Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe | Yellow Bliss Road

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This Thanksgiving Turkey recipe is much goofproof – it ’ south relish packed and so sensitive and juicy with a aureate, crisp clamber. With my bit-by-bit tutorial, even first time cooks can pull this roast turkey recipe off stress-free !
Thanksgiving turkey, roasted and stuffed with onions, in a roasting pan
This arrant Thanksgiving Turkey will be the star of your family ’ south vacation dinner. Of path, the best turkey recipe needs the best grace side dishes, like my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Stuffing, and classic green Bean Casserole .
This fat turkey recipe international relations and security network ’ thymine complicated at all. There ’ south no brine, no baste, no eldritch cook techniques. good simple instructions to give you great results every time while your shuttlecock roasts stress-free.

In this post, you ’ ll memorize tons of tips and tricks, plus bit-by-bit instructions for the most absolutely tender, fabulously juicy, wholly stress-free, best Thanksgiving turkey recipe, ever ! Your holiday meal is about to get a whole set easier .
roasted turkey with crispy skin on a cutting board

Why This Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Works

  • It’s easy! Even a first time cook can make a delicious turkey for Thanksgiving, or any day, by following this easy turkey recipe. 
  • Placing butter underneath the turkey skin adds extra flavor and keeps the meat moist and juicy.
  • Covering the top with foil during the first few hours of cooking helps to keep the breast meat from drying out since the turkey legs take a little longer to cook.
  • Turning up the heat during the last hour ensures a golden, crispy skin without drying out the meat.


No brine, no baste, fair simple ingredients for an exceptionally flavorful Thanksgiving turkey ! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe wag for the arrant list of ingredients and instructions .

  • The bird – For this recipe and the cooking times that go with it, I used a 12 pound turkey. This is a fairly average size that will feed 8-10 people.
  • Butter – Pats of butter are placed under the skin of each turkey breast. Add even more flavor by using my yummy Garlic Butter.
  • Onion and garlic – peel and stuff inside the cavity of the turkey. You can also add fresh herbs and citrus fruits, like lemon or orange, if you like.
  • Dry Rub – Mix together kosher salt, dried thyme, dried sage, rosemary, paprika, black pepper, and ground mustard and rub into the skin. This is also a delicious seasoning for Roast Chicken.
  • Equipment – A big roasting pan, preferably with a wire rack to hold the roast turkey up above the drippings.

How To Cook A Turkey: A Step By Step Tutorial

How To Defrost A Turkey

If your joker is flash-frozen, you will need to completely defrost it in the refrigerator before you evening remove any of the packaging. Place your boo in a abstruse roast pan in the electric refrigerator to catch any juices that may run out .
Resist the cheer to thaw in your kitchen sinkhole as this can encourage harmful bacteria to spread. Be surely to start defrosting the turkey a few days before you need to cook it .
How long do you defrost a turkey? A good rule of finger is to allow 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey. so for our 12 impound bird, at least 3-4 days. To be condom I normally give it an excess 12-24 hours .
once your turkey is fully defrosted, you can prep it for roasting using the recipe below .
raw whole turkey on a cutting board

How To Prep A Turkey For Roasting

Remove from packaging and remove extra parts. Remove the amply thawed turkey from its box. I normally do this in a boastfully container in the kitchen dip. If included, remove the neck and the bag containing the gizzards and giblets. Keep these for making extra stock for the Homemade Turkey Gravy or discard them .
Dry the skin. Pat the clamber dry with paper towels. Dry clamber equals crispy clamber !
Separate the skin from the breast. Using scavenge hands, lightly lift the peel from the turkey summit starting on the side nearest to the legs. Slide your hand underneath, separating the skin from the breast meat. Repeat the procedure with the other side .
hand slid under skin on a turkey breast
Add butter under the skin. Slide 3 pats of butter ( 1 dab = 1 tablespoon ) under the skin on each slope and unfold it around with your fingers .
pats of butter placed underneath the skin on a turkey
Add seasoning and aromatics. Mix together the dry rub, sprinkle it all over the away of the turkey, and crush it into the peel. Sprinkle a little inside the cavity, excessively. Place the onions and garlic inside the cavity, then transfer the whole boo to a roasting pan with a rack .
whole raw turkey on a roasting rack in a pan

Roasting The Turkey

These instructions are for how to cook a 12 pound joker in the oven. If your boo is bigger or smaller, you will need to adjust the fudge fourth dimension based on the provide instructions. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full instructions, or check out the handy chart below .

  1. Preheat your oven. We start with the oven at 325℉, keeping it low and slow for 2 hours (depending on the size) so the meat gets moist and tender, then crank it up to 400 for the last hour to get that crispy skin.
  2. Cover. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the turkey breasts. Press it down and mold the foil to the shape of the breasts. This will keep the breasts from drying out. You’ll remove it before the turkey is finished cooking to brown the skin.
  3. Roast the turkey in the oven at 325℉ for 2 hours, adding additional time depending on the size (use the chart below). Then turn the heat up to 400℉, remove the foil, and roast until the cooked turkey reaches the optimal temperature. Use our handy guide below to adjust the time. (Be sure to pin this chart to save it for later!).
  4. Let the turkey rest. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes or up to 40 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to cook a Sweet Potato Casserole or warm up some dinner rolls.

graphic showing how to cook a turkey with times, temps and how many servings
onions stuffed in a roast turkey in a roasting pan

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pounds of turkey do I need? A irish pound of turkey per person will feed your guests and leave them satisfied. But if you want leftovers, I recommend 1.5-2 pounds per adult and about half a pound per child. I personally think leftovers are amazing, because you can make Turkey Tetrazzini or Turkey and Stuffing Casserole. How long do you cook a turkey? A 12 pound turkey takes about 3 hours to cook. Start at 325℉ for 2 hours, then increase the temperature to 400℉ for another hour. For a larger shuttlecock, increase the initial fudge time ( at 325℉ ) by 15 minutes per lumber. How do I keep my turkey moist? One of the best tricks we have for keeping your cooked turkey juicy and damp is butter ! Stuffing pats of butter under the clamber creates a beautifully wrinkle bark, but it besides melts and keeps the kernel super damp and juicy.

Another trick I use is placing aluminum foil over the turkey breasts to help dissipate some of the estrus and lock in moisture. Since darkness kernel takes longer to cook than light kernel, this method lets the thighs and legs get their ridicule on while the summit lightly cooks.
How do you know when the turkey is done? A joker should be cooked until it reaches an inner temperature of 165℉. Insert an instant-read kernel thermometer in the base of the front kernel or the thickest part of the second joint, careful not to touch any bone. Those are absolute basics. The actual duration of time it takes to reach the correct temperature will depend on the temperature of the bird before cook, its size, and your oven temperature.
turkey leg and slice of breast meat on a white plate
Every year we get lots of questions about how to cook a turkey so we ’ ve put them all in one place. Hopefully these helpful hints will take the guess out of cooking your turkey !

  • Resist the urge to wash your turkey. Washing poultry is a no-no, and will just contaminate your sink. Remove from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  • No basting? No brining? These extra steps are really unnecessary for achieving the perfect roast turkey. Basting requires constantly opening your oven which costs you valuable heat and extends the cooking time. Brining isn’t necessary with a high quality turkey.
  • Don’t cook inside of your turkey. If you cook stuffing inside your turkey, the meat will be dry before the stuffing reaches a temperature that’s safe to eat. Instead, stuff the turkey with aromatics like onions, garlic, celery, herbs, or lemons that will add a ton of flavor to the bird as well as to the drippings for pan gravy. Cook the stuffing in a baking dish, like my Classic Sausage Stuffing Recipe or Bacon and Onion Stuffing.
  • Save the turkey drippings. The drippings are used to make the gravy, and the flavor will complement beautifully.

turkey breast, spoon with gravy, green beans, mashe dpotatoes

Make Ahead, Storage, and Freezing

Make Ahead: once your turkey is fully thawed, you prep it for roasting up to 24 hours in advance. Add the butter, seasoning, and aromatics, then cover loosely with hydrofoil and target in the electric refrigerator overnight. Take it out about 30 minutes before you put it in the oven so it can shake off the chill .
Storage: If you ’ re going to eat your leftovers within 3-4 days, shop in an airtight container or resealable formative bag in the electric refrigerator. Use for sandwiches, BLT Turkey Wraps, taco, and Turkey Soup .
Freezing: One of the reasons I love turkey leftovers is because I can keep some in my deep-freeze and easily toss it in Turkey Shepherd ’ s Pie or in soups .
Reheating: If you ’ re equitable looking to reheat a late-night Thanksgiving dinner leftovers plate, you can do that in the microwave. If it ’ s frozen, thaw it overnight in the electric refrigerator before adding to other recipes .

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Your Thanksgiving turkey may be the best ever, but you ’ re placid going to need to fill some supporting roles. here are some of our favored Thanksgiving sides that will compliment your cook turkey in the best room !
Side Dish Recipes:
101+ Thanksgiving
Side Dishes
Find all the sides you could possibly want for the perfect Thanksgiving menu !
Read More →sliced turkey breast on a white plate, turkey on a cutting board
Need a smaller turkey this class ? Try my other easy joker recipes for cooking a turkey breast in the air fryer, roasting in the oven, or tied an Instant Pot Turkey Breast. Any of these recipes would be a capital way to feed a smaller herd, or to add some extra servings of turkey to your meal .

icon If you ’ ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star topology denounce or a comment below. Or, tag us on sociable media @ yellowblissroad or # yellowblissroad for a find to be featured.

Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe




votesKristin Maxwell

A Thanksgiving Turkey that’s so juicy with a crispy skin. Easy step-by-step tutorial, even first time cooks can pull this turkey recipe off stress free!

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  • Roasting Pan ( click the connect to see the one I use )


  • 12 lebanese pound turkey thawed

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1 tablespoon pats

  • 1 1/2 yellow onions peeled and halved

  • 4 garlic cloves peeled

Dry Rub:

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon establish mustard


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F .
  • In a bowl, combine the salt, thyme, sage, paprika, pepper, and ground mustard until evenly incorporated .
  • Remove the turkey from its box. From the bird ’ sulfur cavity, remove the neck and the base containing the gizzards and heart. ( You can keep these items to make livestock or discard them. )
  • Use a few paper towels to dry off the skin of the bird and inside the cavity .
  • Lift the bark over the turkey breast ( on the side close to the leg ) and slide your hand under the skin separating it from the breast kernel. Do this on both sides of the summit .
  • Insert three pats of butter under the skin on one side fo the turkey summit spreading them around evenly. duplicate on the other side .
  • Sprinkle the dry rub all over the turkey – front, legs, wings, anything you can see. Using your hands press the rub into the peel a small. If you have any extra hang-up sprinkle it inside the cavity .
  • rate the onion halves and garlic cloves inside the joker ’ second cavity .
  • Transfer the shuttlecock to your roasting pan. ( I like to use a pan with a rack to keep the bottom of the joker from getting doughy. )
  • Take a good sized piece of thwart and set it over the joker breast. ( You want to make sure to the thwart firearm is big enough to fit over the whole summit. ) Press down and mold the foil to the breast., let the ends stick out if the hydrofoil ’ s a morsel big .
  • place the turkey in the oven and roast for 2 hours. cautiously remove the foil from the joker. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for another hour, or until the inner temperature of the breast reaches 165 degrees F and the peel is golden and crisp .
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before carving.


This recipe is for a 12 pound boo. You will add 15 minutes per irish pound at the 325 degree cook time. The temperature increase at the end does not change. here is a handy list of how long to cook your turkey at unlike weights :

  • 10 pounds: 1 hour 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 12 pounds: 2 hours at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 14 pounds: 2 hours, 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 16 pounds: 3 hours at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 18 pounds: 3 hours, 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.

If you have questions, please be sure to read the entire post – we answer lots of questions and offer tons of helpful tips and tricks !
Be surely to save some of the drippings to make my turkey gravy











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Category : Tutorial

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