This Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Recipe is the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving feast. The secret to this no-brine turkey recipe lies in the delicious compound butter made with thyme, sage, onion and garlic.
The herb infused butter is then packed beneath the skin and spread on top, adding flavor to every bite. As the turkey slowly roasts, the skin crisps up and turns a nice golden brown, while the meat stays incredibly tender and juicy.
Ingredients in Herb Butter Roasted Turkey
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
How to Make Herb Butter Roasted Turkey
How to Make Compound Butter for Turkey
Add the butter, herbs and spices to a mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Set ⅓ of the mixture aside. This will be for the top of the turkey.
How To Pack the Turkey Skin
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.
Once you have packed ⅔ of the butter under the skin, massage the turkey, on top of the skin, to evenly distribute the butter under the skin.
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.
Rub the remaining herbed butter all over the top of the turkey.
Cooking the Turkey
To cook this Herbed Butter Roasted Turkey, preheat the oven to 350°F. 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 keto gravy.
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.
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 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.
Ways to prepare a turkey before cooking:
- 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 Herb Butter Roasted Turkey recipe, and season before cooking
Ways to cook a turkey:
- 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
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.
Necessary Kitchen Tools to Make This Keto Turkey Recipe
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 Keto Holiday Recipes
- 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
The Home for the Holidays eBook features 25 low carb, gluten free, and sugar free, holiday recipes. All of your favorite classic holiday recipes, recreated in healthier versions.
Grab a copy of Home for the Holidays - HERE
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