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Mom’s Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash and Asparagus

Servings Made

Courtesy of American Heart Association

Who says you have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy roasted turkey? This is a terrific healthy American dinner that will help you up your vegetable intake for the day.


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced; or 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12/ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme; Or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary; Or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced; Or 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 12-pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 to 3 medium ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots (about 1 cup)


  1. For the Asparagus preheat the oven to 350⁰ F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the lemon juice mixture over the asparagus.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender-crisp.
  5. For the Butternut Squash preheat the oven to 350⁰ F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until the squash cubes are evenly coated.
  7. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
  8. For the Roasted Turkey preheat the oven to 425⁰ F.
  9. Place the turkey on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, remove any loose or hanging skin around the neck cavity of the turkey.
  10. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Loosen the turkey skin away from the meat by inserting your hand between the meat and skin and gently pushing down. Pull the wing tips up and back and tuck them under the turkey.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together the Italian seasoning and oil. Rub the mixture on the turkey breast and drumsticks underneath the skin.
  12. Sprinkle the pepper over the entire turkey. Fill the turkey cavity with the celery, carrots, onion, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  13. Lightly spray a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray. Place the turkey with the breast side up on the rack. Roast for 30 minutes.
  14. Reduce the oven temperature to 325⁰ F. Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165⁰ F on an instant-read thermometer. (The total roasting time may be up to 3 ½ hours to reach 165⁰ F.) Remove from the oven.
  15. Remove the foil and spoon the pan juices over the turkey to baste it. Re-cover the turkey and let it stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Baste two to three times during the standing time (removing and replacing the foil each time). Discard the skin and any visible fat before slicing the turkey.

Nutrition per serving






5.0 g

Saturated Fat

1.0 g


95 mg


71 mg


16 g


4 g


5 g


36 g

MyPlate Food Groups

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