Easy Herb Thanksgiving Turkey

Oct 26, 2019 | Food, Lunch/Dinner, Thanksgiving

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Are you looking for that perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe? This recipe is not only simple, but produces exceptional results. So what makes this turkey special is you don’t have to think about it once it’s in the oven, no basting required. The only maintenance is covering it with foil once it has browned. So what are you waiting for? This turkey will surely impress friends and family with it’s crispy herb skin with moist and flavorful meat! Oh, did we mention how amazing this turkey’s drippings are for gravy?

While this recipe is for a 14 lb turkey, you can easily adapt it for a larger or smaller turkey.

Easy Herb Thanksgiving Turkey

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 14
Calories: 511kcal


Herb Butter

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic minced


  • 5 cloves garlic cut in ½ lengthwise
  • 1 granny smith apple cut in quarters, seeds removed
  • ½ yellow onion cut in quarters
  • ½ navel orange cut in quarters
  • 1 lemon cut in quarters
  • 14 lb turkey
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


Herb Butter

  • Mix all ingredients together and set aside.


  • Remove gizzards and neck from the turkey and put in a roasting pan. Pat both inside and out as dry as you can with paper towels.
  • Season inside cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, orange, apple, onion, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Tuck wings under the turkey to prevent the tips from burning while cooking and tie legs together.
  • Cut slits through out the turkey and insert garlic cloves evenly spread out through out the turkey (legs and breast). Now separate the skin from the body gently with your hand and season with herb butter. Use remaining herb butter to season the outside of the turkey.
  • Bake at 350°F for 13-15 minutes per pound (until you have an internal temperature of 165°F-170°F in the thickest part of the thigh and breast). Let uncovered turkey roast for 1½ – 2 hours, then when the turkey is browned to your liking, cover with foil for the remainder of the cooking time. This will prevent the turkey from over-browning and drying out. Let rest 20-30 minutes (perfect time to make the gravy!) before carving.
  • Untie turkey legs and remove items from the cavity. Slice and enjoy!


The drippings this turkey produces are excellent for gravy, well seasoned with herbs and garlic.  Once you put the turkey on a serving platter, put the drippings in a container for a few minutes to let the grease rise to the top (I like using a glass measuring cup) and skim off.  Use in your favorite gravy recipe.
Traditionally the color of the juice would be an indicator of if the turkey is done.  With recipe due to the addition of paprika and cayenne to the butter, the runoff juices may appear pink, even if the turkey is fully cooked.  Please make sure to take the temperature of your turkey to ensure that it is ready to consume.


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 245mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 732mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 397IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me


Hello everyone! My name is Angie Mallery, and I’m the proud founder of Wicked Handy. This blog is my playground for sharing everything that makes life more joyful and practical—from crafting and cooking to gardening and DIY projects. I’m thrilled you’re here and hope you find inspiration and enjoyment in what I love to do. Thank you for visiting!

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