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

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!! Each 5-ounce serving has 164 calories and 4g fat.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey Made Skinny

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

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 Benefits

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 Tips

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 carve.
If using a meat thermometer to check for doneness, the breast temperature should be 170 degrees and the thigh should read 180 degrees.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints 1-Blue
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 (5 ounces) serving of turkey breast, skin removed
164 calories, 4g fat, 24g protein, 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 410mg sodium, 5g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
17 calories, 0g sat. fat, 0g sugar, 0g protein


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

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

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 164 kcal


  • 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)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To keep the turkey skinny, remove the skin before or after carving.


Serving: 5ouncesCalories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 24gFat: 4gSodium: 410mgSugar: 5gBlue Smart Points: 1Green Smart Points: 4Plus Points: 4
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. This is NOT her recipe. Perhaps you wanted to draw people using her name, but once you decide to change things up, it is no longer hers.

  2. “…remove the skin before or after craving.”
    This produces an evenly moist result and makes the bird easier to crave.”

    This recipe does sound delicious, but I think you meant to say “carving” and “carve”.
    Thanks for giving me a laugh today. I am going to try this recipe this year and hope I do “crave” it. 🙂

  3. So funny, this made me laugh, too. I guess I was craving this turkey when writing the recipe!
    I hope you thoroughly enjoy it!
    All the best, Susan,

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