My Favorite Roasted Turkey Recipe

My Favorite Thanksgiving Turkey. Linda Larsen
  • 4 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 35 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

My Favorite Roasted Turkey recipe is the one I make most often.  Or you can use any of my other Turkey Stuffing recipes; they're all delicious. This is the recipe I serve when it's my turn to host Thanksgiving dinner. 

Cooking a turkey isn't difficult; it just takes some planning and a bit of strength. Make sure that you have a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey; I like to use an extra large roaster. A dutch oven will also work well. And plan ahead so you have side dishes that can either cook at the same temperature as the turkey, or make some crockpot recipes.

If you forgot to thaw your turkey, don't despair! Cook it using this method that lets you cook turkey from the frozen state. It will be delicious!

What You'll Need

  • 12-14 pound turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 1 recipe stuffing
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make It

  1. Remove the giblet package from the large cavity of the turkey. Place the neck, heart and gizzards in a large saucepan and cover with four cups of water.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. I don't like using the liver, as I think it gives the giblet broth a bitter taste.
  3. Pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Do not rinse the bird; this is not necessary and will simply spread bacteria around your kitchen. Season with salt and pepper inside and out.
  1. Make the stuffing according to recipe. Spoon the stuffing lightly into turkey neck cavity, pull the skin over and secure with a skewer. Spoon more stuffing lightly into the body cavity and fasten closed according to Turkey 101.
  2. Melt 1/3 cup butter. Place the stuffed turkey in a roasting pan and brush with some of the melted butter. Season the turkey again with salt and pepper. 
  3. Roast the turkey according to cooking charts, for stuffed turkey. I like to roast my turkey at 325°F. For a 12-14 pound turkey, that will take 4-5 hours. Baste with pan juices every 1/2 hour. Do not roast the turkey at a temperature lower than 325°F for food safety reasons.
  4. When turkey registers 170°F when tested in the thigh (and make sure that you use a good, reliable food thermometer to check the temperature for food safety reasons), remove from pan, remove stuffing from cavities, cover, and let rest 15-20 minutes to let juices redistribute while you make the gravy. Then enjoy!