Herb Roasted Turkey
Say goodbye to dry, tasteless turkey and say hello to my all-time favorite way of making turkey! This Herb Roasted Turkey is juicy, flavorful, and perfect – each and every time!
Turkeys are the center of many holiday tables, and when you go to the effort of making a big dinner, you want the turkey to be perfect! It should be flavorful, juicy, tender, and with golden brown skin. That’s what this Herb Roasted Turkey is all about, and it never fails to get rave reviews!
I’ve been roasting holiday turkeys for years, and this is my go-to method. I recommend brining and injecting it before roasting it, but if you want to skip right to the roasting, that’s fine. It’ll still be delicious!
Nobody wants dry, tasteless turkey, and I’m here to help! Just make sure to remove the giblets from inside the bird – I mistakenly cooked them in my very first Thanksgiving turkey. Yeah, that was embarrassing!
- Turkey – You’ll need a whole turkey; size isn’t that important for this method.
- Butter – Softened.
- Parsley – Fresh parsley, chopped. You’ll need a whole bunch – literally 1 bunch of parsley should be enough.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic; minced.
- Seasoning salt
- Onion powder – Powder, not salt.
- Black pepper – Freshly ground is best.
- Cajun seasoning – Or your favorite seasoning blend.
- Onions – Yellow or white onions; quartered.
- Celery stalks – Cut in half.
How To Make The Best Herb Roasted Turkey
- Make the herb butter by combining the softened butter with chopped parsley, minced garlic, seasoning salt, onion powder, and black pepper. You can make this ahead of time.
- Preheat your oven to 275-F.
- Rinse the turkey and dry it, inside and out, with paper towels.
- Use a spatula – or your hand – to lift the skin on the breast and shove the herb butter in there so that it sits between the skin and the breast meat.
- Coat the top of the turkey with the remaining butter, and you can rub some of it inside the cavity, too.
- Sprinkle the turkey with the Cajun seasoning.
- Tie the turkey legs together with twine, or use extra skin to bind them together.
- Stuff the cavity with the onion quarters and the celery, then tent the turkey with foil and set the turkey into a roasting pan.
- Roast at 275-F for 10 minutes per pound, basting the bird a time or two while cooking.
- After it has cooked for 10 minutes per pound, turn the heat to 350-F and remove the foil. Cook until the temperature reaches 165-F, basting every 20 minutes.
- Rest the turkey for at least 30 minutes before carving.
- If you have an oven-safe thermometer, stick it into the meaty part of the thigh before you start cooking it.
- Roasting the turkey low-and-slow is key to getting moist, juicy meat!
- My rule of thumb is to roast for 10 minutes per pound at 275-F, then turn the heat up to 350-F to finish cooking the bird. Remember how much your turkey weighs so you can calculate this!
- Resting before carving is really important. In fact, I usually rest my turkeys 45-60 minutes. They won’t get cold – and the juices will stay in the meat instead of running out when you carve it.
How Do You Know When Roasted Turkey Is Done?
Turkey is cooked when it reaches 165-F, and the best way to tell is with a digital meat thermometer. Insert it into the meaty part of the thigh, right up next to the thigh bone. You can test the turkey in the breast, too, but it usually cooks first. You can also wiggle the leg bones – cooked turkey will have really jiggly legs, but trust me, use a meat thermometer to be safe.
The turkey is just one part of your holiday feast! Whether you’re serving this Herb Roasted Turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can pair it with delicious sides. Pick traditional sides like stuffing, carrots, Granny Brown’s mashed potatoes, and of course, Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits, or go with all your favorite side dishes!
What To Do With Leftover Turkey
I ALWAYS make more turkey than I need, just so that I have leftover turkey! I love Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Sliders, I use it instead of chicken in my favorite Brunswich Stew, and I’ll chop it up fine for our family’s favorite Pantry Casserole. It’s perfect used in my super easy Crescent Chicken Pot Pie or try making Turkey & Dumplings. Keep the carcass to make turkey stock for all your favorite soups, too!
Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 whole turkey
- 2 sticks butter softened
- 1 heaping ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Cajun seasoning to taste or your other favorite seasoning blend
- 2 medium onions quartered
- 2 stalks celery – cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
- Combine the softened butter, chopped parsley, minced garlic, seasoning salt, onion powder, & black pepper in a small bowl. (I like using my hands for this!). Place a spatula or your hand in between the skin on the breast & the meat. Coat under the skin with the herb butter. Using your hands, spread the rest of the herb butter on top of the turkey’s skin & inside the cavity as well. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)
- Tie the turkey legs together with cooking twine – or use the extra skin to hold the legs together (like in the pictures in the post). Stuff the inside of the cavity with the onion quarters & celery halves. Tent a piece of tinfoil on top of the breasts area. Roast the turkey in a roasting pan on a roasting rack.
- Cook at 275 for about 10 minutes per pound. A 20 pound bird would need about 3.5 hours while a 15 pound bird would need about 2.5 hours.
- After that initial 10 minutes per pound cook time, remove the turkey from the oven.. or just pull out the rack (I’m always scared my rack might break from the weight of my tremendous bird!). Baste the heck out of it with the pan juices. Turn the heat up to 350 degrees. Remove the aluminum foil from the turkey, and pop it back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
- Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. I let mine rest for 45-60 minutes personally.