Zesty Roast Turkey Recipe

Zesty Roast Turkey Recipe

Written by Di Bauer November 9, 2002 Updated April 25, 2015

Zesty Roast Turkey Low-Carb Gluten-Free Recipe

The Zesty Roast Turkey Low-Carb Gluten-Free Recipe is perfect for someone living the low-carb lifestyle because it focuses on high-quality protein and healthy fats while avoiding high-carb ingredients like bread or sugar. Using herbs and spices, such as rosemary and garlic, adds flavor to the dish without adding unnecessary carbs or gluten. Additionally, serving the turkey with low-carb, gluten-free side dishes can create a delicious and satisfying meal that aligns with a low-carb dietary plan.


Zesty Roast Turkey Low-Carb Gluten-Free Recipe

Zesty Roast Turkey Recipe

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Let’s face it, when it comes to holiday cooking, the turkey is usually the star of the show. This Low-Carb Gluten-Free Zesty Roast Turkey recipe will bring your guests to their knees weeping tears of joy. Yup, it’s just that good. I usually cook a 14-pound bird so this recipe is based on that weight. That said, you could easily prepare up to an 18-pound turkey using these measurements. As you go up in weight class (see roasting times for weight classes), you will need to adjust the proportions slightly.

  • Author: Di Bauer
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Primal, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free


Units Scale
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, halved crosswise
  • 1018 pound turkey
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, plus more if needed


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Finely chop the leaves of one sprig rosemary and one clove garlic.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped rosemary, chopped garlic, and mustard. Set aside.
  4. Rub the turkey inside and out with the lemon.
  5. Place the lemon halves in the cavity of the turkey. Add celery stalks, onion quarters, 1 sprig of rosemary, and 2 cloves of garlic to the turkey’s cavity.
  6. Rub the mustard mixture over the outside of the turkey.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  9. Sprinkle the turkey with the wine or canned chicken broth, then pour the remainder of the liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  10. Roast the turkey, basting with additional wine or chicken broth every half hour to 45 minutes. Add water or wine as additional basting juices are needed.
  11. When the turkey is about two-thirds done, loosely cover the breast and top of drumsticks with a piece of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking the breast.
  12. See the chart below for approximate roasting times. Start checking the turkey for doneness about 30 to 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  13. Use an instant meat thermometer. It should be inserted deep into the thigh and should reach a temperature of 180° F. The turkey’s juices should run clear at this time.
  14. Remove the turkey from oven and transfer it to a platter. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.


Turkey Thawing Methods
Refrigerator thawing is recommended. However, if you are short on time and need a quicker method for thawing, submerge the turkey in cold water. Do not thaw the turkey at room temperature as this allows too much bacterial growth the occur.

Refrigerator Thawing
Thaw breast side up in its unopened wrapper on a tray in the refrigerator. You should allow at least one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey. If you don’t have room in the refrigerator and the weather is sufficiently cold, you can thaw the turkey in a garage can outside. This is what I usually end up doing, but this tip won’t be of much help to people in warmer climates.

Cold Water Thawing
Thaw the turkey breast side down in its unopened wrapper in the sink or a large tub filled with enough cold water to cover the turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep surface of the turkey cold. Estimate a minimum thawing time to be 30 minutes per pound for whole turkey.

Approximate Roasting Times
10-18 pound unstuffed turkey 3-3½ hours
18-22 pound unstuffed turkey 3½-4 hours
22-24 pound unstuffed turkey 4-4½ hours
24-30 pound unstuffed turkey 4½-5 hours

You may substitute chicken broth in place of the white wine.


  • Serving Size: ½ pound
  • Calories: 693
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 311mg
  • Fat: 34g (321 Calories from Fat)
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 86g
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