Cooking a Whole Turkey in an Air Fryer – Healthy Recipe for a Thanksgiving Party

Sharing our family air fryer turkey recipe for a quick and easy Thanksgiving turkey tradition!

photo of the turkey recipe for Thanksgiving by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

My father in law is sharing his family famous air fryer turkey recipe for a quick and easy Thanksgiving turkey tradition!

You may also know this recipe by using an “oil-less” turkey fryer.

But either way, it’s the best easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe out there!

photo of our Thanksgiving tablescape and fall decor by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

I’ll be honest, the idea of being responsible for an entire Thanksgiving dinner is a bit intimidating to me! 

You get so accustomed to those perfect family recipes that it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

So thankfully my father in law is sharing his famous air fryer turkey recipe with us!

Not only is it super fast and VERY easy, but it’s also a healthy option for the table, too. 

photo of a closeup of our Thanksgiving turkey and appetizers by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

Ya gotta love Pops!

He was a trooper for letting me drag on this styled tablescape longer than it actually took for us to cook our turkey!

We had just renovated our patio so I really wanted to make use of it.

photo of Ashley Rose and her dad after he just finished cooking his family turkey recipe by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

It’s a double bonus that this turkey recipe has a super quick cooking time in comparison to a roast turkey.

The prep work only takes 20 minutes or less.

So that leaves you plenty of time for setting a dreamy tablescape while you have the breast in the air fryer.

photo of our Thanksgiving table setting and family dinner outside by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

photo of an easy turkey recipe with Belcampo by top Houston lifestyle blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

Ingredients and Tools Needed for Making a Juicy Air Fryer Turkey

There are three key things you’ll need for making the perfect juicy and tender air fryer turkey recipe — an extra-large air fryer or oil-less propane fryer, an instant-read thermometer, and of course, plenty of seasoning!

Organic whole white turkey — Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed in advance if frozen.

Tony Chachere’s Injectable Butter Marinade

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning — If creole seasoning isn’t your thing, you can also go with a tried and true salt and pepper mixture as well. 

Olive oil or oil of your choice for pre-seasoning

injection marinade and a hand putting it in an the injector

How to Make an Air Fryer Turkey

1 — Place the unthawed turkey on a clean kitchen surface and use the Tony Chachere’s Injectable Butter Marinade and utensil to inject seasoning into both lobes of the thickest part of the turkey breasts.

injecting a Belcampo whole turkey with mairnade

Using a small bowl and the applicator that comes with the marinade, you can inject the marinade into any portion of the meat for added flavor.

You can either inject it several hours in advance to let the turkey absorb the flavor, or even right before cooking.

injecting a Belcampo whole turkey with mairnade

2 — Using your favorite oil, lightly spray the air fryer basket so that the turkey doesn’t stick when trying to remove it.

3 — You’ll also want to rub oil all over the turkey breast so that the powder seasoning will stick easier as well. If you’re not using creole seasoning, you can rub the sides with salt and pepper instead.

4 — Rub the powder creole seasoning along the outside of the turkey for added flavor and crispy skin.

5 — Place the turkey in the fryer on medium heat for approximately three hours, or about 10 minutes per pound of your total turkey weight.

putting a whole turkey into an oil less air fryer

6 — Check the internal temperature of the turkey in several places.

Once the temperature has reached 165 degrees F, the turkey is ready and perfectly air fried!

checking the temperature on oil less fryer with turkey

7 — Remove from the fryer and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving.

Voila! You have the perfect air fryer turkey recipe in no time!

taking a whole turkey out of the air fryer

a plated turkey on a table with berries and greens

How to Serve A Turkey

If you ask us, there’s no right or wrong way to serve a turkey.

As long as you have good company and good food, that’s all that really matters.

But of course, you know I love a good styling moment, too.

We placed our air fryer turkey on a bed of greens surrounded by berries and citrus.

It makes for a great pop of color and also happens to be an added side item for your family meal too.

a thanksgiving table with an turkey on it

close up photo of a sliced thanksgiving turkey recipe with citrus and berries

a mini personal cheeseplate at a table setting with belcampo beef sticks

Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

We love the idea of table settings with multiple purposes, especailly ones that you can consume.

I also used beef snack jerky sticks for making mini cheese platters at each setting. 

I combined grapes, cheese wedges, beef snack sticks, seasoning, and a place card for a custom touch for each person. 

Add a velvet ribbon to the handle for added glam factor too.

It’s the perfect touch to your Thanksgiving table while you get ready to serve your air fryer turkey.

You can also check out our roundup of our favorite DIY Thanksgiving table decoration ideas.

an angled overhead photo of a thanksgiving table setting with a turkey

Recipe Ideas that Pair Well

If you’re looking for more side dishes, desserts, or cocktails to serve with your air fryer turkey, you can see more of our favorites here —

a close up of hands placing a turkey on a the thanksgiving table

photo of a sliced thanksgiving air fryer turkey with berries and greens

Air Fryer Turkey Recipe (Oil Less Turkey)

Print Recipe
5 from 17 votes
This fast and easy air fryer turkey is SO delicious and healthy for you, too! It's the perfect recipe for getting crispy skin but keeping the meat juicy and tender...
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Entree

Equipment

  • Extra large air fryer or oil less propane fryer
  • Meat thermometer

Ingredients

  • 1 organic whole white turkey
  • 1 jar Tony Chachere's Injectable Butter Marinade
  • 1 jar Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Nutrition

Calories: 4258kcal | Protein: 557g | Fat: 216g | Saturated Fat: 48g | Cholesterol: 1857mg | Sodium: 2894mg | Potassium: 5770mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1442IU | Calcium: 283mg | Iron: 23mg
Servings: 1 whole turkey
Calories: 4258kcal

Instructions

  • Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed in advance if frozen.
  • Place the whole turkey (or boneless turkey breast) on a clean kitchen surface and use the Tony Chachere's Injectable Butter Marinade and utensil to inject seasoning into both lobes of the turkey breasts. You can inject the marinade into any portion of the meat for added flavor. You can either inject it several hours in advance to let the turkey abosrb the flavor, or even right before cooking.
  • Using a spray oil, lightly spray the air fryer basket so that the turkey doesn't stick when trying to remove it. You'll also want to give the outside of the turley a light spray so that the powder seasoning will stick easier as well.
  • Rub the powder creole seasoning along the outside of the turkey for added flavor on the skin.
  • Place in the fryer on medium heat for approximately 3 hours, or about 10 minutes per pound of your total turkey weight.
  • Check the internal temperature of the turkey in several places. Once the temperature has reached 165 degrees F, the turkey is ready!
  • Remove from the fryer and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving.
KEYWORD: air fryer turkey recipe, oil less turkey

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12 thoughts on “Cooking a Whole Turkey in an Air Fryer – Healthy Recipe for a Thanksgiving Party”

    • Hi Rita! The oil is used to spray the basket so that the turkey does not stick to it. We wouldn’t recommend subbing the oil for butter UNLESS it was a spray butter that could easily coat around the basket.

      Reply
  1. I can’t wait to use your recipe for air frying a Turkey! I am cooking a large Turkey breast. This will be my first time using the Air Fryer oven setting of my new stove. I hope it turns out as good as yours did! Thank you!
    MarciaSikes

    Reply
  2. This turkey is so perfect! It’s tender and juicy and the flavor is spot on! Your step by step instructions make it so easy too!5 stars

    Reply
  3. Yummy! I can’t wait to make this for Thanksgiving this year. Turkey friers scare me… I’ve heard of so many accidents with the hot oil. This looks fantastic and SAFE!! And so so delicous. Thanks for another inspiring recipe.5 stars

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jennifer! The air fryer is definitely a game changer! The turkey cooks a lot faster and then you also have more oven real estate for the desserts and sides!

      Reply

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