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Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

5 from 4 votes

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Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is the perfect main course centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner table! This poultry holiday recipe highlights fresh herb flavors with butter for a crisp skin, perfect for Christmas and Easter. Gluten free, keto low carb.

This Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is a perfect main course for your holiday meal! A decadent and moist roast turkey flavored with butter, sage, rosemary, and herbs.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is a delicious and flavorful way to prepare a Thanksgiving or holiday turkey. The combination of herbs, butter, and Italian flavors adds a unique twist to the traditional roasted turkey.

And while a turkey may be traditional for Thanksgiving, this recipe is also perfect for Christmas and Easter!

Use those pan drippings for a turkey pan gravy that will pair perfectly!

You can also check out our list of tips for a perfectly roasted turkey that will help give you the perfect bird!

Prepping a Turkey

You want to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, one day for every 5 pounds that the turkey weighs.

It is not safe to thaw a turkey under running water or at room temperature.

To prepare the turkey for cooking, you will want to remove the giblet bag (typically in the neck area) and pour out any liquids sitting inside the cavity.

Instruction Overview

Preheat your oven. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and herb ingredients together.

Stuff the turkey with the aromatics, which will help flavor the turkey from the inside!

Tie the legs together and tuck the wings behind the neck.

Using your hands, spread the herb butter mixture evenly under the turkey’s skin, covering as much of the breast and thigh meat as possible. This will help keep the meat moist and infuse it with flavor.

You can spread about 1/4 of the butter over the top to help crisp up the skin and give it a great golden color!

The raw turkey coated in butter and ready to be cooked

I love using wireless meat thermometers attached to a phone app to make it easy to know how the cooking is progressing and when it is done. This is the best time to get those thermometers inserted into the meat. I like to stick one in the breast and one in a thigh, in the middle of the meat and away from a bone.

Start the turkey in the hotter oven for 30 minutes to help crisp the skip and trap in moisture. Then lower the temperature.

Roast the turkey in the preheated oven according to the package instructions, typically about 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.

Baste the turkey with pan drippings or additional melted herb butter every 30 minutes to keep it moist and flavorful.

Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to become tender.

Kim’s Tips

Remember to thaw the turkey if frozen. This can take several days in the refrigerator, depending on the turkey’s size. For a 16 pound turkey,

Remember to adjust cooking times and temperatures based on the size of your turkey and your specific oven.

Cooking times can vary, so using a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches the proper internal temperature is crucial for food safety and optimal taste.

If your butter is not soft enough, you can microwave it in very short bursts (about 5 seconds) until easier to mix. If it gets too melted, put it back in the freezer or refrigerator and keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally, until it is pliable but not liquid.


How long does it take to thaw a turkey?

You want to give the turkey one full day in the refrigerator to thaw for every 5 pounds that it weighs.

Is it OK to leave a turkey out overnight to thaw?

No. The safest way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. Running under water, sitting it in water, or thawing on the counter can all lead to unsafe food.

Should I put butter on my turkey?

Butter is a great way to add moisture, flavor, and to help crisp up the skin!

Do you put water in the bottom of the roasting pan for turkey?

This is not necessary. As the turkey starts to cook, it will release juices, and the butter will melt. This will create steam and a pan liquid.

How long to roast a turkey?

This depends on the size of the turkey and if it is stuffed or unstuffed.
For this recipe, unstuffed, you want to cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound.
Always check for doneness with a thermometer to make sure it is cooked through!


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Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is the perfect main course centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner table! This poultry holiday recipe highlights fresh herb flavors with butter for a crisp skin, perfect for Christmas and Easter. Gluten free, keto low carb.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, International, Italian
Keyword: Chicken/Turkey, Christmas, Easter, Fall/Thanksgiving, Gluten Free, Keto/Low Carb
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 561kcal



  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Prepare your turkey by removing any packages inside the bird.
    16 pound turkey
  • Make the herb butter by combining the softened butter, minced garlic, fresh sage, fresh rosemary, fresh parsley, and salt together in a small bowl.
    ¼ pound unsalted butter, 6 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, 2 Tablespoons fresh sage, 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Put the turkey breast side up on your roasting rack.
  • Stuff the inside of the turkey with the cut onion, garlic head, lemon wedges, and herb sprigs.
    1 medium yellow onion, 1 head garlic, 1 lemon, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • Use baking twine to tightly tie the legs together.
  • Tuck the wing tips behind the neck area.
  • Spread 1/2 to 3/4 of the butter under the turkey skin across the meat areas. Use your hand or a spatula to separate the skin from the meat as needed.
  • Spread the remaining butter across the outer skin.
  • Sprinkle the outer skin with a little salt.
  • Roast the turkey at 425℉ for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 350℉ and continue roasting the turkey until the center of the thighs reaches 175℉ and center of the breast meat reaches 165℉.
    Baste the turkey approximately every 30 minutes with pan drippings if desired.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and rest at least 30 minutes before carving and serving.


Make sure your turkey is fully thawed before cooking. Thaw for one day per 5 pounds in the refrigerator.
Your turkey will cook for approximately 15 minutes per pound when unstuffed. The best way to ensure the turkey is cooked through is by using a meat thermometer.
Assume approximately one pound of uncooked turkey per person, which will yield approximately 1/2 pound once cooked. And leftovers are never a bad thing! You may need to make a larger batch of butter for a larger turkey.
By starting the turkey in a hotter oven, this helps crisp up the meat and trap in moisture before cooking low and slow.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 103g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 319mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg
By on August 23rd, 2023

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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2 thoughts on “Italian Herb Butter Roasted Turkey”

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This Turkey dish is very timely and looks amazingly delicious! It was roasted to perfection plus the texture and the juiciness of the meat is just so enticing and very tempting! Loved it!


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