Go Back
+ servings
A Thanksgiving roast turkey on a serving platter garnished with herbs, pomegranate and figs.

Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving

This roast turkey is simple to make and full of savory flavors including butter, garlic, herbs and lemon. A must-have Thanksgiving turkey recipe that even a novice cook can make with minimal effort!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 335kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 12 lb turkey giblets and neck removed
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • fresh herbs and fruit for garnish optional


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Fold the wings of the turkey under the body.
  • Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemon, onion, rosemary and garlic.
  • Place the butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir until combined.
  • Spread the butter all over the turkey, both on top of and underneath the skin. Season the turkey with more salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  • Tie the turkey drumsticks together, Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes or until turkey has started to turn golden brown.
  • Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Baste the turkey with 1/2 cup chicken broth.
  • Bake for another 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the chicken broth, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F. If your turkey is getting too dark, you can cover it with foil.
  • Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and garnish with herbs and fruit if desiredl Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before slicing.



If you'd like to brine your turkey, here is my favorite brine recipe. If you choose to brine the turkey, you can skip the basting with chicken broth step.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 251mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 786mg | Vitamin A: 415IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg