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Crispy Cranberry-Herb Butter Butterflied Turkey with Roasted Vegetables

  • Author: Morgan
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 90 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Adapted from Alton Brown



  • 1 cup dried cranberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (12-13 pound) whole turkey, spatchcocked according to in-post instructions
  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 parsnips, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven, and a second below it. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of the cranberries; the softened butter; 2 tablespoons of each the thyme, sage, and rosemary; the orange zest; and half of the minced garlic in the food processor. Process until well-combined. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and process once more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to use. The compound butter can be made and refrigerated for up to a week ahead of time.
  3. Spatchcock the turkey and dry thoroughly using paper towels. Using your hands, carefully lift and separate the skin from the flesh of the turkey, working through the opening at the bottom of the breast all the way up both breast halves and across each thigh. Rub half of the butter in under the skin, directly on the turkey breast and thighs. Massage on top of the skin to get the butter to evenly distribute.
  4. Rub the remaining butter on top of the skin. Make sure to evenly coat the turkey. Sprinkle the turkey with additional salt.
  5. In a large, sturdy roasting pan, mix together the sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onion.
  6. If the turkey is larger or almost as big of the roasting pan, make sure to line the bottom of the oven with either an oven liner or two baking sheets to catch any potential stray drippings.
  7. Place the roasting pan on the bottom rack and place the turkey directly on the rack above it, positioned so that the turkey drippings will go into the roasting pan.
  8. Transfer the turkey and vegetables to the oven and roast. Check the turkey to make sure it’s browning evenly every 30 minutes (if not, rotate the turkey). Stir the vegetables every 30 minutes. If the turkey is browning too much, tent with foil.
  9. After 1 hour, mix the brussels sprouts and remaining garlic in with the other vegetables. Stir. Continue to cook until a thermometer inserted into the turkey breast registers 155-158°F, and the thighs register 165°F, about 20 to 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  10. While still hot, transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Transfer 1/4 cup of the drippings to a separate container for making gravy. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the roasting pan and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits. Add in the remaining thyme and dried cranberries. Pour the mixture over the roasted vegetables and toss. Serve warm.


Feel free to use different root vegetables, if desired.
It’s very important to make sure that the turkey drippings will not wind up burning on the bottom of your oven, or your kitchen will wind up smoky. Again, I highly recommend using an oven liner or baking sheets to catch excess grease.