Roasted Cajun Turkey Recipe: Easy-to-Make Guide

Imagine a perfectly roasted cajun turkey infused with bold and delighted flavors, its skin crispy and golden, and the meat tender and juicy.

This recipe for a Cajun-style roasted turkey features a dry rub that gives the skin a crispy texture and a zesty flavor. The turkey is also infused with butter and a blend of herbs, ensuring it stays juicy and full of taste.

While this turkey is ideal for year-round enjoyment, it’s especially fitting for holiday gatherings.

But why wait for the festive season? We love this recipe so much that we whip it up with chicken all year round. 

Because let’s be honest, some flavors are just too good to save for special occasions!

Is Roasted Cajun Turkey Easy to Make?

Preparing a turkey for a festival like Thanksgiving can seem like a daunting task, and I’ll level with you – it’s not the simplest dish in the cookbook. 

But, I dove headfirst into crafting a recipe that’s as close to fail-safe as it gets. Stick to these steps, and you’ll join the ranks of those who’ve nailed the ultimate turkey. 

The secret? 

Focus on keeping it moist, getting that skin perfectly crispy, and infusing every slice with mouth-watering flavor.

Imagine a classic roasted turkey but with a zesty twist! This Cajun-roasted turkey isn’t just your average holiday bird. 

It’s jazzed up with a robust spice blend that kicks up the heat and infuses every bite with bold flavors. 

How to Make Roasted Cajun Turkey

Why I Love Roasted Cajun Turkey Recipe

Why not spice up your holiday menu with a taste of Louisiana? Here’s why I adore this Cajun Roasted Turkey recipe:

  • Flavor Explosion: That Cajun butter, lovingly massaged into every nook and cranny of the turkey, ensures that each mouthful bursts with authentic Cajun goodness.
  • No-Fuss Prep: Forget fancy injectors or specialized gear. This recipe keeps it simple – just the way we like it.
  • Budget-Friendly Bliss: Skip the fast-food joint; our homemade version is a pocket-friendly alternative to Popeye’s Cajun Turkey.

Cajun Turkey Recipe: Ingredients You’ll Need

You know, Cajun turkey is like a delicious melting pot of flavors. It’s got a little bit of American, a dash of African, and a pinch of French influence.

This recipe is made with hand-picked ingredients that are likely already in your pantry or can be effortlessly found at your local supermarket.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a Roasted Cajun Turkey Recipe:

  • Whole turkey (10-12 pounds), thawed
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Onions
  • Lemon
  • Ground Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper

Equipment and Tools You’ll Need

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer: For mixing ingredients smoothly.
  • Mixing bowls: To prepare and combine the marinade and seasonings.
  • Roasting pan with a rack: Ensures even cooking and easy handling of the turkey.
  • Meat thermometer: Essential for checking the doneness of the turkey.
  • Platter: To serve the roasted turkey in style.
  • Carving knife set: For neatly slicing your delicious Cajun turkey.

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Roasted Cajun Turkey recipe

How to Make Roasted Cajun Turkey

Dry Brine (Optional): Begin by dry brining your turkey the night before cooking. Generously cover the entire turkey with kosher salt. Rub it in to ensure even distribution. 

Place the salted turkey in the refrigerator, allowing it to sit overnight while covered.

Oven Preparation: Start by setting your oven to preheat at 325 degrees F.

Spice and Butter Mixture: Enhance your butter by blending in a selection of spices and freshly picked herbs. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine half of your prepared spice blend with the butter. Reserve the remaining spice mixture for use at a later stage in the recipe.

Apply Spice Butter: Place the turkey in a roasting pan, pat dry, and loosen the breast skin. Distribute half the spice butter under the breast skin and rub the rest on the turkey. 

Sprinkle the remaining spices evenly for a flavorful cajun taste. This streamlined method ensures your turkey is seasoned to perfection. 

After that, it’s time for the injection. You can also create the injection of your choice. Simply start by mixing 2 tablespoons of melted butter with broth. 

You’ll need about 1 ounce of broth for every pound of turkey. Then, feel free to stir in your favorite seasonings and spices to taste.

Or just buy Tony Chachere’s Butter Injection Marinade with their Garlic and Herb Injection Marinade for an extra flavor kick inside the turkey.

Loosely Cover: Drape the turkey with aluminum foil loosely without touching the skin. Ensure the oven is preheated to 325 degrees F before cooking for consistency.

Secret To Make A Perfect Cajun Turkey

Use Fresh Turkey

Skip the thaw and go fresh! Grab a fresh turkey to avoid the long defrosting process, which can lead to dryness.

  • Bring your turkey to room temperature and give it a good pat-down.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for every 5 pounds of turkey, and rub it all over.
  • Chill the turkey in the fridge overnight. Remember, no rinsing is needed.

Wet Brine Note: If you’re wet bringing, dry the turkey thoroughly for that perfect crispy skin.

Cajun Compound Butter:

Room temperature is key! No margarine or shortening, just good ol’ butter. 

Soften the butter, then blend in your spices and herbs until it’s a bold orange hue. More paprika or Cajun spice can pump up the color and flavor.

Flavor Variations

Here are some flavor variations for your Cajun turkey:

  • Seasoning: Save time with a pre-made Cajun seasoning blend or add extra cayenne pepper for spiciness.
  • Protein: For smaller crowds, use a turkey breast or whole chicken. Halve the brine and reduce cooking time.
  • Aromatics: Enhance flavors by adding lemon/orange wedges, fresh rosemary, or thyme to the turkey cavity.

How Long Do I Need to Cook a Turkey?

Turkey Cooking Time: The bigger the turkey, the longer it cooks. Always check the temperature inside before you take it out of the oven.

Quick Guide: Cook the turkey for 20 minutes per pound. If it’s stuffed, it’ll take a bit longer.

Just set a timer based on your turkey’s weight, and before you pull it out, make sure it’s cooked through with a temperature check.

Turkey Cooking Time (Unstuffed*):

  • 8 lb. turkey: Roast at 325°F for 2.45 hours.
  • 10 lb. turkey: Roast at 325°F for 3.15 hours.
  • 12 lb. turkey: Roast at 325°F for 4 hours.
  • 14 lb. turkey: Roast at 325°F for 4.45 hours.

The given timings are for a general idea. To check if your oven is accurate, grab an oven thermometer, place it on the rack, and compare it to the expected temperature.

Roasted Cajun Turkey Recipe

Roasted Cajun Turkey Recipe

Amelia Rose
Imagine slathering your turkey with melted butter and a bunch of tasty Cajun spices. Pop it in the oven and roast it until it’s just the right shade of golden brown. You’ll get skin that’s super crispy and meat that’s juicy and packed with flavor. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • 1 Roasting pan with a rack
  • 1 Meat thermometer Essential for checking the doneness of the turkey.
  • Platter To serve the roasted turkey in style.
  • 1 Carving knife set For slicing your delicious Cajun turkey.



  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Dried oregano


  • 12-14 lb Turkey
  • Dry brine turkey (Optional, but a recommended)
  • 1 lb Unsalted Butter  (room temperature)
  • 16 Oz Chicken stock
  • 1 small Onion quartered
  • 4 2 inch pieces Celery Stalks
  • 1 lemon For flavor richness
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)


Cajun Herb Butter Preparation:

  • In a bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic.
  • Mix the ingredients until they are well blended.

Turkey Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey, rinse the turkey, and pat it dry.
  • Loosen the skin from the turkey breast without totally detaching it.
  • Apply a generous amount of the Cajun herb butter under the skin, over the breast meat, and on the outside of the turkey.
  • Inside the turkey cavity, place the quartered onion and other items.
  • Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with additional Cajun seasoning to taste.
  • Tie the legs together with the kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.


  • Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone.
  • Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes per pound, or until the meat thermometer reads 165°F (74°C).
  • Baste the turkey with the pan juices every 45 minutes during roasting.
  • If the turkey begins to brown too much, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.


  • Once the turkey is fully cooked, remove it from the oven.
  • Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Carve the turkey and serve it with your favorite sides.


Bigger Bird? If you’ve got a turkey larger than 15 pounds, just add 15 extra minutes of cooking time per pound.
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and should be used for informational purposes only.
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