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Spanish Spiced Turkey

This Spanish Spiced Turkey is the turkey your dinner table needs.  It’s fun, different (but not TOO different – grandma will still love it!), and easier than you would think!

Spanish Spiced Turkey Served on the White Tray

Stop the engines

Okay I get it – you might already have your turkey recipe all figured out.  I mean, it IS the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.  But maybe, just MAYBE you have it thawing in your refrigerator right now and you’re going back and forth between dry brine, no brine, deep frying it or butter basting it all day long.  Well you can stop the engines right here – I have the recipe for you!

This Spanish Spiced Turkey recipe starts with a quick brine in a sugar and salt mixture.  When I say quick I mean it – just an hour.  None of that overnight business.

Then you make an orange juice mixture of orange juice, onions, garlic, and stock.  You will use it to base the turkey occasionally while it’s roasting and it will soak all of that amazing flavor right up.  You also use the orange juice mixture to soak prunes and apricots.  The prunes and apricots get stuffed into the turkey along with pine nuts, which later are served around the turkey for a gorgeous presentation.

Spanish Spices

Rub the turkey with a stellar mixture of Spanish spices – fennel, cumin seed, paprika, mustard seed, and salt which create a crispy and flavorful skin on the turkey.

Spanish Spiced Turkey with a Glass of Wine and Herbs Next to It

This recipe comes from Honest Cooking, who recommends pairing it with a Rioja wine.  I couldn’t agree more.  And I chose a Crianza variety which ensures the wine has been aged for at least 3 years was fresh, fruity, and not too heavy which went perfectly with the orange zest and spices on the Spanish Spiced Turkey.  I don’t know much about wine but I do love my Rioja wine.  It’s affordable and versatile and is perfect for a weeknight glass or when company is over!

And if you are already dead set on your Thanksgiving turkey recipe, save this one for Christmas – it’s a must make!

Spanish Spiced Turkey - Spotlight on the Bottle of Wine

Spanish Spiced Turkey

Print Rate
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 turkey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Carrots & Onions for roasting
  • Fresh thyme
  • Orange Sauce:
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 4 cups stock
  • zest from one orange
  • Stuffing:
  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 1/2 cup pine Nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • Spices:
  • 1 tablespoon Fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon White Pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chili flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Equipment needed:
  • Cheese cloth
  • String


  • Bring to a boil the water, sugar and salt. Cool and then immerse turkey in the brining liquid for about an hour.
  • Toast pine nuts until golden on the stovetop.
  • In another pan, saute onions & garlic until soft and fragrant.
  • Add orange juice and stock and reduce by 1/3, stirring frequently.
  • Season with honey and salt according to your preference. Pour over the apricots and prunes and allow fruit to soak.
  • Strain fruit, reserving the liquid, and stir in the toasted pine nuts. Using cheesecloth and string, wrap and tie the prunes, apricots and pine nuts into a bundle.
  • Combine spices in a bowl.
  • Stuff bird, sitting in a roasting pan, with bundle and rub with spices. Arrange onions, carrots, and fresh thyme around the turkey.
  • Roast at 375F for about 2 hours, or until done, depending on the size of the bird.
  • Baste occasionally with the strained orange sauce while roasting.
  • When serving, remove the cheesecloth insert and arrange its contents around the turkey with the carrots and onions. Garnish with fresh thyme.
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
Need more ideas?Find all of my recipe pins @greenschocolate

This Spanish Spiced Turkey post was sponsored by Honest Cooking and Rioja Wines.

Find more recipes on my “greens & chocolate” Pinterest board anc check out some of these turkey recipes next:

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