Thanksgiving Turkey Rub

This Thanksgiving Turkey Rub recipe uses fresh lemons to spice up the traditional holiday meal. Celery, carrots, onions and parsnips roast right inside the bird for a delicious alternative to stuffing.

Thanksgiving Turkey with lemon


  • 1 (15 lb) whole turkey, thawed
  • 2 lemons cut in halves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in chunks
  • 2 carrots cut in chunks
  • 2 parsnips cut in chunks
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted


Remove the neck and giblets.

Rinse the turkey in cold water, then pat dry inside and out.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Rub the inside of the turkey with 2 lemon halves, squeezing the juice into the turkey as you rub.

Cover the turkey cavity well with salt and pepper.

Place the onion, celery, carrots and parsnips into the cavity of the turkey.

Sprinkle with the parsley.

Tie the legs with cooking twine and secure the neck skin to the turkey back.

Rub the remaining lemon over the turkey skin, squeezing as you rub.

Baste with melted butter.

Season with the remaining salt and pepper.

Place the turkey breast side down on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350F and cook for 2 hours.

Turn the turkey breast side up.

Reduce heat to 225 and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

The internal temperature of the breast will be 170F degrees when done.

Allow turkey to stand 20-30 minutes before carving.

Cook Time:

Yield: 15 servings


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