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+ servings
Top view of a perfectly golden brown turkey in a pan with side dishes

Thanksgiving Turkey

Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey - Beautifully golden, juicy, and delicious, this is my go-to roasted turkey recipe infused with a garlic butter herb rub. It's perfect for serving a crowd and easy to customize with your favorite flavors!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword best thanksgiving turkey, easy thanksgiving turkey recipe, easy turkey recipe, herb roasted turkey, how to make thanksgiving turkey, roasted turkey, thanksgiving recipe, turkey recipes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 120 kcal
Author Kelly


  • 1 12-14 pound 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 or homemade chicken stock

Garlic Herb 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


Thaw turkey (if using frozen):

  1. Allow 2 to 3 days for it to fully defrost in the refrigerator. Remove giblets & neck, rinse & pat dry.

Make the garlic herb butter:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Stir together until smooth and combined.

Prep the outside of the turkey:

  1. 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.

Prepare the inside of the turkey:

  1. 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 in the bottom of the roasting pan (will be using liquid to baste turkey).

Cook the turkey:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and position rack on lower third of the oven. Once the oven is ready, place the roasting pan with the turkey into the oven and cook for 45 minutes uncovered.

    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 2.5 hours (or longer depending on your oven and size of your turkey), basting with pan broth & drippings every 30 minutes.

Tent with foil the last 30 minutes of cooking:

  1. Cover loosely with foil the last 30 minutes of cooking or if turkey browns too quickly. Once the turkey is done, remove pan from oven. Carefully transfer turkey from the pan onto a baking sheet and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Strain and reserve pan juices for gravy, if desired, and discard vegetables.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*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

Nutrition Facts
Thanksgiving Turkey
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.