Simple and fool-proof, this easy Roasted Sage Pesto Turkey is made with just two ingredients and is loaded with seasonal flavors your family will love. The perfect centerpiece to any holiday meal!
Can you believe Thanksgiving is just a week away??? I, seriously, can not believe how fast time is flying by. I’ve been so busy lately that I almost forgot to share the easiest and tastiest turkey recipe ever. It’s simple and flavorful due to one little secret ingredient that you rub all over the bird, over and under the skin……Sage Pesto. I made this sage pesto years ago when I first started this little corner of the inter webs and it’s a fall staple in my house. The only thing is…I keep forgetting to share the many ways you can use it…other than just in this pasta.
I created this Roasted Sage Pesto Turkey after realizing….a turkey is just like a chicken. (lightbulb moment) I’m kind of kidding but kinda not, I was using the sage pesto on my roasted chickens for years and it’s seriously fantastic. So totally easy and simple, I figured….why not do the same with my turkey. Because all the flavors are already in the pesto…herbs, garlic, etc…and it definitely takes some of the stress out of planning your Thanksgiving dinner because there’s no brining. No mess.
This Roasted Sage Pesto Turkey is as flavorful and just as easy as this Citrus and Herb Butter Roasted Turkey. And the leftovers are amazing in this sandwich or even better….this Tortilla Soup…that doesn’t even need tortillas. 🙂 It’s fantastic as the main event of your Thanksgiving dinner and would be fabulous surrounded by a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes, a big baking dish of stuffing and these, completely from scratch, green bean casserole.
- 1 cup Sage Pesto
- 1 12-14 pound turkey
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half
- fresh sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Carefully loosen the skin by running your hand between the skin and the breast meat working your way down to the leg. Take 1/4 of the sage pesto and rub it, thoroughly, under the skin over the breast and leg meat being sure to coat as much of the turkey as possible. Repeat on the opposite side and then coat the remaining butter mixture over the skin being sure to cover the entire turkey.
- Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemon, garlic and sage.
- Tuck the wings under the turkey and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes and then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Set the alarm on the thermometer to 161 degrees. A 14-16 pound turkey takes approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting time total. (You can also use an instant read thermometer, just remember to check the turkey before the 2 hour mark to avoid overcooking.)
- Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let the turkey rest for approximately 30 minutes before carving.
If the turkey begins to brown too quickly, cover the breast with a piece of foil and continue roasting until it reaches the correct temperature.