Thanksgiving Main Entree: Rosemary Roast Turkey Recipe


This year, in my virtual Thanksgiving meal that I’m making for you, I’m serving an Arugula, Brie, and Cranberry Crostini as an appetizer. The cheese and berry flavors, combined with the crunchy bread, and topped with the spice from the arugula will get your tastebuds excited for the main course.

For the side dish, I’m taking the traditional green bean casserole and freshening it up a bit. Don’t worry, this recipe is super easy and you’ll fall in love with the fresh spin on a classic dish. Please take a spoonful of this Fresh Green Bean Casserole and prepare for the man of the hour — the Rosemary Roast Turkey.

Rosemary is my favorite herb so I love to pair it with the turkey during Thanksgiving. The herb gives the meat so much flavor during the cooking process. When I'm preparing the dish to be presented on the table, I love to dress it with fresh sprigs of rosemary to add a touch of color to the dish. Plus, it lets people know what flavor to expect when they take their first bite.

Rosemary Roast Turkey Recipe


  • 1 whole turkey
  • 3 lemons, quartered (remove the seeds)
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the plastic wrapping around the turkey. Remove the neck and package of gizzards from inside the turkey; set aside for turkey stock.
  3. Wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water.
  4. Place the turkey on a cutting board with the legs facing upward. If your turkey has a pop-up thermometer, it should be on top. Bend the two wings back under the rear of the turkey.
  5. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemon, onion, carrot, and celery chunks.
  6. Mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Loosen the skin from the meat and spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the turkey breast.
  8. Spray the roasting pan and rack with cooking spray before putting the turkey on the pan.
  9. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil, making an airtight seam.
  10. Cook the turkey for the proper amount of time (15 minutes per pound for a fresh turkey). Baste the turkey with butter or olive oil throughout the entire cooking time. Remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking time to allow the skin to brown. The turkey's internal temperature must reach 180 degrees.
  11. Allow the cooked turkey to sit for 30 minutes, allowing enough time to use the pan juices to make gravy.

How do you like to prepare the turkey?

Jen Tilley has an insatiable appetite for all things related to baking and cooking. She is the author, photographer and recipe developer on How To: Simplify, a blog that shares tips, tricks and recipes to simplify life in the kitchen. She enjoys sharing recipes that require very few ingredients and only a small amount of prep and cook time, all of which make time spent in the kitchen simple and enjoyable. Find her online at How To: Simplify@HowToSimplify, and Jen Tilley Photography.

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