Recipe: Step By Step Guide to Roasting a Turkey

There are many ways to cook a Turkey and admittedly, I’ve had a few fails until I found this method - yup, life changing! The results? The most tender, mouth watering, golden Roast Turkey you dream of making. I’m sure you have a tried and true recipe, the holy grail of Roast Turkey, and if that’s the case, Bravo! Do you and stick to what works for you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix - am I right? This post is for the cook who wants to change things up, try something new, or hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.

Alright, enough chatter from me let’s get cooking!


Happy Thanksgiving! xoxox Mary

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Fully roasted turkey with roasted potato and citrus garnish on a square white plate, placed on a checkered tea towel on top of a shiplap shite table.

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Fully roasted turkey with roasted potato and citrus garnish on a square white plate, placed on a checkered tea towel on top of a shiplap shite table.



  • 14-16 pound turkey, fresh or thawed

  • 1 teaspoon salt (omit if turkey has been brined)

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 lemon, quartered

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

  • 1-2 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1-2 sprigs fresh sage

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter


  1. Take your Turkey out of the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before it goes into the oven to bring it to room temperature

  2. Remove the giblet bag from the cavity on the neck end.

  3. Dry the turkey with paper towel, into the cavity of the turkey add salt, pepper, and using your hand rub it into the cavity. Add the lemon, onion (reserving a quarter), fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley into the cavity.

  4. Overlap skin at cavity opening to cover as much of gap as possible; use toothpicks or small skewers, to hold skin in place. Tie legs together with twine.

  5. Insert remaining onion quarter under skin covering neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under turkey body, using them to hold skin over neck cavity in place.

  6. Brush the turkey all over with olive oil or melted butter, and a sprinkle of salt

  7. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey to prevent from burning, make sure both ends of the turkey are closed. Tie the legs with twine. Tip for the neck cavity, insert a quarter of an onion to keep the moisture in the cavity.

  8. Flip turkey over, breast side down, onto the rack in the roasting pan. Brush with olive oil so entire turkey is coated.


  1. Place the turkey into a 400 degree F oven (breast side down) for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 350 degree F and cook for an additional hour for turkeys 14 pounds or larger (45 minutes for smaller turkeys).

  2. After 1 hour remove from the oven and using silicone oven save gloves flip the turkey (breast side up) . If using a digital probe thermometer insert into the thickest part of the thigh. Return turkey to oven and set thermometer to sound at 165 degrees.

  3. To avoid over browning you can tent the turkey the last 45 to 30 minutes with aluminum foil. TIP: When using hearing in place of a visual indicator of doneness use the back of a wooden spoon and tap the skin if you hear a crunch you want to tent your turkey if it still has give no need to tent.

  4. If you do not have a digital probe thermometer. 30 minutes left on your timer insert an instant read thermometer into the thigh of the turkey and determine the raining cook time by how close the temperature is to 165 - 170 degrees F. Also check thickest part of breast--it should be 160 degrees. If not, return to the oven.

  5. Cooking times can vary. 13 minutes cooking time per pound is a good estimate. It should take a 14-16 pound turkey a total of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours to cook. An 18 pound turkey takes closer to 4 hours. These times are ballpark and can vary; that's why using a thermometer is important for determining exactly when the turkey is done.

  6. When fully cooked, remove turkey from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest undisturbed up to 30 minutes.

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