Suya Spiced Whole Turkey – My Nigerian Thanksgiving

thanksgiving - Nigeria - turkey - recipe

Suya Spiced all Turkey

Hello Nation! Happy Turkey day to those celebrating. I decided to participate in thanksgiving festivities this year and I made a whole turkey for the second time ever. I honestly had no intentions of sharing the recipe initially, but through process documentation on Instagram; lots of people showed interest in how the turkey came to life. Our feast was complete with Nigerian style Coconut Rice, plantain balls, baked potatoes and peas. It was super delicious if I can say so myself.

My obsession with Suya Spice is well documented on this blog, if you search Suya, you will most likely find over 10 different recipes that made use of the spice mix. from Fish, to prawns, to chicken, to stirfry ; suya has limitless potential beyond street food.

Making the turkey was as simple as making a marinade and allowing the marinade to work its own magic. I allowed the turkey thaw completely in the fridge for about 48 hours. Then I marinated the meat and allowed that to rest for another 48 plus hours. The end result was perfectly seasoned spicy turkey.

I will suggest that you make a big batch of marinade, that way you will have left over to serve the white turkey meat with and also make other recipe with. Trust me, you will be obsessed.

Suya Spice Seasoning Mix


  • 6 tablespoons suya spice
  • 3 large onions (peeled and sliced)
  • 6-10 cloves fresh garlic (peeled)
  • 3-6 Scotch bonnet peppers (ata-rodo)
  • 3 ripe red bell peppers – tatashe
  • Medium size ginger root (peeled and cut)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 6Β  double knorr cubes
  • Salt – to taste
  • Other : Favorite herbs as desired (Efirin (scent leaf), basil, rosemary, sage,oregano, cilantro etc)

The use of herbs is where you add your own signature and make it your own blend. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite blend. I used about 2 cups of fresh herbs in my mix.


  • Combine all listed ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blitz until almost smooth.
  • Store mix in an airtight container for future use.
Suya Spiced Whole Turkey

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 10

I used a 5kg turkey that was completely thawed out. Don't be afraid to get under the skin of the bird to distribute the marinade
  • 1 whole thawed turkey (about 5kg) (pat dry)
  • ⅔ cup suya spice mix
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Chopped herbs for garnish
Marinate Turkey
  1. Thoroughly combine suya spice and yogurt in a large bowl
  2. Cover turkey with mix and message well to distribute (Remember to get some under the breast).
  3. Set in the fridge for 2 days or more.
  1. Preheat oven to 325f
  2. Place turkey breast side up on a lined oven tray or baking dish. Bake for 3 hours*
  3. [/fusion_builder_column]
    turkey - marinade - nigerian
  4. You will need to cook the turkey longer if it's bigger than 5 kg. I will suggest an extra 10 minutes for every pound extra.
  5. Rest turkey for 30 minutes before serving (this will allow for the juices to redistribute and keep the bird moist)
  6. Just before serving, baste the turkey with some more suya spice mix and toss on fresh herbs.
  7. Enjoy!!!

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By |October 12th, 2015|17 Comments


  1. Sam Adedayo November 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. Please Is it possible to contract you to help make this and deliver to someone in Victoria Island Lagos on Thursday (24th Nov. 2017) morning.
    Or if you can’t, is there any recommendation of who to contact. Pls

  2. Ola July 15, 2017 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Great job education we laymen! After baking the turkey and resting it, do you return into the oven after basting? And how long for?

    • Ola July 15, 2017 at 3:57 am - Reply


    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 20, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      No you do not return it to the oven.

  3. Elizabeth Tolu Babalola December 20, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Christmas is here, time to cook a whole chicken! Please what are the fruits you have in the pan? Thank you.

    • jazzir4u December 23, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      those are potatoes my dear

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 24, 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply


  4. TrishfromNY November 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing. Do you make for delivery. Some people like myself prefer to order a ready made thanksgiving feast.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie November 17, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks! we do not deliver at this time.

  5. Etaiwo November 10, 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    WOW…LOOKS DELICIOUS!!! AND I AM SURE IT IS. Can i use this recipe on whole chicken?. also i notice you use plain yogurt in a lot of your chicken recipe, why is that? and what brand of yogurt do you use. don’t mind my questions o πŸ˜‰

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie November 12, 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Yogurt is acidic and acid helps to tenderize meat white keeping in all the juices. I don’t have a favorite brand, I typically would but whatever is on sale (cheap skate). lol. My only requirement is that the yogurt is natural and doesn’t have a weirdly long ingredients list – milk and culture should be about everything in it.

  6. ChiO October 14, 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    This is a major office distraction. I can almost smell it from here! Well-done babes this is how Thanksgiving turkey should be done.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Hhahahahha.. face your work oh. Thanks babe.

  7. Onyinye October 14, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Wow!! Nice recipe!! The picture is even more amazing… job well done buh one should be well funded to do this. Am looking up to that moment.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 17, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Funded? lol… that’s very serious oh.

  8. Estti E. October 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    The photography in this post is amazing! Great job!

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