Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey - Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe (2024)

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Impress your family and guests with this spice rubbed roast turkey! It will be the star of your Thanksgiving table and is so simple to make. I promise! Thank you to Diestel Family Turkey Ranch for helping me share this recipe with you.
Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey - Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe (1)

Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey

There was a time in my culinary life when roasting a turkey scared the living daylights out of me. My fears stemmed from several worries, including but not limited to poisoning my family, overcooking the bird until it reached official charred status and dropping the turkey on the floor. And flavor! What if I went to all that work and it tasted like…well, nothing?

Many turkeys (and my fair share of mistakes) later, I can confidently say that I have mastered the art of putting a beautiful and tasty bird on the table. If you’ve never roasted a turkey before, I know you’re going to roll your eyes at me for saying this, but roasting a turkey is actually fairly simple. Truly.

So, what are my favorite tips?

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First and foremost? Buy a high-quality bird! It took me a long time to learn this lesson. While it’s tempting to buy the cheapest bird available, the quality will be reflected in the taste. I’ve tried turkeys at every price range and swear by the organic ones. And let me tell you, this Organic American Heirloom Turkey from Diestel Family Turkey Ranch is the most flavorful bird that’s ever graced my table. An organic diet and thoughtful practices make a difference! Diestel holiday birds can be purchase online at store.diestelturkey.com (see below for a code to save some bucks).

Next…give that bird a massage! Two of my favorite ways of preparing a turkey are a butter and herb rub, and a spice rub. The recipe for this spice rubbed roasted turkey is made up of a mixture of spices – paprika, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, garlic – and a drizzle of maple syrup and olive oil for extra flavor and browning power.

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One note about this rub. Because the spice paste includes maple syrup, it can have a tendency to burn if you’re not careful. Check on the browning status each time you baste the turkey and simply cover any overly browned sections with foil. An easy fix!

Third tip…let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. The same rule applies for almost any meat. The rest time allows the juices to absorb into the meat rather than running higgledy-piggledy all over your cutting board. The result? A moister bird.

And last but certainly not least…gravy. Every bird is made better by an awesome gravy, and the drippings from this turkey, along with the flavorful browned bits from the roasted shallots on the bottom of the pan, make the best gravy. For tips on making gravy, check out my gravy troubleshooting post.

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With these birds, Diestel is preserving rare breeds of turkeys that date back to the 1920s. They’re Non-GMO Project Verified and are slow grown in Northern California,where the deep well water and fresh mountain air complements the Heirloom turkey’s diet of certified organic grains. They are fed a vegetarian diet that’s 100% free of GMOs, animal by-products, antibiotics, growth enhancers and hormones.

Why stop at Thanksgiving? Diestel Family Turkey Ranch also makes year-round turkey products, such as deli slices, chorizo and turkey sausage. Learn more here.

Ordering + code

Diestel’s Organic American Heirloom Turkeys and all of their holiday birds can be purchased online at store.diestelturkey.com and at select independent, natural, upscale, and conventional food stores across the country. Visit the Diestel store locator for more info and connect with @DiestelTurkey on Facebook and Twitter.

Printable Recipe

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Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey

Impress your family and guests with this Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey. It will be the star of your Thanksgiving table!

5 from 1 vote

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Course: Entrees

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Clean Eating, Gluten Free, Holiday Recipes, Poultry Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours hours

Total Time: 15 hours hours 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 10 Servings

Calories: 192.5kcal

Author: Dara Michalski | Cookin' Canuck



  • Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and reserve for making stock.

  • Place the turkey on a baking sheet. Tie the legs together (if not already held together) and tuck the wings underneath the turkey, using small skewers to secure.

  • In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, ground pepper, garlic powder and salt. Add the maple syrup and olive, and stir to combine.

  • Starting at the neck end of the turkey, slide your hands under the breast skin to loosen. Smear half of the rub underneath the breast skin. Smear the other half of the rub over the entire topside of the turkey.

  • Cover the turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Place the turkey on a rack in the roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the shallots around the turkey, on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the carrot, celery and onion quarters in the cavity of the turkey.

  • Cover the breasts with foil and place the turkey in the oven.

  • Roast the turkey for 2 hours, basting it with ½ cup chicken broth every 30 minutes.

  • Remove the foil from the breast. If the legs are browning too much, cover each drumstick with foil.

  • Roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh (be sure not to hit the bone) registers 170 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with the pan drippings, about 1 hour more. If any sections of the breasts are browning too much, cover those sections with foil.

  • Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a platter and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

  • Remove the carrot, onion and celery from the cavity and discard.

  • Remove the shallots from the pan and serve with the gravy. Use the remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan for making the gravy (I typically make the gravy right in the roasting pan, set over two burners.)

  • Carve and serve.


Weight Watchers Points: 3 (Freestyle SmartsPoints), 4 (Old SmartPoints), 5 (Points+), 4 (Old Points)

* The serving size is 4 ounces, which is equals 18 servings. However, if you would like leftovers or a larger portion size for each person, increase the serving size to 8 ounces (9 servings total).


Serving: 8Ounces (Approximately) | Calories: 192.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.3g | Protein: 29.5g | Fat: 8.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 86.7mg | Sodium: 613.7mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.8g

Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I'll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. All opinions are my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey - Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe (2024)
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