The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

the best turkey recipe cooking turkey for the holidays

Cooking the best turkey recipe does not have to be difficult! This easy recipe for turkey uses limited ingredients, requires just a few steps, and can be easy enough for a new cook!

We took all of the guess work out cooking turkey, so you have a perfect holiday main course without all the difficulty.

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

Along with this easy recipe for turkey, you’ll learn the cooking time for turkey (for all sizes). How often you should be basting a turkey recipe for Thanksgiving, or any holiday meal. And how to cook a turkey without adding extra calories.

We took all of the oil out of this best turkey recipe, and instead baste it in the fat it renders as it cooks. This results in a perfectly crispy, low calorie baked turkey recipe that everyone will love.

Your guide to cooking turkey, including turkey cook time for all weights, and even a shopping list can be found below…

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

Roasting a turkey is a daunting task the first time, that’s why these thanksgiving turkey recipes have been made extra simple, with limited ingredients and easy to follow directions.

The first time I roasted a turkey I was terrified, but now it’s my favorite thing to cook. I often make a turkey a week once they are available at the store during holiday season.

I have made harder turkey recipes, including brining a turkey (recipe is in my cookbook Lose Weight By Eating) and I have whipped it up fast and easy like this best turkey recipe. Trust me, I will show you this large dish is much easier to make, and can even be fun!

Here’s What You’ll Find in this Article:

  • Ingredients for Roasted Turkey (shopping list!)
  • How to Cook Turkey
  • Turkey Cook Times
  • The Best Turkey Recipe (recipe card!)
  • Roast Turkey Calories and Nutrition

This article will supply you with all the information you need to roast turkey! From turkey cooking time, to a shopping list, and even a printable recipe card… You’ll be all set for the holidays with this recipe!

Recipes for turkey don’t have to be difficult… this super easy recipe for turkey is easy enough for new cooks!

Ingredients for Roasted Turkey

I like to keep the ingredients for roasted turkey simple, and minimal. This helps save money, time, and for new cooks, it makes the recipe much easier.

Plus, turkey has such a wonderful flavor on its own… You don’t need to add a lot of ingredients to make baking a turkey delicious.

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

In the following section we will discuss how to cook turkey in the oven, but before we get there, we need to discuss the ingredients for turkey cooked in the oven.

I recommend you take a screen shot on your phone so you have this shopping list available to you the next time you go grocery shopping.

Shopping List for Cooking a Turkey Recipe:

  • Turkey (any size)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary
  • Sage leaves

In the next section we will discuss how to prepare a turkey, and further down you’ll find turkey cook time for all weights.

In the next section you’ll learn how to cook turkey recipes to perfection…

How to Cook Turkey

Whether you’re making a turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just as a weekend dinner, these easy directions will help you make the best turkey recipe ever!

Below you will learn how to make a turkey, and in the section below you will find turkey cook times.

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

Thanksgiving turkeys have never been easier… Try this easy recipe for turkey in the oven today!

How to Make a Turkey:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place the turkey in a roasting pan.
  2. Remove any giblets from the inside of the turkey, then sprinkle salt and pepper all over the outside of the turkey.
  3. Use a find cheese grater to zest the lemon (I do this right over the turkey) and sprinkle all over the turkey. Cut the lemon into 6 wedges and place inside the turkey cavity.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary, and sage to the turkey cavity and place in the oven.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and roast for 2-5 hours, according to the times below. When the internal temp is 165 degrees, the turkey is done cooking.
  6. Baste the turkey every 30-60 minutes, both all over the outside, and inside the cavity.
  7. Allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

The next section will supply you with turkey cook times, and below that you’ll find a sharable recipe card with all of the measurements, directions and Turkey cook times in one place.

Turkey Cook Times

This easy guide for turkey cook times is based on 30 minutes at 450 degrees, followed by a slow roast at 325 degrees.

See more information in the recipe card below for cooking turkey in the oven…

  • 8-12 pound turkey: about 2 hours
  • 13-16 pound turkey: about 3 hours
  • 17-20 pound turkey: about 4 hours
  • 21-35 pound turkey: about 5 hours

The recipe card below will help you make the easiest turkey recipe ever! It has cook times for all weights, measurements and simple directions to make an easy recipe for turkey.

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

Below you will learn how to cook a turkey to perfection. We’ve kept the directions simple, and the ingredients minimal so even the newest cook can roast a turkey easily and without fuss.

You’ll find all of the directions, measurements and cook times for all weights, and in the section below you’ll even find a nutrition label so you can stay on diet… Even during the holidays!

The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

The Best Turkey Recipe

Lose Weight By Eating
This is the best turkey recipe for the holidays. It's simple and easy, and doesn't call for too many ingredients.
Cooking turkey for the holidays can be easy and fun, follow this easy recipe for turkey and you'll have a perfect holiday meal.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Resting time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course brunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 238 kcal

Equipment

  • turkey baster

Ingredients
  

  • 1 turkey thawed (any size)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 10 sage leaves

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place the turkey in a roasting pan.
  • Remove any giblets from the inside of the turkey, then sprinkle salt and pepper all over the outside of the turkey.
  • Use a find cheese grater to zest the lemon (I do this right over the turkey) and sprinkle all over the turkey. Cut the lemon into 6 wedges and place inside the turkey cavity.
  • Add the garlic, rosemary, and sage to the turkey cavity and place in the oven.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and roast for 2-5 hours, according to the times below. When the internal temp is 165 degrees, the turkey is done cooking.
  • Baste the turkey every 30-60 minutes, both all over the outside, and inside the cavity.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Turkey Cook Times:

  • 8-12 pound turkey: about 2 hours
  • 13-16 pound turkey: about 3 hours
  • 17-20 pound turkey: about 4 hours
  • 21-35 pound turkey: about 5 hours

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 41gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2.3gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 417mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gCalcium: 4mgIron: 14mg
Keyword holiday meal, Main Course, turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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The Best Turkey Recipe | Cooking Turkey for the Holidays

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