Roast Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner

The roast turkey is the quintessential main dish choice for most traditional Thanksgiving feasts. Here are the most popular and most-requested Thanksgiving turkey recipes and ideas, from whole roasted birds to brined turkey breast, split breasts, and slow cooker turkey.

For essential information on defrosting and safe cooking, see:

Safely Cooking a Whole Turkey or Whole Turkey Breast

Three Ways to Safely Thaw a Whole Turkey

  • 01 of 08
    Herb Roasted Turkey
    Herb Roasted Turkey. Herb Roasted Turkey Image © Diana Rattray

    This whole turkey roasts to perfection with a mixture of herbs and olive oil under the skin and all over the bird. Use small amounts of dried herbs along with the fresh herbs for more flavor. I used fresh dill, rosemary, and chives, along with about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried leaf marjoram and thyme.

  • 02 of 08
    Cajun Seasoned Split Turkey Breast
    Roasted Split Turkey Breast with Cajun Seasonings. Photo Credit: Diana Rattray

     This half turkey breast is the perfect size for a Thanksgiving dinner for two or three. Or roast the split breast for sandwiches or use the meat for casseroles. 

  • 03 of 08
    Turkey Breast
    Roasted Brined Turkey Breast. nicolebranan /E+/Getty Images

    Brine adds flavor to this juicy whole turkey breast. Let the turkey breast soak in the brine overnight, and then rub it with some oil and basic seasonings before roasting.

  • 04 of 08
    Orange Glazed Turkey Breast
    Glazed Turkey Breast. nicolebranan /E+/Getty Images

    This flavorful turkey breast is compact and delicious, and it's perfect for a small family. Or, roast it for the excellent sandwiches and leftovers you'll have for a few days.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08
    Basic Brine for Turkey
    Basic Brine for Turkey. Easy Turkey Brine Image © Diana Rattray

    A dry turkey is a big disappointment, and most people agree that a simple brine helps make a juicier, tastier holiday turkey. Water, salt, sugar, and herbs make up this basic, easy brine for turkey.

  • 06 of 08
    Roast Turkey
    Roast Turkey. Diana Rattray

    You can glaze this classic turkey with a plum or red currant jelly glaze the last 20 minutes of roasting time.

  • 07 of 08
    Roast Glazed Turkey
    Roast Glazed Turkey. Joseph Gareri/E+/Getty Images

    Here's a flavorful maple-glazed turkey for Sunday dinner or a special holiday meal. Serve this turkey with mashed potatoes, tossed salad, and your favorite side vegetable or vegetable casserole.

  • 08 of 08
    Turkey Breast with Herbs
    Turkey Breast with Herbs. Dennis Lane Photography/Photolibrary/Getty Images

     Fresh herbs, apples, and vegetables flavor this juicy slow cooked turkey breast. The recipe is complete with instructions for making the gravy.