How to Roast a Healthy Turkey

Use these pointers to select and cook a healthy turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner with less salt, lower fat and reduced cholesterol.


    • Select a fresh turkey that has not been soaked in or injected with a brine solution.
    • Choose the right size turkey: One pound of turkey will feed at least two people. (Don’t forget to add a little extra for those all-important leftovers).
    • Add a half-inch of water or reduced-sodium chicken broth to the bottom of your roasting pan to keep the turkey moist.
    • Rub the turkey with olive oil to get a crisp, browned skin.
    • Generously sprinkle the turkey with fresh herbs of your choice such as parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary. The herbs add great flavor without the high sodium in salt.
    • Roast at 325° F for approximately 20 minutes per pound. To prevent food-borne illness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 165° F before you pull the bird out of the oven.
    • Baste regularly while roasting. If the turkey gets too brown, cover it with a foil tent. Add more water or broth to pan as necessary during the cooking process.
    • If you’re using the drippings from the pan to make gravy, let the fat settle first and skim it off.
    • Carve and enjoy!

Nut Allergy: If you have an allergy to nuts or nut products, read the packaging, labels, warnings and directions for all ingredients in this recipe to determine whether the non-nut ingredients in this recipe were manufactured in a plant that processes nut products. We recommend that you do not solely rely on our information. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer.

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Review Date: February 26, 2013
Reviewed By: Christina D. Wright, RD, LDN, Nutrition Editor, Baldwin Publishing, Inc.
Judy Capodanno, Health eCooking Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
This page created February 1, 2010 and last modified September 23, 2010
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