This cherry cranberry glazed turkey is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. The slightly sweet and sticky glaze gives the bird tons of festive flavor!

You know those few kitchen feats that make you feel like a superstar?

Baking anything (successfully) with yeast, mastering the macaron, making homemade butter, that kind of stuff.

Well, I’m adding cooking a holiday turkey that not only looks good but tastes amazing to that list too.

This post is sponsored by The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch.
This cherry cranberry glazed turkey is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. The slightly sweet and sticky glaze gives the bird tons of festive flavor!

I went through a “must get rid of everything” episode earlier this year and actually ended up throwing my roasting pan out.

It got tossed with 3 huge boxes of other kitchen things I couldn’t even name now if I tried (obviously unnecessary items).

Since that day, however, I’ve needed my roasting pan at least 3 times. Let’s call that one a poor decision.

I’ve made due since but when it came to this turkey, I caved, hauled my butt to Bed Bath & Beyond, happily forked over one of the 30 coupons I hoard in my car and bought a new one.

Now that this cherry cranberry glazed turkey is a thing, I can guarantee that roasting pan will be put to good use at least yearly.

A good turkey doesn’t need much when it comes to flavor (besides your care to not overcook it!) but this tart cherry cranberry glaze doesn’t hurt.

Diestel turkey ranch's organic American heirloom turkey is roasted to perfection with a cherry cranberry glaze.
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It’s slightly sweet, a little sticky and brings a lovely subtle flavor to this succulent bird.

Coupled with the cranberries and onions at the bottom of the pan that soak up all those delicious cooking juices and slathered in this cognac cranberry orange butter before roasting, turkey won’t just be the obligatory main on your Thanksgiving plate anymore.

This easy tart cherry cranberry glaze makes a juicy, flavorful turkey perfect for your holiday dinner!

The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch reached out to me a couple of months ago about showcasing one of their birds this holiday season and I was beyond happy to take them up on the offer.

As I’ve talked about many times, buying quality meat and poultry is hugely important to me.

With local grass fed beef, local pork and wild salmon taking up 90% of my freezer downstairs (I need a good bulk chicken source!), we eat well in this house and the holidays should be no different.

I actually asked the cashier at ShopRite yesterday if I could donate the free turkey all my spending in that store has “won” me because the thought of what that “free” turkey is stuffed with (and I’m not talking stuffing you’d want on your Thanksgiving table) scares me.

Basting this organic heirloom turkey in a cherry cranberry glaze makes for the most deliciously moist and flavorful turkey you'll have this holiday season!

The Diestel family has been raising turkeys on their farm in California since 1949.

They’re one of the last small family-owned turkey growers and processors in the U.S. and I was lucky enough to chat with Heidi, one of the Diestel family members, all about the farm, its history and most interesting to me, their progressive sustainability practices which really set them apart in the industry.

Jason Diestel, Heidi’s brother, created the Organic Diestel Structured Compost, which improves the farm’s soil fertility and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of products that would normally be land-filled by approximately 70 percent.

Diestel’s goal is to become completely carbon neutral in the near future.

Not only is this helping the environment, but their composting eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, fertilizers, and inorganic substances, which impacts the health of the turkeys on the farm as well.

Outside of the sustainability practices, what struck me the most when chatting with Heidi is the family’s dedication to the turkeys themselves.

The birds roam free, are given plenty of time to grow (almost twice as long as conventional birds) and are offered high-quality, natural food sources.

There are no antibiotics used on any Diestel turkeys. The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch recently received Non-GMO Project Verification for their Natural, Organic and Heirloom Collection, and the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) awarded Diestel’s pasture-raised birds its highest 5+ rating.

My favorite quote from Heidi:

“Most producers in our industry are dedicated to getting pounds to market as quickly as possible. Our approach is just the opposite. We have no desire to grow all the turkeys in the world; we just want to grow the best.”

– Heidi Diestel
Tart cherry and cranberry juice create a sweet, sticky glaze that's perfect on this roasted organic heirloom turkey for Thanksgiving.

Doesn’t that sound like a turkey you want gracing your Thanksgiving table?

Hope you give this delicious bird a try. Pair it with some delicious sides like chestnut stuffing and a roasted winter root vegetable salad and don’t forget to end the meal with something sweet like this cranberry curd tart!

The cheesecloth turkey method is worth a try too for a super moist bird every time. If you prefer ham for the holiday and want something similar, give this pomegranate glazed smoked ham a try.

Looking for something a little out of the box for the holiday instead of turkey? Give this pan seared duck with cranberry maple sauce a try instead!

Love this tart cherry cranberry glazed turkey recipe?

Looking for sides, salads, soups, desserts and more to go along with this cherry cranberry glazed turkey for Thanksgiving? Check out my 100 healthy Thanksgiving recipes post!

And if you want a few less traditional Thanksgiving ideas for the main course, try this tart cherry stuffed turkey roulade or this butterflied leg of lamb with cranberry goat cheese stuffing.

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Tart Cherry Cranberry Glazed Turkey

Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 45 minutes
This cherry cranberry glazed turkey is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. The slightly sweet and sticky glaze gives the bird tons of festive flavor!


For the glaze:

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

For the turkey:

  • 12-14 pound Diestel Organic American Heirloom turkey, rinsed, dried and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature (I used this cranberry orange compound butter)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups chicken/turkey broth
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or 400 degrees convection roast).
  • Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, whisk until butter is melted, lower to a simmer and let cook down for about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan breast side up. Smear the butter all over the turkey and underneath the skin on the breast carefully. Season the outside and inside cavity of the bird generously with salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the cavity with the rosemary and lemon halves.
  • Arrange the cranberries and onions around the turkey on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Combine 2/3 of the glaze with the broth and pour into the bottom of the pan (not on top of the turkey).
  • Cover loosely with tin foil and place the turkey in the oven.
  • Roast for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees (325 convection roast). Baste the turkey with the juices from the bottom of the pan at this point as well.
  • Roast for about 3 hours (15 minutes per pound is a good estimate) or until turkey reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove the foil during the last 25 minutes so the turkey turns a nice golden brown and the skin crisps up.
  • Every 25 minutes, alternate between basting the turkey with the pan juices and brushing with the remaining glaze. End with a generous brushing of glaze.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest, covered for 20 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with the cranberries, onions and juices from the pan. Garnish with additional rosemary.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 15gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 186mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Used this recipe for our Thanksgiving turkey! So, so good! Everyone raved about it. We made a few additions, adding another onion and some fresh thyme with the rosemary. We then took some of the drippings with cranberries and onions and put in the food processor then made a gravy with that too. Perfect! Will be saving it for our Christmas turkey as well!

    1. So happy to hear it! We celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday this year so I took your advice and pureed the drippings to make a gravy, so delicious, thanks for sharing that! :)

  2. Live your blog. This looks so good. Thanks. I hope when you ‘threw out’ a box of kitchen things, you didn’t mean garbage-these things are so useful for others when taken to a thrift store or Goodwill. Even if they are specialty items, there are people who would love to be able to use them.

  3. OMG! You are a Turkey Photographer PRO! I have done lots of bird photo shoots and they pale in comparison to this masterpiece. It looks incredibly delicious!

  4. I can honestly say I have never seen a more delectable looking turkey! I made a cranberry rosemary sauce last year and LOVE the combination of flavors :)

  5. This is a seriously good looking turkey! Trevor LOVES cherry, so I love that you use tart cherry juice!