Herb Butter Turkey

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5 from 8 votes
This Herb Butter Turkey recipe is the star of the show. It doesn't matter if you are making turkey for Thanksgiving or for Sunday Supper. This recipe produces a perfect bird. Golden on the outside, tender and juicy and full of flavor.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Whole turkey on a serving platter on top of greens.

This Herb Butter Turkey recipe is the star of the show. It doesn’t matter if you are making turkey for Thanksgiving or for Sunday Supper. This recipe produces a perfect bird. Golden on the outside, tender and juicy and full of flavor.

Whole turkey on a serving platter on top of greens.

The herb butter turkey has such an amazing flavor thanks to the infused butter. This is key to a great meal featuring turkey. No one likes a dry, bland bird and this recipe makes it so easy to generate a perfect meal. After all, we have been serving up turkey for centuries as turkeys are indigenous to North America, find out more about them at this website.

If you need more ideas for your holiday spread, check here.


MORE TURKEY RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Easy Turkey Chili | Thanksgiving Turkey Panini | Turkey Pot Pie

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What makes this recipe great? Years of tradition. This was a recipe that has been used for generations.

  • 20 Minute Prep It only takes minutes to prep and then wait for the aroma to permeate the house.
  • Easy Ingredients: All easy ingredients that really enhance the flavor.
  • Family Friendly: everyone will love this recipe.
  • Makes Great Leftovers: So many options for the leftovers, check out It is a Keeper for ideas.

What You Need to Make Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe

Ingredients

  • Whole Turkey
  •  Herb Butter 
  • Onion 
  • Carrots 
  • Celery
  • Turkey stock
  • Dry White Wine 

Equipment

How to Make the Perfect Herb Butter Turkey- Step by Step

Whole turkey on a serving platter on top of greens.
  • Prep: First, preheat oven to 450 degrees and then combine all ingredients for herb butter together (I do this in a food processor); set aside.
  • Clean: Second, clean and season turkey and add stuffing or alternatively extra vegetables. Rub herb butter all over the outside of the bird.
  • Fill: Next, place chopped onion, carrots and celery in the bottom on the pan and then add stock and wine. Place bird on top of veggies and stock. Cover loosely with foil.
  • Cook: Then roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 degrees and roast for 12-15 minutes per pound or until internal temperature (between the leg and breast) reaches 165 degrees.
  • Rest: Finally, remove foil during the last 30 minutes of roasting if turkey needs to brown more and lastly, remove turkey from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Common Questions About Thanksgiving Turkey

WHY IS THE TURKEY DRY?

After cooking, let the meat rest until it’s close to room temperature in order to let the juices redistribute. If you cut a turkey without it resting than all the juices just flow out and this will make the turkey dry. Also, check turkey with a meat thermometer, as soon as it is to temperature, remove, to avoid overcooking.

HOW LONG SHOULD I COOK MY TURKEY FOR AT 325?

> 8 to 12 lb turkey, roast at 325°F for 2¾ to 3 hours.
> 12 to 14 lb turkey, roast at 325°F for 3 to 3¾ hours.
> 14 to 18 lb turkey, roast at 325°F for 3¾ to 4¼ hours.
>18-to 20 lb turkey, roast at 325°F for 4¼ to 4½ hours.
On a meat thermometer, the breast should be 165°F, this is the temperature that the stuffing should be as well if it is inside the bird.

DO I HAVE TO BASTE MY TURKEY?

Truly, basting is optional, however, if you like you can baste about every 30 minutes. 

HOW LONG CAN YOU STORE COOKED TURKEY?

Leftover turkey will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. When reheating use gravy or stock to keep moist.

Expert Tips for Making Herb Butter Turkey

  • Turkey Breast: This is a great recipe for a turkey breast as well.
  • Wine: Which to use? Food and Wine Magazine recommends Viognier, however, any white you enjoy is great.
  • Short cut tip: Chop vegetables and make the butter the night before but never stuff the turkey the night before!
  • Help: Butterball has a free Thanksgiving help line, 1-800-BUTTERBALL.
  • Remove: Always remember to remove the giblet package from the turkey and wash it before cooking.
  • Skin: Gently pull up skin and get the herb butter under the skin as well.

⭐⭐⭐ RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐⭐⭐

If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it in the comment section below.

Whole turkey on a serving platter on top of greens.
5 from 8 votes

Herb Butter Turkey

Yield: 10 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
This Herb Butter Turkey recipe is the star of the show. It doesn't matter if you are making turkey for Thanksgiving or for Sunday Supper. This recipe produces a perfect bird. Golden on the outside, tender and juicy and full of flavor.
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole turkey, I use a 14 turkey – recipe can easily be adjusted for any size
  • 1 Herb Butter, recipe below
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped into chunks
  • 2 cups turkey stock, or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine, or water
  • Prepared stuffing or extra chopped vegetables (1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery)

Herb Butter

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients for herb butter together (I do this in a food processor); set aside.
  • Clean turkey – remove neck and gizzards from the cavity.
  • Rinse the turkey thoroughly with cold water, including the cavity.
  • Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Season the outside and cavity generously with salt and pepper.
  • If stuffing the bird, fill the cavity with stuffing. If not stuffing the bird, fill the cavity will extra vegetables.
  • Rub herb butter all over the outside of the bird, including the underneath.
  • Place chopped onion, carrots and celery in the bottom on the pan.
  • Add stock and wine.
  • Place bird on top of veggies and stock.
  • Cover loosely with foil.
  • Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Turn oven down to 325 degrees and roast for 12-15 minutes per pound or until internal temperature (between the leg and breast) reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove foil during the last 30 minutes of roasting if turkey needs to brown more.
  • Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Expert Tips

  • Turkey Breast: This is a great recipe for a turkey breast as well.
  • Wine: Which to use? Food and Wine Magazine recommends Viognier, however, any white you enjoy is great.
  • Short cut tip: Chop vegetables and make the butter the night before but never stuff the turkey the night before!
  • Help: Butterball has a free Thanksgiving help line, 1-800-BUTTERBALL.
  • Remove: Always remember to remove the giblet package from the turkey and wash it before cooking.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2146IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Thanksgiving

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3 thoughts on “Herb Butter Turkey”

  1. 5 stars
    It simply never gets better than a classic turkey dinner. Your recipe was easy to follow and the bird came out flavorful and juicy! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This taste just like my grandmother’s thanksgiving turkey. It was wonderful and the dripping made an amazing gravy. So flavorful!!!!

    Reply

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