"Foolproof Thanksgiving Turkey recipe that packs all of the flavor and juiciness you expect from the perfect roasted turkey, with none of the stress! Step by step for how to cook the perfect turkey."
Oven Roasted Turkey
"Why stress so much over their Thanksgiving Turkey? Ok, I guess it IS the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal. And that usually means you have a table full of people not to disappoint. Ok, I get it. It’s a big deal! By trying my simple recipe your fears will be gone!"
Servings - 16 - 20 Servings Prep Time - 20 Minutes
Cook Time - 3 1/2 - 5 Hours
1 12-24 pound turkey, your choice of brand
1 onion , peeled and quartered
1 lemon , quartered
1 apple (your favorite kind), quartered
.75 oz fresh rosemary
.75 oz fresh thyme
.75 oz fresh sage
1 cup unsalted butter , softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 cloves garlic , minced
fresh chopped herbs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
If the turkey is frozen: Thaw in the fridge, 24 hours for every 5 pounds of Turkey. I like to give myself 1 extra day, just to be safe.
Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting, to let it come to room temperature.
Adjust your oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Make the herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, one tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half a tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. (You’ll use the remaining fresh herbs for stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey)
Remove turkey from packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the inside the cavities of the bird. (Reserve them for gravy, if you want, or discard them). Rinse off turkey and pat very dry with paper towels.
Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion and apple and leftover herbs.
Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the turkey and set the turkey in roasting pan.
Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it doesn’t need to be completely melted--just really softened). Use a basting brush to brush the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, legs and wings.
Roast at 325 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees.
I remove the turkey from the oven once it reaches 160 degrees. Then, I tent it with foil, and let it rest on the counter. It will continue cooking under the foil, to reach 165 degrees F.
*Check the turkey about halfway through cooking, and once the skin gets golden brown, cover the top of the turkey with tinfoil, to protect the breast meat from overcooking. Alternately, you could start cooking the turkey with it tented in foil, then during the last hour or so of cooking you can take the foil off to let the turkey brown.
Allow turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
Reserve any drippings and juice remaining in your roasting pan to make turkey gravy.
Turkey Size: if you're cooking for a smaller crowd (or just like white meat), try this recipe with a Turkey Breast instead.
Herbs: to substitute dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs per 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs.
Covering with tinfoil: Start with the bird uncovered. Once the skin gets golden brown, tent the bird with a large piece of tinfoil. If you have a roasting pan, you can use the lid to the roasting pan instead.
Never rely on the plastic pop up turkeys come with from the grocery store. They will pop within the first 30 minutes of cooking a turkey... The turkey is raw. Please use the rule of thumb. 13-15 minutes per pound (internal temperature of 165 degrees.)
"Check out Nana's Portuguese Stuffing. Delicious flavorful and it will become your next traditional family Thanksgiving meal!"
CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.