Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey – a savory and delicious Thanksgiving turkey recipe that is easy to make and so delicious! The whole crowd is going to love this juicy and tender whole turkey that is roasted to perfection in the oven.
Easy Butter + Sage Roasted Turkey
Don’t be intimidated with how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey!! I know that cooking THE Thanksgiving turkey can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be! Follow along and we will breakdown everything you need to know about making this easy turkey recipe with real, simple ingredients. It is packed with so much traditional flavor that is definitely going to impress your friends and family!
Hosting a smaller crowd? Consider making a Roast Turkey Breast, instead of a whole turkey!
What You Will Need
- whole turkey – we used a 15 lb. fresh turkey, but make sure you have the right size for the amount of people that you will be hosting.
- butter or ghee – either works, use the one that works for you and make sure you are generous with the amount you use!
- ground sage, kosher salt, & ground black pepper – simple seasonings that are perfect for making a flavorful turkey.
- garlic heads – everything is better with some garlic!
- sweet yellow onion – large chunks are placed inside the turkey to add lots of great flavor.
- fresh sage – sage is traditionally the best flavor that compliments natural turkey flavors.
How To Prepare Your Turkey For Cooking
First, you need to calculate how many people are coming for Thanksgiving dinner and that will dictate how large of a turkey you will need. When you buy a turkey from your local grocery store, it will most likely be frozen solid. We highly recommend checking out our post on How to Thaw a Turkey for everything you need to know about when to start thawing and the best way to safely thaw a turkey! You can also check out the USDA’s “Let’s Talk Turkey”! More great tips on keeping your turkey safe!
Wet Brine vs. Turkey Seasoning vs. Turkey Injection
There are so many different ways to add moisture and flavor to make your turkey tender and juicy. We have options for everyone!
- wet brine: if you have a large enough container and room in the fridge, a wet brine might be the option for you.
- seasoning: option to mix up some of dried herbs and seasonings that you probably already have in your pantry to make an easy turkey seasoning that is packed with so much great flavor!
- marinade: this simple turkey marinade is another great way to add flavor and moisture to your bird.
- turkey injection: you will need a turkey injector but it is the perfect way to add moisture and flavor right into the turkey meat.
What Kitchen Tools Are Needed To Cook A Turkey
There are only a few simple tools that are needed to make your day go a little smoother. Here are our suggestions:
How To Make A Butter And Sage Roasted Turkey
Ensure turkey is fully thawed. Remove from original packaging (be sure to remove any gravy packet & giblets from cavity) and place on a large plate.
Pro tip: use the giblets to make a classic giblet stuffing and/or turkey giblet gravy!
Next, pat dry with a clean paper towel and place on a roasting pan with a roasting rack and rub the inside of the turkey with some kosher salt & pepper. Now it is time time stuff your large bird! Place the garlic heads, fresh sage, and onion chunks inside the turkey cavity. Then mix a 1/2 stick butter (or ghee) and add 1 Tablespoon sage to rub under the turkey skin (as far as you can go) and all over the outside of the turkey skin. Generously sprinkle the entire turkey with more salt and pepper.
Then add a 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth/turkey broth) to the roasting pan. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven on the middle rack. Now you can make an easy turkey baste or keep things really simple by just melting the remaining stick of butter (or ghee) and add 1 Tablespoon sage to baste the turkey ever 1/2 hour – you can also use the drippings after a while. Roast for 14-16 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Continue cooking for 15 minute increments until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. Let it rest for about 20 minutes, carve your large bird, and enjoy!
Need carving tips? Checkout our step-by-step tutorial on how to carve a turkey!
Other Ways To Cook A Whole Turkey
This delicious butter and sage turkey recipe is perfect for making a classic roasted turkey in the oven, but did you know there are other ways to cook your turkey that don’t involve the oven? Whether you are making a whole turkey or a turkey breast we love to get it out of the oven (hello, more room for side dishes)! You can easily cook your turkey outside on the grill, in a smoker (we love our Traeger), or in a turkey deep fryer! Any of these cooking techniques will give you an amazing turkey, we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Thanksgiving Side Dishes To Serve With Your Turkey
Everyone loves a delicious, flavorful turkey, but our all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes are the side dishes! Here are a few of our best side dishes:
- Best Ever Sourdough Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
- Apple Cranberry Sauce
- Gluten-Free Cornbread
- Turkey Gravy
Looking for more? We have an entire list of 35+ Thanksgiving Side Dishes!!
Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
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Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 15 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey – a savory and delicious Thanksgiving turkey recipe that is easy to make and Whole30-friendly!
- 1 15lb turkey (but you can adapt the recipe for any size)
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter (or ghee), softened
- 2 tablespoons dried ground sage
- 2 heads of garlic, cut off bottom and peel of loose skin.
- 1 large yellow onions, cut into large chucks
- 2–3 sprigs fresh sage
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Ensure turkey is fully thawed. Remove from package (ensure to remove any gravy & giblet packet from cavity) and place on a large plate.
- Pat dry with a clean paper towel and place on a roasting pan with a roasting rack.
- Combine 1 Tablespoon salt and 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper – combine and then rub on inside of turkey.
- Stuff with garlic, fresh sage and onion.
- Take 1/2 stick butter (or ghee) and add 1 Tablespoon sage – stir to combine.
- Rub some of the butter mixture under the skin at the top of the turkey breast (as far as you can go) and then the rest all over the outside of the turkey.
- Sprinkle entire turkey with salt and pepper.
- Wrap wings with foil so they don’t burn and then remove 45 minute before its done cooking.
- Add 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth/turkey broth) to the pan.
- Loosely tent with foil and place in oven, middle rack.
- Melt remaining stick of butter (or ghee) and add 1 Tablespoon sage.
- Use this mixture to baste the turkey ever 1/2 hour – you can also use the drippings after a while.
- Roast for 14-16 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. If it is not fully cooked, continue cooking for 15 minute increments until the internal temp does reach 165 degrees F.
- Let rest 20 minutes and then carve and enjoy!
- Meat thermometer: I highly recommend getting a internal meat thermometer to help ensure the bird had reached 165 degree F internal temp.
- Additional butter: You may need an additional 1/4 cup of butter if you want to go heavy on the basting, or you can use juices from the pan – personal preference!
- Gravy: don’t forget to use any leftover drippings to make some homemade turkey gravy!
- Leftovers: We love this Leftover Turkey + Wild Rice Soup!
Keywords: roasted turkey
Bridget Montag says
Perfect for a simple and classic turkey!
This turkey was amazing. I brined my turkey so I didn’t use the salt but I did the rest of the recipe. The meat is so flavorful and the meat was so juicy. I will definitely come back to this recipe the next time I need to make Turkey.
That is so awesome to hear, Faith! This one is such a classic 🙂 Thanks so much for the feedback – I really appreciate it!
Jennifer Tuttle says
looks yummy, can you also do this to the inside if you stuff the turkey?