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roasted turkey in a pan.
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

You have had so many roasted turkey in the past but this easy thanksgiving turkey recipe is the only one you would ever need again. It is simply, the best perfectly roasted bird, it is delicious, juicy and this recipe is foolproof.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas turkey, Thanksgiving turkey, thanksgiving turkey recipe
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 580kcal
Author: Ajoke


  • 1 8 – 12 pound whole turkey
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • ½ tbsp thyme
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp salt You wouldn’t be using all
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper You wouldn’t be needing all
  • 125 g butter softened
  • 2 Fresh spring of rosemary
  • 2 Fresh spring of thyme
  • Water/wine/stock: this stops the vegetables from burning.

Vegetable bed ingredients

  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 1 large Onion chopped I used a mixture of red and yellow onions
  • 1 garlic bulb halved
  • 1 Lemon quartered divided
  • 1 Orange quartered divided


  • Remove the giblets and turkey neck from the bird cavity. You do not need to wash your bird. Think about it, whatever bacteria lurking around it would definitely be dead after passing through the heat from the oven. Check the cavity and be sure to have removed any unwanted bits in it.
  • Pat the turkey dry with a kitchen towel, including the cavity then generously season with salt and black pepper. Make sure you rub it in and all around the bird, including the cavity. Set the turkey aside for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can return it into the fridge but make sure to bring it out 30 minutes before cooking so it comes to room temperature.
    seasoned turkey in a roasting pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F for a conventional oven or 170C/350F for fan oven pr Gas mark 5
  • In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, sage, thyme, garlic granules, onion powder, parsley and softened butter. Also while you wait, prep the veggies, cut carrot, onions, celery into large chunks, then the lemon and orange into segments, lastly cut the garlic bulb into two.
    a plate of vegetable with a jug of liquid and butter mixture in a bowl.
  • Arrange the chopped vegetables in the roasting pan, place turkey breast side down on the bed of vegetables and rub the butter mixture all over it. carefully flip the bird so it is breast side up and truck the wing tips under the back. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the skin on the breast by sliding your fingers in between the skin and the turkey breast.
    turkey rubbed with butter place in a roasting pan.
  • Rub the remaining compound butter on the rest of turkey and under the loosened skin. Finally, stuff the cavity with 2 wedges oranges and lemon segments and the fresh rosemary and thyme.
  • Place the turkey in the centre of the oven and roast for 12 - 15 minutes per pound. When the turkey is cooked halfway through, check that the skin is not browning too quickly, if so, tent the bird with a foil and continue to cook until fully cooked and skin is golden brown. To ensure that the turkey is fully cooked, insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, if the juice runs clear and not pink then it is done, also the internal temperature should read 165F/73C
    roasted turkey in a pan.
  • PS: the turkey can be taken out of the oven once the internal temperature reaches 160F/ as it continues to cook as it rest under the foil.
  • Rest the turkey for about 30 to 45 minutes before carving.



Note: Please use your own nutritional calculator for an accurate nutritional fact per each serving.


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 265mg | Sodium: 1475mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3424IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg