Tired of the Same Ol’ Turkey? Try These Unconventional Turkey Recipes

So Thanksgiving dinner is your responsibility. Sure, you can baste the turkey with butter and make traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, but something deep inside wants to try something different this year. If you’re itching to take turkey to the next level, try these delicious and daring turkey creations sure to raise an eye and please a palate.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

This turkey recipe is great for a smaller crowd and white meat lovers. It also frees up oven space for all those casseroles and dinner rolls. If you need more, just get two crockpots going. Once you get the prep done, all you have to do is wait, which will give you plenty of time to whip up all the other goodies for the meal.


  • 1 (5-7 lbs.) bone-in, whole turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp.+ kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Spray the slow cooker crock with cooking spray.
  2. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the turkey breast, being sure to get some salt under the skin.
  3. Combine the butter, herbs, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and garlic to make a paste. Make a pocket in both sides of the breast between the meat and the skin. Put the herb-butter mixture in the pockets on each side and massage into the meat from the outside of the skin, spreading it as much as possible on the inside of the skin.
  4. Place the breast in the crock of the slow cooker, skin side up. Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat making sure you can close the slow cooker lid. Close the crock of the slow cooker with the cover.
  5. Insert the probe thermometer at the thickest point of the breast and set to 165 degrees F. Turn the slow cooker on HIGH.
  6. Cook until the thermometer alarm sounds and it eads an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The breast will continue to cook when you turn the slow cooker off and should reach somewhere around 170 degrees F when it’s all done. Turn off the slow cooker, turn off the thermometer and remove the probe. Turn your oven to broil and transfer the breast to a baking dish to  brown the skin under the broiler for a few minutes.
  7. Once the turkey is browned, place it on a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Teriyaki-Glazed Turkey

Teriyaki-Glazed TurkeyINGREDIENTS

  • ½ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ c. mirin
  • ¼ c. sake
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 fresh turkey
  • 1½ lb. large shallots
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. turkey stock
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, vinegar, brown sugar and ginger. Add the cornstarch and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring, until glossy and slightly thickened, 3 minutes. Transfer the teriyaki sauce to a bowl.
  2. Put the turkey in a roasting pan and scatter the shallots around it. Salt and pepper the turkey inside and out. In a small bowl, blend 4 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil and brush some over the turkey.
  3. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, or until golden. Baste with the butter mixture and add the water to the roasting pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast the turkey for 1 hour, basting twice with the remaining butter mixture. If the skin browns too quickly, cover the turkey with foil.
  4. Pour half of the teriyaki sauce into a bowl; baste the turkey with some of it. Roast the turkey for 1 1/2 hours longer, basting with the sauce every 30 minutes; the turkey is done when the skin is browned and a thermometer in an inner thigh reads 170 degrees F. Transfer to a carving board; let rest for 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a bowl, skim off the fat and reserve the shallots. Set the pan over a burner. Add the shallots to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned. Add the pan juices, turkey stock and the reserved teriyaki sauce. Bring to a boil, scraping and incorporating browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Strain the pan sauce into a medium saucepan, reserving the shallots. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced by a third, 30 minutes. In a bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour until smooth. Whisk the flour paste into the sauce and boil, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a warmed gravy boat.

Related Read: Fall Flavor Profile: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Mission Figs

Grilled Turkey (We Had to)

Grilled Turkey RecipeBecause McGonigle’s is big on meat, we’re big on grilling. And because we’re big on grilling, it only felt right to include at least one recipe that used the grill! Like the slow cooker recipe above, cooking your bird on the grill leaves your oven open for everything else it’s needed for on Thanksgiving day. You’ll definitely need a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking since the grill temperature is harder to control than the oven temperature. Also, make sure to either put the bird in a pan, or place a pan beneath to catch all the wonderful drippings for gravy. Watch the drippings and add a little water if they look like the are starting to scorch.  


  • 12 pound whole turkey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Prepare your grill for indirect medium-high heat.
  2. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position. Brush turkey with vegetable oil. Season inside and out with Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a metal grate inside a large roasting pan and place on the grill. Or put the bird on the grill and place the pan underneath.  Grill 2 to 3 hours, to an internal thigh temperature of 180 degrees F. Remove turkey from grill and let stand 15 minutes before carving.
  4. Transfer drippings to a saucepan to make gravy.

If you’re thinking the same ‘ol turkey is for the birds, give one of these variations a try this Thanksgiving and let us know how it goes. They all sound delicious to us! But, if you’re not feeling adventurous this year, there’s always the McGonigle’s tried-and-true turkey recipe that is sure to have your family and friends amazed at your culinary skills.sure to have your family and friends amazed at your culinary skills.

Whatever recipe you choose, make sure you get a fresh turkey from McGonigles. Our turkeys have never been frozen and aren’t injected with any extras like salt, oil, or water. They taste delicious – naturally. Just order the size you’d like on our website.


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