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A whole garlic butter turkey on a white platter surrounded by fresh citrus and herbs

The Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Tender and juicy, with herby citrus flavors and covered in garlic butter, this is truly the Best Turkey Recipe!
Course Dinner, Main, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Keyword best thansgiving turkey recipe, best turkey recipe, thanksgiving turkey, thanksgiving turkey recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 (Depending on size of your turkey)
Calories 586kcal


  • Roasting Pan with Rack (large enough for your turkey)
  • Baking Twine
  • Turkey Baster (optional)


  • 12-15 lb turkey If using a larger turkey, use our cooking chart
  • Garlic butter
  • 1 Orange halved
  • 1 Lemon halved
  • 1 Onion halved
  • Several sprigs of fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme
  • Baking twine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon flour


  • Preheat your oven to 425°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Rinse and pat turkey dry with paper towels.
    Remove neck and giblets, gravy packet, or any packages inside the cavities of the bird. Check the large cavity as well as the neck cavity.
    For the turkey seasoning, you will need to make our Herb Butter Rub. It’s just 3 ingredients and takes only a few minutes to mix together!
    Garlic Butter in a white bowl
  • Carefully lift up the skin, separating it from the breast as much as you can. The back of a spoon works well for this. Season underneath with garlic butter.
    Rub the outer skin all over with more garlic butter. You don’t have to use it all: the leftover butter is perfect for buttering rolls, or on vegetables, or potatoes! You can also freeze the extra.
    Rubbing garlic butter on and under skin of turkey for Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
  • Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, onion, and herbs.
    Turkey prepped and ready for over for Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
  • Tie the legs with cooking twine and transfer to a rack set inside a roasting pan. Tuck the wings underneath so they don’t burn – this is important!
    Pour 2 cups chicken broth into the roasting pan and transfer to the oven.
    Up close turkey with the legs tied with twine
  • Roast the turkey for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
    After the first hour of roasting the turkey, baste it every 30 minutes. Tent the turkey with foil if the skin becomes deep golden brown before the turkey is cooked through. You can also cover just the parts that are browning too quickly.
    Basting a turkey as it cooks on a roasting pan
  • Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh joint registers 160°F.
    Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a carving board. The turkey will continue cooking and should reach 170°F. Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
    Thanksgiving turkey roasted on a pan with a rack
  • To make gravy from drippings, place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat (or transfer juices to the saucepan if you prefer). Add 2 cups of the remaining broth to the pan drippings and bring to a simmer. Skim off all but 1-2 tablespoons of the fat, depending on the size of your bird. Combine milk and flour in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. Whisk the milk mixture into the gravy and simmer, stirring continuously until the gravy thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
    Thanksgiving turkey recipe on a white platter with herbs and citrus next to a gravy boat filled with turkey gravy


  1. Turkey Breast: You can use a turkey breast in place of a whole turkey for this recipe.
  2. Garlic Butter: Trust us, once you try this garlic butter spread on your turkey, you will never go back to traditional roasting. It makes the juiciest turkey you will ever try. 
  3. Carving Turkey: When carving the turkey, find the wishbone at the front center of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out.
  4. Slicing Turkey: Slice the turkey breast against the grain. Trust us, this will make a huge difference.


Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 85g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 282mg | Sodium: 793mg | Potassium: 1012mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 4mg