The BEST Thanksgiving Turkey recipe that packs all of the flavor and juiciness you expect from the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, with none of the stress! Plus a step by step tutorial for how to cook the perfect turkey.

Not only is this roasted turkey recipe fool-proof and easy to make, it will exceed expectations as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving feast!

Overhead photo of a roasted turkey on a large white platter, garnished with lemons, apples, garlic and fresh green herbs.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Why in the world do people 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.

My hope is to squash any fears or insecurities you might have about cooking a perfect, beautiful Thanksgiving Turkey. This method is completely fuss-free and EASY. There’s no brining or basting the turkey, no cooking it upside down, or anything weird.

You don’t even need an expensive roasting pan. I’m convinced that this recipe is not only the simplest way to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, it also yields a gorgeous, super juicy, perfectly cooked turkey.

The real KEY to baking a perfect Thanksgiving Turkey is not to overcook it–that’s what dries out the meat, and you want to carve into a juicy, moist turkey on Thanksgiving!  So, just plan ahead to get the timing right.

White and dark meat carved from a turkey, served on a large white platter with fresh green herbs.

Let’s go ahead and go over the basics– the do’s, and the don’ts– for How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey:
What size turkey to buy for Thanksgiving dinner:

First things first: Buy about 1.5 pounds of turkey per person. (So if you’re feeding 6 people, buy at least a 10 lb. turkey). That way you’ll have leftovers. 

How to thaw your turkey:

Make sure and allow plenty of time for your turkey to thaw! A good rule of thumb is to allow one day in the fridge for ever 5 pounds of turkey. I always give myself one extra day, just to be safe. Set the turkey on a cookie sheet or pan, to catch any liquid the turkey may drip as it defrosts in the fridge.

Don’t wash the turkey.

If you wash your turkey in your sink you will just contaminate your sink. Remove the turkey from it’s packaging, dry it off with some paper towels, and then prepare it for the oven. Any bacteria on the turkey will be killed in the hot oven while it bakes.

Don’t brine the turkey.

If you buy a high-quality turkey from the store (like Butterball or Norbest), then brining the turkey is an unnecessary step. You can do it if you want, but you can still achieve a deliciously moist turkey without brining it. However, if the turkey is wild, you should brine it the night before to make sure it will be moist and flavorful.

Don’t baste the turkey.

Basting is really unnecessary to produce a beautiful golden brown turkey. It also requires you to constantly open the oven, which causes the oven to loose heat and the turkey to take longer to cook–which could lead to a dry turkey. By smearing an herb butter mixture over the outer and inner skin of the turkey you will ensure the skin will brown beautifully, and taste amazing. 

Don’t cook stuffing inside the turkey.

If you try to put stuffing/dressing inside the cavity of the bird, the turkey will be overcooked by the time the stuffing reaches a temperature that’s safe to eat. Instead, cook your stuffing in a casserole dish.  Then you can fill the cavity of the turkey with things that will give it flavor (and add flavor to the drippings/stock): salt and pepper and any mixture of onion, apple, carrots, celery, or citrus. 

Do test the turkey with a thermometer.

The only way to really tell if the turkey is cooked (165 degrees F), is by using a thermometer (I love this one). Test the turkey right from the oven—if it reaches 160 degrees F, I take it out and tent it with foil. It will continue to cook inside the foil tent to make up that extra 5 degrees.

Do let the turkey rest.

After removing the turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least 15 minutes, or up to 40 minutes (that gives you some extra time if you need to bake or warm anything else in the oven). If you’re using the drippings for gravy, remove the turkey from its pan, to a cutting board and tent it with foil while it rests there. If you’re not using the drippings, then just leave the turkey in the pan and tent with foil.

You don’t need an expensive roasting pan.

If you have a big metal roasting pan, great! If you don’t, no worries. Just use a casserole dish big enough to fit the bird, or buy a $1 disposable foil roasting pan from Walmart (then you can throw it away after). Place a bunch of chopped veggies on the bottom of your pan. The veggies will act like the wire rack in a regular roasting pan by elevating the turkey slightly. Place the turkey right on top of the chopped veggies.

Do save the turkey drippings.

After the turkey is finished cooking there will be juice and browned cooked bits at the bottom of your roasting pan. You can reserve all of it for making turkey gravy. You can also use the leftover neck and giblets you pull from the turkey when you remove it from the packaging, to make giblet gravy.  The most flavorful gravy! Your grandma would be proud 😉

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey on a large white platter with a knife carving into the breast meat of the turkey.

How to prepare a simple roasted Thanksgiving turkey:

First, remove the thawed turkey from it’s packaging. Remove the neck (usually found in the large cavity of the bird) and the bag of giblets (sometimes found in the smaller neck cavity of the bird). Discard them, or save them for gravy. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

The neck and giblets from inside the turkey cavity are being removed.

Next, season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion, apple and herbs.

Four photos showing the cavity of the turkey being stuffed with salt, pepper, onion, apple, lemon and herbs.

Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the turkey and set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan (or on top of a bed of chopped veggies —carrots, onion and celery work well—in a disposable roasting pan). Tucking the wings prevents them from burning, and helps the turkey sit flatter.

Two photos showing the wing of a turkey being tucked underneath the bird.

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. Use some twine to tie the turkey legs together. Then slather the outside turkey in the rest of the herb butter. That’s it! You are ready to let your oven do the rest of the work!

Preparation of a thanksgiving turkey including fingers loosening the skin on the breast of an uncooked turkey. Then the turkey is placed in a roasting pan and basted in softened herb butter before being roasted in the oven.

You will want to check the turkey about half way through cooking. Use your oven light to see if the skin is golden, and then place a large piece of tinfoil over the breast meat of the turkey to help keep it from overcooking.

Side view of a roasted thanksgiving served in a large platter and garnished with lemons, garlic, apple and herbs.


Whether this is your first time cooking a turkey, or you just decided to give this method I try, I would love to hear from you! Rate the recipe and comment below with your experience.

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Roasted Turkey on a large white platter, garnished with lemons, apples, garlic and fresh green herbs.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins
Total 3 hrs 50 mins
Add to Meal Plan



  • 1 12-20 pound turkey
  • 1 onion , peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon , quartered
  • 1 apple (your favorite kind), quartered
  • .75 ounce container fresh rosemary *
  • .75 ounce container fresh thyme *
  • .75 ounce container fresh sage *

For the herb butter:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 cloves garlic , minced
  • fresh chopped herbs


  • 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). Pat the turkey 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 on a roasting rack inside a 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.


Herbs: to substitute dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs per 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs.
Tips for 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.
For Disposable Roasting Pan: Place fresh chopped vegetables on the bottom of the pan to act as a rack to elevate the turkey.  Use 4-5 ribs of celery and 4 large carrots, roughly chopped. The veggies will add great flavor for your dripping to use for gravy however I don't recommend eating them or using them in gravy.
For An Electric Roasting Oven: directions stay the same!
Convection Oven: You can use the same method to cook the turkey in a convection oven, just check the temperature sooner (start checking after 2 hours) as it will cook faster.
How to Carve a Turkey photos and Video.


Calories: 576kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 70gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 518mgPotassium: 765mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 565IUVitamin C: 5.4mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2.9mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing and SOO easy. We are hosting thanksgiving this year and decided to do a pre-thanksgiving dinner…just to make test the recipes. This was amazing! Thanks for the tips.

  2. Do you need to cover the turkey with foil while cooking it? This is my first year cooking a turkey!
    HELP! lol

    1. Hi Krysta, I usually cook the turkey uncovered until it’s golden brown (about half way through your cooking time), then I cover it with foil for the remainder of the time! Best of luck on your first turkey, that is so fun! I would love to hear how it goes!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was perfect! This was the first time I have ever roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving, so I was a bit nervous. Your directions were easy to follow with simple ingredients. Everyone at our dinner table said this was the moistest and most flavorable turkey they have ever had! I will definitely be using this recipe for years to come! Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    I just hosted my first Thanksgiving (and cooked my first turkey) and used this recipe…the turkey came out incredible. The recipe was easy, almost fool proof. Lots of positive feed back…will use this recipe again in the future.
    Thank you for helping to make my first Thanksgiving in my new house a success!

    1. Hi Nate, I am thrilled that the recipe was easy to follow and that your turkey turned out great! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy holidays!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this turkey for Thanksgiving this past weekend and it was a hit! It was my first time cooking a turkey and was simple and delicious. Will be using this again!!
    Thank you

  6. Hi Lauren,
    Came across your turkey recipe and want to “test drive” it before Thanksgiving. Question re thermometer placement. Directions appear that the probe is inserted into the thigh and ends in the breast. Is that correct? I believe that white meat cooks more quickly than dark, and we are white meat lovers so want to ensure moistness there. Thanks!

    1. Hi Linda, yes I usually check the thighs and breasts, but you’re right that you really don’t want to overcook the white meat that’s what’s more likely to get dry), so I would take the turkey out when your thermometer in the breasts reaches around 157-160 degrees F. Tent the turkey with foil as it rests and it will continue cooking to reach 165 degrees. Good luck–I’d love to hear what you think!

  7. Hello! By stuffing the turkey with lemon and apple does that make the turkey or the drippings taste lemony? I made a turkey recently and used a recipe with lemon and the lemon flavor was really dominant in the drippings therefore impacting the flavor of the gravy (lemony gravy..not so good).

    Also-what herbs do you use for your herb butter?


    1. Hi Lauren, I only use one medium size lemon for stuffing the cavity and I’ve never thought the lemon flavor was overwhelming. You could always just use half a wedge.
      For the herb butter you’ll notice in step 4 the specific amounts of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage that I chop for the herb butter, and the remaining herbs left over from the .74 oz containers gets stuffed in the cavity of the turkey 🙂
      Hope you get to try it 🙂 Enjoy!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this last month as I’ve never cooked a large turkey. The turkey came out perfect!! Now I am preparing to make it on Thanksgiving. I hope it is a hit!

  9. Hi!, I’m cooking a trial run turkey today, and I’m putting it on top of vegetables. Do I add some water to the pan?

    Thank you!

    1. Any kind will work! Stronger onions like yellow or purple will add a little stronger flavor than a sweet onion.

  10. Hi! I’m looking to cook this turkey at one house and then transport it 20 mins to a different house. Have you ever transported this turkey before? Do you think this is possible? The one thing I’m seeing recommended is that you shouldn’t travel with a stuffed turkey. Do you know if it’s fine if it’s stuffed with the fruits and veggies your recipe calls for?

    1. Plan your turkey cooking time to be finished right as you want to leave home. The 20 min. drive time is equivalent to the resting period for turkey. It should work out perfectly, you can leave the veggies and fruit stuffed in the cavity and carve when you arrive.

  11. Hi! I’m going to try this recipe this year for Thanksgiving. This will be my first time cooking a turkey. Can I use a roaster pan instead of the oven? If so, do I need to do anything different?

  12. I’m thinking of stuffing the turkey and seasoning it with the herb butter the night before thanksgiving. Do you think that’s a good idea?

  13. Do I need to remove the turkey from the oven to insert the thermometer to check temperature or keep it in the oven?…won’t the heat escape if I keep the oven door open to check turkey temperature?

    1. Hi Angela, I usually open the oven door and quickly stick the thermometer in. Yes, heat will escape but it’s near the end of cooking, so it’s not such a big deal as opening the oven multiple times during the middle of cooking. But you could completely remove the turkey from the oven to check it, if you want 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Great point about not basting as to not lose heat from the oven! And I’m so glad you mentioned that giblet bag! Every other year or so, my mom would forget that bag and cook the turkey with it inside! LOL ❤️

  15. Hi Lauren, I was wondering could I add a orange to the cavity of the Turkey with the onion, apple instead of the lemon?

  16. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren, Im cooking a 8-10lb turkey for a smaller group of people this year. How would you recommend I adjust the recipe? and Can I place the turkey in an aluminum pan? Thank you!

  17. Never made a turkey before but looks like I may need to this year, so I’m thinking about giving this recipe a try (with no trial run! Luckily I’m the only one that really cares about the turkey anyway). I’m nervous about the foil part. It seems like every time I try a recipe that calls for covering with foil while it’s in the oven, the foil ends up blocking all the heat and the meal doesn’t cook at all, even though I try to make sure it’s loosely tented. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or if it’s my oven or what. Should I skip the foil part until I take it out of the oven? Or how do I make sure the foil doesn’t block the heat from reaching the turkey?

    1. Hi Krystle, I’m so excited for you to try this recipe! You can skip the foil if you’re nervous. If the turkey starts to get overly browned towards the end, just put a very small piece of foil over the breasts only. When the turkey is done and you take it out of the oven, definitely tent it with foil while it rests. Hope that helps, and I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  18. 5 stars
    Hi! I love the recipe so far, cant wait to try it.. the only question I have, most turkeys have a thermometer already in it.. can I follow by that or do you recommend a metal one?

  19. I’ve been charged with preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I’m definitely nervous, because I’ve never cooked a turkey before. I stumbled across this recipe and it looks absolutely beautiful. I was surprised at how simple the instructions are, so I’ll be trying this one!

  20. Hi, I am planning to use this recipe for my first turkey ever! It is a 23 lb turkey and I am confused as people I have spoken to about cooking a turkey tell me I should plan to cook it for 7-9 hours or it will be raw. This recipe says just under 4, is it because with no stuffing inside it will cook faster? Thanks in advance! Also, do you have a recipe for the gravy?

    1. Cooking 13 minutes per pound, your turkey should cook for at least 5 hours. Yes, it does cook faster not stuffed.
      The gravy recipe should be up on my sight on Friday the (16th). Good luck.

  21. Hi Lauren,

    I am excited to try this recipe this year. I am always confused about the specific placement of the thermometer and at what point do you check it? Should both the thigh and breast read 160 before pulling out of the oven and tenting with foil? And to confirm if we have a 14 lb turkey that’s at least a three hour cook time, correct? Can’t wait to try this.


    1. Hi Maria! I’m excited for you and I would love to hear how it goes! Hope this clarification helps you:
      Take the turkey completely out of the oven when you start to approach your recommended cooking time–Yes, for your 14lb turkey that will be about 3 hours. (and close the oven door so you don’t loose heat). Stick the thermometer into the thigh meat (right under the drumstick), parallel to the body of the turkey to avoid hitting any bone. If it gets close to 160ish degrees then tent it with foil and let it rest on your counter. You should also notice when you remove the thermometer that the juices in the hole you just made are clear and not pink or red. If not, stick it back in the oven covered with a small piece of tinfoil for longer. In your case it really shouldn’t need more than 30 minutes longer if you first check it at 3 hours, it was properly thawed before you started, and you allowed it to come to room temperature before you put it in the oven. 🙂 Here’s a short video tutorial if you want–I only ever test the thigh, and then the breast: Best of luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. this looks too simple to be true! thanks for posting.
    Ater cooking, what do you do with the herbs and “stuff” that you stuffed in the turkey?

    1. Thanks–hope you get to try it! I usually just carve the meat off the turkey and throw the carcass and stuffing away, or you can boil all of the bones to make turkey broth 🙂

    1. Hi Antonio, That’s exciting! You can find all of the ingredients you’ll need down in the recipe card. The fresh herbs include fresh thyme, rosemary and sage.

  23. I just have a quick concern. I just cooked a whole chicken like this recently and it didn’t yeild very much liquid for the gravy. Do the veggies soak it up? Or is covering it at the last half where the magic happens? I’m so excited to try this!

    1. Hi Stacy, the veggies will soak up a little of the drippings (but if it’s a big turkey you should still have plenty! I usually always do the veggies on the bottom and still have plenty of drippings. I just made this this week using a 14 lb turkey and had a lot of drippings). Otherwise you can just use a roasting pan with a wire rack and you should have plenty of it for the gravy. 🙂 Enjoy! I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  24. HI there,
    I am having a stuffing debate with my mom for my first turkey. I say do not stuff like you based on everything I have read, and she is insisting everyone will want it to be stuffed. Will it be as tasty if I stuff at the start?

    1. Hi Gabby, the stuffing will taste great and still give great flavor to the bird, the worry is just overcooking the bird, especially if it’s a really big one. It would work well with a smaller turkey that doesn’t take as long to cook.

  25. Hi Lauren! I am going to try this on Thursday! Question for you, does the cooking time or temperature change if I have a gas oven? Also I have a 17 lb turkey. Thanks! Wish me luck!

    1. Hi Samantha, as long as you heat it to 325 degrees it should be the same 🙂 A 17lb turkey should cook anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 hours and 15 minutes. Id love to hear how it goes!

  26. Looking forward to using this recipe, but can this recipe work with an electric roasting oven? Also, is a oven bag recommended?

    1. Yes, you can use an oven roasting bag! You can use an oven bag as well if you want to, but not necessary :-). Enjoy!

  27. 5 stars
    I have never and my entire life have I ever cooked a turkey and I hope it goes very well for me with your EZ turkey recipe I like the way your turkey turned out I like the color of the skin of your turkey..Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours..Have A God Bless Holiday. (11/17/2018.)

  28. This is my second attempt at cooking a turkey. Two years ago I made one for our annual “friendsgiving” and I actually managed to cook it upside down… tasted ok but man was it ugly. My question is about using oven roasting bags. I used one last time and it kept the turkey moist. Should I skip it this time?

    1. Hi Ally, I’m excited for you to try this method! You can still use an oven bag if you want (wont hurt), but it’s not necessary 🙂

    1. Hi Missy, they should last about 4-5 days as long as they are FRESH in the store when you buy them. (Sometimes they are not that fresh at the store because they’ve been sitting there for a while, but these type of herbs last longer than more fragile herbs like basil.) I hope that helps, and way to be on top of it! I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      1. So the herbs that I had to get are from a jar b/c they had no fresh herbs. Does this change the amount I need to use?

    1. Hi Diana, You could, but you’ll want to use less since dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh. Use 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage. I’d love to hear how it turns out 🙂

    1. I don’t disagree with that method at all–I do think it would help keep the meat moist, but I don’t feel that it’s essential to achieve a juicy turkey. 🙂

  29. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I am cooking my first Turkey this year anbd I am a bit nervous. Its a 20 lb turkey, so fingers crossed!!
    If I dont have fresh herbs, can I use dried ones?

    1. SO exciting! I’d love to hear how it goes!To substitute dry herbs for the fresh, sse 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage.

  30. 5 stars
    I used this recipe for my first Thanksgiving turkey. Everyone kept coming back for more! Even my finicky 7 year old wanted seconds. Thanks for giving our family turkey recipe!!

  31. Every year i get so nervous about cooking thanksgiving dinner. We’ve had Thanksgiving at my place for 4 or 5 years now and every year i get good comments about my Turkeys but I’m always looking for ways to improve. This year i have a 27 pnd Turkey (its been in the fridge thawing since i bought it 4 days ago) and I’m going to be trying your recipe. I’m excited to get started and cant wait to see how it turns out! Thank you for the recipe and tips, hopefully it will make things a little easier on me this year!

    1. Thanks for commenting–I’m flattered you’re trying this method this year! I hope everyone loves it, and I hope it makes things less stressful this year! Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. Hi Lauren,

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I have a 22 lb Butterball that I plan to cook in my electric roasting oven. Do you think 5.5 hours is enough time to cook? I guess I’ll be getting up at 6 am that day! Also, I am assuming that I don’t need to tent with foil?

    1. Hi Kristen, you are welcome, I would love to hear how it turns out! For a 22lb turkey I would check it around 4 hours and 45 minutes, and it may take as long as 5 1/2 hours. As long as it is completely thaw and allowed to come to room temperature for at least an hour before it goes in the oven I would err on the lower end of the cook time.
      Also, If you want to save time you could prepare the entire turkey (stuff it and do the herb butter) the night before, and then just set an alarm to take it out of the fridge at least 1 hours before you want it to go in the oven to allow it to come to room temperature, and then it will be ready to go right in the oven.
      I do tent mine with foil (see step 12) about half-way through cooking. OR you can start with it tented in foil and remove the foil during the last bit of cooking to allow the skin to get golden brown. Good luck, I hope that helps! Happy Thanksgiving!

  33. I have always cooked the Turkey in a cooking bag, should I NOT cook it in the bag? Thanks I cant wait to make this turkey.

    1. You can still cook it in the bag if you want! I don’t (I don’t like how the skin doesn’t get as golden brown and crispy), but it definitely doesn’t hurt 🙂

  34. Hi! I’m cooking my first thanksgiving turkey this year and I’m quite nervous lol. Your recipe looks delicious and simple so I’m really excited to try it. My question is, if I’m just using the throw away roasting pans from the store, is it absolutely necessary to add the vegetables below it? Thanks so much!

  35. This is my first year cooking a turkey and I followed these directions to a T. Mine did not turn out well. Turkey was still pink and didn’t brown on the outside. I’m so frustrated because I want to impress the family but this is hard. I cooked it at 325 for about 4 hours or more. I don’t know what I did wrong.

    1. Hi Jeremy, the most important question I have to ask is what size was your turkey? If it was still pink on the outside after four hours that makes me wonder if your oven is really calibrated to 325 degrees F. or could be off? That’s very unlikely that it could still be pink on the outside after 4 hours in the oven. Is it a regular oven or convection oven?

  36. This is my first year hosting and making a turkey! I’m totally nervous but super excited to use this recipe! However, I’m hosting about 25-30 people— how big of a turkey should I get?? I’m also going to check out the turkey gravy recipe in hopes of using that, too! Thank you so much for this recipe! I cannot wait to try it!

    1. That’s so exciting! You’ll want at least a 25-30 lb turkey (a minimum of 1 lb per person). I’d buy it ASAP and get it thawing–at this point you will definitely have to thaw it in an ice water bath since it’s so close to Thanksgiving (it will take too long to thaw in the fridge, and especially for a turkey that size you need to make sure it’s completely thaw before cooking it 🙂 ) A 25 lb turkey will take around 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 hours to cook! Good luck, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. I got a 20 lb bird, believing that my guest count is on the lower end, and it’s been in the fridge since Monday morning. Should I take it out sooner than the alotted 1-hour before cooking, or will that still be okay?
        A family member suggested using a cooking bag, and that I needed to start by cooking the bird upside down, then flip it halfway through. I read in a previous reply that you said the skin doesn’t get as crispy, which is my favorite part! So, should I not use a cooking bag for more crisp?
        Also, if I do use it, how do I flip a hot bird?? LOL!

        1. Also, I should mention that my feast isn’t until Friday night.
          I have a few other questions though..
          If I do early prep, is it okay to put the onion, apple, and lemon inside the turkey to sit in the fridge overnight? And I want to cook it on top of veggies (carrots, onion, celery); is it okay to prep this, too, and let sit in the fridge overnight? (Then, I would only have to take it out of the fridge when ready and let it come to room temperature, right?)
          Sorry for all of the questions, I can be overly precise when I’m doing something new, especially when cooking. My downfall is probably time management because of it! Hence, wanting to early prep.

          1. Hi Taylor, I welcome the questions–I want to make sure it turns out great for you 🙂
            Yes you can prepare the entire turkey the night before if you’d like–just make sure you give it lots of time to come to room temperature (at least 1 hour) before it goes in the oven 🙂

    1. There are not too many people that know what .75 oz. is so this should say 1 tsp or 1 TLSP. Not too many people have a scale that can convert oz. to measurements they are used to.

      1. I don’t measure the herbs on a scale, I’m just going off the typical package size you would buy from the store. If I say TBSP or tsp measurements, that doesn’t account for the full spring leaves that you want to go inside the cavity of the turkey.

  37. 5 stars
    Do you feel strongly about cooking the turkey breast down to ensure moistness?

    Thanks and look forward to testing the recipe!!


    1. I always bake my turkey breast down. All the juices enter the breast and keeps it absolutely moist and flavorful. The last hour I flip it over so breast can turn to a golden brown.
      Haven’t tried your recipe, but I will tomorrow.

  38. 5 stars
    Hi I would be making my first turkey this year and just wondering if i can leave a turkey inside the fridge since Friday to thaw ? Is it to early on to thaw? And also how many hours do i cook the turkey for 10lbs?

    1. Hi Amy, you need to give the turkey several days in the fridge to thaw. The recommendation is 1 days for every 5 lbs. of turkey (but I’ve found it takes even longer than this). A 10lb turkey will take between 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours to cook. Good luck!

  39. I haven’t cooked a turkey in over 30 years. I don’t want to mess this up. If I don’t add broth to the pan, won’t the vegetables under the turkey burn? And really, 8 cloves of garlic for the butter recipe? How about a few whole cloves in the cavity or the vegetables under the turkey?

    1. The turkey will release plenty of juices as it cooks so there is no need for extra broth in the pan (the vegetables won’t burn 🙂 ). If you feel that’s too much garlic, feel free to cut down on it. Adding some to the cavity would be delicious too.

  40. So I’m a little skeptical about not washing the turkey because I wash every meat I eat. Is it really a good idea not to do so??

    1. I know it seems strange but it actually makes a lot of sense if you read the research behind it. For example, here’s one article from Food Safety— Washing it is actually more likely to spread bacteria then to get anything “clean”. Your oven will kill any germs there could be, and washing them in your sink will only spread them.

      1. I am sorry, but just wiping the turkey is not going to do it. You will not flush the interior cavity that way. I have been cooking turkey for over 30 years. Just wash your sink down promptly. And I wear gloves when handling poultry. Also, poultry should not be left out to come to room temperature. If there are any bacteria they will just grow like crazy at room temp. Beef yes, it can warm up before roasting or grilling but not poultry. There are more recent strains of E. Coli that can survive at 170 F.

        1. Thanks for your input. However, I would really do your research for current recommendations on washing the turkey–it’s not recommended. Of course you can flush out the inside if you want to. Also, from the research I’ve done a turkey is safe to sit on the counter before cooking for up to 2 hours–I would never let mine sit more than 1 hour.

  41. 5 stars
    Hello, you recipe calls for fresh herbs, but I just wondering if I could use dry herbs instead, and if I can, how much quantity can I use for this recipe?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Yes, you could substitute dried if you need to. Use 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage. I’d love to hear how it turns out 🙂

      1. I’m really excited about this recipe! I’ve done the same think with a whole chicken and it came out fantastic. I only have dried herbs on hand today, so we will see if the meat takes up all those flavors. Happy Thanksgiving!

  42. Will this method work for a 22 pound turkey? Also, how far ahead of cooking do you keep the turkey out of he refrigerator?

      1. I’m doing a 22 pounder also! How long do you estimate it will take to cook one that weighs that much? 4.5-5 hours?

          1. Everyone was so happy with how it turned out! I didnt Use sage bc my SIL just had her baby 9 days ago and it reduces milk production, but besides that I pretty Much followed the recipe and for my first turkey I would say it was a success!!! Thanks!

  43. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren,

    Would using a dairy free “butter” substitute work (Like Earth Balance Margarine) instead of real butter? I am trying to make a dairy free version. Let me know!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Natalie, I think that should work fine. You may want to add a little olive oil to the outside of the bird to help it brown nicely 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    2. Yes! Earth Balance Dairy Free is all we have used for years, and no difference whatsoever from regular butter. You won’t notice any difference.

  44. 5 stars
    Hi I will try this method this year. Can you confirm if I make a 20lb turkey it will take about 4 hours and I will cover in foil after 2 hours and that’s all I need to do?

    1. Hi there, a 20 lb turkey will cook somewhere around 4 hours and 20 minutes to 5 hours. Cover it with foil when it gets golden brown on top, to your liking. The foil over the breast meat will help to keep it from drying out.

      1. Hello, I also have a 20lb turkey, do you also double the ingredients? and do you cover when it brown and keep it in the oven until cooked? or take it out.

        1. This is enough ingredients for a 20lb turkey. You can either cover it with tinfoil while it cooks and take the tinfoil off the last hour to let it get brown, of you can cook it uncovered at the beginning until the skin is golden and then cover it with foil until it’s done cooking. 🙂

      2. 4 stars
        (11) and 12 are conflicting… do you cover with foil half way thru or after taking it out for resting ?

        1. Both. I cover the breast meat half way through cooking. Once the turkey is done cooking I tent it with foil when I take it out of the oven to rest.

  45. I’m going to cook two 14.5 lb turkeys at the same time in the same oven, side by side in different pans. How does that affect cooking time?

    1. Hi Lauren, the baking time shouldn’t change too much. I would still cook it aiming for 13-minutes per pound but it may take closer to 15 minutes or a little longer.

  46. I’m in charge of the turkey this year. My grandma is insistent that I only cook the turkey in those “bags” or it wont come out moist enough. Is that necessary if I do it your way? None of the recipes online seem to recommend or suggest using one…

    Also, it will be cooked in a roaster oven for turkey’s because the main oven is needed for pies. Does that make a difference?

    1. Hi Derek, the oven bag definitely will not hurt, and can be used with this recipe. They do help to keep the turkey moist, but they’re not essential (I never use them because I like the way the skin gets golden and crispy better in the oven without it, and then I cover the white meat with tinfoil half way through cooking to protect it, just like a bag does).

    2. I use a probe thermometer inserted to the thickest part of the breast. When it gets to temp I pull it out regardless of time. It’s been a life saver and keeps my turkeys juicy every year!

    1. The vegetables on the bottom of a disposable pan just help to elevate the turkey to make sure it cooks and browns evenly (just like the rack in a roasting pan). They are not required. The vegetables will add flavor to the drippings from the turkey if you want to use the drippings to make gravy 🙂

  47. Hey! I’ve always, ALWAYS been told to never leave poultry at room temperature to continue thawing. Do I put the turkey in cold water to thaw for that hour you mentioned in the recipe?

    Thanks, Lindsey

    1. To THAW the turkey it should be in the fridge or in an ice water bath. If the turkey is already thaw (And cold) you can leave it on your counter for up to one hour while you “prepare” it, before it goes in the oven. A cold turkey straight from the fridge wont cook evenly and will take longer to cook, making the meat dry out.

  48. I’m assuming I can use a rack under the turkey in a throw away pan instead of using the vegetables. Is that okay? Also, when putting the foil on after it gets golden brown, should it be loose or tight against the turkey? And should it only be on the breast?

    1. Hi Jon, that should work fine as long as your disposable pan is sturdy enough for it. 🙂 For the foil, either way will work (I would make that judgment based off of how golden and crispy your turkey gets in certain areas while it’s cooking). It’s mostly just important to cover the breast meat since it cooks and dries out faster and easier than the dark meat.

    1. Yes, just make sure to give it adequate time to come to room temperature before putting it in the oven (an hour or so, depending on size). Happy Thanksgiving! I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  49. Hello! Can I cook this in a roaster oven and still get crispy brown skin? if so, how do I do that? I’ve never cooked a turkey before! Thank you!

    1. I’m not super experienced with cooking in roaster ovens but I think it will work great – that’s how my grandmother always prepared the turkey (just cook the same according to recipe instructions here)

  50. Hello,

    My mother recommend I put the turkey in white wine the night before cooking for a more moist turkey, will that help?

  51. Hi Lauren!

    I’m going to try your recipe for this Thursday! I’m in charge of the turkey. I dont know if it’s a stupid question, I’m just confuse by what .75 oz container of the herbs mean? I have a large container of the three fresh herbs, just not sure what .75oz container of it means?

    Can I stuff the turkey and marinate it overnight in the fridge? Will it be too salty?

    What is the recommended cooking time and temp for a ten pound turkey?

    1. Hi Tee, if you bought your herbs from the store it will say what size of container on the box they are in. It’s not super necessary that you use that information though–just chop the recommended amount for the butter and add a few extra springs of each herb to the cavity of the turkey and that will be perfect.
      Yes you can prepare the turkey the night before, just make sure it has adequate time to come to room temperature before putting it in the oven (take it out of the fridge about 1 hour before cooking). A ten pound turkey will cook the same as this recipe states: 325 degrees for 13-15 minutes per pound (so about 2- 2 1/2 hours).
      Happy Thanksgiving! I’d love to hear how it turns out 🙂

  52. 5 stars
    Can you put foil on the Turkey for the first 3 hours and take off to brown for the last hour? Your way says opposite. Does it matter which way you do it?

    1. I don’t think its necessary to still achieve a moist turkey (since this method has herb butter stuffed under the skin), but you can if you’d like 🙂

  53. Hi! This is my first time cooking a Turkey and having Thanksgiving at my house. I’m excited to try your recipe. Do you inject your turkey? Also, should I increase the ingredients for a 20 lb Turkey?

  54. I really want to use this recipe but my mom insists on stuffing the turkey with classic stuffing. Can I still follow all aspects of the recipe while adding classic stuffing to the cavity?

    1. Yes, absolutely, however I would tent the turkey with foil during the majority of the cooking time (you could uncover it around the last hour to allow the skin to get golden). Enjoy!

  55. How long do I cook a 18 lb turkey for?

    Mine has been in the fridge for 3 days but isn’t thawed and I’m freaking out! What do I do if it isn’t thawed by tomorrow?

    1. Hi Kelly, You will probably need to do thaw it in an ice water bath in your sink, and it’s recommended that if you use this method you cook the turkey right afterwards (which would mean an early morning for you). The water must be cold and you should change it (add fresh water) about every 30 minutes. Here’s a good resource for this method:
      An 18lb turkey takes between 4 hours-4 1/2 hours to cook (13-15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees.) Hope this helps!

  56. Hello, one last question. I bought a plant that had all 3 herbs, how would you measure it.. I try to weight but it barely weights anything when I do it separately so I kind of guess for the inside of the turkey.

  57. The quarters didn’t fit on a 11 pound turkey so I cut everything up into smaller squares, however when the turkey is done I would need to remove it correct?

    1. That’s totally fine! You don’t have to take anything out of the cavity after it cooks–Just carve the turkey meat off the bones 🙂

  58. 5 stars
    Tomorrow I’m hosting Thanksgiving/making my FIRST turkey (and very nervous). One thing that I had a question about is basting the turkey: I mentioned to my mom I wouldn’t be doing that based on your recipe and she made it seem like it’s 100% necessary. Can you please reassure me that it’ll be ok without basting and turn out golden brown? Many thank you’s in advance and Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

    1. Hi Lauren! You are ABSOLUTELY ok NOT to baste your bird :). That is the purpose of the herb butter going underneath the skin of the turkey and all over the top of the turkey! Those two things will help to keep your turkey moist and it will DEFINITELY be golden brown. Cook it until it’s golden brown (about half way through cook time) and then cover it with tin-foil. Best of luck! I hope you will share how it turns out!

  59. 5 stars
    Tomorrow I’m hosting Thanksgiving/making my FIRST turkey (and very nervous). Two questions: this is 15 lbs, following your recipe to a tee how long do you think I would need to cook it for in FL? The second: I mentioned to my mom I won’t be basting the turkey and she made it seem like its 100% necessary. Can you please reassure me that it’ll be ok without basting and turn out golden brown? Many thank you’s in advance and Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

  60. I’m just reading this, at 11:20 pm the night before Thanksgiving. All I have in my cabinet in the way of seasoning is salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and garlic salt with little bits of dried parsley mixed in. I just moved a long distance and just haven’t had a change to stock up my cabinets. Is my turkey going to be boring and tasteless since I only have the salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic salt? It’s too late to get to the store for herbs, lemons, and apples…boo

    1. Honestly I still think it will taste great! I would use the garlic powder, and not the garlic salt, if you plan on adding salt as a separate ingredient. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Tanya, a thermometer is best, but if you can’t access on then make sure to cook it for about 14 minutes per pound and you can poke the meat gently with a fork or a knife and if the juicess run clear, it’s probably done. If the juices are pink or red at all, keep cooking 🙂

  61. Hi Lauren, this is my first time cookng a turkey and I’m excited to try your recipe. This might be a silly question but in regards to the foil-what side faces down? Shiny or dull? Thanks!

  62. 5 stars
    Honestly I never ever make comments, but I am so grateful to this blog. I’m quickly becoming a superfan! Love this recipe and cant wait to try it tomorrow by the way I am also super excited for the Rolls on your site too! Woo Hoo! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    May the cooking begin!

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

    1. Alex, Thank you so much for the SWEETEST comment! I’m so happy you found me <3 I would love to hear how the turkey and rolls come out! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  63. Hi Lauren, I ended up adding sliced carrots with celery, onions, apples and oranges instead of lemon. Do you think this would be okay for filling the cavity for flavoring?

  64. I accidentally put 1 tbsp of sage in my herb mix instead of 1/2! I don’t have enough herbs to remake. Did I ruin the herb mixture?

  65. I have a 22lb turkey. Just wondering if I should turn on the convection or cook the turkey without the convection. Also, should I remove the plastic thing that holds the legs together or can I leave that on and after stuffing tuck it back in there?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Char, I don’t use a convection oven. I’m not sure what plastic thing you’re referring to. I would remove it and stuff the bird. If it’s oven safe you could put it back on? Or just tie them with kitchen string (or it’s not even a big deal if you don’t tie them together at all).

  66. Turkey is in the oven and smelling great! I am a little concerned with the 8 cloves of garlic – the video (which I watched after I prepared my turkey) looks like you put much less than 8 cloves in the butter mixture. Good thing I love garlic. Hopefully everyone else eating it does as well!

  67. I’m trying your recipe right now. The turkey is already turning golden brown in some areas and has only been in for 1 hr. Is it going to look burnt by the 1/2 way cook time? Have a 23.22 turkey, going to cook it 51/2 to 6 hrs.. Package says 41/4 but everyone is telling me to cook it for at least 51/2 hrs.

    1. At this point I would tent it with foil for most of the cooking and take the foil off during the last 30-45 minutes 🙂 Cook it for 13-15 minutes per hour, just until it reaches about 160 degrees. Then tent it with foil when it comes out of the oven.

  68. 4 stars
    Will the vegetables I place under the turkey be okay to eat or are they just to raise it? It’s my first Thanksgiving and I don’t really know what I’m doing. Also I’m allergic to lemon so I left it out. Will it make a difference?

    1. That’s fine to leave the lemon out. The veggies under the turkey will get really greasy and soggy–I don’t think you’d want to eat them…. Hope that helps 🙂

    1. I put a piece of foil over the breast meat when the turkey is cooking. When the turkey is done cooking and you take it out of the oven, tent the whole thing in foil while it rests. 🙂

  69. Hi…I’m making this right now. The turkey has been in the oven for an hour and is already turning brown in some areas. So put foil over the breast then? There is just a little over two hours left. I followed everything else exactly as the recipe said, so I’m hoping this turns out fine as it is my first turkey ever.

    1. Sorry I think I’m seeing this too late, but yes you can put a piece of tinfoil over the breasts as soon as they get brown. I’d love to hear how it turned out 🙂

  70. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe and the tips – best turkey I ever made. So juicy! I can’t stop telling my family how good it was! ?. I will make this again next year!

  71. I made this turkey and we loved it. I thought it was the tastiest, moistest turkey we have made in 20 years (compared to basting, deep frying, brining or straight roasting). I replaced lemons with limes since we have a tree full and it gave a more southwestern flavor, which we love here in Phoenix. The butter rub is delicious and placing it under the skin is brilliant as the skin acts as a blanket for the flavor. Stuffing the cavity also seem s to aspdd flavor and lead to more even cooking. Thank you for a great recipe!

  72. 5 stars
    My turkey is in the oven now and smells sooo good. When you cover the breasts halfway, do you put the foil directly on the breasts or just tent that part? I don’t tent the entire bird until I take it out at the end, right? My mom is so worried about the timing. She said it sounds too little time and is scared it will be pink. Then again, she is notorious for overcooking meat because of fear of it being undercooked. It’s why I never liked steak growing up – burnt and tough! I told her thermometer will ensure it’s safe, but I hope it doesn’t look pink at 160, or she will say, “I told you so.” lol Thanks for the recipe, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Janet–You are so right, the thermometer takes all of the guess work out, and there’s nothing worse than overcooked and dry turkey meat 🙂 . When I cover it while cooking I just stick a little piece over the breasts and then when it’s finished cooking I cover the entire bird while it rests. I hope it turned out great and got your mom’s stamp of approval!

  73. 5 stars
    Thanks for such a start forward approach. Our turkey turned out great. There was so much flavor and the meat was juicy. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. We look forward to eating it again tomorrow as well.

  74. 5 stars
    PERFECT! Made this as my first Thanksgiving Turkey (with lots of trepidation). It was so easy I was sure I missed something but it came out perfect and everyone loved it. People who have had 50+ thanksgiving meals said it was one of the best turkeys they have had!

    1. I’m a little confused what you mean…. The turkey wont get golden brown on the bottom side that touches the pan….only the top of the turkey will get golden brown.

  75. If I don’t add the apple will it make that much of a difference? Or could I substitute it with something else? My little sister is allergic to apples! Thank you.

  76. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren!

    As I am typing this 1 hour and 10 minutes left for my turkey to be done! I am excited to see how it’s going to turn out. It is the first time ever I am cooking turkey. Thanks for this recipe!!!!

  77. 5 stars
    This year I decided I would make my first turkey. I choose this recipe because the ingredients were to my taste and the recipe seemed easy to follow. I enjoyed making it a lot! I seasoned the turkey the night before, just so I could start roasting early morning to have it ready for lunch. I made a bed of onions, potatoes and carrots, it released a lot of liquid and did not get burned on the bottom. My turkey was almost 20 lbs and it took me 4 hours to roast. After about 1,5 hours, I put foil on the chest and legs. It tasted really good and it looked very nice on the table. I highly recommend this recipe. I wish I could post some pictures here.

  78. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! My 12.5 lb turkey turned out beautifully and it was delicious. (Too bad I didn’t get a picture before we carved it.) I will definitely use this recipe from now on!

  79. I tried this recipe today for the first time and my turkey turned out great. It was very flavorful and moist.
    I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

  80. 5 stars
    I made this turkey tonight and it was delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe!! Now I’m just afraid I’ll have to make the turkey every year!!

  81. 5 stars
    This was my first year to make the turkey, my dad used to do it every year but he passed away in April. My dad would have been so proud! My turkey was over 25lbs, and apparently the biggest disposable pan didn’t hold all the liquid because when I went to cover it half way through cooking, it made a huge mess in the bottom of the oven. Aside from that, everyone LOVED the turkey, and even people who said they prefer the dark meat because the white meat tends to get dry thought it was moist and delishous! Thanks for the recipe!

  82. Thank you so much Lauren. My turkey came out beautiful. I wish I could post a picture. You rock lady!!! I appreciate you for this.

  83. 5 stars
    This year was the first time I have attempted cooking a turkey. I have never tried before because it seemed like too much of a hassle and too much could go wrong. Well after reading your recipe I actually thought that I might be able to pull it off. All I can say is it was amazing and easy! Thanks for a wonderful recipe. The turkey was very flavorful and all of the tips you give in the recipe helped out tremendously. My wife actually wants me to cook it again next year because of how good it turned out.

  84. 5 stars
    My Turkey came out so juicy with lots of flavor and was a big hit for the family. I recommend this recipe for everyone.

  85. 5 stars
    I made this turkey recipe for Thanksgiving this year and it was great. The recipe was easily to make and follow and the turkey turned out delicious!

    Thank you for an easy-to-follow, hassle free recipe. Hosting Thanksgiving can be a bit chaotic, so it was great just prepping the bird, throwing it in the oven, and being able to forget about it for a few hours.

  86. 5 stars
    We made this turkey for thanksgiving yesterday, and EVERYONE said it was the best turkey they’d ever had! It was delicious and juicy, even the breat. I’m so glad I decided to try it.

  87. 5 stars
    WOW. Dont tell Mom and Dad. This was the best turkey we ever tasted ,let alone made we made it. Thankyou sooo much . I will tell others and revisit for more great suggestions.

  88. 5 stars
    I made my turkey yesterday using your recipe and it was a total hit. My family loved it! This is how I will be making my turkey for Thanksgiving from now on. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  89. 5 stars
    My mom is currently living in australia and my family had no where to go for Thanksgiving this year so I had to cook thanksgiving for everyone for the first time in my life! I was really scared about the turkey and chose this recipe because everything I’ve made from Tastes Better From Scratch has turned out well. This was so easy to do, instructions were clear, and the turkey turned out AMAZING! I was proud of myself and my family loved it. Such good flavor, so moist and perfectly cooked. Give yourself an extra day for thawing like this recipe says—you’ll need it. I also cooked mine in a plastic turkey bag because that’s how my grandma always did it. The turkey was so good!!!

  90. 5 stars
    Made this for thanksgiving this year, my first time ever making a turkey and it wasn’t simple and sooo good! I’ll be making this again next year. Thank you!

  91. 5 stars
    I had never made a Turkey before. This recipe literally saved my life. The directions were so easy to follow and gave me the confidence to try it. My Turkey turned out amazing. Everyone was so impressed.

  92. 5 stars
    I made your turkey recipe yesterday and IT WAS A HIT! I’ve been trying a different recipe every year and I finally found the one! It was so simple and easy and it came out delicious! Thank you so much ?

  93. 5 stars
    The most moist Turkey I ever made and so easy to prepare and make. It was so flavorful. This is my go to recipe from now on for Turkey. Everyone commented on how delicious it was. ?

  94. 5 stars
    I usually make a turkey breast because of the inconsistencies I have had with a whole turkey in the past. I gave your recipe a try and followed all of your tips. They were right on point! My biggest mistake was constantly opening the oven to baste and losing heat in the process. No basting this time. Half way through the cooking time, viola, it was a golden brown. I covered It with foil and didn’t open the oven again until the end. It was the moistest, most delicious turkey EVER! Everyone loved it. Thank you for this recipe.

  95. 5 stars
    Tried it and it was awesome. My only complaint is that the recipe should be specific about the type of salt and the size of the herbs and vegetables to fill the turkey with. My turkey was 13 lbs and I only used 2x .75 of the herbs combined and it was enough. The salt I used was kodher and the teaspoon was not enough. Maybe regular table salt would have done the trick. My apple was regular size and my onion large, but I wish they were a bit smaller for the size of turkey. Had to push hard to fill the cavity. I also added a splash of white wine to the bed of veggies (did not have a pan with rack) and it made it so aromatic and moist, it was great. Should mention to season those as well. Thank you for the recipe. No brining needed!!! Hurray!

  96. 5 stars
    I’m 45 and never cooked a turkey before and I know since the turkey is the staple of the meal this could go really good or quickly horribly wrong. The title was what peaked my interest and the step by step video and pictures where just perfect! Thank you Lauren for assisting me in making my first of many successful and flavorful Thanksgivings!!!

  97. 5 stars
    I used this recipe this year for my thanksgiving turkey, and I will use it forever! It was so easy, and it smelled so good while it was baking. The turkey was so juicy and delicious and BEAUTIFUL coming out of the oven. I felt so fancy! 🙂

  98. 5 stars
    I wanted to try something different this year, and came across your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe. My turkey was so moist, tasty and it looked Amazing on the table. I got a lot of compliments from my guest. This was the best Turkey I ever made. THANK YOU,!!

  99. 5 stars
    My family kept making comments about how I was making my turkey, why I wasn’t basting it, why I would put apples and lemon inside a turkey, etc…this was my first turkey and everyone ate their words because it was the best one any of us had ever had! So juicy and flavorful! Definitely saving this recipe for next thanksgiving!

  100. 5 stars
    I used this recipe this year on my first turkey!! I was so nervous cooking it, because both of my parents are self taught amazing cooks.
    But it turned out PERFECT! It was so juicy and the flavor was awesome. My husband and I had an hour drive with my aunt and uncle to my parents house (which neither actually LOVE turkey) and the smell filled that car and we were all in heaven! And as soon as we took the foil off in the house that was the only thing anyone could think about.
    They were all bragging on me to the rest of the family and all over facebook and I was ecstatic! They said I have to cook it every year for now on!
    It was also perfect as leftovers. This was so easy and super cheap! We got our turkey for free from my husbands work and the ONLY things I had that it called for was salt, pepper, and thermometer.. I didn’t have a pan, foil, or anything. So I went to Wal-mart and got EVERYTHING I needed for only $17.60
    Thank you so much for helping out the less experienced and busy ones of us out here! I don’t know what I would of done without you! ?

    1. That is such a fantastic story! Thank you for sharing with me–I’m thrilled it turned out so well! Happy Holidays! <3

  101. 4 stars
    my turkey came out undercooked. It cooked for 3 hours (12lb turkey) and the underside was still very undone. I ended up carving the breasts out to eat for thanksgiving- since they were done, and throwing it back in the oven. Then I got impatient and just tore off all the uncooked pieces and finished it off on the show, boiling in the juices. I did brine the turkey and then followed this recipe and it was quite delicious! aside from the turkey not cooking all the way, I’d say the taste was yummy.

  102. The one thing that is never mentioned in any recipes I see on the is something my grandmother and mother always did, and now me too. We always dust the turkey with flour after the seasoning and basting with butter. It would go into the oven at 400 uncovered so it would brown up and create a seal so all the juices stay inside. After an hour, it would get covered with foil. The last hour it was finished uncovered. When you carve into the breast, the crispy skin would crack and all the juices run out….always a moist turkey

  103. 5 stars
    This year was our first year hosting Thanksgiving and being in charge of the turkey! I knew I could trust this recipe since all of your recipes I have made have been a hit. Sure enough, I impressed my husband, my mother-in-law, and everyone that came! We cooked the turkey in a roaster and my husband said it was the most tender turkey he’s ever had. Thank you for helping me make our Thanksgiving a success!!

  104. 5 stars
    I meant to leave you a comment Thanksgiving day! Grama is 78 and said she was not making the turkey this year and it was up to me. I have never made a turkey before or even a chicken for that matter. I stumbled upon your recipe while googling how to make a Turkey lol. It was one of the best decisions I made. The turkey was an absolute hit! I did not tell anyone I was made it, just in case it didn’t turn out good, lol. Everyone loved it and complimented on the taste and how juicy it was! Grama told everyone it was me who cooked it after we were all sitting down and I was extremely happy with the results and it wouldnt have happened without you! So grom the bottom of my heart thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe! I will be using this year after year!

  105. 5 stars
    This was my first time making a turkey. It was 22 lbs and I was worried about overcooking it and it being dry. It was nice and juicy. It turned out great and was the best turkey I have ever tasted!

  106. I’m going to prepare this turkey for our company Christmas meal. Would it be best to put the turkey in a crock pot to keep it warm and add some of the broth?

  107. Hi! I’m making the turkey for our upcoming Friendsgiving this weekend. Can I prep the turkey the day before so it can soak in the butter and herbs before I bake it?

  108. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. I did not have any fresh herbs and by the time i made it to the grocery store everything was sold out. So for the spread on the turkey i used tony’s creole, onion powder, salt, dry oregano, dry basil and i minced garlic up. And i just added onions to my cavity feeling. This was my first thanksgiving turkey i made and it was delicious!

  109. 5 stars
    I made turkey for the very first time and omg It turned out to be superb! Im so thankful to you for sharing this recipe. May God Bless you.
    Lots of love.

  110. 5 stars
    First time baking a Turkey using this recipe . It was for me the best Turkey I ever had. thank you very much for posting!

  111. 5 stars
    This was by far the juiciest turkey, I have ever done and the skin just beautiful!!! I have been doing turkeys, since 1966, ant you can teach an old dog new tricks!!!

  112. Have you made a turkey(s) the day before? And if so, how do you keep it moist and delicious? I usually have between 25-30 for sit down dinner and am always trying to do as much as possible ahead of time. Thanks.

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve been researching this question and everything says yes you can. Just cook, slice, place in roasting pan, cover with broth or gravy, wrap tightly. Place in refrigerator. Reheat day of for 45+/- mins in 325°f oven. I’m cooking mine today for serving tomorrow.

  113. Do you have a recommendation for dried herb measurements in place of fresh? Just went to the grocery store and they were sold out. Excited to try this recipe for Christmas!

  114. After 30+ years of cooking turkeys a much more laborious way, we decided to give your recipe a try. A smash hit! Truly is stress-free and absolutely delicious. We made it exactly to your recipe, right down to putting the bird on a bed of chopped veggies because we couldn’t find the roasting rack.

    We will be making this again! Thank you for all the helpful tips too.

  115. 5 stars
    Made my first roast turkey yesterday and it came out great! I should’ve covered it sooner, the Brest skin came out darker than I like, but the meat was delicious! Felt like a success! I had been afraid of having to baste it, so I was glad to learn that it was unnecessary. Didn’t have fresh herbs or a lemon on hand, so I used herbs de Provence in the butter. Thanks so much for this turkey tutorial.

  116. 5 stars
    I’ll be honest I never had to prepare a turkey or be responsible for a full Thanksgiving dinner until much later in life….. Sadly when it came to be my responsibility my mom had already passed away and you don’t always realize how much you should have paid attention to your mom’s cooking until after you no longer have the opportunity… so I was scouring the internet for how to fix a turkey and I came across this recipe…. and I fixed it the first time at Thanksgiving this year and then again at Christmas…let me tell y’all I was totally turkey ignorant…. If it wasn’t for this recipe I would have cooked giblet bag inside the neck compartment because I had no idea it was there LOL and for some reason I thought it was in the cavity of the bird….yup it was Tuekey 101 at my house…. anyway…. My turkey came out perfect both times the second time was a little tastier because I had a better idea of how long to cook it and I watched it with a thermometer better than I did the first time but it was so moist that even when I warmed it up the next day in the microwave it was still juicy and the flavor is perfect…I got excellent feedback about my bird… So thank you from a lady in Memphis who now officially knows how to cook a turkey… Happy New Year Lauren to you and your family and thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    1. That is just amazing and WAY TO GO!! I’m so thrilled you made it for both holidays with great success. Thanks for sharing your story with me! XOX

  117. Is it necessary to put veggies under the turkey if you’re using an aluminum pan? If so, why? Thank you!!

    1. The veggies act as a “rack” to lift the turkey up so it browns more evenly. You don’t have to use them.

  118. 5 stars
    Thank u so much for this recipe! Really easy and no fuss. First time I tried roasting a turkey and it came out so good. Thanks for the helpful tip of using an Al roasting rack with a bed of vegetables underneath which is what I did.

  119. 5 stars
    I have cooked many turkeys over the years, some more successfully than others, my first one was even upside down! But this one was the best by far! No basting is awesome too. I fallowed the recipe but omitted the sage and used lemon thyme. It was just perfect! Thank you kindly!

  120. I’m planning on cooking a turkey tomorrow. We grew up using turkey bags. Can i use it with this recipe or should i avoid it? Thank you!

  121. 5 stars
    Stunningly delicious! I included quartered apples along with the veggies under the turkey and made gravy from the pan juices. BEST GRAVY EVER. Rave reviews from even picky children!

  122. I haven’t done much research yet on what recipe I will be going with for this Thanksgivings turkey dinner.. honestly this is my first Thanksgiving where I will be cooking it myself! No help. I know how to make apple pie.. well that’s about it Lol! My husband is a truck driver and we will be celebrating our first Thanksgiving with this new truck driving job around Halloween since that is when he will be home, and I’m excited to do this on my own! But also very terrified I will ruin it all and it all just get wasted.. but your recipe seems so easy and I really hope that this comes out as planned. THANK YOU! I will hopefully update on how it all went for my family. Wish me luck!

    1. It’s honestly easier than you’d ever believe! Just prepare it properly and get the timing right. I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Best of luck!

  123. This will be my first year making a turkey myself too. I’m going to do a dry run first. Can you give some instructions on how to make the gravy? I plan to use a disposable pan and put the vegetables at the bottom. I liked the other commenters idea about using the lemons and apples, but I’m not sure what to do with all of it? Throw it in a blender? Seems like something would need to be added for thickening. Much appreciated!

  124. 4 stars
    I liked the butter and herb mixture and the no fuss type recipe. Our turkey turned out really well but I find that when we cook turkey the breast meat is done faster than the thigh meat and results in slightly undercooked thigh meat.

    On another site they recommend putting the roasting pan on a pizza stone with the turkey directly on the bottom of the roasting pan and tenting the breast until later. Also they recommended not tenting the bird after its done because it makes the skin soft. The bird retained its heat regardless and the skin did stay crisp. I will try the stone at christmas.

    Thanks for the recipe

  125. 5 stars
    Excellent recipie. We moved to Canada 2 years ago and now it was time to prepare our first Turkey. Everything went smoothly, a super moisture nice Turkey, giblets gravy with green beans, cheese grits and creamed corn was on the table after a few hours. The key is the temperature, so get a good thermometer, preferably a BBQ one which gives you an exact reading. Thanks for the inspiration !

  126. 5 stars
    I used this recipe and my husband raved about how juicy the turkey was. I would definitely recommend it to others snd I will use it for my next turkey!! Thanks!!

  127. It’s my first time ever cooking a turkey, so I’ve decided to use this recipe! This may be a really stupid question and I’m embarrassed to ask, but how do you tent the turkey halfway through cooking?

    1. Thanks for asking! Just cut a long piece of tinfoil. When the turkey skin is browned to your liking, carefully place the tinfoil over the breast meat.

      1. Do you just leave the the flat sheet of foil resting/balancing on top of the turkey? Or do you fully cover the turkey and wrap the foil around the edge of the pan?

        1. I don’t fully cover it, only the top/breast meat. Once it’s done cooking and I take it out of the oven to rest, that’s when I fully cover it.

          1. Thanks for asking this! First timer here as well.
            I have a follow up question on the foil tent…. what side of the foil needs to facing up vs down? Does it even matter?

          2. So exciting! It doesn’t super matter, but if you’re wanting to be really particular, the dull side facing up. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      2. Hey Lauren, my turkey was a huge hit! Everyone was commenting about how moist it was. Thanks so much for this easy recipe!!

    2. Thanks for asking this!!! This will also be MY first time cooking a turkey ( and I don’t even eat turkey which makes it more challenging ) but Im super excited to use this recipe…FINGERS CROSSED!!!

  128. I’m going to try this for Thanksgiving this year. I’ve been doing T-giving dinner over 20 years, and never quite happy with the outcome–dry white meat. I’ve tried Butterball, organic, frozen or fresh…what is best brand of turkey to use?

  129. 5 stars
    Made my very first turkey last year using this recipe. Came out fantastic. Have since made about 20 of your recipes. Each one has been right on. Thanks Lauren!😉👍

  130. I’m travelling this year (only an hour drive) would it be okay to cook the turkey at home and take it with me or should I cook it at my destination? I’m just worried if it rests for too long that it may dry out? Tx!

    1. If possible I would cook it at your destination, but if that’s not practical I think it would be fine, if you’re able to carve and serve it right when you arrive. (The only thing that will result in a dry turkey is overcooking it.) Good luck, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  131. I was always told to put the breast down to keep it moist. You cook breast up; what’s the secret to keeping the breast meat moist?

    1. That’s right, I don’t “flip” the turkey. I cook it just as stated and the breast meat stays moist because I don’t overcook it, and I use an herb butter under the skin and on top.

  132. Good Day!

    Can I make this turkey recipe in a large outside of the oven roaster that you plug in vs using the oven?


  133. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my first EVER turkey. Turned out amazing! The aromas were lovely, meat was tender and delish… all the details were super helpful. Thank you!!

    1. Hi! We’ll have about 30 people for thanksgiving this year, so I’m cooking multiple turkeys. Any special instructions you would offer for cooking this is a roaster? i.e. is it ok to put the turkey straight in, it would you do a bed of veggies underneath in the roaster? Thanks in advance!

    2. Can I mix poultry rib or a poultry seasoning to make the herb butter? I don’t have the other herbs recommended on hand.

  134. Hi Lauren,

    Can’t wait to try this for Thanksgiving this year. I have two questions.

    1. The recipe says to place the turkey in the center of the oven. That may not be practical on a holiday like Thanksgiving, where oven space is needed for other dishes at the same time. For instance, I will have two side-by-side 1/2 pans (sweet potato casserole and stuffed shells) on the lower shelf. How does having a “crowded” oven affect cooking time?

    2. What is the cooking time in a convection oven? My oven set to “Convection Roast” automatically adjusts the temp (minus 25º), but I would like to know if I should also adjust the cook time by 25%. So….approx. 10-12 mins instead of 13-15 min per lb.

    1. 1.Considering the length of time the turkey takes, you should be able to do most of the turkey by itself in the oven. Adding multiple items to the oven with it will effect the cooking time, so just rely on your thermometer and dont overcook it. (Also remember that the turkey needs to rest for 30 minutes after it’s finished cooking, so some side dishes could cook during that thirty minute time).
      2. Yes, I would adjust the temperature as convection cooks faster.

      Best of luck, I hope it turns out great!

  135. 5 stars
    This recipe looks amazing!!! I will be roasting a Thanksgiving turkey for the first time and my anxiety has already been reduced!!!

    1. I would start the turkey with the lid off and then once the skin gets golden, or vice versa (lid on first and take it off during last hour or so).

  136. 5 stars
    We had a Friendsgiving this past weekend and got stuck with the making the turkey. I am SO glad I came across this recipe!! I was so nervous to make the turkey for everyone and it could not have turned out more perfect. I followed the recipe to a ”t” and the results were AMAZING!! This will now be my go-to turkey recipe and will now not shy away from doing the turkey. Thank you!

  137. 5 stars
    This was the most flavorful, moist and delicious turkey ever!!! The ONLY recipe I’ll be using from now on. Thank you!

  138. Do you keep the thermometer in the turkey while it’s cooking? Or do you take the turkey out and check the temperature near the end?

    1. I use a digital instant read thermometer that I have to remove the turkey and check towards the end. There are thermometers (like Weber IGrill) where you can leave them in the turkey and it connects to an app on your phone that tells the exact degrees as it cooks! Pretty cool.

  139. Ok this may be a stupid question but I’m also cooking a Turkey for the first time. If I use the chopped veggies instead of a roasting rack can we eat the veggies after?

    1. Hi Michelle, you can eat the veggies but I wouldn’t recommend it, only because they will have cooked in all of the turkey drippings and fat and will loose their great flavor.(I do love that veggie flavors gets infused into the turkey drippings to make great turkey gravy!)

  140. Hi, when you check to see if it’s a golden color halfway through cooking do you only put foil over the breast portion of the turkey or tent the entire pan with foil? Thanks in advance!

    1. You can do either–depending on how browned it is. I usually just tent the breast meat with foil because it cooks faster than the thigh meat.

  141. 5 stars
    THE BEST EVER! Made a turkey last year for the first time EVER, used this recipe, and many people said it was the best they have ever had.

  142. I want to give this a try but was wondering if it mattered if you use salted butter & if it would affect how the turkey cooked?

  143. I have to prepare our entire Thanksgiving dinner and serve the meal at my in laws. I am trying to figure out how to handle the turkey and not have to be at their house early in the morning and all day. Could I do all the prep the night before including the herb butter on the turkey? Then it is ready to put in the oven after it sits out to remove the chill for about an hour. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    1. Hi Nicole, how far away do they live? You could cook the turkey at your house and leave right when it comes out of the oven (it needs to rest for 30-40 minutes after coming out of the oven before carving). Otherwise, yes you could prep everything the night before.

  144. Hi thanks for the recipe I’ll be using it this year! Do you use whole carrots and celery when making the oven rack? Or should I cut them up?

  145. Not sure if my comment posted the other day because I can’t find it, but I was just wondering how much salt and pepper you use to season the inside cavity of the Turkey? We can’t wait to try this!

    1. I don’t measure it, I just use a little pinch of each and sprinkle it all around! I’d love to hear how you like the turkey!

  146. Hosting my first Thanksgiving and loving this recipe! Do you recommend a turkey bag? Also, I have a roasting pan with a flat rack, is that okay or should I use the vegetables instead? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Tonya! I personally don’t think you need the bag (you can if you want, but the skin wont get as crispy). The rack inside the roasting pan will work great! I’d love to hear how your turkey turns out!

  147. Your recipe and directions have eased my anxiety for roasting turkey. I am making 2 turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey so will adjust my cooking time.
    Can’t wait to make this!!

  148. 5 stars
    I made my very first turkey last year for Thanksgiving using this recipe.
    It has an incredible taste and everybody, I mean everybody loved it.
    They loved it so much, I made two mode for the two Christmas’s I have at my house.
    And again this year, I’ve been asked to make it again.
    It really is easy and delicious.

  149. I’m going to try this recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving. Do you think I could make the herb butter a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge, and then soften it when I’m ready to make the turkey?

  150. 5 stars
    Neither my husband nor I are fans of Turkey, but, we were gifted one, and I followed this recipe. It was great and so easy. We both liked it and will make it again.

    1. No, it doesn’t. But if you’re not comfortable stuffing it with those you can just stuff it with carrots, celery, onion or garlic.

    1. Yes! When I did it last year, the bottom was thin and ended up scraping a whole in the bottom when I pulled the turkey from the oven. I would suggest doubling up the disposable pan, to be safe!

    1. My father in law just moved into a new place that could finally fit everyone and I was designated to cook an entire thanksgiving diner (my sister in laws don’t/can’t cook) it’s been years since I made a turkey myself. I am so glad I found this recipe!!! It was easy to follow and it turned out amazing!!! People that typically don’t like turkey ate it. Everyone thought it was delicious! The only thing I wouldn’t do again is baste it, which I’m aware this page says it too but my sister in laws kept saying I needed too.
      Im trying to talk my mom into letting me make the turkey this week and she is insisting to do it her traditional way. Her turkeys are good but she stuffs them with her stuffing mix and puts it in a roasting bag straight into a pan. it always seems a bit dry. Does the bag dry it out or is it cooking too long because of the stuffing inside?

      1. Cooking the turkey too long is definitely what dries it out. I’m so glad it turned out well for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  151. 5 stars
    Hi, It’s my first time to cook Turkey this Thanksgiving and I am excited to try this recipe. Do you have any suggestion with the cooking time if I use the roast feature of my convection oven? Thanks!!!

  152. Hi! Should the turkey be covered in foil? Or left open for the entire time? Last time I cooked a turkey like this that was buttered, the outside was burning by the time the inside was done. Would appreciate any advice! Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can cover the turkey with foil at the beginning and remove it during the last hour or so of cooking, or you can start with it uncovered, and then cover it with foil once the skin is golden.

  153. Do you just throw out the vegetables the turkey is sitting on? Also, with the amount of butter used, do you find you have a good amount of fat to remove from the drippings before you can make the pan gravy?

  154. 5 stars
    I used this recipe last year for my first time ever making a turkey (sorry I forgot to comment), but IT WAS AMAZING and I will be making it again for this year! loving this recipe and am getting excited to make it again!

  155. Would it be ok to prep the turkey with herb butter a day or two before baking? Or would it be better to just do everything at once.

    1. Yes, that’s fine (or even better would be to prepare the herb butter in advance and slather it on beforehand.)

    1. Hi Evan, yes I do think two turkeys will take longer to cook–I haven’t tested it myself so I can’t say exactly (and I don’t know how big your turkeys are), but I would rely on a good thermometer.

  156. I’m just wondering what kind of apple would work best, or what kind of apple you used? Do you put that stuff inside as well as putting the veggies in the pan under the turkey? Also, do you use any liquids in the pan or put it in the oven as is without liquids?

    1. Any kind of apple will work. All of the rest of your questions are answered within the post and the recipe card. Enjoy!

  157. Hi, probably a dumb question, but what other changes would you make to the recipe if the turkey is bigger than recipe asks for? (22 pounds).


  158. I like to add a quart of chicken broth in the roasting pan, just to give me more liquid to make the gravy. As far as I’m concerned, the gravy is the best part of a Thanksgiving Turkey. It is absolutely delicious over stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetable salad and cornbread.

  159. 5 stars
    I don’t eat turkey, but I always cook one once or twice a year for my husband. I am never quite sure when cooking creatures, but my husband says this was the best turkey he has ever eaten, well seasoned, golden brown, tender and juicy. It was a free range, non-GMO, organically fed bird from a local farmer, and I’m not sure if that helped or hindered but the end result appears to have been lovely. Thank you for your help.

  160. 5 stars
    I have never cooked a turkey before. I had no idea what I was doing but I gave this recipe a shot. I used an 8 lb turkey because I was just making it for 3 people so the opening for the apple, onion, lemon and herbs was extremely small and I could only fit about half of them in. Other than that, holy moley! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted turkey that comes close to the taste and juiciness of this. This is now my go-to recipe. Wow, just wow!!!

  161. Can I use this recipe in an electric turkey roaster? My husband and I would love to try it this year but do not have room in our oven to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. If so, what would you recommend?

      1. Turkey’s take about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees.

  162. Can I use a cooking bag to cook my first Turkey in? Do I need to change anything. It’s a 17 pound Turkey?
    Thanks Joyce

    1. You can use a turkey bag, but do not need to. The skin will not get as brown and crispy if you use a bag. 🙂 Enjoy!

    1. There is a recipe card at the bottom of the post that has all of the ingredient amounts and directions (it’s printable too!) You’ll want rosemary, thyme and sage.

  163. Definitely going to try this year. We only have 5 people. Only 4 eat turkey. Hard to find a small turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  164. If I plan to use my pan that has the metal rack, should I still use the veg under the rack? I have never had a turkey turn out really tasty. I have tried several recipes…last year I spatchcocked my bird. It was moist but still not flavorful. Looking forward to trying your recipe.

    1. Hi Kathlyn, I hope you love this recipe! If you have a pan with a metal rack you do not need the veggies. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  165. Sorry if someone had already asked this but I need to cook this overnight. Obviously will be cooking on low but I am wondering if I should wait on putting the herb butter on top until morning so the herbs don’t burn?

    Also I made this exactly to recipe last year and it came out wonderfully!! Thanks!

  166. Hi, first time Turkey cooking. Can I use olive oil or any oil you can recommend instead of butter,we have a guest with allergies to dairy
    Thank you
    I’ll come back to rate the recipe

  167. 5 stars
    This was my first year being in charge of cooking the turkey. I was freaking out but this recipe saved me so much time and stress. In the end everyone said it was the best, and juiciest turkey they’ve ever had!! Thanks to you my Thanksgiving was a huge success.

  168. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe and it was wonderful! The turkey was juicy and flavorful. The lemon and apple infused the broth and gave it so much flavor. Anyone who has never cooked a turkey should try this recipe.

  169. 5 stars
    Easiest turkey recipe I’ve ever used and it came out DELICIOUS! Didn’t have to spend all day basting or brushing butter on the turkey. Highly recommend!!!

  170. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe and the citrus really adds the needed acids to this preparation. I also added and a small container of frozen concentrated orange juice to the cavities and one-half ornage in each end. I found that pinning the skin to the apples on each opening encapsulated the moisture perfectly for the juiciest bird I have ever prepared. My spices came from my kitchen garden and I did not hold back on any of them!

    Thanks so much, C.

    1. The full recipe card is near the bottom of the post and details everything you will need, including rosemary, sage and thyme. 🙂

      1. I’ve got dried herbs for the butter i plan to go out today and get the fresh for in the cavity any advice on conversion for using the dried herbs for the butter?

  171. I am planning to try this recipe this year, but I am also cooking 8 extra turkey legs with it. Do you have any suggestions on how to do the turkey legs? I have never cooked them before. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Tanya, you can gently pull back the skin of the turkey legs and rub the herb butter on the meat, and then pull the skin back over them. Roast the same for about 1.5 to 2 hours (ish) until they reach 175-180 degrees.

  172. Question…. First time doing a turkey, and my turkey is 14 lbs. so if my math is correct it would be a cook time would be 3.5 hours. This makes me nervous since my mom used to cook hers overnight so I am just worried it won’t be long enough. Can you send some reassurance my way? Lol

  173. 5 stars
    This looks like the best and easiest recipe I have found for my Turkey Day celebration this year! Thank you so much for also including a video! SUPER helpful as I am a very visual learner! Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

  174. Should I cover the pan with the lid while the turkey cooks, or use a roasting bag? I worry my gas oven will scorch the bird but I’ve never made a turkey without a roasting bag so I have no clue. Excited to try this recipe!

  175. 5 stars
    I made this turkey over the weekend for a Friendsgiving party. It was delicious! The meat literally fell off the bones and the flavor was so good.

    Thanks for this recipe, I can’t wait to use it again.

  176. Have you ever tried this recipe using a turkey bag (everything else the same)? Never cooked a Turkey before (we always host Easter), but my daughter is hosting a Friendsgiving and I’m tasked with the Turkey. My brother-in-law roasts a great Turkey each year, and says how much easier it was once he started using a bag, but I liked what I saw in this recipe. Any concerns in combining this recipe with his method of using bag? I’m thinking I’d do everything else the same.

    1. I wouldn’t since they will taste so strongly of the dripping and grease from the turkey and butter, but you can.

  177. Probably a silly question but would you remove fruit, vegetables and herbs from the cavity before placing it on the serving platter then onto the table or just leave them in?

  178. 5 stars
    I used this recipe last Thanksgiving and my turkey came out amazingly juicy and flavorful❣️ I will be making it again this year! Thank you for this awesome, no-fuss recipe!!
    💛 Susan

  179. Do the rosemary, sage, and thyme have to be fresh? Would the recipe still work well using rosemary, sage, and thyme spices instead?

    1. Hi there! So which way do you guys think is better? Covering with foil for the first half of cooking and then uncovering to brown? Or cook uncovered for the first half and then cover with foil? For either way, do you have to wrap the foil tightly around the turkey?

      1. No just gently place it over it. I like to put the foil on half way through cooking so that I can control how brown the skin gets.

  180. I made this last year and it was a huge hit. I am making it again this year! Question, I have a roasting pan that comes with a lid, can I use that in place of the foil? I definitely don’t want to test that on Thanksgiving if no one else has.

    1. Hello! I’m studying your recipe for tomorrow, excited to try it! Just one question.. it says to put foil on the turkey midway through cooking. So I’m putting foil on the turkey while it’s inside the oven? Also, it says tent it with the foil again after you take it out once it reaches 160 degrees.. so I’m putting foil on twice? Just confused on this foil part. Thank you

      1. The foil mid-way through cooking will help protect the breast meat from overcooking and the skin from getting too browned. Then when it comes out of the oven tent the entire turkey with foil while it rests, to keep it warm.

  181. This recipe looks delicious! Do you think I could substitute a plant butter and have it come out about the same? We have a couple of dairy allergies here! Do you have one you’d recommend if so? Thank you!

  182. This may be a silly question, but does it matter if/how the veggies are chopped if I am using them to set the turkey on top of? Or instead of using veggies, could I put a wire wrack (like what I use to cool cookies) on the bottom of a disposable pan?

    1. Veggies can be chopped pretty chunky. The reason you are using veggies as your wire rack is to flavor
      the juices/broth. You could substitute a wire rack.

  183. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time last year and OMG it’s incredible! Was sooo beautiful I practically gave it a photo shoot! Tastes amazing! Am do excited about making it on Thursday!

  184. Do you know the amount of each herb (approximately) you should have for stuffing the turkey? (after creating the herb butter) I could not find .75 oz containers of each herb, so I was estimating, and there seems to be a LOT of sage.

    1. 5 stars
      I used this recipe this past Thanksgiving and received SO many compliments! This was my very first time ever roasting a turkey and I fully intend on using this recipe every single year, it’s truly phenomenal. As long as you baste your turkey every 25-30 minutes, it will be the most flavorful and juicy turkey you will ever taste. THANK YOU!

  185. 5 stars
    Thank God I found this recipe. I’m excited to try it because it looks impossible to screw up. Found out 2 hours ago that I need to make a turkey for Thanksgiving, and I’m a turkey virgin. (God, could I sound any more pathetic?) Anyway, I don’t have fresh herbs to put in my turkey. What measurements of herbs do I use for inside the turkey?

    1. Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try. I’m assuming your going to use dried herbs which will be fine.
      Use 1-2 Tablespoons of each, it really does not have to be exact, you are just adding flavor. Best Wishes!

    2. 5 stars
      I followed this recipe last year except for the lemon, and it was by far the best turkey our family had in 30 years! I’m refreshing my memory because tomorrow this turkey is going to rock the house!

  186. 5 stars
    I had never cooked a turkey before. I used this recipe two years ago and last year and now am going to use it this year. My turkeys all turned out juicy and flavorful. I absolutely love this recipe.


  187. I was planning on stuffing the Turkey, can I still do that with this recipe? I wonder how the lemons will pair with the stuffing?

  188. This is my first time cooking a turkey,; what do I do with the lemons onions, apples that are inside the turkey? Do I have to take it out before it’s served? And how much salt and pepper do I put in the inside? I’m afraid I’ll ruin it

    1. You don’t need to remove them. Just a pinch of salt and pepper is great. Good luck, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. I was going to ask the same thing! Do you think the turkey will dry out if placed in the oven on a high temp to brown it? I want crispy skin, but want to use the bag so it cooks quicker.

        1. Put it on a high temperature for 10 minutes, then turn it down. Anything higher than 325 will dry it out but you could brown it at 400 for 10-15 minutes first.

    1. I don’t use a turkey bag. I place them at the bottom of the pan and place the turkey on top of them. Enjoy!

  189. I have heard of roasting the turkey breast side down to make the breast meat extra juicy. What is your opinion? The cavity could still be filled with your listed ingredients I assume.

    1. Yes, that is a fine way to do it, I just don’t personally think it’s worth the hassle. I think this way yields a perfectly juicy turkey.

  190. I am planning on making this for my first Thanksgiving Turkey. I have to work from 9am-3pm. Do you have any pointers on cooking this while I work so I don’t have my Thanksgiving dinner at 10pm. I have a 12lb turkey!

    1. Hi Jackie, a turkey that size will take 2.5 to 3 hours to cook, so unless you have someone who can stick it in the oven for you around 1pm(so that it’s nearly ready to eat when you get home), I would prepare it completely in the morning, remove it from the fridge when you get home, and then roast it. It should be done by 7pm ish.

  191. I bought my 1st house this year and decided i wanted to do Thanksgiving dinner here. Was going to get an already cooked store bought Turkey, but they had ran out before I got chance to buy one. I love to cook but have never cooked a Turkey. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. Thanks do much. I will post another comment after ward’s too let you know how it went.

  192. 5 stars
    It came out sooo juicy and delicious. I didn’t have enough fresh rosemary so I used dry rosemary and dry sage for the herb butter also a small dash of garlic powder and black pepper. Really delicious

  193. First time Turkey for me as well. When or why do some tent the turkey with foil while cooking? Does this speed up the cooking if so by how much? This recipe indicates only tent in foil after it reaches 160 degrees. So, I’m guessing it is not tented in foil to cook and wonder why not?

    Thank you,

    1. The foil mid-way through cooking will help protect the breast meat from overcooking and the skin from getting too browned. Then when it comes out of the oven the foil tent over the entire turkey will keep it warm while it rests and allow it to continue cooking the last few degrees to reach 165.

  194. If I Only Have The Herbs In Like A Season How Much Would I Need To Put Inside Turkey
    And If I’m Using A Bag Instead Of Foil Would It still be as good

  195. I’m stuck with a fan-forced (convection) oven. Would you recommend adjusting the temperature or the cooking time? (Thanks for the helpful tutorial – so nervous about making my first turkey this year!)

  196. I apologize because I am sure someone has already asked but would you say 4.5-5 hrs for a 20 lbs turkey? Can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  197. 5 stars
    This is, hands down, the best roast turkey recipe! It’s my second year using it for Thanksgiving but I regularly use it for roast chicken throughout the year. Thank you!!

  198. Can I use a poultry seasoning or a poultry rub to mix with the butter? And if so how much should I add?
    I don’t have the herbs on hand that are recommended.
    Thank you!!!

  199. 5 stars
    I made this recipe a year ago and it was fabulous! I’m using it again shortly. I love how easy it is. I plan on using it every time I make a turkey.

  200. Cant wait to try this! My only concern is the fact that I only have the thyme, rosemary and sage in spice form instead of fresh herbs. How much will I use of the spices for a 10 lb Turkey? Thank you!

  201. 5 stars
    I made this last year and it was great! This year, I am only making a 9lb turkey, what should I change? I see you said 12-20 lb turkey

  202. 5 stars
    My mom and I have struggled for years since my grandmother passed away to make a turkey that tasted like hers. We’ve tried so many recipes to no avail. I found this recipe and it was so very simple. It came out beautifully and from our small taste test it was great!!

    1. You can prepare the bird completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight. Make sure to take it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature!

  203. 5 stars
    I made this turkey last year and what a hit. Flavorful and moist. I am making it again this year and thank you for your easy instruction and pictures. It really helped me.

  204. Looks great! Printing as I type and it’s off to get this baby going! Thanks for the instructions and information. This was such a great find!

  205. Hi I’m already brining the turkey but want to use this recipe tomorrow, should I avoid salt altogether?

      1. Lauren, thank you so much for replying to me. I went ahead and used the salt as stated in the recipe and the turkey was a hit! Even my picky “chef” brother went back for it 4 times lol. I appreciate your help.

  206. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last year for my family. It turned out absolutely amazing! I am making it again tomorrow and I can’t wait. Thank you for this perfect Turkey recipe. 🙂

  207. 5 stars
    I made your recipe last year and my family said it was the best turkey they ever had. I agreed! I plan to do it again tomorrow morning. Thank you for sharing this. ❤️❤️❤️

  208. 5 stars
    Wow, it was delicious. Just like the title says easy no fuss. Flavors were awesome and meat was not dry. I was worried, no turning, no basting. I will use again. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks.

  209. I baked turkey tonight for tomorrow’s at can I cut it up and put in juices in pan tonight and put in frig or crockpot? 13 lb

    1. Yes you can cut it up. To reheat, I would suggest heating chicken stock on the stovetop in a large skillet and gently dip 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time in the hot liquid. That’s the best way to not dry it out! They just need to be in the hot liquid for 5-10 seconds.

  210. Hi!
    Can I bake the turkey in the roasting bag then remove it then add the foil tent? If so, how long should I leave the foil on top.. thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to taste it!!

    1. If it’s still frozen, fill your sink with medium cool water and place turkey in the water with the wrapping ON! Luck!

  211. 5 stars
    So easy, looking forward to roasting my first turkey tomorrow. Should I tent the turkey from the beginning? I don’t want it to dry out.

    1. When you untent it it is to brown the bird. Take the tinfoil off about an hour before it’s finished cooking.