Simple Delicious Oven Roasted Turkey

Putting a Delicious Oven Roasted Turkey on the table for the holidays has never been easier with this simple recipe. All you need are just a few pantry staples for this no-fuss recipe, and you’ll have an outstanding main dish everyone will enjoy.

Make any meal special by pairing this roasted turkey with Crispy Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Crock Pot Creamed Corn, and Southern Candied Yams.

Whole roasted turkey garnished with fresh herbs and lemon slices on a white platter.

Why You’ll Love This Effortless Roast Turkey Recipe

  • Exceptional Flavor: the combined blend of herbs, garlic, and seasonings infuses the turkey with exceptional flavor.
  • Juiciness Guaranteed: I use a straightforward roasting process to ensure the turkey remains incredibly juicy and tender, leaving you succulent meat in every slice.
  • Impressive Presentation: this perfectly roasted turkey with crispy skin is a showstopper on any dining table or holiday buffet.
  • Leftovers Galore: roast turkey provides ample leftovers for salads, casseroles, and of course, the beloved turkey sandwich!
  • Versatile: for the best Thanksgiving turkey or a cozy family dinner, roast turkey is a versatile dish that fits any event or gathering.

What’s The Best Way To Pick A Turkey For Roasting?

Whole roasted turkey garnished with fresh herbs and lemon slices in a roasting pan.

First, let’s clear the air about the bigger the better. That’s not always good, especially when it comes to roasting a turkey. Size is key here when looking at the perfectly tender turkey. Smaller is the way to go. In fact, if you’re expecting a lot of guests for a holiday like Thanksgiving, it’s better to purchase two small turkeys instead of one big one.

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

Raw turkey in a roasting pan, onion, garlic bulb, butter, lemon, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage labeled with white text.
  • Whole Turkey – thawed and patted dry.
  • Flavor boosters – onion, lemon, garlic, butter.
  • Herbs and seasoning – fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and measurements.

Variations and Additions

This recipe is fine as is, and surely won’t get any complaints, but if you want to put a little twist on it, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Use dried herbs or your favorite seasoning blend, like Montreal Steak or Lemon Pepper to create a rub, and coat the turkey all over and inside for optimal flavor.
  • Give a spicy kick to this Thanksgiving turkey recipe by using Cajun seasoning. And if you know your guests can handle the heat, don’t be afraid to double it up.

Helpful Tools For Roasting A Turkey

  • A large roasting pan with a rack. You can buy aluminum pans at the grocery store and add a small roasting rack. The key is to ensure the turkey is not on the bottom of the pan. You can also make a homemade rack of balled-up aluminum foil.
  • An instant-read thermometer to make sure the turkey is perfectly cooked.
  • A good knife, cutting board, and kitchen twine.

How To Make An Oven Roasted Turkey

Photo collage with photo 1 of whole uncooked turkey in baking pan, photo 2 of butter with salt, pepper and fresh herbs in a white bowl, photo 3 of herb butter rubbed over uncooked turkey in roasting pan, photo 4 roasted turkey in a pan.
  1. Arrange the oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center, then preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stuff the turkey’s cavity with the onion, lemon wedges, garlic, and fresh herbs, and tie the legs together.
  2. Make herb butter by adding softened butter, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, and salt to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan and tuck the wings underneath the turkey. Melt the garlic herb butter in the microwave or over low heat, and brush all the butter over the outer skin of the turkey.
  4. Place the turkey in the oven and roast at 325 degrees for approximately 13-15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Whole roasted turkey on a white platter with fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary sprigs and lemon slices.

Recipe Questions And Answers

Do I need to thaw a turkey before cooking?

Yes! You can use a frozen turkey, but it needs to be properly thawed before roasting. Plan ahead, and thaw it in the refrigerator, allowing approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.

How do I prepare my turkey for roasting?

I suggest removing the turkey from the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it. Also, tie the legs together with kitchen twine after stuffing the cavity with lemon, onion, garlic, and herbs. This helps maintain the turkey’s shape, ensuring it retains moisture and cooks evenly.

How long should I roast my turkey?

A good rule of thumb is to cook a turkey (unstuffed) for 13-15 minutes per pound at 325°F (163°C). Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C.)

Do I need to let the turkey rest before carving?

Yes! This is a must. Allow the turkey to sit for at least 45 minutes to give the meat time to absorb the juices. Cutting it too soon can result in the juices dripping out and ending up on the bottom of the pan versus in the meat. (No one wants a dry turkey!)

What’s the best way to store leftovers?

Store any remaining turkey in an airtight container in the fridge, and be sure to eat them within 3 to 4 days.

Carved roasted turkey breast, legs and wings garnished with fresh herbs placed on a white platter.

How To Serve Perfectly Roasted Turkey

Now, it’s time to put the finishing touches on that beautiful bird and serve.

More Easy Turkey Recipes

My easy recipe for Air Fryer Turkey Breast is perfect for 2 to 4 people, and my Crock Pot Turkey Breast recipe is perfect when you want to enjoy turkey but don’t want to roast a whole bird.

Roasted turkey slices on a white platter served with a gold fork garnished with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

If you tried this Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe or any other recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks!

Recipe Card With Instructions

Whole roasted turkey garnished with fresh herbs and lemon slices on a white platter.

5 from 1 vote

Simple Delicious Oven Roasted Turkey

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 122kcal

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Putting a Juicy Oven Roasted Turkey on the table for the holidays has never been easier with this simple recipe. All you need are just a few pantry staples for this no-fuss recipe, and you’ll have a delicious main dish everyone will enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 1 10-12 pound turkey, thawed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large lemon, quartered
  • 1 (1-ounce) package fresh sage
  • 1 (1-ounce) package fresh rosemary
  • 1 (1-ounce)package fresh thyme
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 10 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Arrange the oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center of the oven, then preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Make the herb butter by adding the softened butter, 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 1 tablespoon of sage and 1 teaspoon of salt to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the room-temperature turkey. Pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the inner cavity of the turkey with the remaining salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the turkey cavity with the onion, lemon wedges, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, and the remaining fresh herbs, and tie the legs together. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan and tuck the wings underneath the turkey.
  • Melt the garlic herb butter, in the microwave or over low heat, and brush over the outside skin of the turkey.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast at 325 degrees for approximately 13-15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Use an instant-read thermometer  inserted between the turkey breast and the thigh.

    ***Check the turkey about halfway through the cook time. If the skin is getting too brown, place a large piece of foil over the bird and continue to cook. ***

  •  When done, remove from the oven and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes before carving.

Notes

  • Thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, allowing approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds turkey.
  • A good rule of thumb is to cook a turkey (unstuffed) for 13-15 minutes per pound at 325°F (163°C). Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C.)
  • Allow the turkey to sit for at least 45 minutes to give the meat time to absorb the juices. Cutting it too soon can result in the juices dripping out and ending up on the bottom of the pan versus in the meat.
  • Store any remaining turkey in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 571IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Hi, I’m Mohamed. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.

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