5 Ingredients or Fewer

Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey

November 18, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 25 hours
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves many
Test Kitchen Notes

This is my favorite (and, I think, pretty easy) way of roasting a turkey. —Sarah (The Yellow House)

What You'll Need
  • 1 turkey, 12-16 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I like parsley and thyme for turkey)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. At least 24 hours before cooking the turkey, remove anything from the cavity. Reserve the neck and giblets if present. Pat the entire turkey very dry, inside and out. Sprinkle the turkey liberally with kosher salt, about 1 tablespoon for every five pounds of bird. Return the turkey, breast side up, to the refrigerator.
  2. Several hours before cooking the turkey, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. The salt should be absorbed and no longer visible on the surface of the turkey. Mix butter, herbs, and black pepper to taste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey, concentrating it where the meat is thickest.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roast the turkey, breast up for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F. Cover the turkey breast with a triangle of aluminum foil to prevent it from over-browning and roast until a meat thermometer inserted halfway into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the turkey, transfer to a platter, and tent with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Josh Earl
    Josh Earl
  • don
  • meg
  • Tall Eagle
    Tall Eagle
I'm a public health professional in the nation's capital, and an enthusiastic home cook and writer in my rural Virginia kitchen. I love simple, market- and garden-driven food and entertaining that's accessible and low-fuss. I like to think I write about the life lived between the lines of the recipe.

6 Reviews

don November 29, 2019
Simple and delicious. My only issue with this recipe is that it calls for the turkey to cook in 2.5 hours. I can’t see how it could possibly be cooked safely in that amount of time.
meg November 25, 2016
Needed something simple, to the point, last minute this year. It worked! Beautiful color and amazing gravy. Recommend for those who like a no fuss approach. I basted frequently throughout the cooking process.
Sarah (. November 25, 2016
So glad to hear it, meg!
Tall E. November 23, 2015
So why do I needs kosher salt if I aint's a Jew...???
Sarah (. March 6, 2013
Hi Josh,
It really depends on your turkey. After the initial 30 minute blast with high heat, I'd estimate another 2 1/2 hours.
Hope this helps!
Josh E. March 5, 2013
Any estimate on the amount of time this would take?