Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey

Creating a Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey is an exquisite way to elevate your culinary skills and impress your guests. This recipe combines the richness of butter, the aromatic essence of herbs, and the robust flavor of garlic to produce a turkey that is succulent, flavorful, and memorable. Perfect for holidays or special occasions, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire.


For this Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds), thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Preparation Steps

1. Prepping the Turkey

Before beginning the roasting process, it is crucial to properly prepare the turkey:

  1. Thawing: Ensure your turkey is completely thawed. This can be done by placing it in the refrigerator for several days before cooking.
  2. Cleaning: Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Trimming: Trim any excess fat from the turkey and set it aside on a large, clean surface.

2. Making the Garlic Herb Butter

The key to a flavorful roast turkey is the Garlic Herb Butter:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter with minced garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  2. Blend Well: Ensure the herbs and garlic are evenly distributed throughout the butter. This mixture will act as both a flavor enhancer and a moisture lock for the turkey.
Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey

3. Seasoning the Turkey

  1. Loosen the Skin: Carefully separate the skin from the turkey breast by sliding your hand under the skin. Be gentle to avoid tearing.
  2. Butter Application: Rub a generous amount of the garlic herb butter under the skin, directly on the turkey meat. This will infuse the meat with flavor.
  3. Outer Seasoning: Rub the remaining garlic herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, including the legs and wings.
  4. Stuffing the Cavity: Place the quartered onion, lemon quarters, and some additional rosemary, thyme, and sage sprigs inside the cavity. This will add aromatic flavors from the inside out.
Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey

4. Preparing for Roasting

  1. Vegetable Bed: In a large roasting pan, create a bed of chopped carrots, celery, and onion. These vegetables will add flavor to the drippings and keep the turkey elevated.
  2. Placing the Turkey: Set the turkey breast-side up on the vegetable bed. Drizzle with olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper.
  3. Adding Broth: Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan. This will help keep the turkey moist and create a flavorful base for gravy.

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5. Roasting the Turkey

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Initial Roasting: Roast the turkey uncovered for the first 2 hours, basting occasionally with the pan juices.
  3. Covering: After 2 hours, cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), typically another 1.5 to 2 hours.
  4. Final Touches: For the last 30 minutes of roasting, remove the foil to allow the skin to crisp up.

6. Resting and Carving

  1. Rest the Turkey: Once the turkey reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and tender turkey.
  2. Carving: Carve the turkey by removing the legs first, followed by the wings, and then slice the breast meat. Serve with the roasted vegetables and pan juices.

Making the Gravy


  • Pan drippings from the turkey
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Separate Drippings: Pour the pan drippings into a fat separator. Allow it to sit so the fat rises to the top.
  2. Create a Roux: In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the separated fat over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux, cooking until it turns golden brown.
  3. Add Broth: Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and the remaining drippings (without the fat). Continue to whisk until the gravy thickens.
  4. Season: Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Preparing a Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey is a rewarding culinary experience that results in a delectable centerpiece for any meal. With a rich blend of herbs and garlic, this turkey promises to be juicy, flavorful, and a hit among your guests. By following these detailed steps, you can achieve a perfectly roasted turkey that will be remembered long after the meal is over.

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