No need to season the turkey skin, since it will be thrown away. But first tuck lemon zest, thyme and sage leaves under the skin so these flavours can penetrate the meat.

Makes 12 servings
Cooking time: N/A


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) garlic powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
  • 1 (5 to 6 lb. /2.2 to 2.7 kg) bone-in whole turkey breast, rinsed and patted dry
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water


  1.  In small bowl, combine canola oil, zest, thyme, garlic powder, ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper.
  2.  Separate turkey skin from breast by running fingertips between them. Rub lemon zest mixture evenly over breast, arrange sage leaves over spice mixture and cover with skin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  3.  Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C). Place turkey in baking pan and then on baking rack. Cook 2 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 165 °F (75 °C). Let stand 20 minutes before slicing, discard skin.
  4. Meanwhile, add lemon juice, ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt and water to pan drippings, stir until well blended. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve, reserving strained portion and discarding particles in sieve. Place strained portion in grease separator and discard excess grease.*
  5. Serve turkey slices with au jus.

*Recipe Tip
If you don’t have a grease separator, place the strained liquid in a small plastic bag, snip off one end of the bag to allow juices to flow through. Collect juice in a container and pinch the end before the grease comes through. Discard.


Serving size
4½ oz. (127 g) cooked turkey and 1½ tbsp (20 mL) au jus per serving

Recipe courtesy of, featured in the Canadian Diabetes Association’s 2016 Healthy Living Calendar. To download the latest recipes, visit

Nutritional Information

Per Serving
Calories 190
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 95 mg
Carbohydrates 0 g
Fibre 0 g
Protein 36 g
Sodium 260 mg
“As a lean protein, turkey is a good choice for holiday and everyday meals. Serve it weekly – whole, sliced or minced, and in burgers or in a loaf. Remove the skin from roasted turkey to help cut down on the fat and calories.” – Sondra Sherman, registered dietitian, Montreal

Donate to diabetes research today!

Keep diabetes research moving forward

Your donation will ensure research never stops – help End Diabetes Now.