The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey Made Skinny


turkey photo
I love Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for roasting turkey. I decided to share it because it’s a really easy recipe to make and comes out moist and flavorful.  I did change a few things from her original recipe to keep it skinny.  First, her recipe coats the turkey with ½ stick of melted butter.  I used reduced-fat butter, which cuts the fat in half.  Next, after the turkey roasts for 1 hour, she tosses a medley of vegetables with ¼ cup olive oil and adds them to the same pan as the turkey continues to cook.  Not only is that quite a lot of oil but in addition, all the fat from the turkey seeps into the vegetables while cooking.  It’s best to make one of my vegetable dishes and served it on the side.  You’ll just love this recipe anyways.  The thyme, lemon, onions and garlic gives it a classic turkey flavor that’s just PERFECT!!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hr 30 minutes


1 fresh turkey or frozen and thawed (about 12 pounds)

Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 large bunch of fresh thyme

1 lemon, halved

1 onion, quartered

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

¼ cup reduced-fat butter, melted

String (to tie legs together)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers, if it has any, and pat the outside dry.

3. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle inside the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with thyme, lemon, onions and garlic.

4. Brush the outside of the turkey with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

5. Roast the turkey for about 2½ hours until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest 20 minutes.

6. To keep the turkey skinny, remove the skin before or after craving.

Serves 12 (Skinny Facts for 1 serving is based on 5 ounces turkey breast, skin removed)

Food Fact

This recipe is from Ina Garten’s Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Healthy Benefit

Turkey breast is a good choice of poultry for a healthy diet. It is an excellent low fat, high protein food. Because turkey is low on the glycemic index, it helps regulate your blood sugar, which can prevent hunger between meals.

Prep Tip

When you let the turkey “rest” for 20 minutes at room temperature it allows its natural juices to redistribute throughout the flesh and set. This produces an evenly moist result and makes the bird easier to crave.
If using a meat thermometer to check for doneness, the breast temperature should be 170 degrees and the thigh should read 180 degrees.

Weight Watchers
(old points) 4
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 (5 ounce) serving of turkey breast, skin removed
164 calories, 4g fat, 24g protein, 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 410mg sodium, 5g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 serving (not including the vegetables and olive oil)
344 calories, 17g fat, 36g protein, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 475mg sodium, 5g sugar

Share This

Share |

6 Responses to “The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey Made Skinny”

  1. fresh turkey Says:

    Seems delicious. Why not order your turkey form Allens of Mayfair, online butcher in UK?

  2. Charlene@A Pinch of Joy Says:

    You are featured this week on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy! I hope you will stop by and grab a Featured Button from the Button Box on the sidebar this afternoon. Pinned. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve been working on!

  3. Busy Monday – week of November 18 | A Pinch of Joy Says:

    […] Skinny Kitchen –skinny version of roast turkey My Cultured Plate – How to Make Yogurt video Chocolate, Chocolate and More – Fried Candied Pecans […]

  4. admin Says:

    Wow Charlene…Thanks so much for featuring my recipe,The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey Made Skinny at your link party!!!
    You always make Mondays so fun with A Pinch of Joy-

  5. shari Says:

    Do you need to baste the turkey at all when it’s in the oven?

  6. admin Says:

    No need to baste the turkey while it’s cooking. However, you can, if desired.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    My best,

Leave a Reply