Herb Roasted Turkey

  • Now for the main event, the star of the Thanksgiving table – TURKEY!  What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with perfectly juicy and tender herb roasted turkey! This delicious roasted turkey recipe will fill your home with the most amazing aroma and get everyone in the holiday mood, thanks to the fresh herbs! This is a simple herb roasted turkey recipe that comes together easily and the whole family will love it!

    Overhead view of Herb Roasted Turkey on a cutting board garnished with apples and herbs.

    *Originally published November 2014. Text and photos updated.*

    Now that you have your turkey recipe, it’s time to think about some other dishes to serve alongside your turkey. First and foremost, these easy mashed potatoes are a must! Turkey day wouldn’t be the same without delicious mashed potatoes. Roasted green beans are also a simple and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving spread. And GRAVY! Make this luscious homemade turkey gravy to drizzle over your platter!

    WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS HERB ROASTED TURKEY RECIPE:

    • This turkey recipe couldn’t be more simple! It’s ready in just four steps.
    • The fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley gives this roasted turkey next level flavor!
    • Is it just me or is crispy turkey skin the best little treat? This turkey recipe has the most flavorful crispy skin!
    • You could use the leftover turkey in several ways! A few fun recipes are Turkey Cobb Salad and Green Chili Turkey Quesadillas.
    Overhead view of ingredients needed to make the turkey.

    INGREDIENTS:

    TURKEY – when cooked properly, turkey is juicy, tender, and delicious! This herb roasted turkey is packed with flavor and sure to impress all of your dinner guests this holiday season.

    AROMATICS – onions, lemons, and garlic – the dynamic trio for achieving the deepest aroma and flavor.

    LIQUID – I went with chicken broth but you could also use stock. Liquid helps to keep the turkey juicy while roasting.

    HERBS fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh sage, and fresh parsley – this combination of herbs is phenomenal when paired with poultry.

    SOFTENED BUTTER – butter helps to bind the herbs and garlic together before spreading it under the turkey skin. It also adds flavor and moisture to the turkey!

    OLIVE OIL – brushed on the skin of the turkey to help it get extra crispy!

    Five pictures showing the steps to preparing the turkey to go into the oven.

    HOW TO MAKE THIS HERB ROASTED TURKEY:

    Time needed: 4 hours and 20 minutes.

    1. First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

    2. Then, remove the papery outer skin of the onions and cut the onions into quarters, as well as the lemons. Place them in a shallow roasting pan and pour the chicken broth on top. Set the roasting pan to the side.

    3. In a small bowl combine the softened butter, minced garlic, chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Carefully rub butter mixture under the skin of the turkey.

    4. Brush skin with olive oil, then sprinkle with extra salt and pepper, if desired. Place the turkey in roasting pan on top of the onions and lemons. Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake until the thermometer reaches 160°F internal temperature. Start checking the temperature after 2 hours 15 minutes of roasting time.

    Two pictures showing the breast cut into slices and garnished with fresh herbs and cranberries.

    TIPS AND VARIATIONS:

    • Be sure to give your turkey plenty of time to thaw before preparing and roasting! Thaw time will depend on the size of your turkey so just be aware of how long your turkey will need to thaw.
    • To get an extra juicy turkey, baste every 30 minutes while it roasts. Keep in mind that this method will add to the cook time but in my opinion it is totally worth the wait for a super juicy turkey.
    • To avoid a dry turkey, I suggest brining it before roasting. This gives the bird absorb extra moisture, helping it to stay juicy.
    • Let your turkey rest before cutting into it so the juices don’t run out.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

    Why is my turkey dry?

    This could be for a couple of reasons. If you didn’t brine your turkey it will be dry because the inner meat wasn’t penetrated with salt or additional moisture. If you overcooked your turkey it will also be dry.

    How do I carve the turkey?

    First time carving a turkey? No problem. Here’s how to carve a turkey perfectly!

    What size turkey should I buy?

    A general rule of thumb is 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. But keep in mind some of that weight includes bone, cartilage, and less desirable cuts of meat better suited for stock (aka…the neck). To be safe, plan on needing 2 pounds per person, that way you will have enough white and dark meat!

    Other turkey recipes you will love:

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    Herb Roasted Turkey
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    4 hrs
    Total Time
    4 hrs 20 mins
     

    This Herb Roasted Turkey recipe is packed with fresh flavor and aroma. The meat is so juicy and tender, this turkey recipe is sure to impress all of your dinner guests this holiday season!

    Course: Main Dish
    Keyword: herbs, roasted turkey, Thanksgiving recipes, thanksgiving turkey
    Servings: 14
    Calories: 96 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    Ingredients
    • 1 (14-16 pound) (6.3-7.2kg) turkey; completely thawed
    • 2 large onions
    • 2 lemons
    • 1 cup (235ml) chicken broth/stock
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup (113g) butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons each: fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh sage, fresh parsley; finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

    2. Remove the papery outer skin of the onions and quarter. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Quarter the lemons and add to the pan with the onions. Pour in the chicken broth and set aside.

    3. In a small bowl combine the softened butter, minced garlic, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Carefully rub butter mixture under the skin of the turkey.

    4. Brush skin with oil and sprinkle with extra salt and pepper if desired. Place in roasting pan on top of the onions and lemons. Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake until thermometer reaches 160°F. Start checking after 2 hours 15 minutes of roasting time.

    Recipe Notes
    1. If you can find an herb roasting blend pack in your fresh vegetable department that is an easier way to buy the herbs needed and not have a ton of leftover. 
    2. Baste your bird every 30 minutes for a moist bird. This is optional and will most likely increase the amount of time needed to roast. 
    3. This recipe is using a brined turkey. If you are using a fresh turkey be sure to brine it first. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Herb Roasted Turkey
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 96 Calories from Fat 90
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 10g15%
    Saturated Fat 5g31%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 4g
    Cholesterol 18mg6%
    Sodium 398mg17%
    Potassium 42mg1%
    Carbohydrates 2g1%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 1g1%
    Protein 1g2%
    Vitamin A 215IU4%
    Vitamin C 8mg10%
    Calcium 9mg1%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
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