Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey

Linda DeBenedittis


I have been trying to find a good turkey recipe for years, and over the past two years have tried several that had the potential, but still just not quite to our liking. This year I took some very basic ideas for seasoning a turkey and keeping it moist and created the following recipe. At our family gathering, this ended up a major hit with absolutely no turkey leftovers! I was actually not so happy about that since it really was the tastiest, moistest turkey I have ever made!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

If you're looking to cook a turkey in a new way this holiday season, I suggest trying this recipe. It's faster than roasting a whole bird and the turkey comes out very moist. The oil/rub mix, plus the veggies stuffed inside, add wonderful seasoning and flavor to the turkey. The Test Kitchen


★★★★★ 3 votes

30 Min
2 Hr


  • 13 lb
    fresh turkey, spotchcocked (butterflied)
  • 1/4 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp
    sage, dried
  • 2 tsp
    salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp
    orange zest
  • 1
    orange (can be the one used for zest) cut into pieces
  • 1
    apple (I used a gala) cut into pieces
  • 4
    celery stalks cut into pieces abot 3 inches long
  • 4
    carrots cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1
    sweet onion cut into eight pieces

How to Make Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey


  1. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, salt, pepper, sage, crushed red pepper, and orange zest. Set to the side to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Wash turkey that has been spotchcocked (I had the grocery butcher do this for me, and they also gave me the backbone removed with some meat on it to use for soup later) with water and pat dry. Place on a cutting board and remove any fat tags from the ends with kitchen shears.
  3. Cut up orange, apple. celery, carrot, and onion and spread out on rack of turkey pan.
  4. Take oil mixture and rub into both inside and outside sides of the turkey and also under the skin of the breast meat. Generously apply to all areas. Then flatten out the turkey and put it skin side up on top of the fruit and vegetables on the turkey roasting rack inside the turkey pan.
  5. Place in an oven that is preheated to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for entire time. Bake for 45 minutes and rotate pan, then bake another 45 minutes and rotate again. Bake a final 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees in the deepest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Also, juice should not be pink.
  6. Allow turkey to sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting to allow juices to go back into the meat (it really did make a difference).

Printable Recipe Card

About Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey

Course/Dish: Turkey
Main Ingredient: Turkey
Regional Style: American

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