Traditional Herbed Roast Turkey

A medley of fresh herbs and vegetables flavors the turkey while adding minimal carbs, calories, and fat in this recipe.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
24 servings


  • 1 12 to 14-pound turkey

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon regular salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 small onions, quartered (12 ounces total)

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 3 stalks celery, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 sprig Fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh sage leaves, pomegranate wedges, tiny apples or pears, and/or kumquats


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove neck and giblets from turkey, reserving neck bone. Rinse the inside of the turkey; pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together snipped or dried rosemary, thyme, snipped or dried sage, salt, and pepper. Season inside of body cavity with half of the herb mixture. Pull neck skin to the back; fasten with a skewer. Tuck the ends of the drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail. If there is no band of skin, tie the drumsticks securely to the tail with 100 percent cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back.

  2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, and neck bone around turkey in roasting pan. Pour the water into the pan. Brush turkey with oil. Sprinkle turkey with remaining herb mixture. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle; the thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Roast for 2-1/2 to 3 hours more or until the thermometer registers 180 degrees F. About 45 minutes before end of roasting, remove foil and cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. When turkey is done, the juices should run clear and the drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.

  4. Remove turkey from oven. Transfer to a serving platter (reserve mixture in pan for gravy). Cover; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard skin before carving. If desired, garnish platter with rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, pomegranate wedges, tiny apples or pears, and/or kumquats.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

154 Calories
3g Fat
0g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 154
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 30g 61%
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Vitamin A 51IU 1%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Folate 10mcg 2%
Sodium 165mg 7%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 29mg 7%
Potassium 239mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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