Are you scrambling to find the perfect turkey recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey? Look no further because this oven roasted Spatchcock Turkey has that crispy skin and juicy meat reminiscent of a traditional roast turkey but cooked in a fraction of the time!

This time of the year is filled with holiday turkey recipes, like this Traeger Smoked Turkey with Stuffing, Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey, and now this easy Spatchcock Turkey. This recipe is super similar to our Smoked Spatchcock Turkey, but we’re baking it in the oven instead of smoking the turkey. 

We love using this method of cooking as it allows us to get every nook and cranny covered in our dry brine and compound butter. If this is your first time making a roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, or you want to try something new this year, give this easy recipe a try!

What Is Spatchcocked Turkey?

Unlike a traditional roast turkey, this turkey is spatchcocked, which means the backbone of the bird has been cut out of the turkey, and the bird has been pressed flat. The purpose of the spatchcock method is to increase the surface area of the bird to allow for more even cooking. It also allows more flavor as you can season more of the surface area. If you want to learn more about How to Spatchcock a Turkey, check out our step-by-step guide! 

This Spatchcock Turkey recipe uses a dry brine to tenderize the whole turkey. Then, we take some compound butter and rub it underneath the turkey skin for even more moisture and flavor.

Spatchcock Turkey Ingredients

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to spatchcock a turkey.

How to Make a Roasted Spatchcock Turkey

You can skip the dry brine and make this turkey quickly if you’re in a time crunch, but we think the extra work results in an entire turkey that’s evenly cooked with the most amazing flavor and crispy golden brown skin.

Prep the Turkey

  • For the best flavor, start your roast spatchcock turkey one full day ahead of time by first removing the backbone with poultry sheers and laying it flat on a clean cutting board breast side up. Then press firmly on the breast bone flat with the heel of your hand and tuck the wing tips behind the breast meat. Then dry brine the bird for the most crispy skin for 24 hours.
  • First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Now, grab a wire or roasting rack and line it with a double layer of aluminum foil. On top of the foil, put those apple slices and pour the apple cider over them. This is great to use when making turkey gravy later on. Take a large wire rack and nestle it right over those apple slices. Place your spatchcocked turkey onto the wire rack, turkey breast side up.

Roast the Turkey

  • Get that herb compound butter and gently rub it under the turkey’s skin for some tasty flavor. Pop the turkey into the preheated oven and let it roast for about 1 hour.
  • After the hour, check the temperature with a digital meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Keep roasting for another 20 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. 

Rest and Serve

  • Once the whole bird is cooked to golden brown perfection, take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Don’t forget to use the pan drippings to whip up a quick gravy. Finally, transfer that beautiful turkey to a serving platter, give it some seasonal garnish and fresh herbs, and dig in.

GIRL CARNIVORE EXPERT RECIPE TIPS

  • Be gentle when sticking the softened butter underneath the turkey skin. We don’t want it to rip!
  • When spatchcocking your bird, make sure to use sharp kitchen shears so the backbone comes out clean. We love our heavy-duty kitchen sheers for this job. Anything less, and you’ll be fighting them. We save the turkey’s backbone to add to the carcass afterward for amazing roast turkey stock.
  • Depending on the size of your turkey, you may have to adjust the cooking time. Spatchcock turkey cooks faster than a regular whole turkey.
  • Drizzle some delicious giblet gravy or turkey gravy on top for perfect moist turkey meat. 
  • Turkey is cooked when an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 – 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat and 170 degrees F in the thickest part of the dark meat (thickest part of the thigh meat). The internal temp will continue to rise as the turkey rests about 5 to 10 degrees. 

What to Serve With Spatchcock Turkey

Serve up your spatchcocked bird with all of your favorite side dishes. Make some Keto Cranberry Sauce, Smoked Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, luxurious  Domino Potatoes and indulgent green bean casserole for the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner!

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover turkey in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftover turkey for up to 4 months. 

Leftover turkey is one of our favorite parts of cooking a whole turkey. We often take the time to pick the meat from the bones to make storing the turkey and using it in leftover turkey recipes easier. You’ll love leftover turkey in enchiladas verdes, turkey pot pie, hot brown sandwiches, and of course, turkey soup. And then use the bones to make turkey stock

How to reheat leftover turkey:

If you’re keeping your turkey whole or slicing it, here’s how to easily reheat it. 

Oven Method:

  1. First, fire up your oven to 300-325 degrees F.
  2. While that’s warming up, let’s get some chicken broth simmering. You’ll want it nice and warm, not boiling.
  3. Now, take your delicious turkey slices and arrange them in a baking dish.
  4. Place a kitchen towel over the turkey slices.
  5. Carefully pour that warm chicken broth over the towel. You want the towel to be wet but not soaked.
  6. Wrap it all up with some aluminum foil.
  7. Pop your turkey dish into the preheated oven.

Microwave Method:

  1. If you’re going the microwave route, grab your sliced turkey and a microwave-safe plate or baking dish.
  2. Next, dampen a paper towel. Lay it gently on top of your turkey slices.
  3. Microwave your turkey in 30-second intervals. Keep going until your turkey slices are all heated up and ready to go.

Enjoy your warm and savory turkey, whichever method you choose! We feel that the oven is best as the microwave can dry out or make the turkey ‘rubbery.’

More Holiday Recipes

This Spatchcock Turkey is the easiest way to make a juicy turkey with a shorter cooking time! Whether making this tender turkey for Thanksgiving day or during another time of the year, you can’t grow wrong with this Spatchcock Turkey!

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Spatchcock Turkey

5 from 16 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 12
Roasted spatchcocked turkey on a wooden tabled with side dishes.
Looking for a hassle-free turkey cooking method? Try our delicious spatchcock turkey recipe for a stress-free holiday feast. This is our go to method for a quick turkey dinner with crispy skin and amazing flavor.

Ingredients  

  • 12-14 lbs whole turkey thawed
  • 1/2 cup Dry brine
  • 6 tbsp herb compound butter
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 apple sliced into thin rounds

Instructions 

Spatchcock the turkey:

  • Read our how to spatchcock a turkey guide for step-by-step images and video.
  • Start by removing your turkey from the package and making sure the giblets and turkey neck are removed from the cavity.
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, being sure to dry the cavity as well.
  • Then spatachcock the bird by using kitchen sheers to cut along either side of the backbone to remove it.
  • Flip the turkey breast side up, pulling the legs out to lay it evenly on a clean cutting board.
  • Using the heel of your palm, press firmly on the breast, at the center of the breast bone, to lay the bird flat.
  • Tuck the wing tips behind the beast meat.

Dry Brine the turkey:

  • Rub both sides of the turkey liberally with kosher salt or a dry brine.
  • Place the turkey on a wire rack over a large roasting pan or baking sheet and dry brine the bird in the fridge for 24 hourrs.
  • For more information, read our guide on hot to dry brine a turkey.

Roast the turkey:

  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Adjust your oven rack to the middle row.
  • Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet and line it with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  • Arrange the thinly sliced apple on the foil and carefully pour in the apple cider.
  • Nestle a wire rack over the apple slices on the baking sheet and place the spatchcocked turkey onto it, breast side up.
  • Gently loosen the skin on the breast, thighs and drums and rub the compound butter under the skin.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  • After the hour, check the temperature with a digital meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Keep roasting for another 20 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast and 170F in the thickest part of the thigh. If the meat is getting too browned, cover with foil.

Rest and serve

  • When the turkey is cooked through, carefully remove it from the oven and allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes, tented loosely with foil before carving.
  • Transfer the bird to a serving platter garnish and serve.

Video

Notes

  • You can skip the dry brine and make this turkey quickly if you’re in a time crunch, but we think the extra work results in an entire turkey that’s evenly cooked with the most amazing flavor and crispy golden brown skin.
  • Be gentle when sticking the softened butter underneath the turkey skin. We don’t want it to rip!
  • When spatchcocking your bird, make sure to use sharp kitchen shears so the backbone comes out clean. We love our heavy-duty kitchen sheers for this job. Anything less, and you’ll be fighting them. We save the turkey’s backbone to add to the carcass afterward for amazing roast turkey stock.
  • Depending on the size of your turkey, you may have to adjust the cooking time. Spatchcock turkey cooks faster than a regular whole turkey.
  • Turkey is cooked when an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 – 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat and 170 degrees F in the thickest part of the dark meat (thickest part of the thigh meat). The internal temp will continue to rise as the turkey rests about 5 to 10 degrees.
  • Use the pan drippings to make a delicious giblet gravy or turkey gravy on top for perfect moist turkey meat.
More helpful Turkey Guides:

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 247mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 744mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

CAN I USE A FROZEN TURKEY FOR THIS RECIPE?

Absolutely! Check out our How to Thaw a Turkey guide to get started! 

SHOULD I CARVE THIS DELICIOUS TURKEY BEFORE SERVING?

You can if you’d like! Check out our How to Carve a Turkey guide for best results. 

WHAT CAN I DO WITH LEFTOVER TURKEY?

You don’t have to eat your leftover spatchcock turkey all by itself! Make a delicious Leftover Smoked Turkey Sandwich, chimichangas, breakfast burritos, tacos, soup, turkey salad, and more! You can use leftover turkey anywhere that you would use cooked chicken. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE LEFTOVER TURKEY CARCASS?

Make some Instant Pot Turkey Stock or try our turkey soup

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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