Lemon butter roast turkey

Make your Christmas turkey full of zingy flavour with this succulent recipe from Freedom Food
Lemon butter roast turkey
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes plus standing time
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 x 3 kg turkey, such as Freedom Food labelled turkey
  • 75 g butter, softened
  • zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemons
  • 250 g streaky bacon, such as Freedom Food labelled bacon

Tips and Suggestions

- Always make sure your turkey is at room temperature before you cook it, otherwise cooking times given may not be accurate.

- Remove the wishbone before roasting to make the turkey easier to carve when cooked. Sit the turkey on a cutting board. Pull the skin back towards the breast to expose the wishbone. Using a sharp knife cut the wishbone free and remove it.


1. Preheat the oven to 190oC/170oC/Gas Mark 5

2. Stuff the neck of the turkey with your chosen stuffing and secure with cocktail sticks.

3. Calculate the cooking time of the turkey by allowing 20 minutes per 1kg, plus 70 minutes.

4. Mix together the butter, lemon zest and juice. Spread the butter over the turkey. Arrange the bacon in a criss-cross pattern across the turkey breast this will help the turkey to remain moist. Place the turkey in the roasting tin and cover with the foil, leaving a large gap between the turkey and the foil to enable the air to circulate.

5. Roast in the oven, basting occasionally. 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, fold back the foil and return to the oven to brown,

6. To test if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of a thigh with a skewer the juices should run clear, not pink or red.

7. Remove the turkey to a warmed serving platter, cover with fresh foil and leave to stand in a warm place. Resting allows the juices to settle and redistribute around the meat, making the bird more succulent and easier to carve. You can leave your turkey to rest for up to an hour, which will free up the oven and give you plenty of time to cook the trimmings.

RSPCA Freedom Food

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