How to Roast a Healthy Turkey

Use these pointers to select and cook a healthier turkey this Thanksgiving.

Turkey is the main attraction at most Thanksgiving dinners – and that’s a good thing because it’s one of the healthier options you can choose from at a meal known for its overwhelming variety of foods filled with fat, sodium and carbs.

Here are some helpful tips to select and cook a turkey this year that is healthy and tastes great:

  • Select a fresh turkey that has not been soaked in or injected with a brine solution.
  • To decide what size turkey to choose, plan on one pound of turkey feeding at least two people. You may want to add a little extra for leftovers.
  • Rub the turkey with olive oil to get a crisp, browned skin. Then generously sprinkle the turkey with fresh herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The herbs add great flavor without the high sodium in salt.
  • Add a half-inch of water or reduced-sodium chicken broth to the bottom of your roasting pan to keep the turkey moist.
  • Roast at 325° F for approximately 20 minutes per pound.
  • Baste regularly while roasting. If the turkey gets too brown, cover it with a foil tent. Add more water or broth to pan as necessary during the cooking process.
  • To prevent food-borne illness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 165° F before you pull the bird out of the oven.
  • If you’re using the drippings from the pan to make gravy, let the fat settle first and skim it off.
  • Carve and enjoy!

Not sure what part of the turkey to eat? If you’re watching calories or fat, here are some stats to consider (based on a 4 ounce serving):

  • White meat with skin – 185 calories, 1.4g saturated fat, 33g protein
  • White meat without skin – 158 calories, 0.4g saturated fat, 34g protein
  • Dark meat with skin – 206 calories, 2.4g saturated fat, 33g protein
  • Dark meat without skin – 183 calories, 1.6g saturated fat, 33g protein

*****************************

Copyright 2016-2018 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: October 22, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.

2 thoughts on “How to Roast a Healthy Turkey”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *