkey as a dry rub or wet rub (turkey rub butter) with softened or melted butter.

  • Prepare as desired. This will be enough seasoning for a 12 – 14 pound turkey.


Store in an airtight container or mason jar. Double recipe and use for turkey, chicken, pork, or beef.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 11 serving Calories: 3kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Sodium: 783mg (34%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (6)

Nikki Lee

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Nikki Lee. Here at Soulfully Made you will find delicious, home-cooked, easy recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen.

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  1. Homemade Turkey Rub Recipe (7)
    So good. Made 1x with 1/2 stick butter. Juuuust enough for our tiny 10 lb turkey. Maybe more butter next time.


    1. Thank you, Rob! I usually use about 1 stick of butter.


  2. This was the absolute BEST seasoning I have Ever! Put on my Turkey! It is absolutely incredible !! We like pepper, however. I would use half of the called for amount next time. This is most definitely a KEEPER. THANK YOU


    1. Thank you so much Kim! I have been using this rub for about 20 years now and it’s my family’s favorite! I am so glad you will be using it again and again too!


  3. We tried this and loved it!! It will be the only way I make turkey now.


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