Thanksgiving is just around the corner! What’s your usual main entrée for your Thanksgiving feast? If it’s roast turkey, maybe you’d like to spruce up your tradition, and have a slightly different (and more flavorful) take on the classic. If so, this recipe is just the thing for you! With the application of a tasty rub of herbs and spices, you’ll have a delicious main dish for your holiday meal, as well as fabulous leftovers for the days after – check out my Tuscan Turkey Stew for a delicious way to use up those leftovers!

Herb Rubbed Turkey

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Resting Time1 hour
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: keto, low carb, paleo, whole30
Servings: 16
Calories: 572kcal


  • 8 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 head garlic peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ¾ cup duck fat or butter, softened (not melted)
  • ½ cup white wine divided
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup chicken bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 16 pound turkey pasture-raised heritage breed


Prepare the rub: (this part can be done up to a few days ahead of time)

  • Trim the ends off the celery stalks, scallions, and garlic cloves.
  • Coarsely chop celery and scallions for easier handling by food processor.
  • Affix S-blade to your food processor.
  • Add celery, scallions, garlic, and parsley to food processor, and pulse until all are finely chopped.
  • Add duck fat (or butter), sea salt and black pepper.
  • Process mixture until smooth.
  • Add ¼ cup of white wine and process mixture again briefly until mixture is well combined.

Prepare the turkey:

  • Before you begin, make sure your turkey is fully thawed. The best method for this is in the fridge, 1 day per 5-6 pounds (3 days for a 16 pound turkey).
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Gently run your hands between the skin and meat over the whole body of the bird - your goal is to create a space between the skin and meat for the rub, while not tearing the skin.
  • Take small handfuls of the herb paste and cover every meaty surface with the bright green mixture.
  • Put the skin back in place, covering all of the meat and rub.
  • In a small bowl, add avocado oil, remaining ¼ cup of white wine, and broth, and whisk to combine.
  • Brush skin liberally with this mixture (you'll have some left over and will use this for basting as the bird cooks.)
  • Place turkey in roasting pan. Optional: If you have a baking rack, use this under the turkey for crispier skin all over and more even cooking.
  • Cover the turkey and bake for 10-12 minutes per pound (2.5 to 3 hours for a 16 pound turkey), until a meat thermometer reads 157°F in the breast, and 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Baste the turkey (with the remaining fat-wine-broth mixture) every 30-45 minutes throughout the baking time. Don't baste more often, or you'll lose too much heat from the oven and lengthen the cooking time considerably.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE ON COOKING TIME: Pasture-raised and heritage breed turkeys typically cook faster than "conventional" (supermarket) turkeys, so monitor frequently during the last 1 hour of cooking time so it doesn't get overdone.
  • Remove the cover for the last 30 minutes of cooking time to brown.
  • Remove turkey from oven, loosely tent with foil, and set aside to rest for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours, to let juices re-absorb. This ensures that the whole turkey is properly, evenly cooked, and it significantly enhances the flavor and juiciness of the turkey!
  • Carve and serve.


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 255mg | Sodium: 1306mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 544IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg