How to make a Thanksgiving turkey when you’re looking for an easy recipe with incredible flavor everyone is sure to love. The turkey is covered in butter and roasted to perfection, classic flavors and nothing crazy, just deliciousness! Plus I’m sharing a tip on how to serve/present your turkey so that it looks like a true show stopper!
With a few simple ingredients you’ll get a super flavorful and perfectly roasted turkey and everyone will think you’ve been making Thanksgiving turkey all your life! It’s a turkey that’s covered in butter – which makes the skin tender and crispy and brown!
I was talking to a friend of mine and she shyly admitted to me that she had never cooked a turkey before (referenced this in the amazing cranberry walnut crumb bars recipe I just shared). I couldn’t believe it!
As we continued talking, she said that it just seemed too daunting. She remembers getting up early with her Dad to start the lengthy turkey process. And she mostly just remembers all of the steps (do we pull things out of the turkey? Do we save juices for gravy? How often do we baste? What about adding vegetables?)
So, I invited her over while I made this recipe and by the end of it, she said that she felt like “it wasn’t hard to make” and like she could go home and cook a turkey. That was just music to my ears. It made me so proud that I am able to help with a super simple turkey recipe!
I’ve made turkey recipes before, but they each had a unique twist. For instance, my recipe for an easy 5 Ingredient Turkey has a sneaky ingredient (soy sauce) that helps brown the skin and my other favorite turkey recipe is for Easy Instant Pot Turkey Breast. But I was missing a classic turkey recipe and that’s what inspired me to post this one.
How to make a Thanksgiving turkey for beginners?
- Remove giblets and discard. Place turkey into a roasting pan.
- Cut onion into pieces and stuff inside the cavity of the turkey.
- Stuff garlic into turkey cavity.
- Smear butter all over the turkey
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the butter.
- Place carrots and celery around the side of the turkey in the pan.
- Bake and baste.
How to make Thanksgiving turkey look good on a platter
This is my favorite special little tip for Thanksgiving! And it has absolutely nothing to do with cooking a turkey, but rather how to present it beautifully!
- Buy a large amount of parsley (it’s super cheap so don’t be shy!) and I like to add a little rosemary too. Mostly, the rosemary just adds another layer of delicious scent to the dish. Lay the parsley and rosemary on a platter; fan them toward the inside (stems on the inside). The greens help so the turkey juices don’t flow out on to the plate and look unsightly.
And in case you’re wondering, my friend even went home the week after we made this recipe and made a turkey of her own using this recipe! It looked so yummy and she said it was delicious. So anyone can do it!
If you’re looking for how to make a Thanksgiving turkey when you’ve never made one before (or if you’re simply looking for a delicious and simple Thanksgiving turkey you know will turn out good) THIS is the recipe for you.
Other Thanksgiving recipes you might enjoy:
- What should I make for Thanksgiving
- Pumpkin pie (only 5 ingredients – so good!)
- Sweet potato casserole – made in a slow cooker
Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
- 1 Turkey 12-20lb
- 1 head of garlic chopped in half
- 1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
- 1 stick butter 1/2 cup, at room temperature
- salt and pepper
- 4 carrots large carrots, chopped into large pieces
- 4 pieces celery chopped into large pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Remove any packet of giblets or gizzards and discard
- Place turkey into a roasting pan.
- Cut onion into fours and stuff pieces inside the cavity
of the turkey
- Stuff head of garlic into turkey cavity
- Smear entire stick of room temperature butter all over the turkey.
- Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper over the butter (I
usually use 1-2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper).
- Place carrots and celery around the side of the turkey, in the pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 400. Leave turkey in oven and baste it (use a turkey baster and use the baster to suck up the butter and juices and baste juices onto the top and sides and all around the turkey).
- Bring oven temperature down to 350 and baste turkey every 30 minutes, cooking until internal temperature is 165 degrees. (approximately six minutes per pound of meat)
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