Traditional Roast Turkey With Mediterranean Rub

Do yourself (and your fitness) a favor and remove the excess skin of the turkey.

Med Turkey
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Turkey is naturally a lean source of protein, but it’s advisable to remove any excess skin to reduce fat further. The biggest concern to nutrition expert Leah Kaufman, M.S., R.D., is the amount of salt in the dish. “This entire recipe has four times the amount of recommended salt servings per day,” she says. Kaufman recommends cutting the amount of salt in half and adding more of the flavored herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and parsley.

Our advice

Healthy: Remove excess skin from meat and cut 60 calories per serving.

Healthier: Remove excess skin and cut salt in half, sparing nearly 5,000mg of sodium.

Healthiest: Eat white meat only (cuts 30 calories), remove excess skin, use only a pinch of salt and exclude sugar.

Nutrition (per serving)

605 calories; 35g fat; 10g saturated fat; 3g carbohydrates; 65g protein

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Prep time

25 min.

Cook time

180 min.

  • 1 (14-16 lb) Butterball fresh or frozen whole turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup ground dry lemon peel
  • 4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp dry oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Be sure turkey is completely thawed. Remove turkey from original wrapper, and remove neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wing tips under back or tie to body. Refasten drumsticks with metal or plastic clip or band of skin.

Place turkey breast-side up on wire rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh; do not let thermometer touch bone. Liberally apply the rub to the skin.

Roast turkey uncovered until skin reaches desired brown color; cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil for remaining time. Roast until thermometer reaches 180°F, approximately 2 3/4-3 hours. Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes before carving.