Easy Italian Roast Turkey

Italian roast turkey

  • serves 8
  • Easy

We think this is our best turkey recipe yet. When working out how to cook, remember a turkey will need a different cooking time per weight depending on how big it is. Calculate the weight the night before and don’t forget to allow one hour of resting time.

Try this Italian roast turkey, then check out our ultimate roast turkey, turkey crown, easy turkey gravy and more Christmas turkey recipes.


  • turkey 1 oven-ready, about 6kg
  • butter 125g
  • lemon 1, zested and halved
  • onions 2 large, 1 halved and 1 thickly sliced
  • bay leaves 2
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • rosemary 1 sprig, leaves pulled off and finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • sea salt flakes to sprinkle
  • white wine 2 glasses


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Mix the butter with the lemon and season well. Gently push your fingers under the turkey’s skin, starting from the neck end of the bird, easing the skin away from the flesh over both the breast and tops of the drumsticks – you’ll have to slide your whole hand in to reach this far. Spread the lemon butter under the skin, pushing it as far in as you can, then smooth the skin back into place. Put the onion halves and bay leaves in the turkey cavity.

  • Step 2

    Mix the garlic and rosemary with enough olive oil to make a paste, rub this over the skin of the turkey and sprinkle with salt flakes.

  • Step 3

    Arrange the sliced onion in the bottom of a large roasting tin to act as a trivet for the bird and pour in the wine. Sit the turkey on top and cover both the bird and tin completely with foil to make a tent. Cook the turkey for 40 minutes per kilo, basting once or twice. Take out the turkey and turn up the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the skin is golden. To test if it is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices that run out should be clear and not pink; keep cooking if the juices are pink and check again after each 10 minutes. If you like your turkey meat almost falling off the bones, test by wiggling the leg – it should give slightly if the meat is ready to come away from the bones.

  • Step 4

    Rest the turkey, covered loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving (this will also free up the oven for the parsnips and stuffing).

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 736
  • Fat 35.3g
  • Carbs 4.1g
  • Fibre 0.7g
  • Protein 100.6g
  • Salt 1.23g