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overhead shot of a cooked turkey with garlic sage butter on a white platter with fresh herbs
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5 from 3 votes

Dry Brined Turkey with Garlic Sage Butter

This dry brined turkey with garlic sage butter is juicy and delicious! Made with fresh herbs, apple, celery, and a dry brine for the best juicy flavor.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14
Calories: 59kcal



  • 1 whole turkey 12-20 lbs; thawed; see note 1

Dry Brine

  • ½ cup kosher salt do not use table salt; see note 2
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Garlic Sage Butter

  • ½ cup butter softened; salted or unsalted are fine
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 apple quartered
  • 1 stalk celery quartered
  • 5 sprigs fresh tyme
  • 1 stem fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh sage leaves


3-4 days before serving

  • Thaw turkey- 3-4 days before serving, thaw the turkey according to package directions.

The day before serving

  • Prepare turkey- Pat the turkey dry. Remove the giblet and neck, and set aside for making gravy or stock (if desired). Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Prepare dry brine - Mix together the dry brine, including the salt, brown sugar, and pepper.
  • Apply dry brine- Rub the dry brine all over the turkey skin (breast & back) and inside the cavity. Let the turkey sit uncovered overnight in the fridge.

The day you're serving

  • Remove brine - Remove the dry brined turkey from the fridge and rinse off the brine (don't forget to rinse the cavity, too). Pat turkey and roasting pan dry. Make sure none of the salty dry brine is in the roasting pan as this can make your pan juices too salty for gravy. Bend the turkey wings backwards and tuck under the bird. 
  • Garlic sage butter - stir together the garlic sage butter ingredients including softened butter, sage, thyme, and garlic cloves. Rub the garlic sage butter all over the turkey breast, wings & back. Note: we do not add salt to this garlic sage butter, as your turkey will already be plenty seasoned with salt from the dry brine! See note 3
  • Stuff - stuff the cavity of the turkey with the 'cavity' ingredients including onion, apple, celery, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Pre-heat oven to 450ºF. Place turkey in the pre-heated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325°F
  • Roast turkey - roast for 2 hours, basting with pan juices every 45 minutes, before taking the temperature. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh and the breast, turkey is cooked through when it measures 165°F. For a 14-17 lb turkey, 2 ½-3 hours were perfect. see note 4
  • Rest - When turkey is cooked through, remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes. If your turkey is done early, tent with foil to keep it warm. If you're just waiting 30 minutes before serving, no need for foil.


Turkey size
  • This recipe was tested with 6.5 kg (14 lbs) and 7.6 kg (16.7 lbs) turkeys respectively.
  • Aim for 1 lb turkey per person (this accounts for bone weight)
1- allow yourself 3-4 days to thaw your turkey; do not use a brined or pre-seasoned turkey.
2- it's crucial that you use kosher salt; table salt will yield a salty turkey
3 - I have been known to soak a square of cheesecloth right in the melted butter and lay it over the turkey breast. Keep basting every 30 minutes, and remove the cheesecloth during the last 30 minutes of cooking to brown up the breast meat.
4 - A general rule is to cook your turkey for 10-15 min per lb, however I highly recommend checking your turkey's temperature early as brined turkeys can cook more quickly. Again, it should be cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F.
Storage & reheating
Fridge - After cooking, cool the turkey completely before storing in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Turkey breast is prone to drying out and is best eaten within 48 hours.
Reheating - Heat in the microwave or a frying pan until steaming hot, or heat in a covered dish in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.


Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg