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Butter Herb Roasted Turkey

Butter Herb Roasted Turkey

A Thanksgiving classic. We roast this turkey with fresh herbs and plenty of butter to keep it moist and create a delicious golden brown bird. 

Read the Story Behind the Recipe

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30 min
Prep Time
04 hrs 30 min
Total Time


1 (10- to 15-pound) whole turkey, fully thawed

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 medium onions, halved, quartered

1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Remove turkey from plastic bag. Remove neck and giblets from cavities. Set giblets aside to use in gravy, if desired. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.

  2. STEP 2

    Heat oven to 325°F.

  3. STEP 3

    Place turkey on rack in shallow roasting pan, breast-side up. Season inside of turkey with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stuff turkey with onion pieces. 

  4. STEP 4

    Combine butter, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme in small bowl.

  5. STEP 5

    Rub outside of turkey with herb butter, gently lifting skin and rubbing some of herb butter onto turkey breasts. Sprinkle outside of turkey with remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

  6. STEP 6

    Roast turkey 3-3 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer placed into meat portion of thigh, but not touching bone, reaches at least 165°F. Place aluminum foil tent over turkey breast after 2 hours to prevent overbrowning.

Read the Story Behind the Recipe

Tip #1

Visit the All Things Butter page to learn all things Thanksgiving! You'll find countdown timelines, buttery recipes and helpful tips for a delicious meal.

Tip #2

Thaw turkey in original plastic wrapper according to chart below. Keep thawed turkey refrigerated. Do not stuff until roasting time. Roast within 24 hours after thawing. Refreezing is not recommended.

Approximate Thawing Times

Weight:  8 - 12 pounds             
In Cold Water*:  4 - 6 hours        
In Refrigerator:  1 - 2 days
Weight:  10 - 16 pounds             
In Cold Water*:  6 - 8 hours        
In Refrigerator:  2 - 3 days 

Weight:  16 - 20 pounds             
In Cold Water*:  8 - 10 hours        
In Refrigerator:  3 - 4 days 

Weight:  20 - 24 pounds             
In Cold Water*:  10 - 12 hours        
In Refrigerator:  4 - 5 days 

*Change water frequently to keep cold.

Tip #3

Approximate Roasting Times

Weight:   8 - 12 pounds
325°F Oven Unstuffed:  2 3/4 - 3 hours   
325°F Oven Stuffed:  3 - 3 1/2 hours

Weight:   12 - 14 pounds
325°F Oven Unstuffed:  3 - 3 3/4 hours   
325°F Oven Stuffed:  3 1/2 - 4 hours​
Weight:   14 - 18 pounds
325°F Oven Unstuffed:  3 3/4 - 4 1/4 hours   
325°F Oven Stuffed:  4 - 4 1/4 hours​

Weight:   18 - 20 pounds
325°F Oven Unstuffed:  4 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours   
325°F Oven Stuffed:  4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours​

Weight:   20 - 24 pounds
325°F Oven Unstuffed:  4 1/2 - 5 hours   
325°F Oven Stuffed:  4 3/4 - 5 1/4 hours​

Roasting time will be shorter or longer than indicated on the chart if the turkey is warmer or colder than refrigerator temperature.

Tip #4

Impart rich flavor and add moisture to your Thanksgiving turkey by adding a layer of butter under the skin before roasting.

Tip #5

You’ll get crispier skin without constantly opening the oven. Every time you open the oven door to baste, you let the heat out. Basting also gives you less crisp skin. Instead of basting, rub butter all over the turkey just before you tuck it into the oven. Then leave it alone until it’s time to check for doneness.

Nutrition (1 serving)

670 Calories
30 Fat (g)
320 Cholesterol (mg)
670 Sodium (mg)
2 Carbohydrates (g)
0 Dietary Fiber
92 Protein (g)
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