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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

easy turkey recipe

Ok, it doesn’t just have to be for Thanksgiving – you can make turkey ANYTIME! And let’s be honest…turkey is good! It makes for great leftovers and’s as easy to make as a chicken or roast!

cooking turkey thanksgiving dinner recipe

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

If you are looking for an easy, tasty and sure-fire recipe for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey – here you go! Easy and simple and sure to delight all your guests!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
15 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Dinner, Holidays, Main Course, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • Roasting Pan
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Small Saucepan
  • Large Serving Dish


  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 12 pound whole turkey,
  • neck and giblets (reserved for later)
  • 2 tablespoons Watkins Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Watkins organic pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons Watkins organic Sage


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Place onion, celery, and carrot in a large, shallow roasting pan.
  • Place turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
  • Combine salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Season the inside of the turkey with about 1/3 of the salt mixture. Fold wing tips under the bird.
  • Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until the edges begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Cook and stir rosemary and sage for 1 minute.
  • Place rosemary and sage inside the cavity of the turkey; reserve melted butter. Tie the legs together with twine.
  • Brush outside of the turkey completely with the melted butter. Season with remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture.
  • Bake turkey, uncovered, in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.


If your turkey is frozen, defrost in fridge 3 days prior to cooking day.
instant read meat thermometerTo make cooking WAY easier – Invest in a cooking thermometer: This is the one I use and I love it! The most handy kitchen tool ever! I even bought one for our trailer when we are camping, love this device! No more dry or undercooked meat here!
You can also cook the stuffing outside of your turkey.
There are many recipes online and you can change it up – try an apple, cranberry, raisin stuffing with oranges, or traditional – the choice is yours! 
Keyword big groups, holidays, special occasions, stuffing, thanksgiving, turkey

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear how it worked out for you and if you did anything different. Plus, if you used a different stuffing idea I’d love to hear that too! Please rate this recipe and share your thoughts to help our readers!

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