Flavored with Italian seasoning, with a touch of spinach added in, these Paleo Turkey Meatballs make for a great weeknight dinner or meal prep solution! Double or triple the batch and serve some for now and save some for later. Serve with your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara and spaghetti squash and you’ve got the perfect lightened-up dinner.
Paleo Turkey Meatballs with Spinach
This gluten-free and Paleo Turkey Meatballs are a classic LCK recipe you’ve been loving since 2013! We went ahead and gave the recipe and photos a little update. We are so glad we did as it reminded us of how amazing these meatballs are, especially for meal prep! Make a double or triple batch of these Italian flavored meatballs and use some right away and then save some for later. Meatballs are great to keep in the freezer because they’re quick and easy to pull out on a moments notice and reheat in your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce.
Gluten Free Turkey Meatball Ingredients
Ground Turkey (light or dark meat works here, though we prefer dark meat)
Sea Salt and Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Make Ahead Meatballs and Freezer Instructions
Meatballs are the perfect make-ahead meal! They can made a few days ahead and left in the refrigerator or they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
To freeze meatballs, let them fully cool at room temperature and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let freeze for at least 1 hour, and then transfer them to a long term storage bag or container. Store for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, or warm up in your favorite pasta sauce over low heat.
If you like this gluten-free classic recipe, check out these others:
This Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney is a Fall meal at its best and a staple at my family holiday dinners! The perfect simple and flavorful dish to please a crowd!
Easy Boneless Turkey Breast Recipe
I absolutely love all the fall and winter holidays, for two reasons. The first is that it brings all my family together. Second, it means we all get together and cook and eat ALL the best comfort food. For my family, a turkey roast is always on the menu (along with Nanny’s famous rolled cabbage, brisket, and Sweet and Sour Meatballs). I grew up eating this delicious turkey roast, so I have to give a big Lexi’s Clean Kitchen shout out to my amazing mom who made this constantly! She’s not a huge cook, so trust me when I say that you will not believe how simple this is to throw together!
This turkey breast roast is a little different than the Stuffed Turkey Breast I have on the site. For one, this roast isn’t stuffed, but conveniently left in the butcher’s twine and cooked as is. And this recipe is made sweet and savory, thanks to the pairing of this easy pear chutney. It’s the perfect fall meal, small Thanksgiving feast or winter holiday dinner meal. I know we’ll likely have it on our menu this year, and I hope you give it a try too!
Ingredients Needed for Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
Chicken or Turkey Broth
Sea Salt and Pepper
I paired this turkey breast roast with the most delicious pear chutney. It’s simple to makes and really makes this dish special. I love that salty and sweet combination this dish has.
How to Roast a Boneless Turkey Breast
First, place the boneless turkey breast in a roasting dish.
Rub oil, spices and grated garlic on top of the turkey breast. Then add onions and broth to the baking dish.
Bake for 1-2 hours until the meat thermometer reaches 170 °F while basting every 30 minutes.
Once it’s done cooking let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle with pan drippings before serving.
Sides to Pair with this Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe
Make the chutney: In a medium saucepan, heat oil for about 2-3 minutes until hot. Add in onions and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add raisins and let cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in everything else and stir well. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until sauce thickens and pears are fork tender. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the meat thermometer reaches 165 °F (adjust cooking time for the size of the roast you buy). Every 30 minutes, make sure to baste the turkey by spooning a few spoonfuls of sauce over it. During this basting process, check the temperature of the turkey breast. The baking time will change depending on the size of the turkey roast you choose!
Before serving, baste again with the onion/juice mixture!
Serve and enjoy!
Note: Make sure to baste the turkey! Every 30 minutes carefully pour a little of the broth over the turkey until the turkey is fully cooked and the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
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Thanksgiving is just around the corner which means it’s time to start planning! We’ve got a great list of our best Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes starting with brunch and ending with dessert. These healthy but super delicious recipes will be loved by all!
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes
We’ve compiled a list of our BEST recipes for Thanskging. Some are traditional (like roasting a turkey) while others are just plain delicious (I’m looking at you Ultimate Mushrooms). Scroll through to see our favorite LCK Thanksgiving Recipes that everyone is going to love!
Thanksgiving Brunch Recipes
If you are hosting family from out of town for the holiday, sometimes it isn’t just the big meal you have to think about. However, not everyone has the (space) or time to create a massive brunch. We’ve compiled a list of some easy breakfast recipes to feed a crowd!
Sheet Pan Classic Breakfast Bake This Sheet Pan Classic Breakfast is made up of Eggs, Bacon, & Home Fries and comes together in a pinch and made using only ONE PAN. It’s a great one pan breakfast bake that is perfect for a brunch to feed a crowd with little to no mess!
Orange Cranberry Overnight Oats This Orange Cranberry Overnight Oats recipe is the best make-ahead breakfast, and you can make a big batch of it, if you need. It’s creamy (without any dairy) and bursting with seasonal orange, cranberry and pecan flavor. It’s vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Breakfast Prep Baked Egg Cups These healthy baked egg cups make the perfect breakfast meal prep. Make the night before, and heat up as needed throughout the morning.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake This oatmeal bake is a perfect make-ahead breakfast to feed a brunch crowd, and it’s easy to make. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free and made without any refined sugars. Keep it all about the pumpkin flavor as-is, or add in chocolate chips, nuts or dried cranberries for a twist.
Everything Bagel Hummus Breakfast Toast Try this non-recipe recipe for an easy breakfast idea! It’s an easy way to to get a quick breakfast on the table that is full of protein and fiber and tastes SO GOOD.
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes for Side Dishes
Side dishes are for some the BEST part about a Thanksgiving dinner, and we’ve got quite the list for you!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce: This recipe is made right in the slow cooker which means hands-off cooking so you can focus on other aspects of your holiday meal! It contains no refined sugars and is bound to be a new family favorite!
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole: This classic casserole makes the absolute perfect side dish at your Thanksgiving dinner or at your December holiday party. Do you want to know the best part? It’s lighter than your typical sweet potato casserole and free of refined sugar! Plus it’s easy to make-ahead of time and the perfect side to bring along
Easy Gluten-Free Cornbread This sweet, moist and tender cornbread is super simple to put together! This cornbread is, of course, gluten-free and also with some easy swaps can be made dairy-free as well!
Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing This sweet and savory stuffing is packed with herbs and cranberries and the best gluten-free cornbread! This vegetarian stuffing is easy to prepare and will definitely be a winner on your holiday table.
Classic Mashed Potatoes These Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes taste just like the classic version. They are everything you want in that comforting and warm side dish, but lightened up to include chicken broth and olive oil. They’re soft and creamy and a cinch to make. Plus they’re Whole30, paleo, and vegan friendly.
Honey Glazed Carrots These are the perfect fuss-free side dish. They’re cooked in one pan and result in the most tender, slightly sweet glazed carrots. They are so good they are borderline addictive and both kids and adults will love them! They’re paleo friendly and easily made dairy-free.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon These addictive brussels sir outs with bacon and maple syrup is sure to make this side dish a fan favorite for everybody! This paleo-friendly recipe is sweet and savory and definitely going to be in your winter meal plan rotation!
Healthy Creamed Spinach (Made Without Cream!) This Creamed Spinach is a lightened up version of your favorite holiday classic and is made without cream for the perfect healthy and veggie-packed side for Thanksgiving! Creamy, flavorful and so simple to make!
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes Using only three-ingredients, these Roasted Sweet Potato Home Fries make for the perfect combination of cinnamon + sweet potatoes yet. So simple, yet so full of flavor!
Easy Pumpkin Soup This soup is creamy, flavorful, smooth, and garnished just right with Chili Garlic Oil and roasted pumpkin seeds! It’s perfect for the fall season, and for any holiday gathering! This soup comes together quickly and is paleo-friendly!
Gluten Free Biscuits: These light and fluffy biscuits come together quickly and are made using a mix of almond flour and coconut flour. They can be made in under 30 minutes, and are perfect on their own or in any recipe that require biscuits!
Gluten-Free Stuffing On the lookout for the best gluten free stuffing to add to your Thanksgiving table? We have got you covered! This Easy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing is packed with fresh herbs, hearty, easy & delicious!
Green Bean Casserole This lightened up, healthier version of a Green Bean Casserole is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s dairy-free, made without any soup mix, and EASY to make.
Scalloped Potatoes Creamy with just the right amount of cheese, lightened up, and baked to perfection, this au gratin scalloped potato recipe will be a favorite.
Let’s get down to it with nitty gritty of Thanksgiving: the main course! We’ve got a few options ranging from the classic turkey, to the vegetarian main, or even an additional protein alternative to turkey!
How to Roast a Turkey: If you’ve never roasted a turkey before, this for a Citrus Herb Turkey explains it all!
Kale and Sweet Potato Stuffed Turkey Breast: This is perfect for a dinner party or small Thanksgiving feast. A boneless turkey breast is stuffed with quick caramelized onions, kale, sweet potato and herbs, then baked in the oven in just about an hour. Double the recipe to feed a crowd! It’s also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.
Creamy Pumpkin Casserole This dairy-free casserole is healthy and delicious, made with spaghetti squash, pumpkin, spinach, and chicken and is topped with a delicious sauce and baked to perfection. It’s Paleo and Whole30, too.
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: Looking for a great vegetarian main that doesn’t involve tofu? This is it! All the classic flavors of spinach and artichoke dip made healthy and stuffed into a low-carb and nutrient-rich spaghetti squash! You can optionally add-in chicken to make it heartier, or leave it as a vegetarian main dish. Make it dairy-free using cashew cream, or not.
Maple Glazed Ham: Looking for a turkey alternative, or an extra protein to pair with the turkey for a large crowd? This sweet and salty Maple Glazed Hame would be perfect.
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
Classic Apple Pie This classic pie has a buttery crust with thinly sliced juicy apples laced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s made using unrefined sweeteners and uses the best gluten-free crust.
Pecan Pie: This Pecan Pie made in a tart pan is absolutely stunning, yet simple to put together. And the best part? It’s made without any refined sugar or corn syrup!
Grain-free Cranberry Apple Crisp This healthy apple crisp is made without oats, with a pop of color and tartness thanks to added cranberries and is sweetened just right!
S’mores Pie: Made with a rich chocolate pudding-like filling, made totally gluten-free using my homemade graham crackers or gluten-free graham crackers, and is topped with good quality marshmallows for the ultimate Summer dessert you can feel good about serving!
Easy Slow Cooker Baked Apples These easy-to-make “baked” apples have just the right amount of sweet, they swarm your home with the most delicious fall scent, and they are super EASY to throw together.
How to Make Creme Brûlée (Dairy-Free) This dairy-free and refined-sugar free version is just as decadent as the classic version but lightened up with a secret healthy ingredient! It’s perfectly sweetened with a blend of honey and maple sugar and despite it feeling fancy it is really easy to make.
Apple Galette This is similar to an apple pie with a buttery crust with thinly sliced juicy apple, but easier to put together! It’s the perfect dessert to serve during the holidays or a fun weekend baking project to celebrate the fall season! It’s made using unrefined sweeteners and uses the BEST gluten-free crust.
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes for Leftovers
Have a lot leftover? Repurpose that food to create meals to feed yourself over the weekend!
Turkey Wild Rice Soup This recipe is the perfect lunch or dinner to whip up after a great Thanksgiving meal. This easy to prepare soup is full of veggies, it’s warm and hearty and so delicious!
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Sandwich Looking for a way to use leftovers this Thanksgiving?! This Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich is made with my go-to paleo-friendly sandwich bread and is seriously one of my favorite things to make over Thanksgiving! Turkey, cranberry sauce, roasted veggies… need I say more?!
This Kale and Sweet Potato Stuffed Turkey Breast is perfect for a dinner party or small Thanksgiving feast. A boneless turkey breast is stuffed with quick caramelized onions, kale, sweet potato and herbs, then baked in the oven in just about an hour. Double the recipe to feed a crowd! It’s also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.
Stuffed Turkey Breast Recipe
It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving! If you are into the idea of making the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey, check out this recipe here with all the details you need to know if you’ve never made one before. But if you are hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to enjoy turkey without actually cooking a whole one? This Kale and Sweet Potato Stuffed Turkey Breast recipe is perfect. It has all the flavor of the traditional turkey but wrapped up in a beautiful package that takes about one third of the time needed for making a whole turkey.
Don’t worry–we are walking you through exactly how to make the stuffing, how to prepare and roll up the breast and finally how to cook it to perfection.
Steps for Making Stuffed Turkey Breast
Let’s start with the actual turkey breast!
You’ll be buying a boneless turkey breast roast. It usually comes wrapped up in a bundle of stretchable butcher’s twine. Go ahead and remove that and discard. Next you are going to place the turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. The turkey needs to be sliced through the middle and then opened up like a book so you can get more surface area to pound out. The more surface area you have, the more rolling you can do.
Next you will pound out the turkey with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform ¾” thickness. This again is so you have more surface area to roll and so that it cooks evenly. Finally, it’s time to brine the turkey. Luckily, you can do this in as little time as 1 hour, though the flavor really improves if you allow it to brine for up to 24. To brine the turkey, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 24 in the refrigerator. If you do refrigerate it overnight, bring the turkey breast again to room temperature before cooking. This ensures even cooking, and more tender meat.
Move on to the filling.
We wanted to make the filling all in one pan, which includes making (quick) caramelized onions, cooking up the sweet potato and braising the kale. It takes about 40-50 minutes for everything to cook, but if you were really in a rush you could break apart the steps of each component and cook separately, but at the same time. You do want to let the filling cool slightly before adding it to the turkey breast, because it makes it easier to handle and roll the meat. The entire filling can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Rolling and Tying up the Stuffed Turkey Breast
Because the turkey has been seasoned with salt, there will be a good amount of moisture on turkey after it has been brined. Pat it dry so that the filling doesn’t slip off. Spread the slightly cooled (or completely cooled) kale mixture into the middle of the breast, leaving a 1” border all around the edges. Then you are going to roll up the breast, starting with the short end that does not have the skin underneath. You do this so that when you have finished rolling the breast up, the skin is on the outside. Roll it into a tight log and completely enclose the filling. Turn the now stuffed turkey breast seam side down and smooth over the skin in the middle of the breast as best as possible. We’ve noticed that each turkey breast we worked with was a little different, and some of the meat had a cleanly butchered piece of skin, while others has less skin and it didn’t cover the entire rolled piece of meat. It’s important to leave the skin on because that helps keep the meat juicy, so do your best to ensure the skin is covering the meat. Next tie up the stuffed breast with butcher’s twine evenly in 5 places.
Bake the Stuffed Turkey Breast
Place the breast inside a roasting pan. Dry off the skin and rub all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and pour chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. This helps keep the meat moist, as you will baste the breast with it throughout the baking process. It also means you’ll have flavorful broth with which to make gravy after! Bake, basting every 20 minutes, until it reaches 155º degrees with an instant read thermometer, about 60-70 minutes. Then take it out and cover it to let the temperature continue to climb up to 165ºF.
Now it’s time to slice and serve!
How to Slice a Stuffed Turkey Breast
It is easiest to slice a stuffed turkey breast with a sharp serrated knife, such as a large bread knife. You can keep the stuffed breast tied up while you slice it, and then cut off the twine before serving.
What Temperature to Cook a Turkey Breast
The secret to a perfectly cooked juicy turkey breast is to not overcook it! Breast meat is pretty lean, so if it is overcooked it will taste dry and bland. As all meat does, the stuffed turkey breast will continue to cook after it has been removed from the oven.
We always suggest using an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of meat, and this should be removed from the oven at 155º. Once the turkey has been pulled out, cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow it to rest. This let’s the turkey finish cooking to 165º and lets all the juices reincorporate in the breast.
1 medium (12 oz.) sweet potato, peeled and diced fine
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
6 sage leaves
1 tablespoon dijon
2-¼ cup chicken or turkey broth, divided
1/2 bunch (2 cups) kale, cleaned, removed from stem and sliced thin
Place turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Carefully, slice parallel through the thickest part of the breast, but not all the way through. Unfold the turkey so it lays flat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform ¾” thickness. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 24 in the refrigerator. If its brined and refrigerated make sure to bring it back to room temperature before baking.
Meanwhile, make filling: Heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. Add in butter, garlic and sweet potato, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sweet potato is tender. Add in thyme, sage, dijon, ¼ cup broth and kale and cool until wilted down and all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 375 and set aside a 9”x13” roasting pan.
Pat the turkey breast dry. Spread the slightly cooled kale mixtureinto the middle of the breast, leaving a 1” border all around the edge of the breast. Starting with one short end that does not have the skin underneath, roll into a tight log and completely enclose the filling. Turn the now stuffed turkey breast seam side down and smooth over the skin in the middle of the breast as best as possible. Next tie up the stuffed breast with butcher’s twine evenly in 5 places. Place inside a roasting pan.
Dry off the skin and rub all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and pour chicken/turkey broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Bake, basting every 20 minutes, until it reaches 155º degrees with an instant read thermometer, about 60-70 minutes. Let rest, slightly covered for 10-15 minutes, to let the temperature continue to climb up to 165ºF.
Slice and serve with your favorite side dishes.
This serves at least 6, if you would like to increase the serving size double the recipe and make 2 turkey breasts.
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This Turkey Wild Rice Soup recipe is the perfect lunch or dinner to whip up after a great Thanksgiving meal. If you don’t have turkey leftovers, no problem because it also works great with leftover shredded chicken as well! This easy to prepare soup is full of veggies, it’s warm and hearty and so delicious!
Turkey Wild Rice Soup
I found myself a few weeks ago with a lot of unseasonal turkey leftovers thanks to our recipe testing and preparation for all of our new 2018 Thanksgiving recipes. I whipped up this Turkey Rice Soup because Mike and I needed to eat dinner and we loved it so much I decided I should share it here!
I love the heartiness and the different texture of the wild rice and that it is so full of veggies! If you are able to utilize the leftovers of a turkey carcass to make bone broth with, like I did, it takes it up to another level! The better the broth, the better the soup so make sure if you aren’t making your own to buy a good quality brand!
Turkey Rice Soup Ingredients
Leftover Roasted Turkey (or Rotisserie Chicken)
Salt and Pepper
Turkey Bone Broth or Regular Broth
Fish Sauce (this gives it another flavor dimension, but you can omit if you want)
How do you make turkey rice soup from leftover turkey?
You’ll want to pick off as much of the meat as possible from the turkey after it has been carved. If you are able to, pick all the meat from the turkey while it’s still warm because it is much easier to do! Our recipe calls for about 2-3 cups of leftover turkey meat. Once you’ve picked off meat from the turkey you should make a bone broth with it to use in your soup!
Once you’ve got your meat and your broth your ready to make the soup! And we aren’t reinventing the wheel here: You saute your aromatics, add some spices, meat, rice and broth and simmer away until the rice is fully cooked through and you have a flavorful dinner on your hands!
How do you make homemade turkey broth?
I made a super quick turkey bone broth with the leftover carcass and it was so simple! I used the Instant Pot, of course, but you can also do this on the stove top. I put the whole carcass, a few aromatics, spices and water in the Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for 50 minutes. It might have been the best broth I’ve ever tasted and was just so perfect in this soup. I’ve included instructions for both in the notes of the recipe if you want to make your own as well, but if you aren’t going to you can use regular bone broth or stock.
2-3 cups shredded cooked turkey breast (leftover thanksgiving turkey works great for this, or shredded chicken works as well)
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, over medium heat and add butter/oil.
When hot add onions, carrots, celery and salt and pepper to the pot and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.
Add thyme, parsley and 4 cups of the turkey bone broth, fish sauce, and rice.
Bring to a simmer and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the turkey and simmer, uncovered, another 30-50 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning and add more broth if needed.
This recipe was developed for thanksgiving leftovers, but it will work great with leftover chicken as well!
To make Homemade Turkey Bone Broth:
1 turkey carcass
1 large onion, halved
2 large carrots, halved
2 teaspoons peppercorns
6-8 cups water (depending on your size of Instant Pot)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
For Instant Pot: Combine all ingredients in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Use the natural release function.
On Stove Top: Simmer all ingredients away for 4-6 hours.
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Today we’re talking all about How To Roast A Thanksgiving Turkey. If you’ve never done it before it may seem a little bit intimidating! But don’t worry we’ve got you covered on all you need to know. And if you have roasted a turkey before, scroll on down because we’ve got a great turkey recipe that is full of citrus and herbs and is sure to be a hit on this years Thanksgiving table.
How to Roast a Turkey
You know you’ve reached adult status when it is finally your turn to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. But it can be so intimidating if you’ve never cooked one before. So we are going to break down all the steps you need to know so you can confidently know How to Roast a Turkey for Thanksgiving using our Herb and Citrus Turkey recipe with gravy.
Here’s what you need to Roast a Turkey:
1 -12 to 14 lb turkey, defrosted
Salt and pepper
Fresh Herbs: Sage, Parsley, Thyme
Citrus: Oranges and Lemon
Turkey or Chicken Stock
Let’s talk about the turkey!
Let’s get down to business and start with what kind of turkey you should buy. Hands down the best tasting turkey is going to be from your local trusted farm or meat share. Yes, they are definitely more expensive but it is so worth it to buy better quality and better tasting meat. You should look in to this as soon as possible as people tend to order these birds ahead of time. If you don’t have a source locally, you can seek out a good quality bird, preferable organic and heritage breed. You can buy fresh or frozen, but if you are buying frozen make sure you leave it in your refrigerator to thaw for 1 full day for every 5 pounds. An average turkey is about 12-14 pounds, which would need 3 days! Make sure to place the turkey in a container that will catch any exuding liquid.
Do you have to brine a turkey before cooking it?
No! But we like to! Our brining method doesn’t involve dunking the whole turkey in a salted water bath though! We love to infuse the turkey with extra flavor (our recipe usescitrus and herb) and moisture (via salt) but find it easiest to use a dry brine method. See below and the recipe on how exactly we do it!
How to Prepare a Turkey for Roasting
You’ll want to start the day before to dry brine the turkey. First you remove the giblets and neck, then you dry off the turkey as best you can. Season the cavity generously! Like, really, use more salt than you think. Then rub the citrus herb butter under the skin and on top of the skin. Stuff your remaining citrus, herbs and garlic inside of the turkey and truss it up. To truss it you simply tuck the wings underneath so they do not burn, and then tie together the legs with kitchen twine.
Should You Stuff Before Baking a Turkey?
We do not recommend stuffing a turkey. While many people may have strong feelings on this, stuffing a turkey forces you to cook it longer than the turkey needs so that you can bring the stuffing up to a safe temperature. We’d rather have a properly cooked bird and separately (and safely) cooked stuffing. We have our traditional Easy Gluten-Free Turkey Stuffing recipe, or our new Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing.
How to Roast a Turkey
We like to give the turkey a big blast of heat in the beginning of the cooking time to get a nice crisp skin. We start the turkey off at 450ºF for 30 minutes and then reduce heat to finish cooking at 325ºF for a total cooking time of about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Make sure to baste the turkey every so often (about every 45 minutes) with a turkey baster or a pastry brush, and cover the turkey with aluminum foil if the skin is getting to crispy, but we didn’t find this to be necessary at the lower cooking temperature.
We use our Thermapen in the kitchen every day, but there is no greater day to own one of these than turkey cooking day. It’s a little bit of an investment, but it lasts nearly forever and it is a surefire way to know that a big bird like this is done. To tell if a turkey is done insert and instant-read Thermapen thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. It should read 165ºF and the juices that run out of the bird after you remove the thermometer should be clear, as opposed to pink.
How to Carve a Turkey
It’s best to wear a pair of kitchen gloves and have a clean kitchen towel or paper towels handy during carving as there tends to be some juice that runs out while you are carving. Basically aside from the breast meat you always want to deconstruct the bird at the joint. A perfectly cooked turkey will be easy to deconstruct because the joints will break apart easily. We like to remove the pieces in this order:
Extra meat left on the bones
How to Make a Gravy from Pan Juices
For this recipe we are basically just doubling our Easy Gluten Free Gravy with additional steps on how to get the juices!
You first want to get the fat separated from the broth.
Then you measure out the remaining broth and add turkey stock until you get the correct amount of liquid.
Then you cook a portion of the skimmed fat with cornstarch and add the remaining broth and stock.
Prepare the herbs by finely dicing 1 tablespoons of each sage and parsley and picking 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves. Set aside the remaining herbs.
In a small bowl mash together softened butter, chopped sage and parsley and picked thyme leaves, zest of lemons and oranges and 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper and set aside.
To prepare the bird: Remove the neck and the giblets from inside the turkey and discard or save for another use. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and using paper towels dry the skin. Gently run your fingers underneath the skin of the turkey breast to separate it as far back as you can, without breaking through the skin. Dry in between with a paper towel. Generously season the cavity of the bird with salt and pepper.
Rub half of citrus and herb butter underneath the skin of the turkey breast as far back as you can and rub the remaining all over the top of the bird. Season again the outside of the bird generously with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity with the remaining lemon wedges, orange wedges, horizontally sliced garlic head and herbs as much as you can fit.
Truss the turkey by tucking the wings underneath the turkey and tie together the legs with kitchen twine as tightly as you can.
Transfer the turkey to the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or for a maximum of 24 hours
The day of:
Take the turkey out of the refrigerator an hour before you plan to roast it.
Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.
Add 4 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
Bake the turkey, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 325ºF and continue to bake. Bast the turkey occasionally and add any broth to make sure the liquid stays about 1/4" high, if needed. Cover the top with aluminum foil if the turkey is browning too quickly. Roast until the turkey is cooked through (with an instant-read thermometer registering 165ºF in the thickest part of the turkey), for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours total. (see note)
Once done, let the turkey rest for a least an hour.
To make the gravy:
When cool enough to handle tip any juices from the cavity of the bird into the roasting pan and set bird aside on a cutting board to cool, tented with foil. Set the roasting pan and accumulated juices over two medium flames, add 1 cup of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pan.
Carefully strain out the broth into a large glass measuring cup or medium glass bowl and place in the refrigerator to separate the fat from the broth. You should have about at least 2 cups of broth.
Once cooled down, the fat should rise to the top and you should be able to separate most of it out. Reserve 3 tablespoons of fat and discard the rest. Measure out the remaining broth and add turkey stock until you get 4 cups total of liquid.
In a medium sauce pan add 3 tablespoons fat and whisk in cornstarch. Slowly whisk in broth/stock until it is nice and smooth and bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To carve the turkey:
It's best to wear a pair of kitchen gloves and have a clean kitchen towel or paper towels handy during carving. With a carving knife and tongs remove the breast meat first by carving it out. Slice the breast meat across the grain and lay on a platter.
Slice through the skin of the drumsticks and bend them back until you can cut through the joint. Set on platter.
Flip the bird over slice through the skin on the wing and bend back until they break, and cut them off.
Cut the thigh meat toward you and bend back until the joint is exposed and cut through it to remove it. Cut the bone and all the joints out of it, and then slice through the meat against the grain, like you do the breast meat.
Pick off any remaining meat from the bird and set aside for leftovers the next day, or to serve.
To baste the turkey either use a turkey baster, or use a pastry brush.
We truly recommend a high quality instant-read thermometer, like the Thermapen. It's a little bit of an investment, but it lasts forever and it is a surefire way to know that a big bird like this is done. To tell if a turkey is done insert and instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. It should read 165ºF and the juices the run out of the bird after you remove the thermometer should be clear.
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