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Butter & Herb Roasted Turkey

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the turkey. If you’re looking for a delicious and easy recipe, butter and herb roasted turkey is a great option. The butter will help keep the turkey moist, and the herbs will give it a delicious flavor. This is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So go ahead and give it a try!

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

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Below you will find tips, tricks and helpful hints for making this recipe including step by step instructions with pictures. If you would like to go directly to the recipe, scroll down to the recipe card.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This recipe is so easy to follow and the will show you exactly what herbs you should add to the butter to make the most delicious turkey for Thanksgiving.

The end result is a delicious, moist, and flavorful turkey! The butter and herbs give the turkey a wonderful flavor that your family and friends will love.

Whole Turkey or Turkey Roast?

This recipe can be made with either a whole turkey or a turkey roast. If you’re using a whole turkey, make sure to remove the giblets before cooking.

How Long to Cook a Turkey

The cook time will vary depending on the size of your turkey. A 13-15 pound turkey should take about 3-4 hours to cook. A good rule of thumb is about 15 minutes for each pound of turkey.

Ingredients to make a garlic herb butter rub for turkey.

Butter & Herb Turkey Rub Ingredients

*Ingredient amounts are located in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Butter: Use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, omit the additional salt from the ingredients. Make sure the butter has softened to room temperature.

Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Basil, Sage, Salt, and Black Pepper.

How to Make the Butter & Herb Rub

[1] Mix the spices with the softened butter in a small bowl.

Softened butter mixed with herbs in a glass bowl.

[2] Drain the juices from the thawed turkey and pat dry with paper towels.

[3] Rub the butter mixture all over the outside of the turkey.

Butter and herbs spread on a turkey in a roasting pan.

[4] Place turkey in the oven and cook at 325 degrees in a poultry bag or large roasting pan.

Herbs and butter spread on a turkey roasting in the oven.

[5] Baste the turkey with the pan juices from the bottom of the pan halfway through cooking time.

[6] When the internal temperature has reached 170 degrees, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

A butter & herb roasted turkey on a serving plate.

[7] Slice the turkey and place on a serving platter. Save the pan drippings to make gravy.

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

Helpful Kitchen Tools:

How to Store Leftover Turkey

Leftover turkey can be stored wrapped in aluminum foil in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

How to Reheat Leftover Turkey

To reheat, remove the skin and slice the meat. Place sliced turkey on a baking sheet and reheat at 350 degrees F until warmed through.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Know When Your Turkey is Done?

The best and safest way to know if your turkey is fully cooked, is to use an instant read thermometer inserted into the turkey.

When the thermometer shows that the turkey has an internal temperature of 170 degrees, it’s done! Shop for meat thermometers on Amazon here!

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

How Much Turkey Is Needed Per Person?

A general rule of thumb is to plan on 1/2 pound per person.

Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead of Time?

The butter & herb rub can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Should I put butter under the skin of the turkey?

You can put the butter under the skin or on top of the skin of your turkey.

How do you rub herb butter under turkey skin?

The best way to put the butter under the skin is to add the softened butter mixture to a ziplock bag and shape it into a log. Place the bag in the refrigerator.

When the butter has hardened, slice the log and add the slices, spread out under the skin, and in the cavity of the turkey.

What herbs work well with turkey?

Rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram all work well with turkey.

How do you keep a turkey moist?

The best way to keep a turkey moist is by using butter and cooking it in a poultry bag or roasting pan. Basting the turkey halfway through cooking will also help to keep it moist.

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

How do you get butter to stick to turkey?

The best way to get the butter to stick to your turkey is to mix it with some of the herbs and spices called for in this recipe. This will help create a paste that will adhere to the turkey better.

You can also add the butter mixture to a ziplock bag and shape it into a log. Place the log in the fridge until it hardens and then slice it and place the slices under the skin of your turkey.

What is the Best Temperature to Roast a Turkey?

I find that the best temperature to roast a turkey is 350 degrees. Then I like to set the oven temperature to 375 degrees for the last 15 minutes of roasting. The higher temperature helps to give the turkey a golden brown color.

Can I use a Frozen Turkey?

You can use a frozen turkey with this recipe, but you will want to make sure it is completely thawed before cooking.

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy this Butter & Herb Turkey recipe! It has become a Thanksgiving turkey tradition in my family, and I hope it does with your family as well.

More Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes:

Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

Butter & Herb Roasted Turkey

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start thinking about the turkey. If you're looking for a delicious and easy recipe, butter and herb roasted turkey is a great option. The butter will help keep the turkey moist, and the herbs will give it a delicious flavor. This is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So go ahead and give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 13-15 pound Turkey
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix the spices with the softened butter in a small bowl.
  2. Drain the juices from the thawed turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub the butter mixture all over the outside of the turkey.
  4. Place turkey in the oven and cook at 325 degrees in a poultry bag or large roasting pan.
  5. Baste the turkey with the pan juices from the bottom of the pan halfway through cooking time.
  6. When the internal temperature has reached 170 degrees, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Slice the turkey and place on a serving platter. Save the pan drippings to make gravy.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1145Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 638mgSodium: 822mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 162g

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Slices of butter & herb roasted turkey on a white plate.

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