Herb Roasted Turkey is coated with a herb butter rub to keep the meat succulent and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, with a perfectly golden-brown skin. Easy enough for beginners and sure to wow everyone at your Thanksgiving table!
While your bird is roasting, why not get the rest of the meal going? These Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Crockpot Stuffing, and Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake are easy and hand-off recipes to make. Focus on other holiday tasks while your Instant Pot and Crockpot take care of the menu!
The Best Thanksgiving Herb Roasted Turkey
Herb Roasted Turkey will give you everything you’ve been dreaming of in a roasted bird. Every inch is slathered with herbed butter to keep the meat succulent and juicy while infusing it with so many amazing flavors.
That skin gets ridiculously golden and crispy. Everyone will want some on their plate, so plan your carving strategy ahead! Also, if you’ve never cooked a whole bird before, it can be intimidating.
Well, trust me when I say that this is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. As long as you plan ahead, you’ll end up with perfection every time. Once you’re confident with your roasting skills, try other flavor combinations, and take it to the next level!
How to prepare a turkey?
First, remove the neck. Next, take some kitchen twine and tie the legs of the bird together after stuffing the cavity. To prevent the wings from drying with the rest of the meat cooks, we’re folding them under the body. Finally, throw out the bag of giblets.
This trussing technique is also applicable for other fowl like chicken.
How to thaw a frozen turkey?
It depends on the weight of the bird. In general, allocate a day for every four pounds. For an 8-pounder for example, plan to thaw it two days ahead. To safely thaw from frozen, just leave it in the fridge.
Herb Roasted Turkey Ingredients:
- Turkey: for this recipe, I used a 15-lb bird. However, you can use a larger or smaller one, depending on your preference.
- Butter: allow it to soften before using so it spreads easily. Also, I use unsalted butter because it is easier to control the salt level.
- Herbs: we’re using finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme for the best flavor.
- Garlic: fresh garlic is a must here. It works the best and it is the most flavorful. Try mincing the garlic as fine as you can so that it combines well with the butter mixture.
- Stuffing: onion, a quartered lemon, and whole herb sprigs.
- Salt and pepper: for seasoning the cavity and surface of the bird.
- Chicken broth: used for basting to keep the meat moist and add flavor while roasting. You can use store-bought birth, or make your chicken stock at home.
How to make Herb Roasted turkey?
- Truss the bird. First, chop away the neck if it is not already removed. Then, season generously inside before filling up with stuffing. Tie up the legs and tuck the wings.
- Coat with butter. Blend butter, fresh herbs, and garlic. Rub under the skin and all over it.
- Roast. Let the oven reach 450F, then bake the bird for 45 minutes. Reduce to 350F. Every 30 minutes, use the broth to baste the meat. A 15-lb turkey usually takes around 3 hours to get done.
- Check for doneness. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Once it registers 165F, it is cooked through.
- Serve. Tent the roasting pan with foil and rest the meat for 25 minutes. Carve, then serve.
Herb Roasted Turkey variations:
- Stuff with various fruits: try stuffing the cavity with other citrus fruits, apples, celery stalks, fennel.
- Use chicken instead: hosting a small gathering? Follow this recipe using chicken instead.
- Try other seasonings: for a savory twist, combine the butter with Cajun seasoning, poultry seasoning, or ranch seasoning.
- Use other herbs: try mixing up oregano, marjoram, parsley, basil, and even cilantro with the butter rub.
How long to cook the turkey?
You’ll need to do a bit of math here. For every pound of bird, allow for 15 minutes of roasting time. This calculation assumes that you’re roasting from fully-thawed or fresh.
Should I roast turkey covered or uncovered?
Uncovered, because we want that skin to get as crispy as possible. But if you feel that the bird is getting brown too fast, simply cover it with foil.
Then, during the last 10-15 minutes of roasting, uncover it to get that nice crunchiness and the golden-brown skin.
What is the best temperature to cook the turkey?
We’re roasting at two temperatures. First, we start at 450F because we need high heat to crisp up the skin. Then, we turn it down to 350F so the bird cooks completely.
What to serve with roasted turkey?
Most side dishes will go well with this roast. Try serving it during the holiday season with these crowd favorite side dishes: Cheesy Baked Green Beans, Scalloped Potatoes, these elegant Fondant Potatoes, or classic mashed potatoes.
More Thanksgiving recipes:
- Easy Cranberry Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Ham with Pineapple
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Slow Cooker Glazed Smoked Ham
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Store leftovers in an air-tight container. They will last for up to a week in the fridge, and best up to a month frozen.
- I highly recommend using fresh herbs as they provide the best aromas and flavors.
- Also, you could use flavored butter instead of the regular one.
- Want to use leftover turkey meat? Then, try making Turkey Tetrazzini, Turkey Salad with Grapes, Turkey Grill Cheese.
- Use a meat thermometer to get a precise reading.
- As stated above, the cooking time in this recipe is about 15 pounds turkey. However, if you are cooking a larger bird, you will have to increase the cooking time by about 15 minutes per additional pound.
Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 gallon warm water (more as needed)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup sea salt
- 2 large red onions (roughly chopped)
- 8 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (roughly chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 lemon (juiced)
Herb Roasted Turkey:
- 15 pound turkey
- 12 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
- 1 lemon (washed quartered)
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 1 cup assorted herbs (whole sprigs from the ones you used above to stuff inside the turkey)
- 3 cups chicken broth
Garnishes to serve the turkey:
- Assorted herbs
- Fresh cranberries
- Place a gallon of warm water in a large clean bucket or cooler that would fit the birf.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Carefully submerge the turkey in the brine. Add more water as needed to make sure the brine covers the turkey entirely.
- Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days.
- The brine time is determined based on the size of turkey. If the bird is 15 pounds or under, brine for just 24 to 36 hours. If the bird is larger than 15 pounds, brine for up to 3 days.
- If your turkey is significantly smaller, but you want to brine it for a longer period of time, then reduce the salt to 1/2 cup.
Herb Roasted Turkey:
- Take the turkey out of the brine water and place it on a rack inside a roasting pan in the fridge for at 3-5 hours so it dried throughly. Pat dry it with paper towels as well.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Tuck the turkey wings under the body.
- Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, and then stuff the bird with the quatered onion, quatered lemon, whole garlic cloves and assorted herbs sprigs.
- Tie the turkey legs together with kitchen twine.
- Add the butter, minced garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, basil, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Rub the butter mixture all over the skin of the turkey and also UNDEER the skin of the breast, by pulling it up gently with your fingers. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat chicken broth either in a medium saucepan or in the microwave and set aside.
- Place the turkey in a large, lightly greased roasting pan, preferably on a rack inside the pan, and bake for 1 hour.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting the turkey until its done. In the meantime, baste the burd every 30-40 minutes with the warm chicken broth. The turkey will take about 3 hours to bake, if the bird starts browning too quickly you can cover it with foil and you will uncover it during the last 30 minutes of roasting.
- The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird's thigh raeds 165 degrees F.
- Remove it from the oven and cover loosely with foil andlet it rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.