Herb Roasted Turkey - KNEP - Kentucky Nutrition Education Program


Herb Roasted Turkey

Servings:15Serving Size:4 ounces


  • 1 (10 to 12) pound turkey
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbs (try any combination of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 celery ribs, washed and cut into pieces 2 or 3 inches long
  • 1 large onion, washed, peeled, and quartered
  • 3 cups water


  1. Thaw turkey completely. The USDA recommends thawing turkey in the refrigerator. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4-5 pounds of weight. If the turkey weighs 12 pounds, it will take about three days to thaw. It is not safe to thaw turkey at room temperature.
  2. Wash hands with warm water and soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, especially after handling raw turkey.
  3. Move oven rack to a low position so turkey will fit. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cooking at a high heat will crisp turkey skin and help keep juices in the meat.
  4. Remove turkey neck and packet of giblets from inside the turkey cavity. Use these parts in other recipes or discard.
  5. Twist wing tips up toward turkey neck opening and tuck them under back of turkey. This will help the turkey stay flat during cooking.
  6. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and place it on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  7. Combine dried herbs, olive oil, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Spread mixture all over turkey.
  8. Place celery and onion inside turkey cavities. This adds flavor while the turkey cooks.
  9. Pour 3 cups of hot water into pan.
  10. Place turkey and pan in pre-heated oven. Roast uncovered for 45 minutes or until skin is golden brown.
  11. Carefully remove turkey from oven.
  12. Use 2 layers of foil to tightly cover entire turkey. Use oven mitts to prevent burning your hands as you press foil around the turkey.
  13. Return turkey to the oven. Continue roasting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.
  14. Insert a thermometer into thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  15. Remove turkey from oven. Let turkey stand for 30 minutes, covered, before serving. Letting meat stand, or rest, for a few minutes after removing from the oven makes the meat more juicy.
  16. Use a sharp knife to cut meat off the bone.
  17. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours.

390 calories; 8g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 0g trans fat; 225mg cholesterol; 480mg sodium; 2g total carbohydrate; 0g dietary fiber; 1g total sugars; 0g added sugars; 74g protein; 6% Daily Value of vitamin D; 4% Daily Value of calcium; 15% Daily Value of iron; 15% Daily Value of potassium.