Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe
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This Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe may sound a little different, but I think you will be surprised at the delicious results. Time and time again this turkey recipe and method has proved to be a real winner and has become the easiest part of a meal during the holiday season.
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’re Southerners), we’ve brined and have gone brine-less. Honestly, I think less is best in my book. Less messing. Less stuff. Less fretting. Less time waiting.
When it comes to cooking turkey, this recipe for a Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey definitely calls for less. Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey is pretty straightforward. And no, it doesn’t taste like mayonnaise. I promise. This is just one of the methods we use to cook turkey, but after great results each time, moist turkey, that tastes like turkey, hands-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 externally monitored internal meat thermometer is handy. Whatever meat thermometer(s) you use, just be sure to test them ahead of the big day for accuracy.
- Cook temperature and time for roasting a turkey is basic and simple. Roast high for a short time, then turn down until the internal temperature reaches 165-degrees 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. The internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests as well.
- 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 or 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!
How to Cook Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
Okay, now for the Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey. I know, it sounds weird, but like I said before, it does deliver a moist and tasty bird. And, it’s simple. Let me show you. Mix herbs (fresh or dried) with mayonnaise. We used herbs we had on hand from the garden. Feel free to experiment with different herb and seasoning combinations. And of course, dried herbs may be substituted. Use the 1/3 dried versus fresh rule. Dried herbs are more potent.
Chopped celery, and onion, salt, pepper, and a stick of butter for good measure, round out the ingredients needed, other than the bird.
Prep the 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.
Roast in a 450-degree F oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350-degrees 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 then check the breast to make sure it reads the proper temperature as well before removing from oven.
Continue roasting, uncovered, until internal thermometer reaches 165-degrees 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.
Let it rest and carve.
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. Turkey needs a friend. This Turkey Gravy Recipe will show you how easy it is to make your own gravy.
More delicious recipes to serve with your Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey:
- Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe with Pecan Topping
Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe
Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
This recipe 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 method year after year.
- 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
- 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1-2 tablespoons pepper
- 3 stalks celery, rough chopped
- 1 large onion, rough chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, salted
- (adjust all seasonings & mayonnaise as needed for size of bird)
- Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
- Lay turkey in a roasting pan.
- 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.
- Liberally salt, and pepper turkey. Add the celery, and onion, inside and out, and tuck the butter in the cavity.
- Roast turkey in 450-degrees F oven for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350-degrees 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 165-degrees F. Cover legs with foil partway through roasting if desired. Depending on size of turkey, total cook time will be around 1 1/2-2 hours. Once the thermometer reaches 165-degrees F in the thigh, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast to make sure it reads at least 165-degrees F as well.
- Remove from oven. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for at least 20-30 minutes (depending on size) before carving.
- Remember to reserve turkey drippings and juices for gravy.
*Dried herbs may be substituted. A rule of thumb is to use 1/3 dried versus fresh. See more notes in original post.
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!
Beautiful photos and such an incredibly interesting method – and I totally agree with you – less is sometimes more!
WOW that is one good looking turkey! I’ve never heard of using mayo but the results speak for themselves.
OK, now we have to make a mayonnaise turkey video for GardenFork
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.
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.:)
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!
You made turkey look beautiful.
Yummy! I am SO ready for turkey now. Gobble, gobble!
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.
Very interesting! I can just imagine how wonderfully crispy that skin is. It looks gorgeous!
This sounds carzy amazing! I would have never thought to use Mayo!
That looks soooo delicious!! Do you think you could come to my house for Thanksgiving and bring the turkey??
this looks delicious. can’t wait to try.
this is one gorgeous looking bird. I especially love the golden crust it has. Can’t wait to give this one a try.
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.
Can you still cook the turkey with stuffing inside with this method?
That looks delicious. I never would have thought mayo for a turkey.
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:)
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.
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.