Is Turkey Keto? (YES) Turkey Keto Recipe for No Carb Thanksgiving

You’ve been searching for the best keto thanksgiving turkey recipes, and if you’re reading this, you’ve finally made it. Congrats on finally finding the one-stop destination for some perfect low carb thanksgiving food!

The cherry on top is that my Turkey recipe is keto-friendly! Now let’s get ourselves pumped up for a no carb thanksgiving bonanza.

And I promise you; no one will know the difference. They’ll be too busy stuffing themselves with extra helpings of your low carb thanksgiving food adorning the table spread.

This is a family recipe that’s really close to my heart, and I’ve put a lot of effort and soul into outlining the exact details so that your Thanksgiving lemon herb butter turkey makes everyone at your table grateful.

This Is What You’ll Need: 

  • 10 – 13 lb. turkey, fully defrosted

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp onion powder

  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley

A Turkey Is The Litmus Test For A Great Cook

I sincerely feel like cooking a proper chicken roast or turkey is what truly makes a great chef! You don’t want to disappoint your family and friends with a ‘half-baked’ attempt.

And if this is your first time? Don’t worry, as a high school teacher; I picked up a thing or two about imparting knowledge and wisdom to those that seek it!

Don’t be intimidated; I’ll take your hand and guide you through the process.

We’re going to dive into the steps to make the best-tasting turkey your family has ever tried.

10 Easy Steps to Make Your Turkey

1. Ensure your turkey is fully defrosted

By thawing for two days inside the fridge or outside for 1 day you’ll be sure it’s completely defrosted. 

It takes roughly 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey to defrost in the refrigerator set at 40-degree temperature.


2. Rest the turkey and preheat the oven.

Let your turkey sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before starting the seasoning process. 

This’ll ensure that your butter doesn’t harden while you’re applying your even coating.
3. Remove the guts and giblets.

Double-check that the cavity is entirely empty since there are sometimes hidden parts in the cavity and neck.

4. Use a paper towel to dry any excess moisture from the turkey.

This’ll ensure that it gets a crispy golden brown skin.
5. Poke with the handle of a wooden spoon underneath the top skin to open a pocket.

In there, you’ll be adding some extra flavor.
6. Rub a fair amount of softened lemon-herb butter mixture inside the skin pocket and all over the outer skin.

Focus on the turkey’s upperparts; the bottom will get it’s delicious flavor from the butter, as it melts into the turkey in the oven.
7. Season the cavity of the turkey.

This is an opportunity to infuse great flavors into the meat if you choose not to use stuffing while you bake it (which I highly recommend). 

Stuffing comes out a lot better when baked by itself.
8. Use a large roasting pan with a roasting rack,

or if you don’t have one (like me), you can use this trick I learned to ensure my turkey got an even golden brown bake while using a baking sheet.


9. Do not over bake the turkey.

The temperature inside the thickest part of the turkey thigh must reach 165F for a fully baked turkey. 

When you’re taking the temperature, make sure your thermometer doesn’t touch a bone. If you over bake the turkey it’ll become dry.
10. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving.

This will allow all the juices to redistribute inside the turkey, which will result in a juicier piece of meat.

TIP: Be sure to save your baked turkey’s juices for some savory keto gravy!


Perfecting The Recipe

My family’s traditional turkey recipe has blended into my keto thanksgiving turkey recipes. From this unique fusion, the best lemon herb butter turkey was born.

This is a time-tested recipe that has won me the admiration of my peers, friends, and family. My turkey is always moist and extremely juicy thanks to my cooking technique.

While, nobody enjoys a dry Turkey, if you do end up with a dry turkey, don’t worry. My turkey gravy will save the day!

Thankfully though, if you follow all the steps, your Lemon Herb Butter Turkey will be something you’ll feel proud of all year long!

Lemon Herb Butter Turkey

An exemplary turkey will always be incredibly juicy, tender, and feature delicious crispy skin.

The room will be filled with its heavenly aroma complimented by the distinct scent of rosemary and thyme. Yumm!

Herbs infuse the turkey to give it the perfect seasoning, which helps ensure you savor every bite.

Also you’ll be able to make the easiest turkey gravy ever, just by using your baked turkey’s drippings. Gravy always completes the meal by adding a whole new world of complex turkey favors.

Is Turkey keto-friendly?

So, is turkey keto? Yes it is, a no carb thanksgiving is totally possible because roasted or fried turkey is actually naturally keto-friendly!

This is great because that way we can follow through with our keto lifestyle commitment and don’t have to feel like we’re compromising.

I know you might be skeptical about how your loved ones might secretly feel like they have to ‘endure’ a healthy meal that is otherwise supposed to be ‘festive.’ Don’t worry!

I’ve been through this, and none of them are any wiser to the fact that they have low carb thanksgiving food on their plates.

I always completely test my keto thanksgiving turkey recipes, to completely ensure the turkey turns out perfect every single time.

Share Your Results!

I hope you enjoy my Keto Lemon Butter Herb Turkey as much as I did. I also hope I answered your question (is turkey keto?), so you have peace of mind while you and your family enjoy this delicious thanksgiving meal! If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out!

Absolutely love to see your creations! If you happen to make one of the recipes, would really love to see it! Just use the hashtag #sweetketolife, tag me on Instagram @sweetketolife, or just let me know by comment! 

Salty recipes you might like:

Keto Lemon Herb Butter Turkey

This is a family recipe that’s really close to my heart, and I’ve put a lot of effort and soul into outlining the exact details so that your Thanksgiving lemon herb butter turkey makes everyone at your table grateful.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine keto, low carb
Servings 10


  • Roasting Pan
  • Roasting Rack


  • 10-13 lb turkey fully defrosted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 7 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped


  • Let the turkey rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Then remove the neck, giblets, and any pin feathers left behing. Preheat the oven at 350°F near the end of resting.
  • Pat dry the skin of the turkey with a paper towel including the inside cavity. Season the inside cavity with 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1 tbsp of onion powder. After seasoning, stuff it with 7 smashed garlic cloves, 1 stem of rosemary, and 1/2 bunch of parsley.
  • In a mixing bowl, place your cup of unsalted softened butter, 2 tsp lemon zest, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 tbsp thyme leaves, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix together
  • Using the back of a wooden spoon, carefully separate the skin from the meat while leaving the skin intact between the breasts.
  • Place your turkey in a large roasting pan with a roasting rack. (if you don't have one ***see recipe notes)
  • Rub 1/3 of the butter mixture inside the skin pockets created by separating the skin from the meat. Spread the rest of the butter with an even coating in the upper parts of the turkey. Sprinkle a bit more salt to taste.
  • Place the turkey in a preheated oven for about 2 hrs and 30 mins or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F with a probe thermometer without touching bone.
  • Let turkey rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.


***If you don't have a roasting rack (like me) check out this trick to make sure your turkey cooks evenly and perfectly brown all around. 
If your turkey is taking longer than 2 hours and 30 mins to reach the ideal temperature (165F inside thickest part), cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. 
Make sure to rest the turkey after cooking, my recommendation is 30 mins to 1 hour to ensure that all the juices redistribute inside. 
Keyword butter, herb, lemon, roasted, thanksgiving, turkey

Yaidy Santiago

Former collegiate volleyball player that loves to cook and try new healthy recipes. My boyfriend and I follow a strict keto diet and I challenge myself to make delicious low-carb foods that we both enjoy every day!

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