Diabetic-Friendly Holiday Turkey Recipe

The holidays are nearly here! While it can be difficult to avoid indulging in all of the sweet treats and delicious food that seem to be everywhere this time of year, it's important to approach any holiday meal with moderation in mind.

Moderation is particularly important for people with diabetes, as monitoring food intake is key to managing blood sugar and staying as healthy as possible.

With that in mind, here's a healthier, diabetic-friendly recipe for holiday turkey that cuts back on the less healthy ingredients without sacrificing flavor.

Diabetic-Friendly Holiday Turkey


  • 1 fresh turkey (around 12 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • Half teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 onions, cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into inch-long sections
  • 3 stalks of celery, trimmed and cut into inch-long sections
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil



  1. Start by preheating your oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare the turkey for cooking by following the standard procedures: remove the innards, rinse the inside, and pat dry.
  3. Prepare the herb mixture by putting the rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mixing them together. Use this half of this mixture to season the inside of the turkey.
  4. Fasten any neck skin to the back of the turkey with a skewer, and use kitchen string to fasten the drumsticks to the tail.
  5. Place the turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan, breast side up. Put the vegetables around the turkey. You can also put the next bone in this mixture if you chose to save it.
  6. Pour the water in the pan, and brush the turkey with olive oil. Take the other half of the herb mixture and sprinkle it on the turkey.
  7. After covering the turkey loosely with foil, roast the bird for 30 minutes. After that, lower the oven temperature to 325°F and continue roasting for approximately 3 hours.
  8. When you have approximately 45 minutes of cooking time left, cut the kitchen string loose. Then, begin to check the temperature using a meat thermometer. Once the temperature reaches 180°F, your turkey should be done.
  9. Take the turkey out of the oven and put it on a serving tray. Cover the turkey with foil and let it sit for 20 minutes to absorb juices and flavors.
  10. Enjoy!


Nutrition facts (per serving): 229 calories, 38 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, 155 milligrams of sodium

Adapted from a recipe from the American Association of Diabetes Educators.