Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey – Golden, juicy, and delicious, this is my go-to recipe with a hint of buttery herb flavor and a beautiful color. It’s perfect for serving a crowd at Thanksgiving or Christmas & best all, it’s easy to customize with your favorite herbs.
a big holiday dinner just wouldn’t be the same without a roasted whole turkey on the table.
When we were younger, my brothers and I would save our stomachs all day just waiting for the big feast.
My mom always made way too much food:
- roasted butternut squash
- carrots – 2 ways
- green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- roasted harvest vegetables
- cranberry sauce
- mashed potatoes
- mashed sweet potato
Needless to say, we usually ended up having leftovers for days
As we got older, my brother and I would take over some years and host the big feast at our own house. I can still remember the first time I had to roast an entire turkey on my own. Oh my gosh you guys, I was a nervous wreck!
Sure, I had watched my mom and kind of even helped her all those years before – you know, putting the pan in the oven once it was all prepped and then basting it with the drippings. But all by myself? Nope.
We were in college and were expecting about 20 or so of our friends. I told my husband (boyfriend at the time) that I had this down pat while slightly panicking inside. I searched through some food magazines, cookbooks and called my mom…taking tips from each of them and making a ton of notes.
And you guys, call it beginner’s luck but everyone actually loved it and even better…nobody got sick 🙂 This Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is still the same go-to recipe (with a few tweaks here and there) I use whenever I am in charge of prepping the big bird.
HOW TO MAKE GARLIC BUTTER ROASTED TURKEY
It starts with a butter mixture, packed with fresh sage, thyme, parsley and rosemary, that is smeared under the skin and over the surface of the turkey. While the turkey is roasting in the oven, it produces these rich, dark brown drippings which you use to baste on the turkey to get that perfect golden brown, crispy skin on the outside.
To keep the turkey from over-browning, just tent the bird once the skin has reached a gorgeous golden. The meat stays tender, juicy and delicious!
So now, any time we’re hosting for the holidays, you can be sure to find this flavorful Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey on our dinner table.
Herb Garlic & Butter Roasted Turkey
- 1 12 to 14 lb whole turkey, giblets + neck removed, rinsed + patted dry
- 6 fresh sage leaves divided
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs divided
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 medium onions cut into wedges
- 5 medium carrots cut into 2" inch pieces
- 4 celery ribs cut into 2" inch pieces
- 1 lemon halved
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Compound Butter
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- If your turkey is frozen, allow 2 to 3 days for it to fully defrost in the refrigerator. Remove giblets & neck, rinse & pat dry.
- To make the butter: In a medium bowl, combine butter, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, garlic, salt and black pepper and stir together until smooth and combined.
- Carefully loosen the skin from the turkey breast with your hands lifting and separating the meat. Do the same for the neck as well as the thighs and legs. Gently rub half of the butter under the skin using your hands and fingers and place 3 sage leaves and 2 thyme sprigs under the skin. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath the turkey, using small skewers to secure, if necessary.
- Place 1/3 of the onions, celery, carrots, 2 sage leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig and lemon halves inside the cavity of the turkey. Place turkey, breast side up in a large roasting pan. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave and brush an even layer over the skin of the turkey. Arrange remaining carrots, celery and herbs in the pan around the turkey. Pour chicken broth to the bottom of the pan (will be using liquid to baste turkey).
- Preheat oven to 425°F and position rack on lower third of the oven. Once oven is ready, place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to roast until a meat thermometer (inserted deep into the thigh but away from the bone) reads 180°F and juices in the thigh run clear when pierced with a fork, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours (or longer depending on your oven), basting with pan broth & drippings every 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Remove turkey from the pan and onto a baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Strain and reserve pan juices for gravy, if desired, and discard vegetables.
*Carrots and celery can be prepared in advance to save time
*Compound butter can be made ahead of time and placed in a covered container in the refrigerator
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