Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (2024)

Turkey recipe: thisaromatic lemon, apple and herb turkey is moist, tender, delicious and the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal! Easy to make and bursting with flavor.

Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (1)

This incredible turkey recipe post was originally posted November of 2016 and has been republished for easy “finding” by Tangled with Taste.

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Originally posted Oct 2016, reposted for easy finding.

Full recipe for this Turkey can be found at the bottom of this post after the “Butterflies in your Stomach” moment, OUTLINED IN PINK!

I don’t mean to brag, but seriously, if there is a better Turkey recipe out there, I have yet to try it! Considering the results, this is a surprisingly easy yet absolutely fabulous turkey recipe.

First (and this is extremely critical) we brine the turkey in an herb lemon brine, which seasons the turkeymeat and also keeps our thanksgiving turkey moist andjuicy. Plan for an hour per pound.

Then we season our turkey to perfection, fill its innards’ with some incredible herb and fruitaromatics, sneak some herb butter under the skin of our turkey for extra moistness in the meat, and cook until our watering mouth’s cant wait a second longer. Plus I’ve got a secret for that oh-so-gorgeous-and-crispy skin without drying out the turkey meat!!!

Try serving this delicious turkey alongside some of these amazing sides:

  1. Soft and Fluffy Breadmaker Butter Rolls
  2. Glazed Carrots with Herbs
  3. Herbs and Cream Scalloped Potatoes
  4. Fall Harvest Fruit Salad
  5. Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin
  6. Sweet Potato Soup
  7. Two Layer pumpkin Cream Cheese Chiffon Pie

A taste of this, and you’ll want turkey for dinner every night!

And find really great dinner table and quick and cute decor and activity ideas for your feast here.

Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (2)

Best Turkey Recipe Ever

Growing up, my absolute favorite Holidays were the ones that involved Turkey. I love love love me some Turkey. As an adult I decided I needed to perfect the Turkey recipe. There was justso much untapped potential being used at the centerpiece of everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner each year!

My first Thanksgiving away from my husband’s and my families, I went to town on that turkey, and humbly speaking: it was fan-freaking-tastic!

Seriously guys, it was amazing.

However, it took way more work than was needed. I’ve spent the 8 years since that time honing and perfecting my turkey recipe. It still takes time, but this turkey recipe is worth every single second. Each year I have peoplebegging to knowhow I made such a juicy flavorful turkey.

Dear Readers, today, I will share the step by step with y’all.

Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (3)

(This is just a summary, find the full recipe and instructionsunder the “Butterflies in yourStomach” moment,below!)

  1. So the first step, and a very important one indeed, is brining your turkey. Plan for AT LEAST one hour per pound. I prefer 1.5 hours though for lots of flavor. Brining is basically soaking a turkey in a mix of salt, water and herbs, that ensures a moist flavorful meat. You can purchase a pre-brined turkey if you do not have the time for this step. Personally, I always brine the turkey myself, but that is only because I like to addherbs and citrus to my brine and the typical brine is simply water, sugar and salt.
    I like to brine my turkey in an oven bagor brine bag, and pour the brine over it. Then seal it, throw the bag in a cooler, cover with ice, (or your fridge if you have the space), and let it soak.Brining is simple, and SOOO worth it y’all! The key ingredient in our brine is the lemon, which goes beautifully with turkey, as do the herbs. I mean when are herbs not just the most wonderful thing ever?!
  2. Then when we are ready to actually roast our turkey, we do this sneaky little thing where wecreate a fabulous little pocket between the skin and the meat of the bird and fill that up with a delicious herb butter that flavors not only the meat, but the skin too! The second reason for the butter under the skin is fat- You could also use bacon grease. The turkey is not a very fatty meat so it dries out easily, by adding a little extra fat under the skin, it bastes the meat and keeps it from drying out during the cooking process.
  3. Follow that step with filling the cavity of the bird with some steeped herby aromatics to add more flavor and sweeten this savory meat just a hint.
  4. Then we throw it in our roasting pan, and place it in the oven.

Golden Skin Turkey

*Question: How do I get that crispy golden skin on my turkey and fully cooked dark meat, without drying the crap out of the white meat?

*Answer: Rub the skin of your bird down with your buttery fingers (after filling the meat pocket) and a little extra oil right before placing your bird in the oven. Cook it for 30 minutes at a super high temperature. Then remove your turkey from the oven, and make him wear a foilhat for the rest of the cooking. He’ll feel so dapper and taste so juicy. YAY!

Foil Hat for Turkey

With asquare of tin foil you cover the breast of your turkey. This makes the white meat cook at a slower rate than your dark meat (which is what we want, because dark meat requires a longer cooking time usually).

Scroll to the bottom of this post, past the recipe, to see a how-to video on this hat making process!

Turkey Brine

You should brine your turkey 1.5 hours per pound. However that time changes under the following circ*mstances:

  • Fresh turkey: If you’ve purchased a fresh (never-been-frozen) turkey you should only brine it for about 1 hour per pound.
  • Turkey with 8% solution of salts and spices: Occasionally frozen turkey’s from certain brands have ben “slightly pre-brined” in an 8% solution. If your turkey has that note on it, then cut your personal brining time down to 1 hour per pound.
  • Pre-brined turkey: Certain retailers sale actually fully brined turkeys. If you’ve purchased a fully brined turkey then you can fully skip that step in this process and go straight to herb butter and aromatics.

Butterflies in your stomach moment:

When your meat thermometer reads at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove that gorgeous turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least fifteen to thirty minutes, and… Oh my gosh y’all! You’re going to be in Turkey Heaven!!!

Flirting with Flavor

Yields 12 servings

Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey recipe: thisaromatic lemon, apple and herb turkey is moist, tender, delicious and the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal! Easy to make and bursting with flavor.

1 hrPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

5 hrTotal Time


  • 1 Turkey (12-18lbs, although you can go bigger, you may have to adjust ingredients accordingly)
  • Lemon and herbs brine

  • 1.5 heaping cup salt
  • 1.5 gallons water
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c molasses -or- 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 6 lemons washed and quartered
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, or until salt and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Herb Butter

  • 1/2 cube softened butter (4 TBS Butter)
  • 1 c chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well
  • Aromatics

  • 1 red apple sliced
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1tsp or 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1.5 c Gingerale (apple juice, seltzer water, or even water will all work as well)


    To Brine your turkey

  1. Soak turkey in brine 1.5 hours per pound. Once bird has soaked for required time, remove bird from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Discard your brine. At this point you can either put bird in the refrigerator overnight, or cook immediately.
  2. When ready to cook you Turkey

  3. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Pour one cup of water into the bottom of your roasting pan (this is to prevent the drippings from burning during the 500 degrees in the oven).
  5. How to apply the herb butter

  6. Place your bird on the rack in your roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels. At the rear end of the bird, slide your fingers into the space between the skin and the meat. Slowly pry the two apart starting at the rear and working your way up to the neck on the breast side of the bird. Stuff your herb butter into this pocket you have just created.
  7. The Aromatics

  8. Combine all aromatic ingredients into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. This will steep your ingredients. Add the steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity.
  9. Crispy Turkey skin

  10. Tuck the wings underneath the bird. Coat the skin liberally with canola oil. Salt the skin generously.
  11. Roast that sucker

  12. Roast the turkey on the lowest level of your oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Then cover the breast portion of your turkey with a foil shield and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook until the thickest part of the turkey breast reads at 163 degrees Fahrenheit. (a 14-16 pound turkey usually takes approx. 2.5 hours AFTER the 30 minute high roast)
  13. When you remove your turkey from oven, let rest 20-30 minutes before carving.


You will want to start the prep for this recipe ahead of time for brining purposes. You've got this!






11013 cal


418 g


140 g


1559 g

Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (5)

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Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (6)

Square of aluminum foil, mold it around the breast (Only the breast! Leave the wings and legs exposed.) of the Turkey (before the 500 degree roast). Remove molded aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Oil/Butter the turkey skin and roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Apply hat, and drop the temperature to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time.

Turkey Recipe: Aromatic Lemon, Apple, and Herb Turkey | Tangled with Taste (2024)
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