It’s that time of year! The holidays are knocking on our door! This savory oven-baked turkey is a perfect dish for family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, or any other family dinner. It is comforting, delicious, and healthy! Holiday food doesn’t have to be heavy, fatty, and caloric. I will show you how!
In this recipe, I seasoned the turkey with dried rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic to bring the flavors out. You can also use the juices and trimmings from the cooked turkey to make gravy.
You can serve your turkey with some balsamic Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and roasted seasonal vegetables to make a delightful meal that all your family will enjoy!
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Ingredient Selection Tips
Here are some tips on how to choose a good turkey for your feast:
It doesn’t matter too much whether you buy a fresh or frozen turkey, both are fine. If you are buying fresh, buy it at most a day or two before preparing it, and keep it in the fridge. And if you still decide on the frozen version, don’t forget to leave enough time for defrosting before preparation (one day for every four pounds).
- Choose a well-rounded bird, as it will probably turn out juicier.
- In general, one pound of turkey is enough for an adult and half a pound for a child. Consider taking a few pounds more if you want some leftovers.
- Preparing a small turkey is easier. It will bake and also thaw faster. If you have a lot of guests, you can prepare two smaller birds.
- I always advise you to buy organic turkey with no additives or preservatives, or free-range if it is more affordable to you.
- Avoid pre-stuffed and self-basted turkeys
- Any leftovers will last a couple days, but you can freeze it up to a month.
There are some better places to buy fresh spices than large supermarkets, as you never know how long these spices are on the shelves before you buy. Try to visit ethnic markets, or to find a local spice merchant. Also, check quality spices online. Some spices are easy and fun to grow in your home, such as basil, oregano, sage, thyme, or parsley. When you’re buying spices, buy small amounts. That way, they will stay fresh.
Noteworthy Health Benefits
Turkey is a fantastic source of many minerals (selenium, zinc, and phosphorus) and vitamins (B3, B6, B12), and it is rich in protein.
Turkey is a mix of white and dark meat. White meat is higher in protein, lower in calories, and lower in fat than dark meat, while red/dark meat is higher in vitamins and minerals.
Here are some health benefits:
- The tryptophan content in turkey can support healthy levels of serotonin, which promotes alertness and a good mood.
- It helps maintain lean muscle mass.
- Protein keeps insulin levels stable after meals.
Diet Preference Tweaks
Low fat diet
If you are trying to reduce fat, just remove the skin. That will lower the fat in your dish significantly.
Savory Oven-Baked TurkeyYum
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove giblets from turkey and place breast side down in a roasting pan or broiling pan (I like using the grates to keep the turkey crispy).
- Brush oil on the breast side and underside of the turkey.
- Mix seasonings and rub generously on both sides of the turkey.
- Place in the center rack of the oven and cook until the thickest part of the thigh is at least 165 degrees (about 15-20 minutes per pound).
- When the turkey seems close to being done (~10-15 minutes), rotate it so the breast side is facing upward and cook until finished.