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closeup of carved turkey on a serving platter.
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4.3 from 10 votes

Spatchcock Turkey

Save time and oven space this holiday season with my foolproof recipe for Spatchcock Turkey! Learn how to spatchcock a turkey, cook it in half the time, and with only a handful of ingredients. This turkey is ready in less than 2 hours, freeing up precious oven space to make delicious sides or desserts for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spatchcock turkey, turkey recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 461kcal


  • 10-12 pound turkey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme chopped
  • 4 leaves sage chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Prep The Turkey: Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Place the turkey breast-side down and the legs towards you. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut up along each side of the backbone, cutting through the rib bones as you go. Open the turkey out and turn it over then flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand, by pressing down so that the meat is all one thickness. Cut the wing tips off as well.
  • Season: In a small bowl mix the olive oil with the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Using a brush, brush the olive oil mixture over the inside of the turkey, flip over and generously brush the outside of the turkey.
  • Roast: Place on a baking sheet and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the turkey for 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hours or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 185°F and the turkey breast reaches 165°F. Baste the turkey every 20-30 minutes with the turkey drippings.
  • Rest, Carve & Serve: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cover the turkey loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.


  1. Use very sharp kitchen shears. It's important they are very sharp so that you can easily cut through the skin and bones to remove the backbone.
  2. Don't throw away the backbone. Use it later for making turkey gravy or use it to make delicious broths or stocks.
  3. Use fresh herbs! They make all the difference.
  4. Baste your turkey every half hour or so! Basting will not make your turkey more moist, but it will promote even browning of the skin.
  5. You can make a compound butter with herbs, garlic and smoked paprika, and spread it under the skin for extra flavor and yumminess.
  6. Get an instant meat thermometer! Trust me, it will be a life saver!
  7. I kept the seasoning super simple and herbaceous, but feel free to play around with other spices/herbs to make this recipe your own.
  8. Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving it. If you carve too early, the juices will come out and leave the meat dry.
  9. Store leftover turkey in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  10. Make sure to let your turkey cool completely before you freeze it! Place individual pieces into freezer bags or an airtight container. If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible from the bag as you slide the zipper closed. Leftovers will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg