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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe: Best Roast Turkey With Herb Rub

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe: Best Roast Turkey With Herb Rub

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe: Best Roast Turkey With Herb Rub


  • 1 stick unsalted butter or 2 tbsp of avocado oil

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 1 fresh turkey (8 to 12 pounds)

  • sea salt or pink salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered

  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise

  • 10-15 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 10 sage leaves

  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme

  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out and pat it dry.

  3. Make chopped-herb-mix: Chop half the amount of rosemary, sage, and thyme into small pieces and mix them together.

  4. Make butter-lemon mix: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 2 teaspoons of the herb mixture. Set aside.

  5. Make herb-butter mix: Mix the rest of the butter and the rest of the chopped herb mix together, and then add salt and black pepper.

  6. Use fingers to separate the turkey skin and the turkey breast. Rub the herb-butter mix made from Step 5 between the skin and the meat, and use your fingers to even the mixture out as much as possible.

  7. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the other half of the un-chopped sage, thyme, rosemary, and halved lemon, quartered onion, and garlic.

  8. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter-lemon mix made from Step 4 and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

  9. Roast the turkey for about 4 hours. For every 30-40 minutes, baste the turkey with chicken stock.

  10. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature inside the thigh. If it is around 160-170 degrees F, it is fully cooked.

  11. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.


Jenny Noland, MS, CNS, CNGS, CKNS, LDN, MBA

Functional Nutritionist in Eugene, Oregon

Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist

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