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BEST Citrus-Chipotle Turkey Marinade | Mommy's Home Cooking

BEST Citrus-Chipotle Turkey Marinade

Look no further for the Best Turkey Marinade recipe ever! This BEST Citrus-Chipotle Turkey Marinade not only keeps your turkey moist but incredibly flavorful. Simple to prepare, and totally delicious. 
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword chipotle, citrus, marinade, turkey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 cups of marinade (enough for up to 15 lb turkey)
Calories 196kcal
Author Oriana Romero



  • 1 15 lb. approx. fresh turkey (giblets and neck removed)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar


  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup natural orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3 chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons yellow pepper paste
  • 4 - 6 thin slices of orange
  • 4 sage leaves , finely chopped


Brine Turkey:

  • Place the turkey, neck first, in a large plastic bag.
  • Add water, apple cider, salt and sugar. Close the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and shake it to mix the ingredients and dissolve the salt and sugar.
  • Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours.


  • Remove turkey from the brine. Dry it with paper towels and place it on a large plastic bag, or a large baking sheet.
  • In a blender, combine garlic, vegetable oil, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, lemon juice, oregano, cumin, coriander, onion, chipotle and yellow pepper paste. Process until everything is well blended.
  • Pour marinade inside and out the turkey.
  • Add the orange slices inside the bag, or over the turkey if you’re using a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sage. Cover very well and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • The next day remove the turkey from the marinade and bake according to the size of the turkey.


Can I use the marinade to baste the turkey?
After raw turkey, or chicken, has marinated in any kind of liquid, that liquid is as unsafe to consume as raw meat is. However, you can baste the turkey/chicken with the marinade from the very beginning of the cooking process, because the marinade will get cooked through along with the turkey and the cooking process will destroy any harmful bacteria. To use the marinade later in the cooking process or as a sauce, you must boil it vigorously for at least 5 full minutes. Then use a CLEAN basting spoon or brush to apply it to the chicken. If you don't feel safe using the marinade you can also remove 1/4 cup of marinade prior to pouring over the raw meat and reserve for later use.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 9693mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 56.8mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 4.2mg