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Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe
Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe

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Lemon and thyme are the predominant flavors in this golden, tender and moist turkey that has just six ingredients. It's so easy, we guarantee success! —Felicia Smith, Georgetown, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 2-1/4 hours + standing
MAKES:14-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 2-1/4 hours + standing
MAKES: 14-16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 medium lemon, halved
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 14 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 24 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 turkey-size oven roasting bag

Nutritional Facts

8 ounces cooked turkey equals 525 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 230 mg cholesterol, 489 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 64 g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, lemon peel and minced thyme. Pat turkey dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper over skin of turkey and inside cavity; brush with butter mixture. Place the lemon, onion, garlic and thyme sprigs inside cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together.
  2. Place flour in oven bag and shake to coat. Place bag in a roasting pan; add turkey to bag, breast side up. Cut six 1/2-in. slits in top of bag; close bag with tie provided.
  3. Bake at 350° for 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°. Remove turkey to a serving platter and keep warm. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. If desired, thicken pan drippings for gravy.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled turkey and gravy in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered skillet, gently stirring and adding a little broth or water if necessary.
    Yield: 14-16 servings.
Originally published as Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey in Simple & Delicious November/December 2008, p60

Medium-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer

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Reviewed Nov. 30, 2015

"We made this for Thanksgiving 2015 with an organic 16 lb bird from Costco. Hands down, the best turkey we have ever had. We plan to use this time and time again."

Reviewed Nov. 26, 2014

"This recipe is definitely a keeper. I used it last year and my entire family LOVED it!! It was so moist and flavorful!!. I will be making it again this year!"

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2013


Reviewed May. 6, 2012

"Yes, by all means try roasting turkey this way!!! I added celery leaves and the tough outer stalks to fhe other ingredients in the cavity and used a fresh turkey seasoning packet from the grocery store containing a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary and sage.

I have also tried roasting the turkey breast side down on a rack (no oven bag) with great results (may need to increase roasting time). Lemon is the secret to the wonderful flavor."

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2011

"This was really easy and turned out perfectly. I added some fresh rosemary to the thyme since I had it on hand. Delicious!"

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