Roast turkey with herb and garlic butter

November 23, 2023 (Last Updated: April 16, 2024)
Roast turkey with herb and garlic butter

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. In 2023, for example, Thanksgiving will be observed today (23 November).

This tradition dates back to 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. It has its roots in a 1621 gathering between Pilgrims and Native Americans in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This event, symbolising unity and gratitude for a bountiful harvest, laid the foundation for the modern-day Thanksgiving celebration.

The holiday is marked by gatherings of family and friends, a festive meal typically featuring roast turkey, and expressions of gratitude for the blessings of the year.

Roast turkey with herb and garlic butter

Serves: 8
Total Time: 4 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 whole turkey, wing tips removed
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • small handful each fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
  • small handful fresh sage leaves
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 100g butter, melted

  • handful fresh chives, chopped
  • handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 120g butter, melted
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced



Position the oven rack on the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 220°C. Pat the turkey dry with kitchen paper and generously season the cavity with salt. Stuff the cavity with the onion, thyme, rosemary, sage and halved head of garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.


Transfer the turkey to a roasting dish, brush the 100g melted butter all over, then season the outside generously with salt. Place in the preheated oven and immediately reduce the heat to 180°C.


Roast, basting every 45 minutes with the juices in the dish, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh, 3 – 4 hours.


Cover the cooked turkey with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.


For the herb and garlic butter, combine the chives, parsley, 120g melted butter, salt and minced garlic in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle over the turkey and serve immediately.

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Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi

Photograph by Dylan Swart

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