Whole Roasted Turkey with Salted Herb Butter

Prep Time 45 min
Cook Time 180 min


  • 1 12 lbs Foster Farms Fresh & Natural Young Whole Turkey

  • Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon for each pound of turkey

  • Black Pepper, about 1 tablespoon

  • 2 sticks Salted Butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1 bundle Fresh Rosemary

  • 1 bundle Fresh Thyme

  • 1 bundle Fresh Sage

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, for the cavity

  • 2 Lemons, for the cavity

  • 1 head Garlic, for the cavity


  • Aside from choosing the right turkey & making sure to cook it at the right temperature, there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure you have a perfect bird.

  • - Give your turkey enough time to thaw (if frozen) – a frozen turkey will take several days to thaw, so make sure to buy it with enough time to defrost it.

  • - Liberally salt the turkey – Turkeys are very large and therefore need a good amount of seasoning to flavor the entire thing. It may feel like too much salt, but there is a lot of meat that needs to be seasoned so go for it! You’ll average about 1 teaspoon for every pound of turkey.

  • - Let the turkey come to room temperature – Before roasting, allow the turkey to come to room temperature. When the turkey is room temp, it helps cook more evenly when roasting. If a turkey (or chicken or beef) is ice cold when you pop it into the oven, it will take longer to cook, and it’s harder for the turkey to cook evenly.

  • Read more Thanksgiving cooking tips.


  • 1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

    2. Begin by prepping your turkey. Remove it from the fridge and remove any packaging. You will also need to remove the neck and any giblets that are inside the cavity. You can dispose of these or use them to make gravy. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels to ensure there is no excess moisture.

    3. Liberally season the turkey inside the cavity as well as outside the entire bird with salt and pepper. Let the turkey sit for 1 hour to allow the season to penetrate the meat. This will result in a juicier turkey.

    4. While the turkey rests, prepare the compound butter. Finely chop half of your rosemary bundle, half of the thyme bundle, and half of the sage bundle (the remaining halves will be used to stuff the bird). In a medium bowl combine the salted butter and chopped herbs. Stir until fully mixed and set aside.

    5. Next, prepare the vegetables for the cavity. Peel and cut the onion into 6 equal pieces, quarter the lemons, and slice the entire garlic head in half, lengthwise.

    6. Once the turkey has rested, pat it dry one more time to remove any moisture brought out by the salt. Using clean hands or a pastry brush, slather the turkey in compound butter. Make sure to get the butter under the skin of the breast as well, to give the turkey extra flavor. This can be done by carefully separating the skin from the meat by placing your fingers in between the meat and the skin. Add the butter under the skin, and rub it all over the top of the turkey. Continue slathering the butter all over the entire turkey, until there is no more butter and the turkey is completely covered.

    7. Next, it's time to stuff the turkey, place the onions, lemons, and garlic inside the cavity of the turkey. Then truss the turkey. This can simply be done by crossing the turkey's legs and tying them together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the turkey and it's ready to roast.

    8. Place buttered and trussed turkey on a roasting rack, breast side up, in a large roasting pan and place on the middle rack of your oven. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 1½ - 2½ hours until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. The turkey will take about 15 minutes per pound so the roasting time will depend on the overall weight of your turkey.

    9. Once the turkey is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

    10. Once the turkey has rested, carve it by first slicing off the legs and thighs. Then cut off the wings. Lastly, slice off the breast in one large piece, then slice into smaller pieces for serving. Serve with gravy and enjoy!

    Recipe credit: Millennial Kitchen

COOK TO A SAFE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF AT LEAST 165°F. ALWAYS use a meat thermometer to determine the temperature. Do not rely solely on suggested cooking times. Cooking appliances vary in temperature and cooking times are a GUIDE ONLY.