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Grill your turkey this year! Tuscan grilled turkey is rubbed with rosemary and citrus zest, then grilled to golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. | justalittlebitofbacon.com

Grilled Tuscan Style Turkey

Grill your turkey this year! Tuscan grilled turkey is rubbed with rosemary and citrus zest, then grilled to golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 450kcal
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon


  • 12-14 lb whole turkey
  • 4-6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • NOTE: Prep time depends on whether you need to brine the turkey or not! If you are brining, you will need to begin the day before when you rub the turkey with salt.
  • Butterfly (or spatchcock) the turkey by cutting out the backbone and cracking the breastbone. (See this post for photos.) Reserve the backbone and any trimmings you have for making turkey stock.
  • Loosen the skin over the breast and flatten a tablespoon or two of butter in between the skin and breast meat. Mix together the herbs, lemon zest, and olive oil in a bowl. Rub the turkey all over with the herb mixture and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • Preheat the grill. Once the grill is hot, adjust the grill so that it maintains a temperature of around 425F. If you can, make a two level fire so that the outer parts of the grill are hotter than the middle.
  • Transfer the turkey to the grill so that the turkey is skin side up and the breast of the turkey is over the coolest part of the grill. Close the cover and grill the turkey until the breast reaches 150F and the thighs reach 165F. This will take about 1 hour for a 12 lb turkey. At around 20 minutes into the cooking time, melt the remaining butter and use that to baste the turkey 3 or 4 times while the turkey grills.
  • When the turkey is done, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


Depending on what sort of turkeys you can find in the store, you may or may or may not need to brine. If you have a turkey which has been injected with a brine solution, go right onto rubbing the turkey with herbs. If you have a natural turkey, rub the turkey liberally all over with kosher salt and let it brine for 12-24 hours.
Transferring the turkey to and from the grill can be tricky since there is very little holding the legs to breast. If you have a rack you don't mind using on the grill, you can set up the turkey on the rack and just transfer the rack around. I don't have such a rack so I carefully lifted the turkey onto the grill with my hands and then used a combination of spatulas, tongs, and my daughter to help me transfer the turkey to the serving dish.
I didn't get pictures of the spatchcocking or cutting process; however I do have a link which goes through it step by step. The cutting of the breast meat in particular is useful information and the way we have been doing it for years.
I've found that using a knife to cut along both sides of the backbone before using the shears is very helpful and makes the cutting easier.


Calories: 450kcal