Thanksgiving is upon us but there is no need to stress! Easy Herb Butter Roasted Turkey will make you feel like a total rockstar this holiday, all without breaking a sweat.
It’s that time of year we look forward to feasting with family and friends. For many that includes a golden turkey sitting center stage. With just a few easy steps this easy turkey recipe is sure to become a new tradition. And don’t forget about the Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup the next day!
Aside from being effortless to prepare, Easy Herb Butter Roasted Turkey combines familiar flavors with easily accessible ingredients. As a big chef recently said, “treat the turkey like a chicken”.
- Butter – Adds richness to the turkey while helping to keep it moist and enhance its golden bronzed color while roasting.
- Sage – Woodsy and aromatic, this is the official scent of fall and the holiday season.
- Rosemary – Peppery and woodsy, the aromatic herb is a festive part of the holiday season.
- Thyme – Fresh, citrusy, and a little floral, thyme adds a lemony flavor that pairs well with both citrus and poultry.
- Salt – Enhances all of the flavors and seasons the meat of the turkey.
- Pepper – Adds an earthy mellow heat.
- Lemon – Used to stuff the turkey, it adds a sunny, bright pop of acid and infuses flavor from the inside out.
- Orange – Adds a natural burst of sweetness and brightness to the turkey. Used to stuff the inside.
- Turkey – Bigger is not always better. Pick a turkey around ten pounds. This will give you the most tender and flavorful meat while also cooking faster.
How to Make Easy Herb Butter Roasted Turkey
Skip the wet brines, dry brines, and spatchcocking. Just treat your Thanksgiving turkey like a Sunday roast chicken and you will be serving up juicy flavorful meat with that crispy golden skin.
Time needed: 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Butter Makes Everything Better
Mix together your room temperature butter, salt, and chopped herbs. Massage the bird with the butter mixture, including under the skin. You can use the handle of a wooden spoon to help gently pull the skin away from the meat.
Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the orange, lemon, and onion wedges and additional herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake the turkey in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake until it’s almost done. Turn the temperature up to 400 degrees for the last few minutes of baking to crisp up the skin.
Once the turkey has reached 160 degrees, remove it from the oven. Tent it with foil and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Because of carry over cooking its temperature will rise to 165.
Carve your beautiful bird and feast on your creation!
This same recipe and method also works on whole chickens. In addition, if you are serving a crowd you can double up on the herb compound butter and make two turkeys, or even a whole turkey and a turkey breast. The turkey breast will finish before the whole turkey but remain warm while it’s covered and resting.
- Roasting Pan – Pick an oven safe baking dish that will accommodate the size of your turkey. It’s not necessary to use a specific roasting pan for this. You can use a large cast iron skillet or cast enamel baking dish as well.
- Instant Read Thermometer – A digital thermometer is your best friend when it comes to making a juicy and tender bird. Always test between the breast and the thigh and aim for around 160 degrees. As the turkey rests its temperature will continue to rise and reach 165 degrees.
Your cooked turkey will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or tightly sealed plastic bags. In addition you can also freeze both the carcass for later use making stock, and the meat. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Top Tip for Easy Herb Butter Roasted Turkey
Allowing your turkey to rest is not only the best way to ensure you serve a juicy and moist turkey, it’s also an ideal time to bake off your sides in the oven. 30 minutes will allow the turkey to reach its temperature of 165 degrees while also allowing all of the juices to redistribute into the turkey and not only your cutting board. 30 minutes is also the perfect time to bake up your sides, optimizing both your oven space and time. Thanksgiving is about spending time with and celebrating family and friends and this delicious and easy turkey recipe allows you to do exactly that.
Easy Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 roasting pan or oven safe baking dish
- 1 digital thermometer
- 10 lbs turkey, patted dry
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 onion, halved
- 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1/2 orange, cut into wedges
- fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage for stuffing
Herb Compound Butter
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together the softened butter, rosemary, thyme, sage, and salt.
- Massage the compound butter onto the turkey, including under the skin.
- Stuff the cavity of the turkey with onion, lemon, and orange wedges, and additional fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the turkey in an oven safe baking dish or roasting pan and place in the oven.
- Allow the turkey to roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and then lower the heat to 300 degrees.
- Continue letting the turkey bake until it's almost to done, and then raise the temperature back to 400 degrees. This will allow the skin to crisp.
- Remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees. Allow about 15 minutes per every pound.
- Lightly cover the turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Carve and enjoy!