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A delicious herb roasted turkey with lemons and herbs.

Herb Roasted Turkey (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

  • Author: Robin Brookshire
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven


The most delicious turkey ever! You’ll want to make it this way everytime!


  • 1 14-16 lb. turkey, thawed, giblets and neck removed, (labeled gluten-free) (see notes below)
  • 1 cup dairy-free butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus a little more left whole
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, plus a little more left whole
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus a little more left whole
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 medium onions, halved
  • 1 garlic head, top sliced off, excess papery peel removed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, gluten-free
  • 1 piece of cheesecloth, doubled or quadrupled- just a bit larger than the turkey


  • 4 tablespoons dairy-free butter
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 cups of reserved broth from the turkey
  • drippings or small pieces of turkey that was left in the roasting pan
  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the turkey: 

Take the turkey out of the refrigerator one hour before cooking. Remove the neck and giblets (both ends) and any ice chunks that may still be inside. Rinse and pat dry. Place in a large roasting pan breast side up. (with or without a roasting rack. I use one but it isn’t absolutely necessary)

Prepare the herbs:

Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the sage and 3 tablespoons of the parsely with a large knife. For the 2 tablespoons of thyme slide your fingers along the stems to remove the leaves. You won’t need to chop the thyme since the leaves are so little.

Zest the lemon and then lightly chop the zest into smaller pieces, it’s roughly 1 tablespoon. Add the chopped herbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to the softened buttery spread. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Oven Settings:

Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°.

Seasoning the turkey:

Place the halved onions, lemons, the head of garlic and the remaining whole herbs into the cavity of the turkey.

Lift the skin and rub some of the herbed buttery spread around. Rub more of the spread all over the top of the skin too. This is a little messy but it’s going to be amazing.

Heat the rest of the herbed buttery spread in a sauce pan to almost melting. Take the cheesecloth and get it wet with water and wring out. Place the cheesecloth in the sauce pan and get it soaked with the herbed spread. Remove the cheesecloth and spread over the turkey. Take any remaining spread and smear into the cheesecloth.

Baking the turkey:

Pour the chicken broth into the roasting pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove after 45 minutes and baste with the broth in the bottom of the pan. Baste directly over the cheesecloth.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and continue baking for 2 hours or until the turkey registers 165° on a meat thermometer. Basting 2-3 more times and rotate your turkey when you put it back in the oven in case your oven has a hot spot.

Removing the turkey from the pan: 

Seriously I think this is the hardest part but if you have some extra hands to help it will make it easier. Place another pan directly beside the roasting pan and use large spatulas or even medium-sized plates to get around the sides of the turkey and lift to the other pan. If the wings come of you can just prop them up beside them to keep the grand look of the beautiful turkey. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 30 minutes before serving and cutting.

Making the gravy: 

Carefully pour all of the broth from the pan into a medium to large container that can handle the hot broth.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat begin melting the buttery spread and add in any drippings (any small pieces of turkey) from the roasting pan that was left. Stir together the drippings and buttery spread breaking up the drippings into smaller pieces if necessary. After it’s melted pour 4 cups of the hot broth in the skillet and stir.

Add 1/4 cup cornstarch to 1 cup cold water and mix until dissolved. Stir into the broth mixture and keep stirring while heating. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring for about 6-9 minutes until desired thickness. Remove from heat. Serve warm with turkey and the rest of the meal.


Turkey & Chicken Broth: Be sure to purchase a turkey and chicken that is labeled gluten-free.

Special Equipment Used: Turkey Baster, Meat Thermometer, Cheesecloth

And this roasting pan would be a great addition.

Herbed Buttery Spread: This could be made up to a week before and stored in the refrigerator. Just bring to room temperature before using it.

Keywords: dairy-free Thanksgiving, gluten-free Thanksgiving, herb roasted turkey, cheesecloth turkey