Southwestern Rubbed Turkey

4.3 (11)
Southwestern Rubbed Turkey

Smoked paprika is the key to the turkey rub in this recipe. It can be purchased in gourmet markets and online at Roasting the bird breast-side down for the first half keeps the breast meat succulent and moist.

Yield: 12 servings, 3 ounces each, plus plenty of leftovers
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 240


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 12-pound turkey, giblets removed


  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  2. Mix paprika, ground cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey, particularly under the skin and onto the breast meat.
  3. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Add 2 cups water to the pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove the turkey from the oven and turn it over"either use silicon oven gloves or cover the bird with foil and use cloth oven mitts to turn it over. Continue roasting, basting occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 180°F, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. If the bird is browning too deeply, tent with foil while it continues to bake. If the pan runs out of juices, add about 1/2 cup water, scrape up any browned bits, and use this liquid for basting. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grind in a spice mill or blender into a fine powder.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 346
fat 6 g (2 g sat, 1 g mono)
cholesterol 222 mg
carbohydrates 1 g
protein 67 g
fiber 1 g
sodium 348 mg
potassium 606 mg

Nutrition Bonus Selenium (118% daily value), Zinc (60% dv), Iron (30% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges 9 very lean meat, 1 fat

From EatingWell October/November 2005