Try out this easy recipe for lemon dill roast turkey

A tasty spin on the classic roast turkey to try out this holiday season

Image for Chef Chuck Hughes shares his recipe for lemon dill roast turkey
Photo provided.

If you haven't tried something a little with your roast turkey, let the 2023 holiday season be the time you do.

Outside of a sprig of rosemary or thyme, it's rare that fragrant, fresh herbs are associated with a turkey dinner. This is where this recipe comes in with simple, but effective twist to boosting the flavour of your Canadian turkey.

Created by Ashley Fher, the recipe for lemon-dill spatchcocked turkey finds a lovely level of brightness and acidity thanks to lemon zest and fresh dill worked under the skin of the bird. If you're not a fan of dill, try using finely sliced basil, chives, or even mint for a similar result.

We'd strongly suggest following his instruction of a minimum brine time of 12 hours as your turkey will taste exponentially more delicious than if you don't. (Don't say we didn't warn you!)

Lemon dill spatchcocked roast turkey

1 8-10 lb whole turkey, spatchcocked 

¼ cup kosher salt 

¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped 

2 Tbsp granulated sugar 

Zest of 2 lemons 

4 garlic cloves, finely minced 

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper 

¼ cup melted butter 

1 cup water 


Place turkey in a large baking dish or roasting pan. 

In a medium bowl, combine salt, dill, sugar, lemon zest, garlic and pepper. Rub all over turkey and under the skin where possible, using a large spoon to loosen the skin if necessary. 

Place uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. It will dry out but that is normal. 

Remove turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting. 

Place turkey on a large-rimmed baking sheet on a roasting rack.  

Brush melted butter over turkey and pour water into the bottom of the baking dish. 

Heat oven to 425°F. 

Roast turkey at 425°F for 20 minutes, until just starting to brown. 

Reduce oven heat to 350°F and continue roasting until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F in the breast, about 1 hour more. 

Remove turkey from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing. 

1 delicious roast turkey
Prep Time:
15 minutes plus a minimum of 12 hours brine time
Cook Time:
90 minutes