This Herbed Butter Roasted Turkey is sure to steal the show as the centerpiece for your Keto Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering.
Do you have to brine a turkey?
It’s not necessary to brine a turkey if you’re looking for amazing flavor and tenderness. Yes, brining is a great option, but for some people, it’s not realistic: keeping a huge turkey in a pot filled with salt water can take up valuable space in your fridge.
Massaging the turkey with butter and stuffing butter under the skin not only helps you achieve a deliciously tender result, but also infuses the turkey with herbs and buttery goodness, no brine required.
How long does it take to cook a turkey?
When buying a turkey, plan for 1 ½ pounds per guest, and you should have enough for leftovers. Here’s a quick guide for cooking the perfect oven roasted turkey:
- 5 pounds: 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 10 pounds: 2 hours and 10 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes
- 15 pounds: 3 hours and 15 minutes to 3 hours and 45 minutes
- 20 pounds: 4 hours and 20 minutes to 5 hours
- 25 pounds: 5 hours and 25 minutes to 6 hours and 15 minutes
- 30 pounds: 6 ½ hours to 7 ½ hours
Anything larger than that, roast 13 to 15 minutes per pound.
How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey
There are many ways to cook a turkey. Whether you’re planning keto Christmas recipes or your low carb Thanksgiving, you’ve got quite a few options.
Before the actual cooking process, you could:
- Brine the turkey, or marinate in a salt solution to season and tenderize the bird
- Dry brine the turkey, which has the same effect as a regular brine, only using dry seasonings and salt
- Give your turkey a butter massage, like in this recipe, and season before cooking
When it comes to the actual cooking process, you can:
- Deep fry your turkey, which usually results in 1 or 2 family members going to the emergency room
- Smoke your turkey, low and slow
- Grill your turkey, or
- Roast your turkey, like I did in this recipe
I prefer to coat my turkey in an herbed butter, packing it under the skin. This is a keto turkey recipe, afterall.
The herbed butter made with thyme, sage, garlic powder, dried onion, salt, and pepper melts into the meat as the turkey cooks at 350°F (your cook time will depend on the weight of your turkey). The result is a rich, buttery flavor highlighted by herbs, with a tender juiciness throughout the bird and a beautiful brown skin on the outside. All of the juices and butter that cook out of the turkey will gather in the roasting pan, and you’ll use this to baste every 15 minutes to keep everything super moist and tender. The remaining juices are used to make a pan gravy, perfect for topping cauliflower mashed potatoes and any other keto Thanksgiving recipes you make this year..
How to know if a turkey is done:
The best way to know if your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer. You’ll want your turkey to have an internal temperature of 165°F.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also pierce the thigh and check the juices. A cooked turkey will have clear juices, and if the juices are reddish pink, you’ll need to put it back in the oven and check again in 15 minutes.
It’s important to not check the turkey before it’s close to being done -- opening the oven lets out the warm air. Check your turkey when it’s at least ¾ of the way through its total cook time, and do this while you’re basting.
Kitchen Tools for Making this Herbed Butter Roasted Turkey
If you’re looking for recommendations to make cooking a turkey a little easier, here are some of my favorite kitchen tools:
- Turkey Baster -- while basters are pretty straightforward, this one is angled to prevent any dripping.
- Roasting Pan with Rack -- as I’m writing this blog post, this Cuisinart roasting pan and rack is on sale, and it’s a great deal for a quality roasting pan that will last you decades.
- Meat Thermometer -- this one frequently goes on sale and it’s a great tool beyond holiday cooking. A meat thermometer makes it easy to cook everything from pork to beef to the perfect internal temperature.
- Carving Set -- I prefer a manual carving set (versus the electric options) because they last for years and years, and you can sharpen them easily.
More low carb holiday recipes you might enjoy:
- Sugar Free Glazed Ham
- Green Bean Casserole
- White Cheddar Sausage Biscuits
- Butternut Squash with Sage
- Keto Pecan Pie
- Keto Pumpkin Pie
- Herbed Goat Cheese Cauliflower Mash
- Cranberry Pecan Cauliflower Rice Stuffing
Grab a copy of Home for the Holidays - HERE
Herbed Butter Roasted Turkey
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 14 servings 1x
- 12 pound turkey, defrosted
- 9 ounces butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons rubbed sage
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Fresh herbs, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Place the turkey on an even surface and gently work your fingers underneath the skin, between the skin and the flesh of the turkey, to create a pocket.
- Take your time and work gently. The more you can loosen the skin without tearing it, the juicier your turkey turn out.
- Place the butter and herbs and seasonings into a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Set ⅓ of the mixture aside. This will be for the top of the turkey.
- Using your fingers, scoop out the butter and pack it under the skin, pushing it as far back as you can, and covering the entire top of the turkey, beneath the skin.
- Once you have packed ⅔ of the butter under the skin, massage the turkey, on top of the skin, to evenly distribute the butter.
- Rub the remaining herbed butter all over the top of the turkey.
- Place a roasting rack inside the roasting pan. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for 13 to 15 minutes per pounds, or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Baste the turkey every 15 minutes to keep it super moist and tender.
- Rest the turkey for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting into to it to retain the juices.
- Retain the juices to make a pan gravy.
1.3g net carbs per serving
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 734.3
- Fat: 46.7g
- Carbohydrates: 1.7g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 87.9g
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