Herb Roasted Turkey

Herb Roasted Turkey

Our Herb Roasted Turkey is the answer to that age old question. How do you make a Thanksgiving Turkey without stressing out in the process? Holiday dinners are so stressful that countless movies and TV shows have been created around that theme. From “Friends” to “Everybody Loves Raymond” and many more along the way. Making a turkey is most home cooks worst nightmare!

The Secret to a Moist Turkey!

The secret to a great Herb Roasted Turkey is a simple, but somewhat non-traditional process. Most recipes take a long time at a medium oven temperature. My version actually starts out at a high heat setting, but then decreases it after forty five minutes. This allows for an extra crispy skin, but the inside will be moist and delicious throughout.

Taking the time to insert the herb compound butter under the skin contributes to a golden brown exterior. At the same time it helps avoid that dried out white meat that everybody dreads! This recipe also calls for a fair amount of basting, although this may seem tedious the end result is definitely worth it. It will keep your turkey moist and succulent.

Serving your Herb Roasted Turkey

One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is the ability to re-warm if you are done too early. It is a surprisingly easy technique and keeps the bird moist, hot and delicious. This works so well, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it years ago! You simply keep some extra turkey or chicken broth warm on the stove top. Immediately before serving spread some of the hot broth over the carved turkey. Even the white meat will be warm and moist when you serve it.

We always save turkey and chicken bones and less popular parts like necks, backs and wing tips. Once we have a bunch saved up, we make an extra rich stock and then freeze it in one quart containers. Whenever we make sauces or want to warm a turkey, we have good stock on hand. It is much more flavorful than the store bought variety.

I love this turkey with a side of sweet potato casserole, herbed green beans with almonds and, of course, homemade cranberry sauce. The next time you make a turkey for a holiday dinner or just because, our Herb Roasted Turkey is the way to go!

Herb Roasted Turkey

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by Margaret Sanfelippo Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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This Herb Roasted Turkey is flavored with a herbed compound butter. It helps to keep the turkey moist and golden brown.


  • Herbed Compound Butter
  • 1 1/4 stick 1 1/4 unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tbsp 1 fresh sage, chopped

  • 1 tbsp 1 fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1 tbsp 1 fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 tbsp 1 fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 tbsp 1 lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 ground black pepper

  • Turkey
  • 18 lb 18 turkey

  • 3/4 stick 3/4 unsalted butter, softened

  • 5 sticks 5 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces

  • 4 sticks 4 celery, cut into 2″ pieces

  • 2 2 medium onions, quartered

  • 4 cups 4 chicken stock

  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 450F.
  • Make the herbed compound butter by combining the unsalted butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Place half of the vegetables on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Put the turkey on top of the vegetables. Stuff the herbed compound butter under the skin of the turkey. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with half of the carrots, celery, and onion. Rub the entire turkey with the remaining 3/4 stick of butter and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan.
  • Put the turkey in the oven, and roast until lightly golden brown, 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160F, about 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

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