Thanksgiving Tips: 3 Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

As a mother, I’ve decided I want to find the perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe and this is no easy feat for a few reasons. Once reason is that I only cook turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas so that only gives me two chances each year. The second challenge is that there are hundreds of turkey recipes out there! I have no idea how to choose and everyone I know swears by a different recipe. The important thing for me is that it must be fairly simple and easy! So, I plan to try a different recipe for each turkey until I happen upon our favorite. I thought I would share a few I’m considering this year. I have also gathered 5 tips for roasting your Thanksgiving Turkey so check them out!

3 Easy Turkey Recipes

World's Simplest Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes1. World’s Simplest Turkey

The Food Network claims that this is the World’s Simplest Turkey recipe and that title definitely tempts me!


Chopped onions
Chopped carrots
Apple pieces
Herbs to taste
Melted butter
Salt & Pepper
Aluminum Foil


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pull the neck and giblets out of the cavity. Throw away the liver and save the rest of the giblets for gravy.
  2. Dry the turkey with paper towels, then season inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the turkey with aromatics like chopped onions, carrots, apples and herbs, then place breast-side up in a roasting pan and brush with melted butter.
  3. Tent with foil and roast for 2 hours (for a 10 to 12 pound turkey; add an extra 15 minutes per pound for larger birds). Remove the foil, baste with more melted butter and crank the oven to 425 degrees F. Roast for another hour or until the meat at the thigh registers 165 degrees F.
  4. Let rest while you make the gravy.

thanksgiving turkey recipes

2. Easy Herb Roasted Turkey


1 (12 pound) whole turkey
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Clean turkey (discard giblets and organs), and place in a roasting pan with a lid.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, ground sage, salt, and black pepper. Using a basting brush, apply the mixture to the outside of the uncooked turkey. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover.
  3. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 180 degrees F. Remove bird from oven, and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes3.  Easy Dry Brined Turkey

I have never brined anything before in my life but after reading this recipe, it sounds like something I could do!

1 (12 to 16 lb.) turkey, thawed
1 Tbs. kosher salt for each 5 lbs of turkey
1/3 cup melted butter


  1. Have the turkey thawed and ready to go four days before you plan to cook this Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Remove giblet packet.
  2. Sprinkle entire turkey with salt, using 1 Tbs. of salt for each 5 lbs. of turkey. Concentrate the bulk of your salting on the thickest parts of the turkey: the breast and the thigh sections. Also sprinkle inside the cavity.
  3. Place turkey in a large resealable bag (2.5 gallon bags should do it). Allow the turkey to sit, brining the refrigerator, for three days.
  4. After three days, remove the bag. You should not be able to see any salt on the surface  of the turkey, which should be moist, but not wet. Allow the turkey to air dry in the refrigerator overnight (for 8 hours or more). This will keep the skin on the turkey crisp.
  5. Before cooking allow the turkey to come to room temperature.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare bird as desired, brush with butter, and cook in a roasting pan with roasting rack, breast-side-down, for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F.
  7. After 30 minutes, flip the bird and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  8. Cook turkey until interior temperature at the deepest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F (about 2 hours and 15 minutes more).
  9. Remove from oven. Let sit for 30 minutes, tented with foil, to settle and allow juices to redistribute.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipe? Do you try different turkey recipes each year or do you stay with one year after year? Have you ever tried any of these?