The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe—Plus, Healthified Gravy!

Last Update: June 13, 2023

Stop stressing about Turkey Day right now: We’ve got a foolproof recipe for a tender, juicy turkey. Served with a cashew cream gravy, this bird is a show-stopping centerpiece for any Thanksgiving feast.

Coconut Oil-Basted Roasted Turkey

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Sea salt and pepper
1 fresh, organic 10- to 13-pound turkey, cleaned, washed, and patted dry
2 oranges, cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
6 cloves garlic
2 bunches parsley
2 bunches thyme
2 bunches rosemary
2 bunches sage
2 large yellow onions, sliced into 2-inch thick pieces
Coconut oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 bunches of carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
Turkey bone broth (optional)

Thanksgiving turkey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with two halves of an orange, ½ lemon, 3 cloves garlic, bunches of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage, and 2 slices of onion. Drizzle cavity with coconut oil. Stuff the neck cavity with 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 lemon. Stuff sage leaves and 2 cloves garlic underneath skin of breast. Brush the outside of the turkey with liberal amounts of coconut oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme leaves. Tie the legs together with cooking twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Place cut carrots, rest of onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and remaining herbs and orange in the bottom of a large roasting dish. Toss with coconut oil and salt. Set turkey on top.

Place turkey in oven for 10 minutes, then without opening the door, turn down the temperature to 325 minutes and roast for 30 minutes more. Baste with juices every 15 minutes, roasting for a total of nearly 3 hours, or until the juices run clear when turkey is cut between the leg and the thigh. If juices run low, baste with turkey bone broth. Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Reserve drippings and onions for cashew cream gravy, if desired.

Thanksgiving turkey

Cashew Cream Gravy

Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight soaking time)

Pan drippings from coconut oil-basted turkey
1 to 2 cups turkey bone broth 
1 shallot, chopped
2 small bunches sage, leaves chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water and then drained
3/4 cup caramelized onions from turkey pan
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine pan drippings from cooked turkey with 1 cup bone broth, shallots, sage, garlic, and bay leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and turn off heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and place mixture in blender with soaked cashews and caramelized onions. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and liberal amounts of freshly ground pepper. Dilute with more bone broth to thin, if necessary.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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