Easy Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey

This is a no-tears, no-fuss Easy Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey recipe. If you’re looking for an easy turkey recipe to make this Thanksgiving, this oven roasted turkey is for you! 

an oven roasted turkey partially carved on a serving platter with herbs and lemon

A few years ago, I made my very first turkey… Ever. Before that, I had never even watched someone cook a turkey. I was clueless.

So, I started hunting the Internet for easy turkey recipes, and it took me about 5 minutes to become totally overwhelmed and confused.

People have some STRONG opinions about turkey, and they’re all different. Depending on what you read, your techniques (Brining, basting, or tenting your turkey with foil) are either THE BEST THINGS to ever happen to poultry, or will completely RUIN your turkey and your life. Many agree that deep frying is the best way to cook a turkey, but you should NEVER do it because it’s too dangerous and could explode and burn your house down. What?! Even the cooking temperature is a hotly debated topic! Pun intended.

closeup of carved Thanksgiving turkey

An Easy Turkey Recipe Anyone Can Make

Paralyzed by all of these different opinions, I decided it was time to rise above all that noise and just cook. Sometimes you just have to shut out the Internet and try something yourself.

So that’s what I did. And it actually worked. I made a turkey as simply as I could, using common ingredients. And it had a golden crispy skin and tender, flavorful meat. There was no brining, no basting, and (most importantly) no panic attacks.

*Disclaimer* Here’s the thing: I’m no turkey aficionado. I’m not a professional chef. I’m a normal person just like you, who makes a turkey dinner once a year for Thanksgiving. And that’s exactly why I posted this recipe. If I can make an oven roasted turkey that turns out this good, then you can too!

I want everyone to know that turkey doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need 20+ attempts to get it right, and it does not require 3 days of preparation. You can make your very first turkey today–Yes, this very day!–and it can taste good!

a raw turkey ready for preparation with ingredietns in background

How to Prepare to Make an Easy Oven Roasted Turkey

Buy (and Defrost) Your Turkey

Many Internet voices yelled at me told me I needed to buy a fresh, organic, local turkey. Normally I would be all for that. But here’s the thing. Some people can’t afford to buy a turkey like that, or they don’t even have access to one. And I believe everyone should be able to enjoy amazing turkey on Thanksgiving, whether it was butchered 2 days ago at a local farm or it was frozen and on sale at the local Save-A-Lot.

So I started with a frozen turkey I bought on sale. The Internet is in agreement on one count: thawing your turkey beforehand really pays off. So give yourself at least three days to let the turkey thaw out in your refrigerator and your life will be much more enjoyable.

Once your turkey is thawed, this whole process is easy-peasy. Start by removing any jewelry, rolling up your sleeves, and mentally preparing yourself to get all up in that bird’s business.

Prepare Roast Turkey Seasoning and Ingredients

I recommend prepping all your ingredients before handling the turkey. This helps avoid getting nasty meat hands all over your spice jars, cabinets/drawers, and refrigerator door handle.

  • To prepare your ingredients, take some butter and smash it with lemon zest and fresh herbs (or use Gourmet Garden’s herb blends in a bottle–the Italian Herb blend is great for this!).
  • Then, put your salt and pepper in bowls.
  • Finally, chop up an onion and some celery, and cut a head of garlic in half.

Prepare The Bird For Oven Roasted Turkey

  • Take your (now defrosted) bird out of the bag and remove the giblets and any other nasties up in the cavity.
  • Rinse the raw turkey under cold water then pat the whole bird dry with paper towels.
  • Place the bird on your roasting rack.
  • Then scoop the butter mixture into your hands, and rub it all over (and inside) the bird. (Over, under, in all the nook and crannies and in the cavity).
  • Rub the salt and pepper all over and inside the turkey as well.
  • Finally, stuff the cavity with the onions, garlic cloves, celery, and lemon, and tie up the turkey drumsticks.

a raw Thanksgiving turkey, stuffed with veggies and covered with garlic herb butter in a roasting pan

How To Oven Roast a Turkey 

Alright, your bird is ready to roast! Now, remove all but one of the racks in your oven and place the main rack at the bottom or second to bottom level. You want to make sure you have plenty of room for the turkey to slide in! Then, preheat the oven.

What oven temperature is best for roasting a turkey?

I have had the best results starting my oven roasted turkey at a higher temperature of 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then lowering it to 350 degrees for the remaining roast time.

Should I cook turkey covered or uncovered?

The answer is both! Leaving the turkey uncovered for part of the roasting time is important for getting a nice golden brown color and crispy exterior. I prefer to leave the bird uncovered at the beginning, tent with foil for the majority of the roasting time, then remove the foil again for the last 15-20 minutes.

If you have trouble tucking the wings (I always seem to),  you can also make a little foil cap just for the tips to keep it from getting too brown.

How long does it take to roast a turkey?

A turkey can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to cook, depending on the size of your turkey. I generally make turkeys on the smaller side (in the 12-16 pound range) and they cook in 3-3 1/2 hours.

A 17-22 lb. turkey will take about 3 1/2-4 hours. Turkeys in the 22+ lb. range can take anywhere from 4-5 hours. Stuffed turkeys will take longer than unstuffed turkeys to cook through.

That said, I ALWAYS recommend depending on your meat thermometer (I use this one), not the time. Also, throw away that silly turkey popper. It’s not a reliable way to test for doneness.

One more piece of advice: Don’t forget to take the meat thermometer out before putting the turkey back in the oven (unless it’s oven safe). This will most definitely result in a total plastic meltdown… Not that I would know or anything. Ahem.

a cooked oven roasted turkey with golden brown skin reads 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer

Once you take out your gorgeous, crispy, golden bird, tent it with foil and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before carving. I know it’s hard. I know you want to dive right in, but that 30 minutes allows the juices to soak back into the meat, keeping your turkey nice and juicy.

If you want a tutorial for How To Carve a Turkey, I recommend checking out this one from Huffington Post. Or just grabbing a big knife and hacking away, which, in the interest of full disclosure, is exactly what I did.

What to Serve with Thanksgiving Turkey

First off, don’t even think about tossing all those juicy, herby, buttery drippings. They make the best gravy ever! I used this easy gravy recipe from In Sock Monkey Slippers.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (made without a ricer!) are the quintessential side dish for turkey, but I also really love Cheesy Potatoes and Herbed Potatoes Anna. Of course, it never hurts to add in some Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes as well!

Our other favorite Thanksgiving sides are Creamy Mac and Cheese, Roasted Green Beans and MushroomsHomemade Crock Pot Applesauce, and Butterhorns.

For dessert, try these amazing Pecan Pie Bars (they’re even better than pie!) and my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll! Or get even more inspiration from my 15 Drool-Worthy Thanksgiving Desserts.

a golden brown oven roasted turkey sits on a serving platter

How long does leftover turkey last in the fridge?

Once you and your guests have eaten as much garlic and herb oven roasted turkey as humanly possible, package up the leftovers and store them in the fridge. It’s important to get leftover turkey in the fridge within about 2 hours to prevent bacteria growth.

Cooked turkey will last 3-4 days in the fridge, which gives you plenty of time to make Waffled Cranberry Turkey Sandwiches, Turkey Avocado Sandwiches, or 30 Minute Chicken (Turkey) Noodle Soup.

Can leftover turkey be frozen?

Absolutely! Place it in a freezer safe container or ziplock bag and stash it for a busy weeknight. Turkey will keep in the freezer for up to three months.an oven roasted turkey served on a plate with herbs and lemon

Easy Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe Reviews

It has been several years now that I’ve been making this exact oven roast turkey, and it holds up as one of the best turkey recipes I’ve ever made. It’s also been made from hundreds of other readers! You can check out all turkey recipe reviews on Pinterest here or read the comment section below to hear about other people successfully making their very first (or 20th) turkey!

Here are a few of my favorites:

“This was by far the best turkey I have ever had!!! I cooked it in an oven bag rather than tenting it with foil. But oh man my whole family couldn’t believe how tender it turned out to be! This will be my go to recipe every year.”

“SOO good! My brother told me it was the best turkey he’d ever had, right in front of our mom 👀 it was also the first turkey I’d ever made! Super easy to make.”

“This is the BEST and juiciest turkey recipe I’ve ever tasted (and I even used a frozen bird this year!) I added the zest of an orange and stuffed the orange inside the bird as well, but no other changes. This was an easy to follow recipe, and the herbs add delicious flavor you don’t want to miss out on! My kids and husband couldn’t stop talking about the turkey all day!!”

If you try this turkey this year, please take a minute to let me know how it went by rating it or leaving a comment below!

That’s it folks! You’ve totally got this. I believe in you! Now, go forth and roast!

Note: I did find this BuzzFeed article on 17 Thanksgiving Turkey Mistakes Everyone Makes helpful. It’s worth a read. But do yourself a favor and ignore everything else. I promise you’ll do just fine!

Easy Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Easy Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

This easy garlic and herb oven roasted turkey takes all the stress out of making your Thanksgiving turkey! Using simple ingredients and directions, this turns out a juicy and flavorful turkey every time!

Ingredients

  • 12-15 lb. turkey
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons assorted fresh chopped herbs (I used basil, rosemary, and parsley)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus the lemon itself
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped in long strips
  • One head of garlic
  • About 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • About 2 Tablespoons black pepper

Instructions

  1. Take the turkey out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Prep your ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, stir together softened butter, olive oil, herbs, and lemon zest. Place the salt and pepper in a bowl and lay out all the other ingredients so they're ready to go.
  4. You'll probably want to remove any rings and roll up your sleeves at this point because you're about to get up close and personal with this turkey. Ready?
  5. Rinse the turkey under cold water and make sure to remove any gravy packets and the giblets. Place the turkey on a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure to dry the top, inside the cavity, and the underside of the turkey.
  6. Grab a hunk of the butter mixture and rub it all over the turkey, over the wings and breast, underneath, and in the cavity. Then take your fingers and work them under the skin (I told you we were going to get up close and personal, right?), and rub some butter under the skin of the breast as well.
  7. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly all over the bird and inside the cavity. You may not need the full 1/4 cup, but the bird should look like a light snow has fallen all over it.
  8. Halve the garlic crosswise so the centers are exposed then stuff it in the cavity along with the onion, celery, and halved lemon. Tie the legs together with twine, tuck the wings under, and place the bird in the oven.
  9. Bake the turkey at 450 for 30 minutes then turn the heat down to 350, tent with foil, and continue to cook for 2 hours. Take the bird out after 2 hours and insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If you're way off, set the timer for another 45 minutes and check again. If it's at 150 or higher, you know you're getting close--check every 10-15 minutes from there. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking, unless it's getting too browned.
  10. Once the thigh registers 165 degrees, remove the turkey from the oven, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before carving.

Notes

This recipe can be used to make larger turkeys, just make sure to increase the roasting time as well. A 20+ pound turkey will take 4-4 1/2 hours to roast.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450

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Roasting a turkey doesn't have to be hard! We make this easy Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey every year and it's always moist and delicious!

130 Comments

  1. Best turkey ever! Made this on Thanksgiving 2022 and 2023! Very moist and flavorful! I’ll use this recipe again and again.

  2. I made this turkey for thanksgiving in 2020! I’ve dried out many a turkey but this renewed my hope and I’m making it again tomorrow for thanksgiving 2022! So easy and comes out perfect and juicy and delicious!

  3. I would modify the recipe just a bit to call this a true Garlic Herb Turkey.
    In addition to the cut head of garlic in the cavity, break another head, smash and skin each piece, chop and add the raw garlic to the butter herb spread. Turkey is kinda bland meat – a garlic taste helps a lot!

  4. Going through my Thanksgiving recipes and figured I’d finally leave a review on this turkey recipe. This is the recipe my husband and I made for the first Thanksgiving we hosted for our families, and we have never tried another recipe! It is that good! And it turned out perfectly our very first time making it (other than the fact that we forgot to take out the giblets bag…oops), so I recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, delicious turkey recipe!

  5. This was the BEST turkey recipe I’ve ever made. Turkey was gone quickly!! Followed it to a T! Besides just cutting thin slices of butter and putting it under the skin all over

  6. Hi, I’m so excited to try out this recipe for Christmas Eve dinner! I have a pretty small oven and am making sides in it as well. My mother in law says she has an electric turkey roaster that I can use on my counter. Will this recipe work the same with an electric roaster since I need to tent it for a bit while it’s cooking? And would I need to adjust the times or temperatures at all?

  7. I used your recipe last year, it was my first ever cooing a turkey and it turned out perfect! Thank you so much.

    I have a 23 lb turkey this year. I know I will have to increase my roasting time so how would you recommend doing it?

    450 for the first 30 minutes then 350 the rest of the time? Or 450 for longer than 30 minutes? Any advice would be great!

    1. I would still do just 30 minutes at 450, then reduce to 350 for the remaining baking time. You’ll be in the ball park of 4.5-5 hours for that size turkey. I hope this helps and that you have another great turkey this year!

    1. You can certainly lower the salt, but I’m not sure the impact it will have on the finished product. It should still have some good flavor from the lemon, herbs, and butter, but it just might taste a little more “flat” without the salt.

  8. Made this recipe last year and hands down the best Turkey I’ve ever had! Curious if the prep steps can be done the night before and then just cook the day of?

    1. Absolutely! You can do the entire rub the night before then refrigerate overnight. I do recommend leaving it out of the fridge for 30-45 minutes before roasting just so it cooks more evenly. So glad you’ve had success with the recipe already!

  9. Thank you for this I’ve seen so many overly complicated recipes for turkey. Thank goodness I found one that simple and easy to do

  10. I made this today for our Thanksgiving dinner (the first one I’ve ever made) and it came out amazing!!! Thank you so much!

  11. Made our Turkey this way this year. My mother in law was nervous that we weren’t putting it in a bag or brining it but it was the best Turkey I have made and everyone loved it. It was moist and super flavorful. I was super happy with it and will do this for years to come.

  12. I’ve been making this turkey for the last 3 years! It is our absolute favorite recipe. Easy and delicious! We cook the took in advance, carve it, then on Thanksgiving make the gravy and then cook the carved turkey in the crockpot with the gravy. Tender, moist, and so incredibly delicious!! Thank you for this recipe!

  13. My husband insists on an oven bag, and I saw a comment that said they did this and it came out perfect, would I need to alter any of the cooking times or steps?

  14. Hi thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I hosted Friendsgiving this year and was nervous as heck because I had never made a turkey before. I followed your recipe and it came out PERFECT and all of my friends were impressed-so thanks for saving my Friendsgiving dinner! <3

    1. This makes me so happy! Thanks for coming back to let me know. I’m honored to be a part of your Friendsgiving celebration!

  15. I admit, I’m a wuss when it comes to dealing with a whole bird….of any kind. Pulling out the neck which was 8 inches long and the bag of innards is nasty. But I continued with my disposable rubber gloves and slathered on the butter concoction including getting it under the skin. Seasoned the heck out of the outside but stood back and through the veges inside …. could not stick my hand in there, even with a glove. End result of my first ever Thanksgiving dinner cooked exclusively by me was FABULOUS!!!!! My hubby and kids said it was the best turkey they have ever had!! And I come from a family of great cooks! Thank you Thank you for sharing, I am so thankful to have found your recipe!! Denise

    1. This comment made my whole day! Congratulations on braving the bird and making your first roasted turkey! So glad it was a success!

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I think it would be hard to replicate with a boneless, skinless breast, since you can’t season under the skin or stuff the cavity. If you’re looking for something smaller, you can use this technique to roast a chicken or cornish hens instead!

  16. Hi! I’ll be making my first (small) turkey for Thanksgiving this year and am looking to use this recipe — probably a 6 lb bird if I can find it. Did you use fresh or frozen turkey and what brand? Also, I read you didn’t brine it, but was the turkey you bought already brined or was it one of those totally “natural” ones? Looking forward to making this! 🙂

    1. You can use either a fresh or frozen turkey for this recipe. If you use frozen, just be sure to give it plenty of time to defrost completely in the fridge (probably about 2 days with a small bird). I’ve made this with many brands, but I really like Honeysuckle turkeys and usually get one that is already brined. It can be tough to find a turkey that small, but any brand should work just fine! Best of luck! You’ll do great!

  17. Made this turkey recipe for Thanksgiving 2019. Delicious. It was everything you promised and more. My family couldn’t stop talking about it. I had no leftovers to deal with was the only sad part. I missed turkey sandwiches for days. My husband has already requested this turkey for Christmas as well. Thank You Courtney for the fabulous recipe.

    1. This makes my day! Thank you so much for sharing and for letting me be a part of your family’s holiday! Have a delicious Christmas—and I hope you have leftovers! 🙂

  18. I made this for a large 23 pound turkey. I doubled the butter, kept everything else the same except using equivalent dried herbs. Very good! The drippings were a little salty but that was perfect for making the gravy because it was already seasoned.

    The stock I made from the leftover carcass was some of the best tasting I’ve ever had. I made it plain with just veggie scraps and a bayleaf and it didn’t need any salt. Usually I have to add to it but I could have just used this immediately for soup as-is. Thank you!

  19. Omgosh! This was so delicious. This Thanksgiving was the first time in my 48 years that I’ve ever cooked a turkey and boy was my family impressed! Even my picky 6 year old granddaughter said how good it was and ate it up. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I will definitely be making it every year.

  20. I used this recipe this year for my Thanksgiving turkey and it was delicious. The turkey was very tasty and the white meat was moist and juicy. I will never make my turkey any other way. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  21. I would probably 1 1/2 the ingredients for the butter and herb blend, but leave the stuffing the same (1 head of garlic, cut in half, 1 halved lemon, celery stalk, and 1/2 onion). You might need up to a 1/3 cup of salt, but go by looks more than measurement. It should have an even coating of salt all over and inside the bird. And, of course, increase your roasting time and use a thermometer to check for doneness! Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. I’m wanting to try this recipe out, it sounds delicious but I do have one question. My turkey is 22lbs. So should I double all of the ingredients in this recipe? I don’t want to make it too overpowering with the garlic so I thought I would check.

  23. Yes, it can! I would actually keep the temperatures the same. Start at 450 then lower to 350. Times should be about the same as well, but I recommend checking the turkey’s temperature for the first time at 2 hours at 350 (for a 12-15 lb. turkey). Larger turkeys will need more time. I really recommend using a meat thermometer rather than a specific time to be sure the turkey is done!

  24. My niece made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was the tastiest Turkey I’ve ever eaten. So I am trying the recipe today for my family. I’m so excited. I love turkey, but it’s always been bland, which was ok for this simple girl, but now I know what it can taste like. Never again will I make it any other way. Thank you for creating and posting this amazing turkey recipe.

  25. I have been making great Turkeys for my whole life and this is the first recipe that had me curious, so I made it and it was AMAZING. Girl, this was so amazing that I am now making this a 2nd time in 2 weeks! The white meat is SO tender and had so many compliments! It’s a Game Changer for sure! This will be the way I make turkey from now on! Thanks, Courtney!

  26. I was so incredibly nervous to make my first turkey and after looking for the past month I decided to try your way. The entire time it was in the oven I was a basket case thinking somehow I’d screw or up😓. WOW it was amazingly juicy!! I will definitely make this again and not just for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing

  27. Two years in a row, We’ve had a disaster of a turkey. It was dry and had zero flavor. So this year, I decided to try your recipe. It was so amazing! By far, one of the best turkeys I’ve had in years! Thank you so much for sharing.

  28. I made my first turkey ever today with this recipe, so easy and PERFECT! I saved this recipe with my own notes for the future! One person even said they don’t usually like turkey because of how dry it is but this was so moist so they loved it!

  29. I never saw a clear answer. With this being my first turkey I’m not sure if you would bribe with this recipe. Did you?

    1. Great question! I’ve never brined with this recipe before, but I would say you would still need to add salt, just reduce it by half. Good luck!

  30. Hi! Thanks for the promising recipe – I’ve got a few questions though:
    The temperature is in degree Fahrenheit, right? Does the temperature have to be adjusted when cooking a smaller Turkey (about 4 kilograms)?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Yes it’s in Fahrenheit! The temperature should remain the same, but the cooking time will be reduced. I recommend using a meat thermometer to tell when the turkey is cooked through.

  31. Hands down the best turkey recipe I have come across! The spices draw out the flavor of the turkey and the meat melts in your mouth. The crispy outer layer appeases my youngest while the meat fills the growing teens. Winner for the whole fam! Thank you ~

  32. Hi! I just wanted to thank you so much for this recipe, and really…the entire post! I made my first turkey ever yesterday for Friendsgiving and it turned out better than I ever could have imagined. I’m usually not a big turkey eater, but I still can’t stop with the leftovers! Everyone raved about how great it tasted and how juicy it was. I look forward to using this for many more turkey dinners to come! 🙂

    1. Hi Stephanie! I apologize for the delayed response–I somehow JUST saw this comment, but I want to thank you for coming back to let me know. I’m so glad it was a success! It makes me so happy to hear that!

  33. I’m going to try this tomorrow. It’s my first time making a turkey! I was wondering though, what the point of the vegetables inside does? Add more flavor I’m assuming. ?
    Thanks for the recipe and instructions!

  34. Okay, this is my 2nd year cooking the Turkey for the family crowd and this recipe looks fabulous! Thank you for posting this, and for your step by step!

  35. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I literally was on my tenth recipe thinking exactly the thoughts you wrote down, since this week will be my first year to host Thanksgiving. Holy Hannah, there are a lot of opinions about making the best turkey out there! So thank you for giving me permission to stop looking around. I can’t wait to use this recipe Thursday morning!

  36. I cannot thank you enough for this blog! I was so nervous to make my first turkey and I found this post on Pinterest and tried it. The ingredients caught my eye but your blog made me feel so much better on my first attempt. You made me less stressed and gave the best tips!!! Again thank you and the turkey was amazing and a huge hit

    1. Never mind! I just reread your article and answered my own question.? Follow up question…does the lemon give a strong or subtle flavor? This is the first time cooking the turkey and I’m worried some of my family won’t like the flavor.

  37. I wanted to know if I can use this recipe and stuff the turkey, that is the way my family likes it. Can I just leave the onion and celery and stuff out and stuff the bird also would I cook it a lot longer ??

    1. I think you could absolutely omit the citrus/onion/celery and stuff the bird. I would check the temperature at the same time. It might require a little bit longer roasting time. The center of the stuffing should reach 165 degrees.

    1. So sorry I didn’t see this comment! I think you could stuff the turkey. Just make sure a thermometer inserted in the center of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees.

  38. I did this turkey for Christmas last year and it was FANTABULOUS!! The flavor was in every bite we took, not just on the skin and the drippings made an amazing gravy. I am starting to think about Thanksgiving this year (I know, I know it’s only September lol) and contemplating trying to fry my turkey. Have you ever tried frying it with this recipe?

  39. I have been roasting turkeys for 35 years and I must say this one tops any I have ever roasted. The flavor was divine. Everyone raved over it. Will be my go too turkey seasoning from now on.

  40. I used this recipe for my very first turkey yesterday! Came it amazing, and was so easy! Everyone was very impressed:) did mine in a bag to speed things up but other than that, follow the recipe to a T! The butter mixture was so tasty, I’m going to roast a chicken with it next week? Thanks for sharing!

  41. Wow! I did it! I made a turkey that not only looked amazing, but tasted amazing as well!! Thank you so much for sharing your secret recipe!!

  42. I used this recipe to cook my very first turkey and it turned out fantastic! Everyone loved it and I just wanted to say, thank you for taking the time to share this! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  43. I’ve done my Turkey almost exactly like this for about 20 years with one addition to the recipe. Here it is:

    On Tuesday before Thanksgiving do everything EXCEPT loading up the cavity of the Turkey.
    Cover well with aluminum foil and seal the foil so the Turkey doesn’t dry out and let it set and marinate for the next 2 days. It slowly brines (add a lot of Salt – and Pepper if you like – to the Garlic Butter) and marinates.
    On Thanksgiving, bake as usual.
    YUM!

  44. I am assuming your turkey was bought with it already injected with brine solution so you skipped brining it yourself? With that said did you use salted butter or unsalted butter in your mix? Did you add any stock to the bottom of your pan or leave dry? Did you have the turkey on a cooking rack?

    1. I don’t have a picture, but basically I just mean don’t let the foil touch the top of the turkey. Attach it to one side and pull it out in a big triangle or tent shape over the turkey then attach to the other side so there’s still a little “breathing room” on top of the turkey.

  45. OMG, I love this! This is how I am feeling now….minus the food blogger part 🙂 This is my first year for a turkey and I am freaking out a little. I am cooking for about 20 people and we have a much bigger bird (18 lb). How much longer should I cook the turkey???

    1. A standard guideline is 20 minutes/lb for a defrosted turkey and 15 for a fresh turkey, but every oven (and turkey) is different. I definitely recommend checking it before the recommended time and using a thermometer, not a timer, to determine doneness. You’ve totally got this! It’s going to be great!

      1. So I have a 20 lb bird. Do I cook it the initial 30 min at 450° and then 6 hr and 45 min on top of that? Or does the initial 30 minutes get subtracted from the overall time? Did I do my math right?

  46. Hi! Thanks for a great read! I make a very similar turkey except I roast mine in an electric roaster so I can free up my oven for all the sides and it always ensures a juicy, stress free turkey! Thanks for adding the buzz feed article though, good reminders! Even though I make the same turkey every year I love reminding myself what NOT to do. ?

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I always feel like I need a little refresher course before diving in each year. Wishing you lots of turkey success this year!

  47. This is my first time making a turkey and I’m following your recipe. I’m hoping I am at least half as successful as you were! *Deep breath* here we go!

  48. This bird is a work of art and it looks de-li-cious!!! I think you are the new turkey chef in our family…..yeah? You do amaze me! And I love it! Thanksgiving will be great with a turkey like this one on our table.

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