turkey recipes for thanksgiving

Not everyone wants to prepare a complicated dish for the holidays. If you’re looking for easy turkey recipes for Thanksgiving, you’ve come to the right place.


Simple Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving

Turkey is a staple for Thanksgiving in American households. But, sometimes, you don’t want an overly complex roast because you’re either tired or don’t have the time for it. Here are the best easy turkey recipes for Thanksgiving.


1. Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

Here’s a recipe for Thanksgiving turkey that’s easy yet produces tasty results.


  • 1 (15 lb) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into slices
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into slices
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp ground dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tbsp rubbed dried sage
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • 1 tbsp salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a roaster with lots of foil – long enough to cover the turkey over.
  2. Mix together parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and lemon-pepper seasoning in a small bowl.
  3. Spread the herb mixture into the turkey’s cavity. Stuff the cavity with onion, celery, orange wedges, and carrot. Tie up the turkey legs using kitchen string and then place the wings under the body of the turkey.
  4. Place the turkey on a roasting pan. Pour chicken broth and champagne over the turkey and inside the cavity. Cover the turkey with excess foil to seal. Try not to let the foil come into contact with the turkey.
  5. Roast the turkey in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until juices run clear.
  6. Remove the foil from the top of the turkey and bake for another 30 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. When the internal temperature reaches 180°F, remove it from the oven.
  8. Cover again with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.


2. Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasted Thanksgiving TurkeyPerhaps one of the best recipes for turkeys for Thanksgiving, here’s one that’s a classic.


  • 1 (20-lb) fresh turkey, rinsed, interior bag removed
  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 tbsp chopped orange zest
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, skin roughly chopped



  1. In a large pot, combine water, apple juice, garlic, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, orange peel, and dried rosemary. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover the pot. Let it cool to room temperature and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Place the turkey in a plastic bag or a very large pot. Pour the brine mixture from the previous step. If not enough to cover the turkey, add more water. Cover the pot or seal the bag. Let it brine for 16 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brining bag or pot. Rinse well under cold water. Then soak the turkey in a pot of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat until dry. Discard the brine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  5. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Tie the legs and tuck the wings under the turkey. Wrap with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Roast turkey in the oven (10 minutes per pound, so 3 ½ hours for a 20-lb turkey).
  6. Take out the turkey from the oven and remove the foil. Set aside. Meanwhile, turn up the oven temperature to 375°F.
  7. Combine rosemary, orange zest, and butter. Rub this mixture over the turkey before placing it back in the oven uncovered. Baste with the butter mixture every 30 minutes in the oven. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 170°F and until the juices run clear.


3. Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turkey


  • For the turkey:
    • 1 whole turkey, about 12 to 20 lbs, neck and giblets removed
    • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
    • 3/4 ounce fresh rosemary
    • 1 lemon, quartered
    • 1 apple, quartered
    • 3/4 ounce fresh thyme
    • 3/4 ounce fresh sage
  • For the herb butter:
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
    • Freshly chopped herbs



  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine butter with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Add one tbsp each of rosemary, sage, and thyme. Mix well.
  3. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  4. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemon, apple, onion, and leftover herbs inside the cavity.
  5. Spread a few tablespoons of the herb butter mixture underneath the skin above the breasts.
  6. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Tie the legs and tuck the wings under the turkey. Brush the remaining herb mixture over the turkey, including the legs and wings.
  7. Roast turkey for 13-15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature registers 165°F. If the turkey starts browning before reaching this temperature, cover it with foil.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover with foil. Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.


4. The Simplest Roast Turkey

The Simplest Roast TurkeyIf you want an effortless recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey, this is the one to try.


  • 1 turkey, about 14 to 16 lbs, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F..
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper. Sprinkle it all over the turkey and inside the cavity.
  3. Place the turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan. Fold the neck skin and wings under the body of the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  4. Roast the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 170°F, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through the process.
  5. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard string before carving.


5. Easy Turkey for Thanksgiving


  • 1 whole turkey, any size, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) oil or unsalted butter, melted



  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Rub salt and pepper over the turkey. Pour liquid of choice (chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water) into the roasting pan.
  3. Place the turkey, breast side up, in the oven and turn the heat down to 350°F. Roast for 13 minutes per pound (about 3 1/2 hours for a16-lb turkey).
  4. Baste the turkey with the liquid every 45 minutes. In the last 45 minutes of cook time, baste with butter or oil instead.
  5. Roast the turkey until the internal temperature registers 165°F at the thickest part of the bird. If the turkey starts to brown before the internal temperature reaches this point, cover it with aluminum foil and continue to roast.
  6. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.


Tasty Thanksgiving Recipes for Turkey

During the busy holiday season, sometimes the last thing you want to do is prepare a complex turkey dish. If you want minimal prep and just leave most of the work to the oven, these turkey recipes for Thanksgiving are definitely for you.