Health + Wellness

Flavorful Jerk Turkey – A Sensational Twist to Your Holiday Spread!

jerk turkey

While roasting your Thanksgiving turkey is typical, that’s not your only option. Using a jerk marinade or seasoning can add some spice without affecting how healthy your main dish is. You can even play around with the level of heat you add to your turkey. If you haven’t tried spicing up your Thanksgiving turkey, now’s your chance! It might just become your go-to recipe moving forward.

Why You Should Switch It Up

Well, there are two good reasons to make the switch from a traditional roast turkey recipe to a spicy healthy alternative. The first is how many calories and fat are in the usual recipe. It’s common for the regular roast turkey to contain over 500 calories and 11 grams of fat – and that doesn’t even include the stuffing!

A healthy variation of a Thanksgiving turkey recipe is a great way to ensure that you’re not overdoing it. In fact, the recipe below only packs 300 calories and about 8g of fat.

The second reason to try a jerk turkey recipe is to have a different flavor on the table. Yes, Thanksgiving is all about tradition but things can get predictable that way. There’s always space to add your own spin on the food.

Your Healthy Jerk Turkey Recipe

Servings: 12


3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar

 1⁄2 cup chopped scallions

 1⁄4 cup freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

 2 1⁄2 tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

 1⁄2 tbsp dried thyme

 1 tsp ground cinnamon

 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves

 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus wedges for serving

 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. soy sauce

 6 cloves garlic

 2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chilis, stemmed and chopped

 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

 1 whole turkey (12 lb.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. 
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine ¼ cup oil, sugar, scallions, ¼ cup pepper, 2½

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