Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe

This Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe may sound a little different, but I think you may be surprised at the delicious results.

Over the years, we’ve cooked turkey every which of way, roasted and basted, and basted, and basted with all kinds of combinations of ingredients, roasted in a bag, fried (of course), we’ve brined and have gone brine-less. Honestly, I’m no expert, but I will say this, less is best in my book. Less messing. Less stuff. Less time.

Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey from shewearsmanyhats.com

This recipe I’m sharing with you today for a Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey definitely calls for less. It’s pretty straightforward. And no, it doesn’t taste like mayonnaise. This is just one of the methods we use, but after great results each time, moist turkey, that tastes like turkey, hand-down, it’s our preferred way so far.

Before I get to the mayo method, let’s talk turkey.

Tips for Cooking Turkey:

  • Bigger isn’t always better. A large turkey doesn’t equal large taste. So if you have a big group to feed, I’d recommend getting two smaller turkeys. Smaller turkeys (I’d say 12-13 lbs) are harder to come by, but look for them. Hunt them down.
  • No additional “stuff.” You may need to call around to find a turkey without all the junkity-junk, but it’s worth it. You may pay more per pound, but you won’t be paying for all that extra plumping or whatever it is. A good rule of thumb someone once told me is no more than 4 ingredients on the packaging. Remember, less is best.
  • Use a meat thermometer and cook for proper time. Turkey doesn’t need to take 4 hours to cook. I promise. Make sure you have a good meat thermometer that stays in the turkey and can be monitored from outside the oven. We like to insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) for monitoring while cooking, but you’ll also want to check the thickest part of the breast before removing from oven, so an external meat thermometer is handy. Whatever meat thermometer(s) you use, just be sure to test them ahead of the big day.
  • Cook temperature and time for roasting a turkey is basic and simple. Roast high for a short time, then turn down until internal temperature of the internal temperature reaches 160°F. See recipe below for temperatures, etcetera. You’ll be surprised how quickly it reaches the proper internal temperature, depending on size, 2 hours or less!
  • Let it rest. That turkey has been working and it’s hot man. Let it rest, covered, for at least 20-30 minutes (depending on size) before carving. It will help retain the juices and all the goodness.
  • To brine or not to brine? If you like to brine and you’ve got the time, brine away…brine until you dine, in the sunshine, it’ll be fine. We’ve brined and we’ve gone brine-less. Honestly, I tend to be bad at planning, so I usually forget until it’s past the prime time to brine. Plus, I think when you invest in a good turkey, as mentioned before, with no additives and plumped up with extras, not too large, and roasted correctly, you might find that brining may not be all that necessary.
  • And finally, practice. Cook turkey more than just during the holidays. Try out different techniques. Brine, don’t brine. Test different basting combos. Feeling confident about cooking your turkey, will help make the day of celebrating more enjoyable for you. And tasty too!

Okay, now for this mayonnaise turkey deal. I know, it sounds weird, but like I said before, it does deliver a moist and tasty bird. And, it’s simple. I’ll show ya. Mix herbs (fresh or dried) with mayonnaise. I used herbs I had on hand. Feel free to experiment with different herb and seasoning combinations.

Mayo Turkey

 Chopped celery, and onion, salt, pepper, and a stick of butter for good measure, round out the ingredients needed, other than the bird.

Mayo Turkey

 Prep your turkey in a roasting pan. Make sure it’s thawed y’all, I’ve made that mistake before. Rub the mayo/herb mixture all over and inside of the turkey. Season with salt and pepper, add the celery, onion, inside and out, and tuck the butter in the cavity.

how to roast turkey

 Roast in 450°F oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F, and insert the meat thermometer at this point in the thickest part of the thigh. Be careful to not touch bone. (Some say insert it into the thickest part of the breast, we’ve done that too, but now use the thigh as the measure and check the breast before removing from oven.) Continue roasting, uncovered, until thermometer reaches 160°F. If you’re concerned with the legs getting dried out, cover them partway through cooking with foil. Sometimes I do, this time I didn’t. Keep an eye on it during cooking to see if it’s needed.

Mayonnaise Turkey Recipe

 Let it rest and carve.

roasted turkey how to cook turkey turkey and gravy

 Now enjoy with your favorite side dishes and of course gravy!

Speaking of gravy, save those drippings in the roasting pan. You’ll need those for the gravy. Check out the gravy recipe.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
 
This recipe I'm sharing with you today for a Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey definitely calls for less. It's pretty straightforward. And no, it doesn't taste like mayonnaise. This is just one of the methods we use, but after great results each time, moist turkey, that tastes like turkey, hand-down, it's our preferred way so far.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 12-14 lb. whole turkey, (totally thawed, tee-totally thawed)
  • 6-7 fresh sage leaves, rough chopped
  • 5-6 fresh thyme stems
  • 2-3 springs of rosemary
  • 2-3 springs of oregano
  • 1½ cups of mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons pepper
  • 3 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, salted
  • (adjusts all seasonings & mayonnaise as needed for size of bird)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Lay turkey in a roasting pan.
  3. Remove leaves from herbs stems. Add sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano to mayonnaise; combine well. Rub mayonnaise/herb mixture all over outside and interior of bird.
  4. Liberally salt, and pepper turkey. Add the celery, and onion, inside and out, and tuck the butter in the cavity.
  5. Roast turkey in 450°F oven for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350°F, and insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to touch bone. Continue roasting, uncovered, until internal thermometer reaches 160°F. Cover legs with foil partway through roasting if desired. Depending on size of turkey, total cook time will be around 1½-2 hours. Once the thermometer reaches 160°F in the thigh, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast to make sure it reads 160°F as well.
  6. Remove from oven. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 20-30 minutes (depending on size) before carving.
  7. Remember to reserve turkey drippings and juices for gravy.

 

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    Now that is one beautiful bird! I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year for the family so I need to start preparing my menu. I’ve cooked my own turkey before but it’s always nice to see what others are doing for their families and for a refresher course!

  2. 5

    says

    ok, so my ex-uncle (long family drama story) used to make turkey like this and i have to say that it is the BEST roasted turkey i’ve ever had. it definitely doesn’t taste like mayo, which is good because i actually don’t love mayo, but moist and juicy and perfect every time! i’m so glad you posted it…there was no way i was ever going to get the recipe from him :)

  3. 7

    NanaBread (Jeanne) says

    That has got to be the most beautiful roasted turkey I’ve ever seen. I really want to try this now!

  4. 10

    says

    I never knew mayo could be used! That’s genius even for a mayo-hater like myself. Luckily, I still haven’t had to host Thanksgiving so I’ll just stash this recipe until next time…maybe I’ll stop making excuses for next year!

  5. 11

    Rstoll says

    This is the basic recipe I’ve used for at least a decade (minus the stick of butter in the cavity). It always comes out moist and juicy! Never a mayo taste for those of you a little concerned. I do vary the herbs and seasoning from year to year – my hubby favors more of a Cajun seasoning on his bird so that will be the plan for this year.

  6. 13

    says

    I love this!! I’m kind of a mayonnaise snob and prefer to make my own, but it would be well worth it I think. Mayo has magical properties, I’m finding out. I can only imagine how delicious it makes this turkey taste! Thanks for a great, unique idea for Thanksgiving!

  7. 14

    says

    Oh my! My husband calls me a saucy kind of girl, well, because I spread mayo on everything. I’ll take sage mayo, honey mayo and chipotle mayo and slather it on fries, fish… you get the picture. This is one beautiful hunka saucy Turkey. I need to try.

  8. 15

    says

    Now that is a gorgeous bird! Seriously Amy, that look like one of the tastiest turkeys I’ve seen and, as usual, your photos are gorgeous.

  9. 20

    says

    Well, I’ll be. I have never, ever heard of the mayo method. But I’m loving it! i think I’ll try it out with a turkey breast this weekend. I’m thinking this will be on our table for Thanksgiving!

  10. 21

    Kristen says

    I am so glad you posted this! Ever since you talked about it in Montana I’ve been anxious to try it.
    Gorgeous turkey photos, by the way!

  11. 25

    says

    I could do this! My favorite turkey and one I have to make every year is one that has herb butter slathered all over it, but I loosen the skin and put the butter between the skin and the breast meat. I think I’m going to try adding some mayo and more herbs and get a bit different flavor this year…I most often do sage and though we love it, I’m ready for rosemary!

    Your turkey is gorgeous…and now I’m sort of craving some. Bad.

  12. 26

    says

    mmmm. Like Sarah, I was a little weirded out on first impressions/mayonnaise in the name. But these pictures are amazing. I am not even a fan of turkey and I want to fork my screen.:)

  13. 27

    says

    That sounds incredible! I have a chicken recipe for a baked chicken where you roll it in a combination of mayo and coarse ground mustard and then in seasoned fresh bread crumbs. It is the best chicken because it’s super simple and stays really moist. I never thought to slather it on a turkey though!

  14. 30

    says

    Amy….. This is very different from how I usually approach my Thanksgiving turkey, but I guarantee you, I’m making it YOUR way this year. I cannot get over the color and texture of that skin! That turkey is sheer perfection.

  15. 31

    Kathy - Panini Happy says

    Very interesting! I can just imagine how wonderfully crispy that skin is. It looks gorgeous!

  16. 33

    toni says

    That looks soooo delicious!! Do you think you could come to my house for Thanksgiving and bring the turkey??

  17. 35

    says

    this is one gorgeous looking bird. I especially love the golden crust it has. Can’t wait to give this one a try.

  18. 36

    says

    I saw this turkey on Pinterest and just had to find it’s source. What an amazing looking turkey! As I’m in Scotland we don’t do Thanksgiving, but I think I may do this for Christmas which is when we eat our Turkey.

  19. 38

    says

    This makes a lot of sense! Since mayo is mostly oil, it will help to brown the bird because it conducts heat so well. I generally use butter, but it’s the same idea. either way, I love your choice of fresh herbs. Happy Thanksgiving:)

  20. 39

    says

    This looks amazing. My husband and I were just talking about doing “something different” for THE MEAL this year, and this looks like just the turke–I mean, just the ticket. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Amy. Gorgeous photos.

  21. 40

    says

    This turkey looks amazing! It is going to be just Grumpy and myself this year so I will probably cook a turkey breast – but I think this is how I’m going to do it! Thanks for such a great post.

  22. 41

    says

    One time I walked into the kitchen and my old roommate was coating chicken breasts in mayo. I thought she was crazy because I had no idea you could do that! She shared a piece with me and it’s soooo good. I’ve been hooked since.

  23. 42

    KIM BARBER says

    I will test this out on a small bird next weekend and this wil be on the Xmas table if all the family like it. thank you

  24. 43

    says

    This is a beautiful turkey, and an awesome recipe. Excellent advice in the “talk turkey section too. I’ve learned some of that the hard way. Like not trusting your thermometer and have a turkey raw at the center.

  25. 50

    says

    I handed over (well, begged) turkey duty to my BF’s SIL a few days ago. THEN I saw THIS. Thank you for bringing back the excitement of roasting and craving a turkey, for me. It looks to be exactly how I’d want it. Who knew mayo could make a turkey that amazing? :)

  26. 51

    Megan says

    I’m curious… do you know how long I would cook the turkey for at the 350 degrees if I have a 20-25 lb turkey? I’ve heard conflicting things from 5 hours to 7 and I’m worried I’m going to put the turkey in way too early and have it be sitting out for two hours while everything else cooks… thoughts?

  27. 52

    says

    Great write-up, Amy – thanks for sharing your trials so we may all learn from them!

    I’ve heard that roasting the bird upside down helps keep the white meat moist – since it’s on the bottom it collects/receives more juices.

  28. 54

    Pam says

    I used this recipe on my 28 lb turkey this Thanksgiving. It was so moist and delicous. I will never roast a turkey any other way!

  29. 55

    Megan says

    Just wanted to say thank you for posting this! I used this recipe for my 21.5 lb turkey and it came out AMAZING! Probably the most moist and tender turkey I’ve ever had! The only thing I changed was I cooked at 325 for 4 hours (instead of 450 and then 350), but that’s just because I didn’t know what I was doing (having never cooked a turkey before) and wanted to follow the instructions on the turkey package as best I could.

  30. 56

    says

    I was looking over your blog but couldn’t take my eyes off that bird. Thanks for the tip. I will be trying this on Christmas day.

  31. 57

    Lori D says

    Thanks for the best turkey recipe e.v.e.r.
    Hubby said he wants all poultry cooked like this from now on!

  32. 58

    Judith - Texas says

    Just discovered your blog today – lovin’ it!! Have saved the recipe for the turkey and gravy – both will definitely be on my Christmas menu.

    Beautiful photography! The picture with carved turkey is pure art – do you have any plans on posting about how to carve the turkey into this presentation – never have I seen such precision cut turkey. Please do post a tutorial.

  33. 59

    AnnS says

    Best turkey I ever cooked! I used Herbes de Provence in the mayo mix instead of your recommended herbs and the turkey came out moist, flavorful, and incredible! I will definitely make this again.

  34. 61

    says

    This was wonderful!!! My family raved about this. It was good fresh from the oven and also good cold.
    This is a keeper!!
    Thanks,
    Moe

  35. 62

    says

    Made this at Christmas time and loved it! Now I just made it with boneless skinless chicken breasts and my family loved it!!
    Moe

  36. 63

    Glenda says

    I want to make this and it’s no where near Thanksgiving! This will definitely be my next turkey recipe. Your bird didn’t fall apart while cutting either. Moist.

  37. 64

    marianne says

    can this method also be used if using the bag method?
    some of those bags say not to go over 400 degrees…do they melt at 450? :(
    Thanks!

  38. 65

    Tamara says

    Thx so much for this recipe! We did it today and it was perfection! It was my first turkey and I think I will be sticking with it for next year too-

  39. 67

    Jessica says

    How do you think subbing Greek yogurt for mayo would work??? This looks so good….

  40. 68

    Ellie says

    Is it possible to use the Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey with a stuffed bird? My family cannot live without the stuffing and not the kind cooked outside the bird. Thanks.

  41. 69

    Ramona George says

    I use mayo for chicken breast and people are amazed at how juicy it is. I never thought to do it for turkey!!! I also like the suggestion of two smaller turkeys instead of one big one!!!! I will definitely be cooking it this way this year!!!!

  42. 70

    Amanda says

    I’ve never cooked a turkey so this will be my first attempt. When using the mayo method, would you still baste the turkey now & then with the juices or leave it alone? And no covering except maybe the legs to keep from drying? Would they still brown if covered with foil?

    • 71

      says

      Amanda,

      Yay for your first turkey! It really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s a big bird, but not a big deal so don’t let all the fuss you hear about it psych you out. With that said, if you want to baste, baste. If you don’t, don’t. I wouldn’t cover the legs until into the cooking time, and by then the legs should be browned already. The most important thing is having a great meat thermometer and making sure it is done. Happy turkey cooking!

  43. 73

    Nilu says

    I just tried it with a chicken (to make sure it would work for my turkey).
    A M A Z I N G ! ! ! ! !
    So incredibly moist and delicious.
    I am most definitely roasting my turkey this way.

      • 75

        Nilu says

        How many hours would you cook a 13 lb bird? Its organic and brining now. (I dont want to have the bird finished tooo early), thanks!

        • 76

          says

          Hello Nilu,

          YAY! So exciting that tomorrow is the big bird day! As far as cook time for a 13 pound bird, it will depend on your oven, and the meat to bone ratio of the bird, but I’m going to guess between 1 1/2-2 hours. Now remember that’s a guess, it could be more or less. Just make sure to have the thermometer as the judge. But I’d plan on 2 hours for cook time, plus 30 minutes for resting, knowing it could be slightly more or less from that. Happy turkey day to you and yours! :)

  44. 77

    Tori says

    I love chicken with mayo and have been doing that for 2 or 3 years now. How could I not have thought about doing it for the turkey before. I am cooking for 16 this year usually it has been for the most 4-5. What do any of you think about stuffing the bird with this recipe. I love stuffing the bird and I am hoping this wouldn’t make the stuffing too wet. Thoughts?

    • 78

      says

      Hello Tori,

      Hmmmm … I don’t usually stuff the bird. It may be too wet, but the only way to know is to try it. Maybe if the bird is elevated from the drippings a bit more? Let me know what you do and how it turns out. Happy turkey day!

  45. 79

    McKensie Schaefer says

    Okay! So I have been planning on your recipe for the past few weeks. I bought two turkeys as suggested. One being 13.9 in weight, the other at 14.6. So they are roughly about the same. I have one leave in thermometer, which can be monitored from outside of the oven, to avoid opening the door. Will cooking time increase greatly since I will be roasting two, simultaneously? Would I need another thermometer? One for each turkey, essentially? I was hoping to have everything served @ 5pm. It’s my first time hosting and I wanted to give myself enough time for cooking. I had planned on popping them in the oven around 1. However, I’m beginning to doubt whether that is a great idea, or not! Thanks for any advice!

    • 80

      says

      Hello McKensie!

      Yay for you hosting for the first time. I know how stressful that can be. Depending on your oven(s) and how the turkeys will both be situated in the oven(s), they may take a bit longer to cook but I wouldn’t think a whole lot longer. I’d maybe pad my cook time maybe an extra hour, which may not be needed. As far as thermometers, ideally, I would recommend a second thermometer, otherwise, you could check one, then the other, but you’ll be having to poke each turkey more, leaving holes for the juices to escape, which isn’t the end of the world. The most important part is knowing that it has reached the appropriate temperature. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions.

      Happy cooking!

  46. 81

    Keshia Hervas says

    I made this one year and it was amazing. But then I made it with a 13-14 pound turkey and this year I have an 18lb turkey. So how long????? I’m hosting my family this year in our house we just bought. Also I don’t have a rack on the bottom of my roasting pan. Is this bad?

    • 82

      says

      Hey Keshia,

      I’m not positive about time, maybe 2 hours give or take. Just make sure to have an internal thermometer to tell when it’s correct temperature. As far as rack goes, you can improvise with some onions (3-4). Slice both ends so they sit flat, then spread them out on bottom of pan, and sit the turkey on top of them. They’ll cook some and shrink down, but they’ll keep the turkey up a bit out of the juices.

  47. 83

    Suz says

    I tried this for the first time today and I will never make another turkey any other way. It was absolutely fabulous. It looked gorgeous and was so moist and delicious. Thanks so much for posting the recipe and your beautiful pictures.

      • 85

        Nanny Pat says

        I just made it tonight, and wish you could see the picture…Papa loved it…We have Turkey several times a year….thanks for sharing….<3 Nanny Pat

          • 87

            Nanny Pat says

            It was delicious….YUM….and thanks for the reply so soon…..<3 Nanny Pat

  48. 88

    Lori says

    Made my turkey using the recipe last week and it was by far the easiest, moistest, juiciest and BEST turkey I’ve ever cooked. I will make it this way from now on. In fact, the kids are requesting I make another one for Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: