Spice Up Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is one of those meals full of tradition and expected dishes. It’s just not the same without the big bird, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the family recipes that are special to your feast. Those same recipes can become tired year after year, but you can’t exactly take any beloved recipe out of the rotation.
Spice Up Thanksgiving Dinner pinit View Gallery 7 photos

What To Do?

Spices and herbs can create a bridge between tradition and fresh flavors. Without losing the essence of a dish, changing up the spices in your traditional dishes can make big flavor differences. And it’s an easy way to experiment on what can be a stressful day!

Cooking the Bird
Time is usually a flavor booster and brining for 12-24 hours is one of the best flavor boosters for large turkeys. We’ve created a Turkey Brine Kit that includes a brine and rub specifically formulated to work together and create a juicy delicious bird! If you already have your own brine recipe, try adding Juniper Berries to counteract the flavors of the gamey turkey meat. If you are smoking your bird, Allspice is a nice addition to your wood chips. Allspice is the basis of Jamaican jerk cooking and will add a distinct flavor to your meat.

Thanksgiving Drink

Mulled wine or cider is easy to make ahead of time and have ready when guests arrive. Our Mulling Spice goes beyond the usual cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg with allspice, star anise, and fenugreek. It’s just delicious and different enough to not scare off the more conservative eaters in your crowd! And the aroma will fill your home with the holiday feels!

And an Instant BarTender won’t steer you wrong either!

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

We’re not crazy enough to suggest changing up the traditional Pumpkin Pie Spices! We do encourage you to make sure your spices are fresh so the spice flavors are deep and bold. Another trick that will allow your flavors to deepen is to age your pumpkin custard for several days. Prepare your pumpkin pie filling and keep in the refrigerator up to two days before you bake your pies. That extra time will allow your spices time to mingle, expand, and bloom giving you an amazingly spiced pie!



Nothing takes to spices like fruits! Think of Cinnamon with apples and Ginger with pears. These warming spices help to balance the crisp acidity of fruit. It’s fun to branch out a bit and try new flavors such as Apple Pie Spice! It has the same warming spices as Pumpkin Pie Spice with the addition of burnt sugar flavor of Fenugreek and a spark of bright citrusy Lemon Peel. Add some into your favorite fruit crumbles or even your next batch of applesauce.

Cranberry sauce is fun to spice up as its assertive flavors can take just about any spice. We love adding a Star Anise or two, a few numbing Sichuan Peppercorns, or even a Tien Tsin pepper or two.



Chiles are actually more American than apple pie. Indigenous to the Americas, we feel chiles deserve more space on the Thanksgiving table. Their flavor brightens up rich heavy starches and proteins. What meal has more heavy starches and protein than Thanksgiving?!!

Oh the many ways to add beautiful chiles to your Thanksgiving Meal:
🌶️A pinch of two of Smoked Paprika to your mashed potatoes
🌶️A sprinkle of Ancho Chile Powder to your dish of corn
🌶️The classic combination of Chipotles and sweet potatoes
🌶️Aleppo Pepper added to mixed nuts or anything chocolate
🌶️A Scorpion Chile Pepper flavored anything for that loved one who just always gets under your skin!

Find the Balance
Most iconic Thanksgiving dishes are pretty straightforward with a star ingredient and few seasonings as a highlight. When you change up those seasonings, be careful not to overwhelm the main ingredient. Don’t go too hot too fast! Season just a little bit at a time as herbs and spices intensify as they sit in food. You can always add more, but you can’t take any out! Just a small amount of spices can make a subtle and delicious difference in your traditional dishes!

Happy Cooking and Eating this Holiday Season!

Spice Up Thanksgiving Dinner pinit
0 Add to Favorites

Spice Up Thanksgiving Dinner

Keywords: Spices, Cooking tips, Thanksgiving, Turkey, cooking from scratch, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, chile peppers, mulled wine, sweet potatoes, grains of paradise, corn, aleppo pepper, traditional cooking

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @spicetopia on Instagram and Hastag it #spicetopia so we can see all your recipes.

Pin this recipe and share it with your followers.


You may also like...