Overhead view of Citrus and Herb Turkey on a white oval platter garnished with fresh herbs and sliced pomegranates and oranges

Citrus & Herb Roast Turkey

This Citrus & Herb Roast Turkey is perfect for your next holiday gathering. Roasting a smaller turkey is not only quicker but also produces a juicier bird! For larger gatherings, I find roasting two smaller birds are better – twice as much dark meat. Instead of roasting the turkey on a rack, I place it on a bed of carrots; this not only adds flavor but due to the short roasting time, the carrots make a lovely side dish.

5 from 3 votes
Overhead view of Citrus and Herb Turkey on a white oval platter garnished with fresh herbs and sliced pomegranates and oranges
Print Recipe

Citrus & Herb Roast Turkey

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 794kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 1 (12-14 pound) whole turkey
  • 8 large carrots , scrubbed and peeled
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 lemons
  • ½ pound unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 small orange , quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion , quartered
  • 1 head garlic , cut in half crosswise
  • Kitchen string


  • Remove turkey from refrigerator one hour before roasting. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey, rinse it well, and pat with paper towels until it is very dry. Place on a cooling rack so that air circulates and let sit uncovered to further dry the skin.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the carrots in a roasting pan.
  • Zest and juice one of the lemons. Coarsely chop 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves. Combine the lemon zest and juice and chopped thyme with the butter.
  • Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Quarter the remaining lemon and loosely stuff along with the orange, onions, rest of the thyme, and garlic.
  • Working from the neck end, slide your fingers under the skin until you reach the end of the breast, being careful not to tear the skin; rub about half the citrus herb butter under the skin. Smear the remaining butter all over the outside of the turkey. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings underneath the bird. Place the turkey breast side up on the carrots in the roasting pan.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 2½ - 3 hours (13 minutes per pound) or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165°F.
  • Remove the turkey from the pan, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.


Nutrition Facts
Citrus & Herb Roast Turkey
Amount Per Serving
Calories 794 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 18g90%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 350mg117%
Sodium 506mg21%
Potassium 1183mg34%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 92g184%
Vitamin A 9007IU180%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
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Tags: Citrus Herbs Holiday Roast Thanksgiving Turkey
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