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Juicy Roast Turkey with herb butter seasoning and rub. Golden moist whole turkey served on a platter with lettuce for Thanksgiving.

Juicy Roast Turkey with Herb Butter

Juicy, moist, flavorful Roast Turkey with Herb Butter. A delicious oven roast turkey with classic flavors. A must for the Thanksgiving holiday season. I'm sharing the perfect how-to guide and recipe packed with helpful tips to roasting a whole turkey in the oven for a family dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword herb butter rub, Roast Turkey, Thanksgiving Turkey, Turkey Brine Recipe, whole turkey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 594kcal


  • turkey brine recipe optional
  • 12 lb whole turkey, fresh or frozen *see notes for larger sizes
  • 1 cup very soft unsalted butter melt for 15-30 seconds if it doesn't spread well on turkey
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 ½ tsp garlic powder or 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp more if turkey is not brined)
  • 2½-3 tsp Poultry, Italian or Greek seasoning

Turkey Gravy


    • Thaw the turkey ahead of time if frozen. Do not cook it frozen. See notes below on thawing techniques and times based on size of turkey.

    Prepare Turkey

    • Allow the thawed turkey to come to room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Meanwhile, prepare turkey and get everything ready below.
    • Reach into center cavity and neck cavity to remove any plastic bags and the turkey neck with giblets, if not using.
    • Use a sharp knife to gently tear the skin near the corners, working to gently lift it from the meat to be able to reach in the herb butter.
    • Pat entire turkey dry with paper towels.
    • Make the herb butter rub. Use softened butter. TIP: cube butter then place in microwave for 30 seconds or until very mostly soft (not completely melted)
    • Fold in onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning and mix completely with butter.
    • Smear 2/3 of herb butter seasoning on the underside of the skin and legs. This will flavor the meat. Rub the remaining 1/3 on the skin.
    • Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the turkey.
    • Prepare a large roasting pan with a rack. See notes for a few quick homemade rack hacks using stuff already in your home.

    Roasting Turkey

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position oven grate to the lowest level.
    • Set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan breast side up. If using a foil pan, place a baking sheet under the pan to easily add or remove roast turkey from oven.
    • Roast uncovered at 325°F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165-175°F. Place foil over turkey about 2/3 way into cooking once skin is golden brown.
    • Remove from oven. Tent with foil and allow to rest; 15-25 minutes.



    REFRIGERATOR THAW: Allow (4.8 hours) x (per pound). Thaw directions; Place frozen turkey in a garbage bag or container to catch any liquid seepage from the wrapped package.
    QUICK COLD WATER THAW: Allow (30 minutes) x (per pound) of turkey. Thaw directions; fill a large pot or clean sink with cold water and replace the water every 30 minutes.


    Head over to this post for details on brining a turkey

    Roasting Rack Hacks

    Use this guide to make a homemade roasting rack for the turkey.


    Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 273mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 661IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg