Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY FULL DISCLAIMER POLICY FOR DETAILS.
Mix up your classic Thanksgiving turkey this year with this Maple Glazed Turkey recipe! This recipe takes your average holiday turkey to the next level with an easy-to-make herb butter & a simple maple glaze. It’s the most perfect, cozy combination of fall flavors! Roasting a juicy & moist Thanksgiving turkey has never been easier than this glazed spatchcock turkey! So let’s try something new this holiday, shall we? 

Planning your Thanksgiving Menu? Sign up for our FREE email series, Best of Thanksgiving! We’re sharing everything you need to know to plan your best Thanksgiving yet – turkey tips, classic & creative sides, menu inspiration, & more – all delivered straight to your inbox!

Featured In Best of Thanksgiving
An overhead shot of a Maple Glazed roasted spatchcocked turkey that has been carved and arranged on a white serving platter. The platter has been garnished with various fresh herbs and cranberries. A silver carving fork with a wooden handle rests on the side of the platter and a small white ramekin filled with fresh whole cranberries sits alongside the platter. A cream colored linen napkin is tucked underneath the platter. All items sit atop a creamy white textured surface area.

The Coziest Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe You’ll Ever Make

After making the same Lemon Herb Butter Turkey recipe for the last 7+ years (sometimes twice a year, when you count Friendsgiving!), I really wanted to change things up & try something different this year. While you can always count on the combination of lemon & herbs to really make your Thanksgiving turkey stand out, I wanted to bring some slightly cozier flavors to the Thanksgiving table this year. It is autumn, after all!

The result? This maple glazed spatchcock turkey. It’s a total standout!

This maple glazed turkey recipe is an easy, flavorful Thanksgiving turkey that embraces the flavors of fall –perfect for Thanksgiving! This maple glazed turkey recipe uses classic Thanksgiving herbs like rosemary, sage & thyme that will make your house smell seriously cozy & amazing on a crisp, fall Thanksgiving morning.

But of all the ingredients in this recipe, beautiful, high-quality pure maple syrup is what takes the cozy-factor to the next level. A maple glazed turkey is perfectly crispy & subtly sweet from the natural sugars in the maple syrup. Not only is your kitchen going to smell absolutely delicious as you’re roasting this maple turkey, but the result is the ultimate fall-inspired Thanksgiving meal. 

Maple Glazed Turkey Recipe Highlights

There are only 4 key steps to roasting the perfect maple glazed turkey. You will…

  1. Spatchcock it. I’ll explain more about that in just a second! But for now, here’s what you need to know: spatchcocking is the miracle you never knew your Thanksgiving needed!
  2. Butter it.
  3. Roast it.
  4. Baste it.
  5. Bonus: Glaze it.

Spatchcock. Butter. Roast. Baste. Glaze. That’s it!

If you’re ready for a taste of something new this Thanksgiving, I highly recommend giving this maple turkey a try! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Spatchcock Maple Glazed Turkey, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

How to Make a Maple Glazed Turkey

There are two essential layers of flavor you’ll build in this maple turkey recipe: maple herb butter & pure maple syrup glaze

Maple Herb Butter

The maple herb butter for this spatchcock turkey recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together & is made entirely with things you likely already have in your kitchen during the holiday season:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic
  • Fresh herbs – The perfect fall-themed herbs are rosemary, oregano, sage, & thyme. Buy them fresh at the grocery store (where you can also often find them packaged together in a “poultry blend”).
  • Pure maple syrup Always be sure to use pure maple syrup here! Pure maple syrup is made by boiling fresh sap from a maple tree to create a sticky, sweet syrup. It’s packed with natural sugars that give the best cozy autumn feel for this glazed spatchcock turkey. Pancake syrup, on the other hand, is made with refined sugars that just don’t do the trick. 

To prep the maple herb butter ⇢ Mix the maple syrup, garlic, & herbs with room temperature butter. You’ll slather the turkey with the maple herb butter, working it into every nook & cranny of the bird. You want to get the butter in between the skin & the meat so it makes your maple turkey deliciously juicy & flavorful. Why? ⇢ The maple turkey will take on all the flavor from the butter as it roasts – it almost bastes itself! – ensuring every bit of your turkey is flavorful as it absorbs the maple-y, herb-y, garlicky, buttery goodness. 

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Pure Maple Syrup Glaze

To take it to the next level, this spatchcock turkey is glazed with pure maple syrup. In the last hour of roasting, you’ll pull the spatchcock turkey out of the oven every 20 minutes & brush its entire surface with pure maple syrup. This is the step that gives your maple glazed turkey a mouth-watering maple flavor & a gloriously glossy shine.

The maple syrup does double duty to help the skin of your glazed spatchcock turkey get totally crispy & beautifully magazine-worthy golden brown! The trick is the natural sugars in the pure maple syrup that lightly caramelize your turkey in the heat of the oven. You’ll seriously be so excited by how perfect your maple glazed turkey looks! (And did I mention the whole maple glazed turkey comes together in less than 3 hours?!)

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Spatchcock Turkey Recipe FAQs

Ok, now it’s time to learn how to spatchcock a turkey. Your Thanksgiving turkey roasting will never be the same… 

  • What is spatchcocking? ⇢ Spatchcocking is a method for breaking down a turkey (or any poultry) where you remove the bird’s backbone. It’s a super simple & super-effective technique for speeding up the cooking process. Without its backbone, your turkey can lay flat in the roasting pan, allowing its breasts & legs to lie at about the same thickness as it cooks. 
  • Why should you spatchcock your turkey? A flat turkey is a really, really good thing for Thanksgiving. Since the breasts & the legs are about the same thickness once the turkey is laid out flat, spatchcocked turkeys roast faster & cooks more evenly. It only takes 90 minutes to cook a 14-pound spatchcock turkey vs 4 hours for a whole roasted turkey of the same size! & since all parts of the turkey will cook at roughly the same rate, the odds of overcooking your turkey are super low! This maple glazed spatchcock turkey recipe will be totally juicy and flavorful – never dried out. 
  • What size Thanksgiving turkey should I get? You’re generally going to need one pound of turkey per person for your Thanksgiving dinner. So if you’re feeding 12 people, grab a 12 pound turkey (or maybe one slightly larger, if you want plenty of leftovers). But I don’t recommend using a turkey larger than 14 pounds when you are making a spatchcock turkey recipe. Any bigger and it might not fit in the roasting pan! If you need more turkey meat, spatchcock two smaller turkeys instead.
  • How do you spatchcock a turkey? ⇢ It’s way easier than it sounds! Learning how to spatchcock a turkey takes just three steps: 1. Snip out the backbone. 2. Score the turkey’s chest bone. & 3. Press the bird flat. I wrote a blog post that includes step-by-step photos to show you exactly how to spatchcock a turkey. If you’re a visual learner, definitely check it out!

A Maple Glazed Turkey Feast!

This glazed spatchcock turkey recipe is SO easy & SO delicious. Not many households will enjoy a maple glazed turkey this Thanksgiving. But your guests are going to love the cozy autumn vibes when this recipe comes out of the oven! 

For more details on this glazed spatchcock turkey & how to make this spatchcock turkey recipe (including cooking time & how to know when it’s ready to come out of the oven!), check out the full recipe below. & if you’re looking for some more spatchcock turkey recipe inspiration, you can also try my Easy Herb Butter Roast Spatchcock Turkey recipe!

Pretty sure the only thing missing at this point is some stretchy pants & a major post-Thanksgiving dinner snooze!?

I can’t wait for you to try this Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey! Its flavors are classic yet new, & I know you’re going to love how beautifully golden brown it always turns out! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

Planning the Best-Ever Thanksgiving Menu? 🙌🏼 You’re in the right place! Be sure to try my Aunt Kari’s Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage & Mushrooms, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic, or these Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Pine Nuts next. ♡ Happy cooking!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
An overhead shot of a Maple Glazed roasted spatchcocked turkey that has been carved and arranged on a white serving platter. The platter has been garnished with various fresh herbs and cranberries. A silver carving fork with a wooden handle rests on the side of the platter and a small white ramekin filled with fresh whole cranberries and a white gravy boat filled with easy turkey gravy sits alongside the platter. A cream colored linen napkin is tucked underneath the platter. All items sit atop a creamy white textured surface area.

Spatchcock Maple Glazed Turkey with Maple Herb Butter

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Resting Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 1012 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes, Poultry & Turkey Recipes, Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Method: Spatchcock, Butterflied, Roasted
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Mix up your classic Thanksgiving turkey this year with this Maple Glazed Turkey recipe! This recipe takes your average holiday turkey to the next level with easy-to-make herb butter & a simple maple glaze – the most perfect, cozy combination of fall flavors! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • one 1214 pound whole turkey, thawed & (optional) brined
  • maple herb butter (below)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped into 34 large pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup, divided
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the Maple Herb Butter:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ cup finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Useful Equipment:

  • Large plastic cutting board
  • Sharp kitchen shears 
  • Sharp chef’s knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Roasting pan
  • Turkey baster or basting brush
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Carving set

Instructions

*REMINDER: If frozen, do not forget to begin thaw your turkey well before the day you plan on roasting it! If it is still frozen day-of, your turkey will not safely defrost & cook in time for dinner – it’s just not possible. The safest way to thaw a frozen turkey is by placing it in the coolest section of your refrigerator. The cool, controlled temperature will slowly thaw without any areas of the turkey being in the ‘danger’ temperature zone in which bacteria grow & multiply (between 40-140 degrees F). As a general rule of thumb, plan for 24 hours refrigerated thawing for every 4 pounds – so, a 12-14 pound turkey will require 3-4 days refrigerated thawing before it’s ready to be spatchcocked & roasted.

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Remove the turkey from its packaging. There is no need to rinse your turkey (rinsing promotes cross-contamination). Instead, simply use paper towel to pat the surface of the turkey as dry as possible. If present, remove the neck & giblets from the cavity of the turkey. Discard or set aside for easy turkey gravy. Transfer the turkey to a large plastic cutting board atop a stable, sturdy surface. Place the turkey breast side facing down.
  2. Prep the maple herb butter: Add all listed maple herb butter ingredients to a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Mix to combine well. Set aside for immediate use, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
  3. Spatchcock the turkey: (Note: For more guidance + step-by-step photos, be sure to check out this full How to Spatchcock a Turkey guide!) Using very sharp kitchen shears or a sharp knife, carefully snip along each side of the turkey’s backbone until it’s completely detached. Discard or set aside for easy turkey gravy. Locate the top of the turkey’s breast plate directly behind the turkey breasts. Place the heel of a sharp chef’s knife in the center of the top of the breast plate. Use a rolling pin to carefully yet forcefully tap the spine of the knife, wedging the heel of the knife into the bone. Continue tapping until the bone cracks. Use your hands to stretch the inner cavity of the turkey as wide open as possible, then flip the turkey such that its breast side is facing up. Place your hands on the center of its breasts, on the breast bone. Use your body weight to apply pressure to the chest plate, cracking the bone all the way through such that the turkey lays flat  – your turkey is spatchcocked & ready for roasting. Great job!!!
  4. Season the spatchcocked turkey: Use your hands to spread the prepared maple herb butter from Step 2 between the turkey skin & meat. Buttering the turkey meat directly helps keep it juicy & flavorful. If needed, use paper towel to pat the turkey skin as dry as possible. Drizzle the olive oil over the entire surface of the turkey skin, then season generously with kosher salt & ground black pepper. If you have any remaining maple herb butter, dot it over the top of the turkey.
  5. Prepare for roasting: Arrange the onions & carrots across the bottom of a roasting pan. (You can be as rustic as you’d like – no one will see!) Pour the wine over top. If desired, place the turkey neck & spine in the roasting pan, too, for extra flavorful turkey gravy. Set your seasoned spatchcock turkey over top, breast side facing up. Gently tuck the wing tips behind the breasts to prevent burning.
  6. Roast the turkey: Transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Roast at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven for basting. Carefully brush the pure maple syrup all over surface of the turkey. Return the roasting pan to the oven, reducing the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue roasting the turkey for 1 additional hour, removing the turkey from the oven every 20 minutes to repeat the glazing process. If desired, rotate the roasting pan 180 degrees each time you place it back in the oven to promote even roasting & browning. Pull the turkey from the oven once an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.
  7. Rest the turkey. Very carefully transfer the roast spatchcock turkey to a cutting board or large flat surface. Tent with foil & set aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving. As the turkey rests, its juices will redistribute throughout the meat & its internal temperature will continue to rise to a safe 165 degrees F. An overhead shot of a roasted Maple Glazed spatchcocked turkey placed atop a white cutting board. The cutting board is surrounded by sprigs of fresh herbs and garlic and all items sit atop a creamy white textured surface area.
  8. Optional: Prep turkey gravy: Meanwhile, as the turkey rests, prep turkey gravy as desired. For more guidance + step-by-step photos, be sure to check out this full Easy Turkey Gravy recipe!An overhead shot of a roasting pan filled with Easy Turkey Gravy. A person's hand holds a metal whisk that is being used to combine the gravy to help it reduce and thicken. The metal roasting pan sits atop a lightly colored textured surface.
  9. Carve & serve: Carve, serve & enjoy!An overhead shot of a Maple Glazed roasted spatchcocked turkey that has been carved and arranged on a white serving platter. The platter has been garnished with various fresh herbs and cranberries. A silver carving fork with a wooden handle rests on the side of the platter and a small white ramekin filled with fresh whole cranberries and a white gravy boat filled with easy turkey gravy sits alongside the platter. A cream colored linen napkin is tucked underneath the platter. All items sit atop a creamy white textured surface area.


Notes

  • Recipe FAQ: What size Thanksgiving turkey should I use?  Not sure how much turkey you’ll need to feed your dinner crowd? The general rule of thumb is to aim for one pound of turkey per person. For this roast spatchcock turkey recipe, I recommend using a turkey between 12-14 pounds. Since it lies flat as it roasts, a turkey larger than 14 pounds likely won’t fit in a conventional roasting pan. If you need more turkey to feed your guests, then try preparing two smaller spatchcock turkeys rather than one large turkey. This will also help your turkey meat stay extra-juicy!
  • Thanksgiving Prep Tips: This herb butter roasted turkey recipe is quite straightforward & easy, though you can prep a couple of components in advance to make Thanksgiving day cooking even more effortless. Here’s what I suggest: 
    • Make-ahead maple herb butter: Up to 1 week in advance, prepare the maple herb butter according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The morning of your holiday meal, simply pull the herb butter from the fridge to soften to room temperature for turkey prep. (<10 minutes active prep)
    • Make-ahead spatchcock turkey: If you have some time the night before your holiday meal, taking 30 minutes to get a head start on prepping the turkey is a great place to start. Spatchcock the turkey according to Step 3 of Recipe Directions above. Place it in a roasting pan & let it sit, uncovered, in the fridge overnight. This helps the turkey skin lose some of its excess moisture, resulting in an even crisper golden brown maple glazed turkey. This not only cuts down on day-of prep time quite a bit, but will also make for an even tastier turkey! (30 minutes active prep)

Keywords: maple glazed turkey, maple turkey, glazed spatchcock turkey recipe, roast spatchcock turkey, Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, easy, fast, butterflied, roasted, poultry, maple, fresh herbs

Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Megan McKeehan

Planning Your Thanksgiving Menu?

You’re in the right place! 🙌🏼 Here at PWWB, Thanksgiving is our absolute favorite holiday meal! Head over to our Thanksgiving Recipes archive for tons of incredible Thanksgiving dishes, ideas, & inspiration.

We also welcome you to sign up to join the PWWB email list – you’ll get immediate access to the PWWB Best of Thanksgiving Email Series! This brand new, completely free email series will walk you through everything you need to know as you begin to prep for your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebrations this year, including…

  • Turkey 101 – A fool-proof method for juicy & flavorful turkey, plus tons of turkey tips & tricks!
  • The BEST Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Classic old favorites & creative new ideas to round out your Thanksgiving menu this year!
  • The 3-Hour Thanksgiving Guide – The ultimate plan for hosting Thanksgiving without the stress! This FREE download is complete with a full menu, shopping list, detailed timeline, & of course delicious recipes.
  • & NEW Thanksgiving Recipes – All of our newest Thanksgiving recipes & ideas delivered straight to your inbox, starting Monday, November 1st.

Let’s make this your BEST Thanksgiving yet!

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

Topics

Sign up for our newsletter

Leave a Rating & Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 10.6.21
    Jodi Shaw said:

    This recipe is absolutely fantastic. Easy to follow, this was the best turkey I’ve ever made and my family loved it!

  2. 12.3.20
    Carrie B. said:

    This was one of a couple PWWB recipes we made for our little Thanksgiving this year, and OH BOY was it the right choice. This was my first year making a turkey on my own (I know…it was past due), but this made it super easy! Spatchcocking? GAME CHANGER and SO easy. Plus maple syrup? *chef’s kiss*.
    Despite my personal struggle-bus ride trying to butter the whole turkey up, it turned out beautifully crispy outside and mouthwateringly (sure…that’s a word) juicy on the inside.
    Thank you so much for this super wonderful recipe!

    • 6.12.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Thank you SO much for sharing Carrie, it means so much! Spatchcocking truly is a game changer!! Be on the look out for a fun grilled spatchcock chicken we have coming soon this summer – it’s going to be SO good!

  3. 11.19.20
    Kelsey said:

    I want to try this recipe for Thanksgiving but the stuffing from the bird is my husbands favorite part of Thanksgiving. Is there a way to still stuff a bird when using this technique?

  4. 11.18.20

    Made this turkey last year and will probably make it for every Thanksgiving in the future. Was perfect and juicy!

    • 11.21.20

      Yesssss, it’s the best turkey! So glad you & your family enjoy it, Emily. Happy Thanksgiving! xx

  5. 11.13.19
    Anna B. said:

    This is the first (and only) recipe/method I’ve ever used to make a turkey, and it turned out PERFECTLY. My niece even jumped in and helped spatchcock the bird…I’m thinking she will be a surgeon or a vet one day! The whole family raved about how moist and flavorful it was. I’d call my first time hosting a success!

    • 1.14.20
      jess said:

      LOVE. THIS. SO. MUCH! Thank you for trusting my recipe & for sharing, Anna!!! Sounds like you DO have a little surgeon/vet(/chef??) in the making! Love it. xx

  6. 11.13.19
    Anna B. said:

    So this is the first turkey recipe (and only) that I’ve ever cooked, but I can say without a doubt that it’s the best turkey I’ve ever eaten. So moist. So fun to spatchcock (my niece hopped in and wanted to help me…maybe she’ll be a surgeon?!). So delicious.

  7. 11.14.18
    Christina said:

    Maple herb butter, yes please!