Chile-Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey

November 10, 2016

Every Thanksgiving presents the same question: how to transform a bland turkey into a flavorful show-stopping centerpiece. Well, this year, if you are looking for an amazing turkey recipe packed with flavor, this Mexican inspired chile-rubbed turkey is it! This rub is made from different dried chiles and best to be marinated overnight for maximum flavor, but even a marinade of a few hours will yield delicious turkey. This recipe makes plenty of marinade and you’ll have some left over for a smaller bird 10-13 pound bird. I hope you enjoy this one!

Chile-Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey | HonestlyYUM

Chile-Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey | HonestlyYUM

Chile-Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey | HonestlyYUM

Chile-Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey | HonestlyYUM



  • 6 guajillo chiles
  • 4 ancho chiles
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil


  • The night before you roast the turkey, toast the chiles on a pan over medium high heat (being careful not to burn them). Once they’re pliable and fragrant transfer them to a bowl of hot water and soak for about 20 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds.
  • Add the chiles to a blender. Add garlic, oregano, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt and blend until it turns into a smooth puree.
  • Season the turkey liberally with salt outside and inside the cavity. Rub the turkey outside and inside with the chile sauce liberally. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2 hours before roasting your bird, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and using a brush, brush some vegetable oil over the top of the turkey. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan and roast for 1/2 hour.
  • Brush the turkey with a little more oil. You’ll brush off some of the marinade but that’s okay. Roast for another 1/2 hour.
  • Lower to heat to 375 degrees and brush occasionally with the turkey drippings. Roast until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 165 degrees.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 minutes uncovered. Carve and serve.

(images by HonestlyYUM)


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