Italian Recipes Recipes from Italy Italian Food

Rosemary Garlic Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey made the Italian way…Infused with the wonderfully fragrant flavours of garlic and rosemary, this roast turkey will be sure to wow your guests. Use whole chicken as an alternative if you prefer. Serve with rosemary and garlic gravy.


  •  8 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  1/4 cup (50 ml) chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 tbsp./30 ml dried)
  •  1/4 cup (50 ml) olive oil
  •  1 tbsp. (15 ml) coarse salt
  •  1 tsp. (5 ml) black pepper
  •  12 to 15 lb. (5.5 to 7 kg) whole turkey, fully defrosted if frozen


  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  2.  In a small bowl or food processor, mash together garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper so that it forms a thick paste.
  3. By hand, gently pull the skin away from the turkey breast at the front of the breast (near the neck opening) to form a sort of pocket.
  4. Rub some of the rosemary garlic paste onto the breast meat under the skin, reaching in as far as you can without tearing the skin. Rub the remaining rosemary garlic paste all over the skin of the turkey and in the cavity.
  5. Add the stuffing, if you’re using it, and place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  6. Place the turkey into the preheated oven. Do not cover the pan. Roast, basting every 15 to 20 minutes with the pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reaches 170 degrees F (77 degrees C) and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a skewer. This will take anywhere from 3 to 4-1/4 hours (depending on the size of the turkey and whether it is stuffed or not). The only definite way to know if the turkey is cooked is by using a meat thermometer.
  7. Remove roasting pan from the oven and let the turkey rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before carving.
  8. Serve turkey with pan juices or use the juices to make a gravy (recipe follows).

Rosemary garlic gravy:

  •  1/4 cup (50 mL) fat from the roasting pan
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) flour
  • 2 cups (500 mL) defatted turkey pan juices, turkey broth, water, or a combination


  1. In a saucepan, combine the fat from the roasting pan and flour. Cook, stirring to eliminate any lumps, for just a minute or two.
  2. Whisk in turkey juices, broth or whatever liquid you’re using and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens.
  3. Let simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot.

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