Impress friends and family with this absolutely delicious and juicy Roast Turkey. This recipe takes savory herbs, combines them with butter to cover the entire turkey. It’s then slow-roasted to perfection to make your Thanksgiving a huge success.
Thanksgiving is at the top of my list for holidays because it’s all about food, family, and giving thanks. It’s so peaceful, full of everything comfort has to offer, and cherished memories with the ones we love. I’m not going to lie though, food really gets me pumped because it’s all my favorites. I just can’t wait to start whipping up the Sweet Potato Casserole, Candied Yams, Green Bean Casserole, Baked Mac and Cheese, and Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls.
Of course, who can forget the main star of the show? The Thanksgiving Roast Turkey. This is perhaps the most stressful of all dishes because it has to be perfect. No one wants a dry turkey slapped down in the middle of the table. However, this turkey recipe is super easy and results in one delicious roast every time. The perfect crispy skin on the outside, with flavorful juicy meat on the inside.
How To Make
- Prep – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and remove the giblets and neck. Gently massage the turkey to loosen the skin. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel.
- Season the turkey – In a bowl, thoroughly mix the butter and all the herbs. Rub the mixture under the skin of the turkey, then the remainder over the outside of the skin. Season the turkey with salt and pepper all over.
- Stuff – Fill the cavity of the turkey with the lemon, orange, garlic, onion, and remaining herbs.
- Roast – Place in a roasting pan and roast the turkey for about 15 minutes per pound. Let rest out of the oven for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Top Tips For The Perfect Juicy Roast Turkey
- Make the turkey ahead of time – You can make this turkey in advance and then store it in the fridge, covered. I usually do this the day before. You can then pop it in the oven Thanksgiving morning to heat it back up for an easier Thanksgiving day.
- Thawing a frozen turkey – Don’t ever try to force thaw your turkey as it will result in partially cooked, partially frozen meat. The best way to thaw your turkey is to have it in a large bowl or dish in the fridge for a few days prior to cooking it. The rule of thumb is usually 1 day per 5 pounds of turkey. So, if you have a 20-pound turkey, you’ll need to let it thaw for about 4 days before cooking it.
- Use a meat thermometer – A meat thermometer is your best friend when cooking large portions of meat like this. Before removing your turkey from the oven, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey thigh. If it has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re good to go.
- Use other seasonings – If you prefer other herbs or want to mix up the seasonings, there’s no problem with that. Just be sure to use salt, pepper, and garlic to get a good boost in flavor. Some delicious seasoning ideas might be cajun seasoning, Italian, Greek, chipotle seasoning, etc.
- Use other ingredients to stuff the cavity – If you prefer other ingredients such as carrots, celery, apples, etc. in the cavity of your turkey, go right ahead. You definitely don’t have to stick with the ingredients I used. However, you’ll definitely want to stuff it to give it a boost of flavor.
How Long Does it Take to Roast a Turkey?
The time it takes to fully roast a turkey will vary based on size. You don’t want to turn up the heat, because this will only cook some parts of the turkey too much, while not cooking other parts at all. The best way to cook a turkey is at a lower temperature, around 325 degrees. Take the weight of the turkey and times it by 15. This will be how many minutes you should roast or cook the turkey for. 15 minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb. Always be sure to check if the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from the oven.
Do You Cover Turkey When Roasting?
When it comes to an oven-roasted turkey, you can choose to cover it or leave it uncovered. This is entirely up to you. Covering the juicy turkey will simply help the outside from cooking too quickly. If you decide to cover your turkey, be sure to uncover it about 30 minutes prior to pulling it out of the oven. This will allow the whole turkey to gain a nice crisp and golden buttery skin.
Should I Brine The Turkey?
This is entirely up to you, however, if you use enough salt, I believe a brine isn’t necessary.
How Much Turkey Per Person?
1 -1 1/2 lbs per person will be a very generous serving. A 15 lb turkey will serve about 10 people generously.
Let’s Talk About Stuffing and Gravy…
To make turkey gravy, remove the liquid from the pan juices, and follow your favorite recipe. As for the stuffing, this maple sausage stuffing is my favorite!
- Fridge – Store in a sealed container or covered for up to 4 days.
- Freezer – Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. I suggest reducing the turkey to slices rather than whole, for freezing after it’s cooked.
- Reheating – Reheat using the air fryer, oven, or microwave.
What to Serve this with?
If you enjoyed this juicy roast turkey then you will also enjoy these honey baked turkey wings. These instant pot smothered turkey wings are another favorite! You can also find other delicious recipes and cooking tutorial videos on Youtube and Facebook.
Juicy Roast Turkey
- 12 lb whole turkey skin-on, fully defrosted
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 1/2 orange cut into wedges
- 1 small onion cut into wedges
- 1 head of garlic cut in half
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey if there are any. Cut off any excess skin and discard. Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the turkey starting at the neck/breast area and work your way down to the legs and thighs, set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the butter, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and garlic until combined. Again, using your hands place ⅔ of the butter mixture under the skin, smoothing it out over the legs, thighs, and breast. Rub the remaining butter mixture all over the skin. Season the turkey all over with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the cavity with the lemon, orange, onion, garlic, and any leftover herbs you have. Roast for about 15 minutes per pound until the internal temperature taken in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing to serve.