Skip to Content

Herb Butter Turkey

There is no better dish to serve at Thanksgiving or during the festive holidays than a turkey and this Herb Butter Turkey is going to be a recipe that blows your mind. Succulent meat and delicious flavors that won’t take all day to make. This is the turkey recipe you have been waiting for.
Overhead view of Herb Butter Turkey.

There is no better dish to serve at Thanksgiving or during the festive holidays than a turkey and this Herb Butter Turkey is going to be a recipe that blows your mind. Succulent meat and delicious flavors that won’t take all day to make. This is the turkey recipe you have been waiting for. 

Herb Butter Turkey on a platter.

*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

Turkey is a meat you would traditionally serve as part of your Thanksgiving feast and during the holiday season. It is often a meat that we might not usually prepare any other time, so having a recipe that you can feel confident in is a must for so many. This herb butter turkey recipe is going to give you juicy meat that has incredible flavor. 

This really is a crowd-pleaser and eyes are going to light up when this herb butter turkey is presented at your thanksgiving or celebration table. The herbs give it that earthy flavor and the butter really make this turkey recipe feel extra special. So without further ado here is everything that you need to know to make Herb Butter Turkey. 

Ingredients needed for the Herb Butter Turkey

  • 1 10-12lb whole turkey
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 2 fresh sage sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Extra fresh herb sprigs, cranberries, and oranges or lemons for garnish

Overhead view of Herb Butter Turkey ingredients.

Serve this delicious Herb Turkey with this easy recipe for Turkey Gravy!

How to make the Herb Butter Turkey

Now that you have got all of the ingredients together it is time to make the dish. The prep work will take just about 20 minutes. The turkey will need to cook for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes depending on size.

Step one: Preparing the Turkey

One of the first things you will need to do is preheat the oven to 350F. This ensures that the oven will be up to temperature when you place the turkey in it. You also need to prepare the turkey for cooking. You will need to remove the turkey neck and the giblets from inside the turkey cavity. The last step would be to pat the turkey skin dry with some paper towels. Now you can place the turkey in your large roasting pan or dish ready for the oven. 

Step two: Time to get the flavors sorted

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, chopped herbs, the minced garlic, and also salt and pepper. When all those ingredients have combined, you will want to rub the butter mixture over the turkey and also ensure that you get underneath the turkey skin., This will add extra flavor to the meat. Using a cooking string you will want to tie the turkey legs together. If you haven’t got turkey string you can pull a piece of the turkey skin over the legs to keep them together. 

Uncooked turkey rubbed with herb butter ready for the oven.

Step three: Roasting time

Now that all your prep is done you are ready to roast. You will want to follow the guide of 13 minutes for every pound in weight. This would be around 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 10lb turkey to give you an example. When it comes to basting you will want to do that occasionally to make sure the herb butter is still coating the turkey. If you have a meat thermometer then the turkey will be cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165F at the thickest part of the turkey meat. 

PRO Tip: Save the turkey drippings to make a delicious Homemade Turkey Gravy!

Step four: Let’s serve

Let the turkey rest for around 20 minutes before carving and serving up with your chosen side dishes. Enjoy! 

Overhead view of Herb Butter Turkey on a white platter.

Recipe notes and tips

It is always a good idea to get some helpful tips and notes that will help make the recipe easier or remind you of things to think about. No matter how simple it is there will always be some extra guidance.  I have a couple of suggestions and notes that will help you when making this recipe. 

  • If you are using a frozen turkey make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time for the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator. 
  • Most store-bought turkeys have the giblets secured in a small bag inside the turkey cavity for easy removal. 
  • If your turkey skin is becoming too golden during the cooking process you can create an aluminum foil tent over the turkey while it finishes cooking.
  • When planning ahead for your meal it is a good idea to allocate 1 pound of turkey per person. It will help when it comes to choosing the size of your turkey. 

Variations of Herb Butter Turkey to try

When it comes to any recipe it is always good to hear of any variations and changes you can make. I have some suggestions that you might want to try.

  • Add smoked bacon to the turkey before cooking. Once you have coated the turkey with your herb butter the smoked bacon can be added over the top. 
  • When it comes to herbs, you can also use what you have to hand or even use dried herbs from the pantry. 

Turkey with fork shredding meat off of it.

FAQs

There will always be questions that people may have even though it may be seen as an easy recipe, so hopefully, I will have managed to answer some of the most commonly asked questions below. 

Should I put butter under the skin?

You don’t need to, but as I suggest in the recipe it does help to impart a richer flavor to the meat and helps to keep that breast meat which can dry out nice and moist. 

How do I add herb butter under the skin of the turkey? 

It is as simple as it sounds, towards the bottom of the turkey the skin will have come away slightly, All you need to do is prize the skin away from the meat by pushing your hands between the meat and the skin. You can then easily add the herb butter to it. 

How should I store any leftovers?

Leftovers at thanksgiving are the holy grail are they not? For the herb butter turkey, I suggest that you strip all of the meat from the carcass and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last 3-4 days and can be used in many ways. You could also freeze the leftover meat for 1-3 months. 

What can I do with the leftovers?

The carcass can be boiled with some vegetables to make an excellent stock that can be used for soups or other meals in the future. You can easily freeze it so it is there when you need it. Leftover meat can be used in soups, curries, or stews. It is the dish that keeps on giving. 

I hope you enjoy this Herb Butter Turkey recipe!

Turkey dinner on a plate.

Overhead view of Herb Butter Turkey.

Herb Butter Turkey

There is no better dish to serve at Thanksgiving or during the festive holidays than a turkey and this Herb Butter Turkey is going to be a recipe that blows your mind. Succulent meat and delicious flavors that won’t take all day to make. This is the turkey recipe you have been waiting for.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Herb Butter Turkey
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 486kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 10-12 lb whole turkey
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 2 fresh sage sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Extra fresh herb sprigs cranberries and oranges or lemons for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Remove the turkey neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey cavity.
  • Pat the turkey skin dry with paper towels.
  • Place the turkey into a large roasting dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter, chopped herbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Rub the butter mixture over the turkey and underneath the turkey skin.
  • Use a cooking string to tie the turkey legs together, or a piece of the turkey skin pulled over the legs.
  • Roast the turkey for 13 minutes per pound (about 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 10lb turkey) basting occasionally, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey meat is 165F.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and place a piece of aluminum foil over the top. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 526mg | Potassium: 669mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg

 

Recipe Rating




Mindy S

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

Delicious! I also added some lemon zest to the herb mixture. Turkey came out so good!

Liz

Monday 18th of September 2023

This turned out so well!! I did this as a practice round for the holidays and I can't wait to make it again in November!