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A whole roasted Thanksgiving turkey on a platter that's decorated with grapes and herbs.

Thanksgiving Turkey

The only Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever need! This turkey comes out perfectly juicy and tender every time, even a first time cook can present a beautiful bird on Thanksgiving day.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Brining Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 382kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 1 recipe turkey brine
  • 15 lb turkey
  • 10 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh herbs and fruit for garnish optional


  • Prepare the brine according to recipe directions. Brine the turkey for 18-24 hours before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine; rinse and pat dry. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Tuck the turkey wings under the body. Tie the turkey legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Place the butter, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Rub the herb butter all over the outside of the turkey and under the skin of the breast.
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting the turkey every 30 minutes with pan drippings, until the turkey is done. This will take approximately 3 1/2 hours and you'll know that the turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey thigh registers 165 degrees F.
  • If the turkey seems like it's getting overly browned during the cooking process, cover it with foil.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and tent loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Slice, then serve.


  1. You can make this recipe with a turkey larger than 15 lbs, simply add 15 minutes more to the cooking time per pound.
  2. It's best to cook your turkey on a rack or on a bed of vegetables to help keep it from sitting in all the juices in the bottom of the pan.


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 236mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 733mg | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2.7mg