Savory Herb Rub Roasted Turkey

It’s Thanksgiving week and if you haven’t already started thinking about what you’re making for the big feast, it’s time!

I’m excited to share this wonderful recipe with you from McCormick! This is another installment of my Seasonal Seven Flavors posts that I’m sharing with you. I previously shared with you Brown Butter Gorgonzola Fries and Pork Chops with Parmesan Sage Sauce – all made with sage!

Every year, I create a Thanksgiving meal game plan which I’m sharing with you. It has my menu as well as a timeline for when to do what so I don’t have to try to remember EVERYTHING. I print this out and usually put it into one of those plastic sheet protectors. I go back to this plan all the time on Thanksgiving day. I also shared it on Google docs, so feel free to create a copy of it and use it as a starting point for your game plan.

One other thing that is really helpful, I have at the bottom all of the oven temperatures for all of my recipes – I have all of my recipes printed that I use throughout the day but it’s nice to have all of these times and temperatures laid out so I can reference them quickly.

Here’s my 2012 Thanksgiving menu:

Savory Herb Rub Roasted Turkey
Turkey Gravy
Bread and Celery Stuffing
My Favorite Mashed Potatoes
Potato Casserole
Autumn Vegetable Succoash – martha
Sweet Potato Casserole
Garlic & Olive Oil Sauteed Green Beans
Some Other Veggies (depends on what I see at the store)
Yeast Rolls

**Yes, I always have to have at least two kinds of potatoes at my Thanksgiving. 😀

Oh shoot, I just realized in my haste to get my plan together, I forgot about dessert! Adding that to my plan!

To make this wonderful savory herb rub roasted turkey recipe, first get all of your spices together and mix them up.

Prep the turkey on your roasting rack. I always rinse the turkey and then pat it dry with paper towels. Then, tuck the wings underneath and against the turkey. This helps to ensure your turkey cooks nicely and evenly.

All set!

How to make sure your turkey is moist

This recipe calls for putting half of the herbs, the cut up onion and bay leaves into the cavity of the turkey. I went a step further and added lemons. I ALWAYS stuff turkeys and chickens with lemons before roasting them. They don’t add a lemony taste but they do ensure your poultry is always moist.

Always, let your turkey rest at least 20-30 minutes before carving. Same with any meat or steak your cooking, always allow it to rest! The juices get redistributed back into the meat and you don’t have it all leaving your meat if you carve it or cut it too soon.

Enjoy and hope you have a happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

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Savory Herb Rub Roasted Turkey Recipe

Fragrant herbs bring mouthwatering aroma and show-stopping flavor to this holiday favorite.

Note from The Little Kitchen - the only modification I made was, I added a quartered lemon to this recipe. I always roast turkeys and chickens with a lemon inside to help keep it moist!


2 tablespoons McCormick® Sage, Rubbed or McCormick® Poultry Seasoning

1 tablespoon McCormick® Paprika

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

2 teaspoons McCormick® Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Ground

3/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground

1 whole turkey (12 to 14 pounds), fresh or frozen, thawed

1 large onion, cut into wedges

6 McCormick® Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place roasting rack in shallow roasting pan. Mix sage, paprika, seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepper and nutmeg in small bowl.

Place turkey, breast-side up, in prepared pan. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the seasoning mixture inside turkey. Stuff with onion and bay leaves. Brush turkey breast with oil. Spread remaining seasoning mixture over entire surface and under skin of turkey. Add 1/2 cup water to pan. Cover turkey loosely with heavy duty foil.

Roast 1 hour. Remove foil. Roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (175°F in thigh), basting occasionally with pan juices. Remove turkey from oven. Let stand 20 minutes. Transfer to platter or carving board to slice. Reserve pan juices to make gravy or to serve with turkey.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by McCormick. I love working with them and as always opinions are my own!