Perfect Oven Roasted Turkey

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Oven Roasted Turkey is a tender and juicy, high-protein main dish that you can serve for Thanksgiving! Unlock the secret to how to perfect it with this simple recipe!

We have a lot of Thanksgiving recipes to choose from and this one tops the list! And when you cook it, prepare the best sides for it like the Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Pie!

Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Oven Roasted Turkey has always been a part of almost every American household during a Thanksgiving dinner party. Placed at the center of the table, it is the highlight of every family’s dinner menu!

What makes this bird practical is that it is bigger than the common chicken and that makes it ideal to serve at a big gathering. With the same effort, you get to feed a huge crowd.

Have you ever wondered why we eat this bird on Thanksgiving? There is no concrete evidence that this dish was indeed served at the “First Thanksgiving” dinner as early as the 1600s.

But what’s sure is that this dish is superb! I like how tender the meat is, not dry at all, and the skin is crispy and flavorful! Learn the basics in this post!

Is turkey meat considered healthy?

Yes! It is a high-protein food that can help you build up muscles and feel fuller for longer. This can greatly affect your diet as it can lessen your overall food intake.

It has vitamins and minerals, too, like B-vitamins, niacin, choline, selenium, and zinc. It has no carbs but it is rich in fat, especially the skin.

The white meat parts have fewer calories compared with dark meat. So, if you are watching your calories, you should know that the breast and wings are the better options for you.

You must note though that when buying it, always check the package and look for the leanest ones. It is better to avoid processed ones altogether, turkey meat or otherwise.

How to choose a turkey for roasting?

Certain factors affect your choice and it greatly depends on your personal preference. But, as a guide, it is best to consider the following:

  • Fresh or Frozen: Fresh birds must be available at most 2 days before you cook it, so, frozen ones might be your best bet to give you time freedom. Note though that defrosting it must be started way ahead of your cooking schedule, say, one day for every 4 pounds. Here is a guide for safe thawing.
  • Size: Your planning depends on size, too. For each person, allocate 1 1/2 pounds. So, for a group of 10, a 15-pounder bird is enough.
  • Kind: Heritage turkey has a smaller breast, bigger legs, and more flavorful than the regular breed. Self-basting ones are already with added marinade while kosher already has salt; so, if you have a recipe to follow, you might have to skip these ones when shopping. Organic ones are healthier than most but this is more expensive.

How to make Oven Roasted Turkey:

  • Prepare the bird: Wash it thoroughly and then, dry it thoroughly, too.
  • Brine: You can choose to wet-brine or dry-brine your bird. Read this for the perfect dry brined turkey recipe.
  • Roast: Preheat the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the aromatics and vegetables and pour a cup of water or chicken broth. Place the bird at the center with the breast-side facing downwards and pop it in the oven. Roast for an hour, then, flip it. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the other side for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a 16-pounder bird.
  • Serve: Once cooked, serve but allow it to rest before slicing.

At what temperature do you cook a turkey?

Different recipes will give you different values, but the standard and safe internal temperature must be met. Check at the thickest areas of the bird using a thermometer and it must read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to know when your Oven Roasted Turkey is done?

It is done when you have reached the internal temperature of about 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. During resting after you have taken it out of the oven, it will still cook. The temperature will still increase some more, so, no worries about taking it out at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Oven Roasted Turkey:

  • Refrigerate: Make sure to cool it and refrigerate it within two hours after cooking. Slice the parts and put them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for one to two days.
  • Freeze: Debone and slice the parts, and store single portions in freezer bags or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Then, freeze for up to one month. If it is with gravy or broth, it can freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe Tips:

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5 from 10 reviews
Oven Roasted Turkey
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 12 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes Total time: 4 hrs

Ingredients

  • 12-15 lbs  turkey 
  • 1 teaspoon  sea salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground pepper 

Butter Mixture:

  • 1 cup  unsalted butter  (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil 
  •  Juice from 1 lemon 
  •  Zest from 1 lemon 
  •  Zest from 1 orange 
  • 6  large garlic cloves  (minced)
  • 1/4 cup  freshly chopped parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh rosemary  (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh oregano  (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh thyme  (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh parsley  (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon  smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tablespoon  sea salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper 

Turkey Stuffing:

  • 1  large onion  (quartered - do not peel)
  • 6  garlic cloves  (smashed)
  • 5 sprigs  fresh rosemary 
  • 5 sprigs  fresh oregano 
  • 1  lemon  (quartered)
  • 1  orange  (quartered)

Items that you'll need:

  •  Foil 
  •  Kitchen string 
  •  Large - heavy roasting pan 
  •  Meat thermometer 

Instructions

  1. Brine and prepare the turkey:
  2. Brine the turkey according to package directions or search on the blog on how to dry-brine your turkey. Plan at least 1 day for this step.
  3. Once ready to cook, pat dry the turkey and season the cavity generously with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.

Butter Mixture:

  1. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients listed under this section. Stir until smooth.
  2. Gently push your fingers under the turkey skin, lift and separate the skin from the turkey breast. Separate as much skin as possible, don't rush and be careful not to tear the skin.
  3. Stuff 2/3 of the butter mixture under the skin and use the remaining to massage it on top of the skin all over the turkey.
  4. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and generously season with sea salt and ground black pepper for a crispier skin.

Stuffing:

  1. Stuff the turkey with all the listed ingredients under this section.
  2. Cross the turkey legs and tie them together.

Roast:

  1. Preheat the oven to 430 degreed Place the oven rack in the lower part of your oven so the turkey fits in.
  2. Place an oven-safe meat thermometer into the bird, just beneath the drum stick.
  3. Roast uncovered in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove turkey from the oven and baste with the juices from the pan.
  5. Reduce oven to 360 degrees F, cover turkey breast with foil and bake for another 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the temperature in the breast reaches 160 degrees F.
  6. Uncover, baste again and let it brown or use the broil function to make the skin crispier. Careful to NOT burn the bird.
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil loosely and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
  8. Transfer the bird to a serving plate, decorate with fall veggies, fruits, and fresh herbs.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Calories: 630 Carbohydrates: 5 Protein: 71 Fat: 36 Saturated Fat: 15 Cholesterol: 273 Sodium: 982 Potassium: 814 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 2 Vitamin A: 1075 Vitamin C: 14 Calcium: 76 Iron: 4
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Comments

Leave a reply

Rimmy

How to calculate the correct time to finish the perfect roasted turkey? I try more time but I usually mess it up to overroasted :(.

Reply

usually depends on how many pounds and keep a meat thermometer handy, its how you will know when the turkey is done.

Reply

Brianne Tursi Manz

There's not much I don't love about Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is one the top faves, and getting it to not be dry is a challenge. This is a great post to save for Thanksgiving.

Reply

Melissa Chapman

Thanksgiving is a great American day even if they did not originally eat turkey. Making a good turkey is so important for a big Thanksgiving crowd.

Reply

Amber Myers

Oh yum, I just love turkey. I will have to try this recipe. It looks incredible.

Reply

Amy

I cannot wait to enjoy Turkey for Thanksgiving. I cannot believe it is already next month.

Reply

Heather

My mouth is officially watering. I can't wait for Thanksgiving. I'm going to eat all the turkey!

Reply

Lisa Joy Thompson

I absolutely LOVE turkey dinners. A few years ago, we bought a turkey roaster and it has been a total game changer for us. We started roasting a turkey once or twice a month. It's a delicious protein that can be added to so many recipes.

Reply

Kathy

That looks so good. I love turkey! I can't wait to make it for Thanksgiving too. I think I'm going to have to try out this recipe and see how it is. Sure sounds delicious.

Reply

Terri Steffes

Ah the favorite during this season! It's so nice to learn more about how to pick a good turkey and how to prepare it the best way possible.

Reply

Jamie H

How interesting! I've never flipped my turkey before, but this looks like it turns out great, so I may have to give that a try!

Reply

Sherry

I can't wait to have some turkey. The aroma alone gets my mouth watering. Our Thanksgiving is Oct 14th so I'll be having some soon enough.

Reply

Ruth I

A very special dish that I can try this holiday season. We like eating turkey but never tried to cook it. Thank you for the recipe!

Reply

Fatima Torres

This oven roasted turkey dish will come in handy for Thanksgiving. We might be stuck making the turkey again this year, and this will be perfect to try something new.

Reply

Wren LaPorte

That looks delicious! I have not made a turkey in a long time and this makes me want to try it again!

Reply

Tammy

There is nothing better than a good roasted turkey or chicken. Your recipe sounds so good.

Reply

Bellab

Yumm!!! turkey is my favourite thing ever. i need to try this recipe soon

Reply

Victoria

This looks delicious. While I do handle most of the cooking in my house, turkey and other big meats I leave for my partner.

Reply

Gervin Khan

Honestly, I am so excited for the holidays because roasted turkey are available in every relatives house. This recipe of yours looks really delicious and it's really makes my mouthwatering!

Reply

Marysa

With Thanksgiving coming up, this is a great overview of cooking turkey. I think we try a different method every year and it is nice to know what works well.

Reply

Paula Schuck

That turkey recipe is GOLD. I love a good turkey a few times a year and this is the month for that! Saving this for later. Pinned.

Reply

Agnes Dela Cruz

It's the time of the year again where you can dig up your family's turkey recipe! The best holiday season ever.

Reply

Mama Maggie's Kitchen

This would be perfect on Thanksgiving family dinner! Your Oven Roasted Turkey looks really delicious. My husband will love this.

Reply

Lyanna Soria

That roasted turkey looks absolutely delicious! I must try out this recipe someday. I can't wait for Thanksgiving and all those delicious treats prepared including this.

Reply

Tasheena

Thanks for providing this tutorial. This would be perfect to add to my menu plan for the upcoming week.

Reply

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