The 4 Fresh Herbs That Make Thanksgiving Taste Like It Should

published Nov 19, 2014
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Want to stuff the Thanksgiving turkey with some fresh herbs or chop some up for stuffing and are not sure which ones to use? Here are the four traditional herbs you should pick up and use in your cooking to really give it that authentic Thanksgiving aroma and taste!

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

1. Parsley

There are two types of parsley sold in the store: Flat-leaf and curly. Choose Italian flat-leaf parsley since it has a more pronounced flavor, although many people like to decorate with the curly variety. Strip the tender leaves off the stems before chopping them up, but you can always save the stems to flavor stocks and soups. Parsley is a great all-purpose herb to have around to add fresh, delicate flavor. Add the leaves into your dish at the last minute for the freshest flavor and brightest color.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

2. Thyme

Thyme is one of my favorite herbs and the one I most associate with Thanksgiving. I especially love it in stuffing and to flavor the turkey. Thyme stems are woody, so you should strip the tender leaves off of them for cooking. Thyme benefits from some cooking time to bring out the oils and aromas of the leaves.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

3. Rosemary

The piney scent and flavor of rosemary helps conjure images of Christmas trees and cozying up to the fire. A little goes a long way with rosemary, so err on the side of starting out with less and know that you can add more. Like thyme, the needle-like rosemary leaves should be stripped off the woody stems and chopped up finely, and they also benefit from some cooking time, especially since the coarse leaves aren’t great eaten raw.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

4. Sage

I love the feeling of soft, velvety sage leaves. Its leaves are extremely tender and have an aroma reminiscent of pine and eucalyptus, but again, make sure to strip the leaves off the tough stems first. Sage is a member of the mint family and pairs well with poultry, pork, and sausage, and it also pairs well with butternut squash and other sweet flavors.

  • Learn more: From the Spice Cupboard: Sage