How to Roast the Best Turkey for Your Keto Thanksgiving Dinner!
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Use these helpful tips to easily roast turkey so it will be perfectly tender and juicy.
You’ll love this keto roast turkey recipe!
Roasted turkey usually has the least amount of carbs in a typical Thanksgiving meal, and this yummy herb butter version may be especially appealing to keto eaters!
If you’re a first-time cook, there’s no need to be intimidated by roasting a turkey!
I honestly think roasting a turkey is pretty low fuss compared to cooking a bunch of sides with various ingredients. You’ll just mostly need to pay attention to thawing times and oven times according to the size turkey you end up buying.
I went with a 12-pound bird which can typically feed about 8 people. My family of 4 is usually satisfied with about a day’s worth of leftovers, so this is a good size for us!
Tips for making the best keto-friendly roast turkey:
- How do I thaw a turkey? You’ll want to thaw your frozen turkey completely before baking it in the oven, preferably in the fridge. According to Butterball.com, allow about 1 day per 4 pounds of frozen turkey to thaw. My turkey is 12 pounds, so I allowed 4 days. Be sure to then cook the turkey within 4 days of thawing.
- There’s a little bit of prep work for roasting turkey. You’ll need to remove the neck and bag of giblets from the inside of the turkey cavity before roasting. The USDA recommends NOT washing your raw turkey as it will splash and likely contaminate your workspace. Instead, pat it dry with paper towels. Also, remove the turkey from the fridge about an hour before it goes in the oven so it can come to room temperature.
- How long do I cook a turkey in the oven? For a 12-pound turkey, plan on around 3 or 3.5 hours. Here is a handy online turkey cooking calculator for cook times to refer to!
- How do I know when the turkey is done? Use a meat thermometer to check that the breast meat is cooked to 170 degrees in the breast, and 180 degrees in the thigh. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- Breast side down or breast side up? While there are many different opinions on this topic, I don’t think there is a wrong or right way as I have had success with both. For this recipe, I chose to roast my turkey breast side down for the first couple hours to preserve the moisture in the breast meat, then flipped it over to brown. It was fantastic!
- Make an easy keto gravy to serve over your turkey! Be sure to reserve the drippings from the pan to make a gravy afterward using Xanthum gum as a thickener. Refer to this easy recipe for keto gravy replacing one of the cups of broth with turkey drippings from the pan.
Roast Turkey With Herb Butter
yield: 8 SERVINGS
prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 4 HOURS
total time: 4 HOURS 15 MINUTES
Classic roasted turkey with flavorful garlic herb butter.
For the herb butter:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
For the turkey:
Roast turkey with herb butter makes your kitchen smell heavenly!
My home smelled AMAZING when this was baking thanks to all the fresh herbs. The skin was crisp and the meat was tender, and it’s perfect to serve alongside all the keto side dishes for the holiday season. The leftovers are great too, and of course, some turkey pieces would be great in a keto soup recipe the next day!
Be sure to check out our other keto Thanksgiving recipe ideas: