Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Recipe
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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.
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.
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
So did you actually end up trying it? I’m dying to hear reviews from people who did it!
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.
Wow, what a gorgeous turkey! So glad to be sharing a virtual Thanksgiving table with you today!
Great looking turkey! Nice to share the communal table with you!
This looks delicious. Those turkey pics have me dying for it to be Thanksgiving already! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
WOW!! Beautiful turkey!!! I love your pictures!! 🙂
You are amazing. Simple as that. Best looking bird I’ve ever seen!
These pictures are making me salivate! I am going to try your recipe this weekend. Thanks!
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? 🙂
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?
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.
Did you try roasting it upside down? Or flip it halfway through? Not sure how that would work with the mayo
Thanks for sharing, Amy. I think I’m going to start my thanksgiving early after reading this post. I want to eat this now!
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!
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.
I am also thinking of adjusting my time/temperature just like this. Did your turkey still come out with a nice browned, crispy skin?
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.
Thanks for the best turkey recipe e.v.e.r.
Hubby said he wants all poultry cooked like this from now on!
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.
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.
This is just beautiful, Amy. Gorgeous pictures.