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.
This was wonderful!!! My family raved about this. It was good fresh from the oven and also good cold.
This is a keeper!!
Made this at Christmas time and loved it! Now I just made it with boneless skinless chicken breasts and my family loved it!!
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.
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? 🙁
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-
Thank you so much for the delicious recipe. It was so tasty and delicious!
How do you think subbing Greek yogurt for mayo would work??? This looks so good….
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.
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!!!!
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?
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!
Question on this recipe. Can you use a rosaster rather than a oven? I will be using my oven for other side items. This is my first time making a turkey and I don’t want to screw it up. This turkey looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.
I’ve never made this in a roaster. I guess it depends on how hot your roaster gets. Cook time may vary. Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Guess what… this super yummy Turkey recipe was featured today at my site in my top 36 Thanksgiving Recipes found on Pinterest! 🙂 http://3boysandadog.com/2013/11/36-pinterest-thanksgiving-recipes/
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.
It’s always a winner with the turkeys we’ve roasted.
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!
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! 🙂
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?
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
Im literally going to carry this recipe down my family line as tradition. Thank you for sharing this!!
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.
I’m so glad to hear it. It really is a hard to beat way of doing it. Happy Thanksgiving!
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
Hello Nanny Pat,
Yay! Yay! Yay! So glad Papa was pleased! I’m thinking we’re needing to do another real soon ourselves. 😉
It was delicious….YUM….and thanks for the reply so soon…..<3 Nanny Pat
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!
So glad everyone enjoyed it!
Your turkey is the kind of turkey that I am craving for right now!!!
I’m hosting this year. I did a mayo turkey a few years ago and it came out great. I’m going to try yours this year. Do you recommend placing the mayo under the skin as well?
any idea how I could prepare a bonesless turkey breast using this method?