Spice-Rubbed Turkey Recipe
Spice-Rubbed Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Spice-Rubbed Turkey Recipe

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A neighbor served us this turkey several years ago. My family has requested the "lemon filled one" ever since! —Susan Greishaw, Archer, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing
MAKES:28 servings
Healthy Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing
MAKES: 28 servings


  • 6 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 turkey (14 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 small lemons
  • 2 medium onions, cut into wedges

Nutritional Facts

4 ounces cooked turkey (calculated without skin) equals 208 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 586 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 33 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 4 lean meat.


  1. In a small bowl combine the first five ingredients. With fingers, carefully loosen skin from the turkey; rub half the spice mixture under the skin.
  2. Brush turkey with oil. Rub remaining spice mixture over turkey. Place lemons inside the neck and body cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together.
  3. Arrange onions in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place turkey, breast side up, over onions.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
  5. Remove lemons from cavity. When cool enough to handle, halve lemons and squeeze juice over turkey if desired. Discard onions. Yield: 28 servings.
Originally published as Spice-Rubbed Turkey in Healthy Cooking October/November 2012, p8

Medium-Bodied White Wine

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

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Reviewed Nov. 23, 2013

"I would also use butter with the spices . This helps maintain moisture in the meat . Spread under the skin with the spices ."

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