Healthy Holiday Recipe: A Simple But Delicious Roasted Turkey

Yes, you can celebrate Thanksgiving deliciously, all while sticking with your healthy eating goals—starting with the roasted turkey. The solution for remaining keto, paleo, Whole30, or gluten-free on Thanksgiving lies in this simple recipe, which only calls for four ingredients: turkey, extra-virgin olive oil or ghee, salt, and arrowroot starch. 

In this recipe, an 11-pound, pasture-raised turkey was used. Beyond being free of any flavor additives or sodium solutions, pasture-raised turkey tends to be leaner, since the birds are raised outdoors and are free to forage (rather than rely 100% on grain feed). Because the birds have space to flap their wings and move around quite a bit, even the white meat can take on a pink-ish hue. This is due to the increased muscle mass and oxygen flowing to these areas. Don’t be alarmed if your thermometer reads 165°F (74°C), but the meat is still slightly pink.

If your schedule permits, pre-salt the bird 12-24 hours before roasting and store it in the fridge uncovered to help dry out the skin. This dry-brining process will help lock in the meat’s flavor and moisture, while resulting in crispy skin. We’re taking a low and slow approach to cooking the bird, roasting at 325°F (165 °C). Always let the bird rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. That way the liquids from the meat reabsorb, so they don’t leak out when you carve. In the meantime, you can get busy preparing the gravy.


1 whole turkey, patted dry with paper towels 

1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste

Neck of turkey (you may use giblets too)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or melted ghee) 

6 cups water

4-5 tablespoons arrowroot powder

4-5 tablespoons cold water

Freshly ground pepper


Salt body and inside neck cavity. Truss legs. Place bird, breast side up, on top of a trivet (or foil ring) rested on a plate, and refrigerate uncovered for 12-24 hours. When ready to roast, preheat oven to 325°F (165 °C). Transfer bird (and trivet) to a shallow roasting pan, casserole dish, or cast iron pan. 

Place in oven and roast, undisturbed, until the turkey has reached the desired internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). It will heat to 165°F (74°C) through carry over cooking when removed from the oven. If the top of the bird begins to brown too quickly, place a foil tent loosely on top of the turkey during the last hour of roasting. Our 11-pound bird took 3 hours and 45 minutes to cook. 

Though cooking times may vary by up to 30 minutes, use this chart to estimate the roasting time of your bird:

10-14 pounds: 2½ to 3½ hours

14-18 pounds: 3½ to 4 hours

18-22 pounds: 4 to 4½ hours

22-26 pounds: 4½ to 5 hours

26-30 pounds: 5 to 5½ hours

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, heat olive oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add neck (and optional giblets), and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until caramelized. Add water and allow to simmer, skimming any foam, until water reduces by half. Strain liquid into a measuring cup. Discard neck and giblets—or alternatively, chop them up finely and add them to the gravy in the last step. Transfer strained liquid back into the pot.

Transfer the turkey onto a rimmed cutting board and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour a bit of the turkey stock into the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon or a whisk to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Once it has dissolved, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and transfer it into the pot with the stock. Heat it over the stove on low.

Whisk 5 tablespoons of arrowroot into equal parts cold water. Whisk mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, into stock pot until sauce thickens. The mixture should be clear, not cloudy, and coat the back of the spoon. Do not let the sauce come to a boil, otherwise the arrowroot powder will not thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. If it needs a little acid, spritz a bit of lemon. If using shredded turkey neck and chopped giblets, whisk them in now. 

Serve gravy alongside turkey. Plus, a few healthy sides. Makes 24 servings.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

Calories 220

Protein 32 g

Total fat 9 g

Saturated fat 2 g

Cholesterol 105 mg

Carbs 2 g

Fiber 0 g

Total sugars 0 g

Added sugars 0 g

Sodium 410 mg

0 Comments   Join the Conversation

If you have questions about a Fitbit tracker, product availability, or the status of your order, contact our Support Team or search the Fitbit Community for answers.

Please note: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately after submission.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.