Spice-Rubbed Turkey Recipe
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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
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): 208 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 86mg cholesterol, 586mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 33g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 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

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Derrell User ID: 2982687 124241
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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