Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe - melissassouthernstylekitchen.com (2024)

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This juicy Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe is made using a dry brine. The flavorful rub, combined with the citrus herb butter, lends both smoky and citrus notes to the overall flavor.

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Best Ever Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Roasting a whole turkey seems to intimidate many cooks. It could be that, the sheer size is generally much larger than an everyday chicken and if not handled properly, it can be dry. There are many different cooking techniques, wet brines and seasoning blends you can use. Each one claiming to be the “secret” to the best turkey and admittedly, it can be a little overwhelming. I utilize different techniques, depending on the flavors I want to shine through, and this recipe is one such variation in my turkey arsenal.

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How to Make the Best Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Oven Roasted Turkey: 12-14 pound whole bone-in turkey, salt, sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic powder, black pepper and poultry seasoning. You’ll also need chicken stock, onion, orange wedges, sprigs of thyme, sage and rosemary, butter, honey, orange zest and a bulb of fresh garlic.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large turkey roasting pan or a large pan fitted with an oven safe rack, a small bowl to mix together the dry rub, a sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons. You’ll also need a carving set to carve the turkey.
  • The turkey should be fully thawed before rubbing with the seasonings. Rinse, remove giblets and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Can you use a fresh turkey? Of course! The technique and seasoning would be the same.
  • This recipe utilizes a dry brining technique. In other words, the turkey is rubbed with a seasoning blend then chilled for 24 hours before roasting. Whether you use a dry brine or a wet brine, 24 hours is a good rule of thumb for the amount of time it needs to permeate and flavor the turkey.
  • It’s preferable to bring the turkey to room temperature before placing it into the oven. This will allow for more even cooking.
  • The addition of honey in the citrus herb butter balances the flavor without making the turkey or drippings sweet.
  • You should always adjust the roasting time depending on the size and weight of the turkey you’re cooking. See more turkey roasting tips from Butterball here.
  • Check the temperature of the turkey before removing from the oven. Insert a thermometer into the deepest portion of the thigh. Keep in mind, it will continue to rise as it rests on the counter.
  • Allow time for the turkey to rest after baking, to reabsorb juices.
  • Store leftover easy Oven Roasted Turkey chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or cool and freeze for up to 2 months.
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Southern Style Side Dishes to Serve with Oven Roasted Turkey

I get as excited about the side dishes as I do the actual turkey on Thanksgiving, Maybe even more so. Some of our favorite holiday side dish recipes:

  • Southern Cornbread Dressing is how my Mom showed me to make and it’s still my favorite year after year.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole is an absolute must on the holiday table.
  • Buttermilk Ranch Mashed Potatoes are creamy and full flavored.
  • Scratch made Green Bean Casserole.
  • Scalloped Corn is a popular side dish that goes well with Thanksgiving dishes, Christmas or Easter ham.
  • Fluffy homemade Honey Yeast Rolls.
  • Cranberry Apple Chutney is just the ticket if you’re not fond of the canned version.
  • Stuff leftover turkey into these fluffy Honey Yeast Rolls for a snack.
  • Cheesy Baked Asparagus is a stellar addition to any special occasion menu.
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Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Prep Time25 minutes mins

Cook Time3 hours hrs

Stand time20 minutes mins

Total Time3 hours hrs 45 minutes mins

Course: Main Course, Poultry

Cuisine: American

Keyword: best-roast-turkey, oven-roasted-turkey-recipe

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 114kcal


  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 12-14 lb thawed turkey giblets removed, rinse and pat dry
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 1 medium orange quartered
  • 1 small bulb garlic top cut off
  • 1 bunch each fresh sage, rosemary and thyme (Reserve 1 Tbsp thyme leaves for butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest


  • In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and black pepper.

  • Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat on the breast, Season with rub under the skin. Use remaining on all sides and interior of turkey.

  • Place turkey into a dish or on a rimmed pan, cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

  • To prepare: Remove turkey from fridge 1 hour prior to roasting. Set oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a roasting pan fitted with rack, with cooking spray.

  • Center turkey on rack. Tie legs using kitchen twine and tuck wings under. Pour stock into pan.

  • Place onion, orange, sage, rosemary and thyme with garlic inside turkey. Sprinkle breast with additional salt and black pepper if desired.

  • Mix together butter, honey, reserved thyme and orange zest. Drizzle 1/3 over turkey.

  • Roast turkey for about 2 1/2 hours total, depending on weight. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165-170°F. Check at 1 1/2 hours, drizzle with 1/3 reserved butter and lay foil on top to prevent over browning.

  • Transfer to a platter brush or drizzle with remaining citrus herb butter, Cover loosely with foil. Rest for 20 up to 30 minutes.

  • To make gravy, pour pan juices into a saucepan, bring to a boil. You may add more chicken stock, if needed. Whisk in a flour slurry, of all purpose flour and chicken stock (or milk) whisking until smooth. Cook whisking until thickened then immediately lower the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm until serving.


As the citrus herb butter sits it will solidify. Warm in the microwave for a few seconds as needed.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 130g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 517mg | Sodium: 1199mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe - melissassouthernstylekitchen.com (2024)


How to cook a turkey in the oven Paula Deen? ›

Roast for 18 minutes per pound (for a 12-pound bird that’s roughly 3 1/2 hours). The turkey is finished roasting when the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 °F and the juices run clear. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and rest for 20 minutes before carving.

How does Martha Stewart roast a turkey? ›

Roast 1 hour, then baste every 30 minutes with pan liquids, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 125°F, about 3 hours. Remove foil; raise oven heat to 400°F. Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until thigh reaches 180°F, 45 to 60 minutes more.

Should a turkey be roasted in the oven covered or uncovered? ›

To achieve a perfectly golden, juicy turkey, let the bird spend time both covered and uncovered in the oven. We recommend covering your bird for most of the cooking time to prevent it from drying out; then, during the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, remove the cover so the skin crisps in the hot oven.

How to cook a turkey in the oven Jamie Oliver? ›

Preheat your oven to full whack, get the turkey in the roasting tray and cover with foil. As soon as it goes in the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. As a rough guide, you want to cook the turkey for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, so a 7kg turkey will want about 4 to 4½ hours in the oven.

What not to do when cooking a turkey in the oven? ›

9 Mistakes That Could Sabotage Your Thanksgiving Turkey
  1. You put a cold turkey in the oven. ...
  2. You don't season all parts of the turkey. ...
  3. You're not using a roasting rack. ...
  4. You open the oven door too much. ...
  5. You cook your stuffing inside the turkey. ...
  6. The oven is too hot. ...
  7. You don't use a meat thermometer.
Sep 1, 2020

What is the trick for baking a turkey? ›

10 tips for the juiciest, tastiest turkey you've ever made
  1. Don't overspend on the turkey. ...
  2. Mix the stuffing at the right time. ...
  3. Choose the right roasting pan. ...
  4. Consider adding aromatics. ...
  5. Cover with foil very tightly. ...
  6. Let the turkey rest.
Nov 18, 2021

Should I put butter or oil on my turkey? ›

Don't butter your bird

Placing butter under the skin won't make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.

Should you cover a turkey with aluminum foil when roasting? ›

To Cover Or Not To Cover

So, yes, you do want to cover the turkey with foil to give it a chance to roast without getting dry. But then, towards the end of the cook time, remove the foil so the skin—the best part in this writer's opinion—gets a chance to crisp up.

How does Gordon Ramsay keep the turkey moist? ›

Ramsay's key for a guaranteed delicious and juicy turkey is a parsley and garlic butter that gets generously slathered both under the skin and on top of the turkey. While the turkey is cooking, you'll want to baste the bird with the melted butter pan juices to ensure a crispy skin while cooking.

What is the best temperature to roast a turkey? ›

What Temperature to Cook the Turkey? Cook your turkey at 325 degrees F for most of the cook time; in the final 45 minutes, remove the cover or foil tent from the turkey, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and baste the bird with butter.

Should you put water in turkey roasting pan? ›

"Often, consumers will inquire about adding water to the bottom of their roasting pans. We do not recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan. Cooking a turkey with steam is a moist heat-cook method and is acceptable, sure, but is not the preferred method for cooking your turkey."

What are 2 ways to keep turkey from drying out? ›

5 Ways to Prevent Your Turkey from Drying Out
  1. Cook Pieces Instead of a Whole Turkey. ...
  2. If Cooking a Whole Turkey, Buy Frozen. ...
  3. Ditch the Plastic Pop-Up Timer; Use an Instant-Read Thermometer Instead. ...
  4. Elevate the Legs. ...
  5. Let the Turkey Rest.
Nov 1, 2022

How does Gordon Ramsay cook a turkey? ›

Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.

How do you keep turkey moist out of the oven? ›

To do so, remove the turkey from the oven when it's done cooking and let it cool down for about 20 minutes. If you cover it right away, the trapped heat will continue to cook your bird and will result in overcooked (aka dry) meat. After 20 minutes, cover the turkey with foil and then place a kitchen towel on top.

What to stuff a turkey with for flavor? ›

Add halved onions, carrot chunks, celery and fresh herbs to the cavity of your turkey, inserting them loosely. These flavor builders are the base of stock and most soups. As your turkey cooks, they'll steam and infuse your bird with moisture and flavor.

Do you put water in the pan when cooking a turkey in the oven? ›

Make sure to season a bit inside the cavity as well. You can pour a little of water in the bottom of the roasting pan, but keep in mind the turkey will release drippings as well as it cooks. However, if you're making gravy, it's best to add about a cup of water to the roasting pan.

Do you need to add water when baking a turkey? ›

Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. Place breast, skin side up, on a flat roasting rack in a 2-inch deep roasting pan. Do not add water to pan. If you don't have a roasting rack, crunch aluminum foil into a coil or use vegetables like carrots to keep your turkey off the bottom of the pan.

Do you put water in the pan when baking a turkey? ›

Add about 1/2 inch of liquid (water or stock) to the roasting pan. This will keep the oven moist and the turkey juicy. This aromatic liquid can be used to baste the turkey while it cooks (there is a debate about whether basting does anything, but it's part of the tradition).

What temperature do you cook a turkey covered or uncovered? ›

Plan on between 2 and 2 ½ hours total for a 14- to 16-pound bird. Start at a high temperature (450°F for 45 minutes), then reduce to 325 degrees F. Let the turkey rest (30 minutes). Cover the turkey with aluminum foil to help it retain heat.

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