Herbed, Roasted Turkey

This traditional holiday bird brings much more to the table than just great taste. Turkey breast packs more protein than chicken breast or trimmed top loin beefsteak with just 1 gram of fat per 3-ounce serving, and it contains selenium, which may help prevent certain cancers and heart disease.

Per serving: 728 calories, 89 g protein; 38 g fat; 2 g carb; 0 g fiber
  • Prep Time 35 minutes
  • Total Time 5 hours
  • Yield Serves 10
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  • 1 turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 3 sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, poked all over with a fork
  • 1 quart apple cider


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lowest position. Remove packet of giblets and neck from cavity. Discard liver. Rinse remaining giblets and neck; refrigerate until ready to make broth.

  2. Turn turkey on its back and bend wing tips forward and underneath neck cavity of bird so they stay in place (you may have to break the bones).

  3. In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, 4 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin of breast and around thighs and rub herb mixture under skin of both.

  4. Season cavity with salt and pepper and loosely fill with lemons and rosemary sprigs. Using cotton kitchen twine, tie legs together so bird retains its shape and moisture during cooking.

  5. Pour cider in bottom of pan. Set roasting rack on top. Lift turkey onto rack, breast side up; rub with remaining tablespoon oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Tent turkey loosely with foil. Roast 1 hour. Uncover and continue to roast, basting frequently with pan juices, until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 170 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours more. (Temperature will rise about 10 degrees as turkey rests.) Tent with foil if browning too quickly; add water if pan becomes dry. Cover loosely with foil, and let stand 30 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted vegetables.

Recipe Reviews

Reviews (3)

  • jenine482 2 Dec, 2008

    This came out amazing, my first Thanksgiving too!!! I read so many suggestions about roasting a turkey, some said cover and donn n n n n n t baste and other says donn n n n n n t cover and you must baste. This seemed like the best of both and it was. The only change I made was adding about 1 cup of stock in the pan while it roasted so I know that helped to keep it moist. The herbs really added a nice flavor; I will be using this again for sure.

  • rebeccaramona 2 Feb, 2008

    Wonderful recipe! We didn't use the apple cider because we used a roasting bag, and we didn't use the lemons because we stuffed the bird with cornbread stuffing! The turkey was moist and delicious!

  • es10024 6 Nov, 2007

    this is a great recipe!
    i wanted to try it before thanksgiving that way i could decide which recipe to use, and this was great. the apple cider gives the turkey great flavor and it soaks in to make the meat very moist.
    if your looking to try a new recipe, this is a must.

    a very good cranberry sauce recipe, in case someone is looking: