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Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey

4.8 stars, average of 75 ratings

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There is nothing more traditional than the holiday turkey roast. This recipe will show you how to make roast turkey that is deliciously tender with golden skin, infused with butter and fragrant herbs. It's the perfect choice for a main if you follow a low-carb or keto diet.

I’ve been dying to try this technique ever since I saw it on an old cooking show, late at night. (Yes, I watch cooking shows when I can’t sleep, lol) I won’t lie, I do not understand how this works, except that I can now tell you that I will never cook a turkey, or maybe even a chicken, in any other way.

By wrapping the bird in cheesecloth or muslin and keeping it basted, you get an amazing golden bird that is moist and flavourful. I swear, it’s like magic!

I was absolutely convinced that the cloth would stick to the skin and peel the whole lot off like one big shell, thus ruining three hours of work, but it didn’t. I gave it an extra soaking before gently pulling it off the bird to my amazement. Give this a try, I promise you’ll stand there with your mouth hanging open too! Enjoy!

Note: When deciding on the size of your turkey, you should count about a pound (or half a kilo) of raw bird per each serving. The weight includes bones and will cook down so make sure you have enough.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 160 g/ 5.6 oz cooked turkey

Allergy information for Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey

✔  Gluten free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 160 g/ 5.6 oz cooked turkey)

Net carbs1.4 grams
Protein46.3 grams
Fat46.1 grams
Calories611 kcal
Calories from carbs 1%, protein 31%, fat 68%
Total carbs2 gramsFiber0.5 gramsSugars0.9 gramsSaturated fat24.2 gramsSodium820 mg(36% RDA)Magnesium77 mg(19% RDA)Potassium575 mg(29% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

  • 5.5 kg whole turkey (12 lbs)
  • 500 g butter (1.1 lb)
  • 2 small onions (140 g/ 5 oz)
  • 1 bunch of sage
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 2 cups chicken stock (480 ml/ 16 fl oz)
  • 2 to 3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 piece of cheesecloth or muslin, big enough to fold in half and cover your bird


  1. You’ll need a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, big enough to fold in half and cover your bird. Preheat the oven to 220 °C/ 430 °F (fan assisted), or 240 °C/ 465 °F (conventional).
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  2. Dry the turkey inside and out with clean paper towels.
  3. Melt half of the butter (250 g/ 8.8 oz) in a saucepan on the stove and add 1 cup of chicken stock.
  4. Place the rest of the butter, salt and pepper in a small bowl and add the chopped herbs and the garlic. Mix well until you have a nicely combined herb and garlic butter.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  5. Very carefully, use your hand to slide between the skin of the turkey and the meat, creating a pocket of space all over the breast and legs of the bird.
  6. Cut the onions in half and stuff the turkey with them, along with the bunches of sage and thyme. You can use herbs to taste - these don’t get eaten but the infuse they bird with lovely flavours while cooking and help to ensure even cooking.
  7. Use your hands to spread the herbed butter under the skin of the turkey, massaging and smoothing it out as you go. Any leftover butter can be rubbed all over the outside of the bird.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  8. Place your cheesecloth in the melted butter mixture and then gently squeeze out excess liquid. Fold the cloth and drape over your turkey, patting it down and smoothing it over until the bird is wrapped neatly.
  9. Place the wrapped turkey on a rack over a roasting dish and pour 1 cup of chicken stock in the base of the tray.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  10. Cook the turkey for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from oven and baste with the butter and chicken stock baste.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 180 °C/ 355 °F (fan assisted), or 200 °C/ 400 °F (conventional), and cook the turkey for a further 2 hours or so, depending on the size of your bird (about 20 minutes per each pound/ 450 g of turkey). The turkey is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 74 °C/ 165 °F.
  12. Baste the turkey with the melted butter and chicken stock mixture every 30 minutes, you can also use the juices that gather in the bottom of the roasting dish.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  13. When your turkey is done, baste the cloth really well and gently pull away from your, now incredibly golden, bird. If it sticks, don’t panic, just soak that spot a bit more until it releases.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey
  14. Cover the turkey with foil and rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve warm with low-carb sides like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Cauliflower Mash. Store, in a covered container, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    Butter Blanketed Roast Turkey

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 160 g/ 5.6 oz cooked turkey)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Turkey, whole, meat and skin, raw
0.3 g45.1 g11.8 g298 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.4 g33.8 g299 kcal
Onion, brown (yellow), raw
0.7 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Sage, fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Thyme, fresh
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Chicken stock
0.1 g0.6 g0.5 g7 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Rosemary, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 160 g/ 5.6 oz cooked turkey
1.4 g46.3 g46.1 g611 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (11)

Thank you so much for this! I’ve done the cheesecloth method for years and here’s a tip: Put your butter-slathered bird in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes— THEN— pull it out of the oven and drape it with your butter-soaked cheesecloth (turn the oven down and finish roasting as normal). The first 30 minutes starts a real crisp to the skin, so that (at the end) the cheesecloth will NOT stick to the skin! I’ve never had the slightest “stick” yet the whole bird turns out looking like a calendar photo! Gorgeous! God bless you and thanks again!

Thank you so much Mary, those are great tips! I'm making this first week in December so I'll give it a go 😊

This is now my go-to turkey recipe. The turkey turned out so delicious. I usually flip the turkey halfway through to self-baste. I will not need to do that in the future. It was a perfectly tender and juicy turkey!

Thank you for your lovely feedback Denise!

You are most welcome! it is deserved, thank you for helping to make my holiday delicious!

Made this for  Christmas and it was absolutely perfect.  

Thank you Tanya!

We use an Oster electric roaster to do our turkey saves oven space in our small kitchen.  I was wondering about your thoughts on using this recipe in the roaster instead of the oven??
Thank you for all that you do and share with this community.  I love your recipes!
Happy Holidays!
Blessings, Rhonda

Thank you Rhonda! I think it should work just fine. (I don't have that roster but did a quick google search to see how it works.) Let me know how it went and happy holidays!

Can you use Ghee instead of regular butter?  If so how much?

Yes you can do that. Butter is about 80% fat so I'd use 400 g (14.1 oz) ghee instead of butter.