Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey

Test Kitchen-Approved

Food52 Review: This is my favorite (and, I think, pretty easy) way of roasting a turkey. Sarah (The Yellow House)

Serves: many
Prep time: 25 hrs
Cook time: 3 hrs


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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.

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

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.
Author Comment
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...???
Author Comment
Sarah (. March 6, 2013
Hi Josh, <br />It really depends on your turkey. After the initial 30 minute blast with high heat, I'd estimate another 2 1/2 hours. <br />Hope this helps!
Josh E. March 5, 2013
Any estimate on the amount of time this would take?