Herb & Butter Rub for Turkey

This herb and butter rub recipe is perfect for turkey – it helps to create the most tender turkey breast and crispy skin! Be sure to add this butter and herb mixture to your holiday menu planning.

Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

We love to use this herb and butter rub on all of our turkeys because it makes for the most tender breast meat and gives the skin of the turkey a golden and crispy texture. The best way to create the most flavorful turkey is to use a compound butter recipe like this one!

In my mind, cooking a roast turkey is always the perfect meal for holiday celebrations. It’s the basis for all of our family get togethers and large gatherings because this turkey is always delicious and feeds a crowd!

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We cook turkey year round but my family is especially set on having a Thanksgiving turkey. It takes a bit of planning and preparation but cooking a whole turkey is seriously my favorite thing to do for the holidays!

We’ve perfected the best recipes to use in this traditional meal, including this herb butter turkey recipe. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make the perfect turkey this year, your family will thank you!

Herb & Butter Rub Recipe for Turkey

Our turkey always starts with this simple turkey brine recipe that we leave our thawed turkey in overnight. Then, depending on how we decide to cook the turkey, we often use this turkey injection recipe to add even more flavour to the turkey meat.

Looking for a complete guide to creating the perfect Thanksgiving feast? Find a carefully curated collection of our time-tested, family-favorite recipes inside the pages of this eBook!

Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

Finally, we coat the outside of the turkey with this herb and butter rub before placing it into a large roasting pan to cook. These methods always make for the most tender and moist turkey you’ve ever had, seriously!

Herb & Butter Rub Ingredients

Here’s what we need to get started in cooking the best turkey!

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Supplies:

Herb & Butter Rub Process

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper*

* ground black pepper works just as well.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

Preparation:

1. Chop fresh herbs finely.

A food processor may be used for this step but I find using a knife and cutting board easier so that the herbs don’t stick to the inside of a processor or cutting blade.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

2. Place the soft butter into a small mixing bowl.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

3. Add the herbs and spices to the butter.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

4. Combine butter and herbs and mix well.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

5. Place the butter mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

6. Roll into a log shape.

Herb & Butter Rub Process

7. Keep the herb butter mixture in the parchment paper roll until ready to use.

Herb Butter Rub Process

8. Rinse and pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Place turkey in the pan on a roasting rack or turkey lifter.

Herb Butter Rub Process

9. Rub butter mixture over the entire bird. 

Tip: If the rub is not sticking, the butter may be heated in the microwave until just melted and carefully poured over the turkey.

Herb Butter Rub Process

10. Be sure to coat the entire bird in the butter mixture. Breast, wings, drumsticks and back. Remaining butter may be placed in the cavity of the turkey or between the skin and flesh of the neck cavity.

The Best Roast Turkey Recipe

11. Cook the turkey as desired.

Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

For Thanksgiving dinner, our go-to cooking method is this garbage can turkey, at Christmas we always have a roast turkey and for Easter we often cook a smoked turkey.

Recipe substitutions:

  • Create a garlic herb butter by adding fresh minced garlic to the butter rub.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter.
  • Add lemon zest or lemon juice to the mixture.
Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

Tips and tricks:

  • Remove the top oven rack to give the oven roaster more room.
  • Save the pan drippings from the bottom of the pan to make the best turkey gravy.
  • Use the turkey carcass and leftovers to create a turkey stock.
  • My mom taught me to use a turkey baster to baste the turkey with drippings from the bottom of the pan throughout the cook. Try this method!
  • If the turkey skin is getting too crispy, cover it with a lid or aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too brown.
Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

Roasting an entire turkey is the easiest way to feed a crowd during the holiday season! We like to serve our bird with garlic mashed potatoes, classic cooked carrots and fresh dinner rolls.

The Best Roast Turkey Recipe

More turkey recipes:

  • Do you have leftover turkey? Make these turkey and cranberry sliders – this easy recipe makes the most delicious turkey sliders that you’ve ever had!
  • Looking for a low carb alternative to your standard stuffing? Try this delicious keto friendly stove top stuffing recipe!
  • My mom always makes the best side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner! Try her classic yams recipe this year.
  • This cranberry salsa recipe is a family favorite and makes the perfect appetizer!
Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

If you love this herb and butter rub recipe, please give it a five star review and help me share it on Facebook or Pinterest so that others can enjoy it too!

Herb & Butter Rub Recipe

Herb and Butter Rub Recipe

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This herb and butter rub recipe is perfect for turkey - it helps to create the most tender turkey breast and crispy skin! Be sure to add this butter and herb mixture to your holiday menu planning.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Instructions

1. Chop fresh herbs finely.

2. Place the soft butter into a small mixing bowl.

3. Add the herbs and spices to the butter.

4. Combine butter and herbs, mix well.

5. Place the butter mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper.

6. Roll into a log shape.

7. Keep the herb butter mixture in the parchment paper roll until ready to use.

8. Rinse and pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Place turkey in the pan on a roasting rack or turkey lifter.

9. Rub butter compound over the entire bird. 

10. Be sure to coat the entire bird in the butter mixture. Breast, wings, drumsticks and back. Remaining butter may be placed in the cavity of the turkey or between the skin and flesh of the neck cavity.

11. Cook the turkey as desired.

Notes

If the rub is not sticking, the butter may be heated in the microwave until just melted and carefully poured over the turkey.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

All values are approximate and based on ingredients used by the recipe writer. Always calculate your own individual nutritional values for the most accurate calculation.

Did you make this recipe?

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about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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