Upside Down Turkey Recipe -
Upside Down Turkey Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Upside Down Turkey

Recipe by  

"This is a simple way to prepare a moist turkey without stuffing. The secret ingredient is butter -- it enhances the bird's natural flavor. When the turkey is done, the juices may be used to prepare a gravy by adding cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time until the liquid begins to thicken. This recipe is based on a 13 pound bird. Adjust as necessary."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 18 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 30 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Rinse turkey and remove giblets. Place turkey upside (breast) down in a roasting pan. Insert 1/4 cup butter inside the turkey. Place remaining butter in several pieces around the turkey. Pour water into the pan.
  3. Cook covered in the preheated oven 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the internal temperature of the thigh has reached 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 21, 2005

This was my first turkey. It turned out great!! So juicy and tender! I usd aple juice instead of water, and I made a rub of 1 stick melted butter, salt, pepper, rubbed sage, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. I also stuck little pices of butter between the breast and the skin. It was delicious. My husband cant get enough of it.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 10, 2012

Turning over a hot turkey isn't the easiet job so be sure you don't get much bigger. I did 1/4c olive oil/butter blend inside & only olive oil on the outside. Used 1c water, 1c apple juice in the pan. Also 2T Kosher salt, 1T freshly ground black pepper, 1T poultry seasoning, 1/2T sage. Yummy coating & it didn't need covering.

Dec 23, 2003

Cooking the turkey upside down does help keep the meat moist. I like to use a cooking bag too because it cooks faster and seems to retain more juice.

Nov 21, 2004

Made this for an early Thanksgiving with the in-laws....they were surprised. I didn't use as much butter as the recipe called for....but wow what a difference. I also added a sprinkling of poultry seasonings to the skin....which made it delicious. Also, I rubbed some butter between the skin and the flesh. I have found that really makes a difference. Thanks for helping me to impress my in-laws....appreciate it.

Dec 27, 2004

Very moist, tender and flavorful. I cooked the turkey upside down until the last hour and then turned it right side up to brown the top. Very good and easy. Although mine did take an extra hour and a half to cook completely.

Jan 25, 2004

I haven't tried this exact method yet, but I'm embarrassed to say that the first time my husband and I had a Thanksgiving Dinner at our house, we accidently cooked our turkey upside down. It turned out so moist that we do it every year now! If' you're careful, you can actually turn the bird over for the last 45 minutes of cooking and get the nice brown skin too!

Oct 05, 2006

This was super. The only thing I changed was to cook in a cooking bag, salt & pepper inside and outside of turkey and stuff butter in between skin and meat.

Nov 29, 2005

I will never go back. This is the only way to cook a turkey! My guests were very impressed and we fought over the leftovers. I've made it four times and we never have to throw out any leftovers. It all always gets eaten. I've noticed you don't have to use all that much butter: 1/4 cup is fine. I also add veggies to the cavity and the roasting pan. Brining the bird gives the thighs great flavor, so I do that too. Even without those changes, though, this a delicious turkey.


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  • Calories
  • 536 kcal
  • 27%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 0 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 207 mg
  • 69%
  • Fat
  • 28.1 g
  • 43%
  • Fiber
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Protein
  • 66.4 g
  • 133%
  • Sodium
  • 197 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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