Roasted Savory & Citrus Turkey

4.87 from 22 votes

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Roasted Savory & Citrus Turkey is made with a couple of ordinary herbs and common fruit. The finished product is anything but ordinary. This Citrus Turkey has taste and flavor that you won’t ever forget.

A roasted turkey on a bed of lettuce
Roasted Savory & Citrus Turkey will make a start out of you this holiday season.

What is it?

An uncooked turkey in a roasting pan
This Roasted Savory & Citrus Turkey begins with an incredible mixture of fresh savory and citrus seasoning.

For this Thanksgiving turkey recipe, we used some fresh rosemary, some fresh thyme, and the zest from a couple of oranges and a couple of lemons.

Together with some salt, pepper, and garlic, a dry rub is created. The bird is then allowed to rest, uncovered, overnight in the refrigerator.

A pan of vegetables and potatoes
Fresh ingredients make this Citrus Turkey simple and delicious.

What makes this turkey taste so great

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Apple
  • Love

The usually savory aromatics are added to the pan to flavor the drippings from this easy roast turkey.

Carrots, onions, celery, and some apples are dispersed in the pan, beneath the turkey.

Fresh squeezed orange juice from the zested fruit is added mid-way into the roasting process, along with a quick surface bath of melted butter.

A whole roasted turkey
A combination of fresh savory and citrus flavorings make this turkey taste great.

The best turkey recipe

The result of this process gives a rich texture and dynamic flavor to this holiday recipe.

Indeed, several guests proclaimed this the best turkey they’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t a guest but rather the host, and before any of them made that proclamation, I had already thought it. Please give this easy turkey recipe a try.

It’s easy to make, and it is incredibly wonderful to experience!   -Dan

A close up of a turkey drumstick
What’s your preference: White or dark meat?

Be sure and try the Rich Roasted Turkey Gravy that goes with this Turkey Recipe!

A bowl of gravy and a bottle of wine
Rich Roasted Turkey Gravy

For a simpler, scale-down turkey dinner, try our Turkey Tenderloin, it’s oven-roasted with a few basic savory herbs!

If y0u are wondering what to do with turkey leftovers, we have an answer for you.

And it’s pretty darn tasty!

Try our Turkey Pot Pie with Homemade Crust!

Other delicious turkey recipes

Finally, if you’re looking for a butternut squash recipe for Thanksgiving, be sure to try our Hasselback Butternut Squash.

Savory and Citrus Roast Turkey

4.87 from 22 votes
from The New York Times
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


  • 10 pound whole turkey
  • 4 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or minced
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges, save the oranges for juicing
  • 2 bunches rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 white onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 2 inch large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2- coins
  • 2 inch celery stalks, sliced 1/2- thick
  • 1 apples, cored and sliced
  • Dry white wine, as needed
  • ¾ cup melted butter or olive oil


  • Remove giblets from inside the turkey; reserve for stock or gravy. Pat meat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, allspice, garlic and citrus zests. Pat mixture all over turkey and turkey parts (including inside the whole turkey cavity). Stuff one bunch of rosemary in cavity of whole turkey. Strew remaining rosemary and the thyme all over turkey and turkey parts. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
  • Remove turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to cook it so it can come to room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Distribute onions, carrots, celery and apples into pan, scattering them on the bottom of the large roasting pan under the turkey, and pour 1/2 cup wine in the bottom of the turkey pan.
  • Place turkey (with herb branches clinging to it) on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Transfer whole turkey to the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  • Squeeze the juice from the 2 zested oranges. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and place orange juice into the bottom of each of the pan.
  • Drizzle the butter or oil all over the whole turkey. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat registers 165 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes more. (Note: The turkey breasts may cook faster than the dark meat, so keep your eye on them.) If the breast of the whole turkey starts to look too brown before the bird is cooked through, cover it loosely with foil.
  • When the whole turkey is cooked through, remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes while the parts finish cooking.



Calories: 745kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 87g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 335mg, Sodium: 4529mg, Potassium: 980mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 780IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 3.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Holiday
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    That is perfectly roasted flavorful turkey. great addition to thanksgiving table. Since we are only 4 I buy only turkey breast. But your recipe making me to tempting to roast a whole turkey.

  2. 5 stars
    I love pairing fruit with my roasted meat dishes too. I love the color you have on this bird so appetizing. Saving this for later.

  3. 5 stars
    I wish we had turkey more times throughout the year. The bird tastes so good and it is good for us too. And then, not to mention all the great dishes you can make with the leftovers. Your bird has a gorgeous golden color and the savory and citrus flavor you gave it makes my mouth water.

  4. 5 stars
    the color of this bird is fabulous! I just love the marinated citrus and the flavors must be over the top and juicy bird!

  5. 5 stars
    Simply the best turkey that I would love to put on thanksgiving table. All those flavors that are going in here are mind blowing on turkey. Turkey definitely looks delicious

  6. 5 stars
    Brining your turkey is the secret to extra deliciousness. Love how perfectly golden brown and packed with so much flavor. A gorgeous holiday centerpiece for sure!

  7. 5 stars
    Now that’s a turkey for center stage on the holiday table!! Look how amazing it is! I’m nearly drooling from thinking about all those flavors combining.

  8. 5 stars
    Citrus seems like a really fun addition for a turkey! That color is also so rich and deep. It looks like the skin is browned beautifully.