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Perfect Garlic and Herb Roast Turkey

  • Author: Morgan
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 turkey (~12 pounds)
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, divided
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, divided
  • 1 head garlic (~15 cloves), cloves smashed and peeled, divided
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Put half of the herbs and half of the garlic in a food processor. Pulse several times until the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture becomes a coarse paste, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. Add the salt, baking powder, black pepper, granulated sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse until well-combined.
  2. Remove any giblets or gravy packet that might be provided in the packaging. Pat the turkey dry, inside and out of the cavity.
  3. Place the turkey on a rimmed baking sheet or a disposable roasting pan. Sprinkle the brine mixture evenly all over the turkey surface. Sprinkle a small amount inside the turkey cavity. Let sit in fridge, uncovered, overnight
  4. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 450°F.
  5. Stuff the turkey with the carrot, celery, onion, lemon, bay leaf, and any leftover garlic and herbs. Lightly tie the legs, tuck the wings behind the back, and set the turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Put any vegetables that could not fit in the turkey at the bottom of the roasting pan.
  6. Transfer pan to the oven and roast 30 minutes. Cover breast with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reaches a temperature of 165°F, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours more. Do not baste!
  7. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours