A Thanksgiving or holiday table wouldn’t be complete with a big ol’ juicy and flavorful turkey at the center! This easy, no-fail Thanksgiving turkey recipe will knock your socks off, and be the best turkey you’ll ever serve! This recipe has hundreds of 5-star reviews on YouTube! The secret to this juicy and aromatic turkey is butter, and lots of it! I season the butter with loads of spices, such as smoked paprika, basil, oregano and garlic. This herbed butter is spread underneath the skin and over the top to add moisture and flavor to every bite! This recipe is measured for a 9 pound turkey; adjust the recipe according to the size of your bird. Also, try using this recipe with my ‘Smoked Turkey’ tutorial for a smoky and unforgettable flavor!
*Important* – turkeys need at least 4 to 5 days to thaw in the refrigerator! Make sure you take yours out of the freezer ahead of time!
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I love to stuff my turkey with citrus, such as lemon and orange wedges, to add moisture and a fresh flavor twist. I also add loads of garlic, shallots and big bundle of fresh herbs. You’ll love the aroma of this turkey in the oven! And another great roasting tip: try basting the turkey with more butter as it roasts and add chicken broth to the pan to add extra moisture into the oven. Just brush the turkey with another coat of melted butter at the 2 hour roasting mark and add a cup or two of chicken broth to the roasting pan as needed so your turkey doesn’t dry out!
If you want to make your turkey even more juicy, try brining your bird for 24 to 48 hours using my ‘Apple Cider Turkey Brine’. It’s super easy to prepare and you can have your turkey brining in just 10 minutes. It’s an easy way to add more juiciness and more flavor to any turkey recipe! When brining the turkey, make sure it is completely defrosted first. Plan accordingly and give yourself a few extra days for defrosting!
Use this handy turkey roasting guide to figure out how long you need to roast your turkey based on size in a 350F oven. Use this chart as a guide only! I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure the meat cooks to a safe temperature. The internal temperature should be taken at the thickest part of the turkey, in the thigh and drumstick area. The turkey is ready when it reaches 165F/74C.
Serving Your Turkey!
Presenting your turkey is as important is the baking process! Learn how to carve up your Thanksgiving or Christmas bird like a pro with my step-by-step video turkey carving tutorial! https://tatyanaseverydayfood.com/recipe-items/carve-a-turkey/
- pomegranate segments; mini apples; orange or mandarin slices; orange wedges; cranberries
- shallots, carrots, green onion
- fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage or bay leaves
The Best Gravy!
You can’t serve your amazing, juicy turkey without gravy so I’ve included the most incredible turkey drippings gravy! It’s the one and only recipe I use and it’s so easy to make! Once the turkey is done baking and it’s resting, just strain the turkey drippings using a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. The cheesecloth will catch all the little bits you don’t want in the gravy. Use the drippings for the gravy! It’s that easy and ridiculously delicious!
Enjoy this turkey with some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes you’re sure to enjoy, too!
- How to Smoke a Turkey – use this recipe with my smoked turkey tutorial!
- Check out my Thanksgiving Menu post for all the recipes I enjoy in one spot!
- Buttery Mashed Potatoes – extra creamy and delicious mashed potatoes are a must for the holidays!
- ‘Pomegranate Kale Salad’ is one of my favorites! Refreshing and always a crowd favorite!
- Classic Pecan Pie – my favorite pie made without any corn syrup!
- And these ‘Garlic Bacon Potatoes’ are loaded with fresh garlic and plenty of bacon pieces!
- Sweet Potato Casserole – the BEST ever recipe for this Thanksgiving classic, with homemade marshmallow meringue and brown sugar pecans!
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
I love this large roasting pan with a non-stick rack – perfect for even extra-large turkeys.
Don’t forget a baster to ensure your turkey stays juicy!
Make sure to get these turkey lifters to transfer the bird from the pan onto your carving board.
This cutting board also doubles as a great carving board – my absolute favorite!!
And this Wusthof carving knife is amazing! Or, get a set with a carving fork and knife.
The Best Garlic Butter Thanksgiving Turkey (video)
- 8 to 10 pound turkey, thawed
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- ground black pepper
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 2 oranges, quartered
- 3 to 4 shallots, roughly chopped
- 15 to 20 cloves of garlic
- large bundle fresh thyme and rosemary
- 1/2 cup butter, for basting
- 1 cup chicken broth, for pan
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
- turkey drippings, from pan
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Note: this recipe can be used for larger turkeys, too. Simply increase the amount of stuffing and butter spread, making 1 1/2 portions for a larger turkey.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a large roasting pan. Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the giblets and neck. Place the turkey onto a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Using a small rubber spatula, or the back of a spoon, separate the skin away from the turkey breast, taking care not to puncture the skin.
- Prepare the herbed butter spread. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, salt and all the spices. Mix until well combined. For easier spreading, heat the butter in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until it's a bit runny.
- Using your hands or a small spatula, spread a generous amount of the herbed butter underneath the breast skin, spreading it evenly over the breast. Massage the remaining butter over the top of the breasts, drumsticks and wings. Season the inside cavity with additional salt, then stuff generously full of lemon and orange wedges, shallots and garlic. Add the bundle of fresh herbs, too.
- Cut a 3-foot piece of butcher's twine and truss the turkey by wrapping the twine around the back, then bring it forward, wrap around the drumsticks, then tie the drumsticks together. Transfer the trussed turkey into the prepared roasting pan. Tuck the back wings underneath the turkey so that they don't burn. Wrap the drumstick tips with foil also.
- Bake the turkey in the preheated oven, using my above chart for timing. At the 2 hours baking mark, bast the turkey with the 1/2 cup melted butter using a pastry brush. Pour in a cup or two of chicken broth into the roasting pan, to add moisture to the oven. Continue baking, basting one more time 30 minutes before the turkey is done and once you remove it from the oven.
- I baked my turkey for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, the internal temperature needs to reach 165F. Start checking the temperature with 30 minutes remaining. Remove the turkey from the oven once the thermometer reaches 160-162F, tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. Use a sharp knife and carving fork to carve the turkey.
- For the gravy, strain the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup; I recommend lining your strainer with cheesecloth to catch all impurities. Allow the drippings to stand for a few minutes, until the oil collects at the top. Use a spoon to skim the oil off the top.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the flour. Whisk the flour into the butter vigorously, until smooth. Cook the roux for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the flour to cook. Begin adding the chicken broth, adding it slowly and whisking well after each addition. Add more chicken broth for a thinner gravy. Add the turkey drippings last, whisk and cook for 1 more minute. Keep gravy warm and covered until ready to serve.