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Perfect Turkey Recipe

Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe – Juicy and Easy to Cook

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  • Author: Stephanie Parlegreco
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12-14 people 1x


How to cook a perfect Roast Turkey! With no need to brine, and slathered with a herb butter you will get a moist, juicy, golden, and delicious turkey!


  • 19 lb turkey
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage 


  1. Thaw out the turkey. Keep in mind that it can take up to 3-4 days to thaw in the refrigerator depending on the size of your turkey. It takes about 24 hours for every 5 lbs of turkey to thaw. 
  2. Once thawed and ready to go, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 
  3. Pull the neck and giblets out of the turkey. Either discard or save to add to turkey soup.
  4. Rinse the turkey with cool water. Then using paper towels, pat the whole turkey dry. Your butter rub won’t stick if the turkey skin is wet. 
  5. In a small bowl combine 2 sticks of softened butter, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary, 2 tbsp chopped sage, 2 chopped thyme. Mix together, you might find it easier to use your hands. 
  6. Spread the herb butter all over the turkey. If the turkey is completely covered, then add the rest of the butter to the inside of the cavity.
  7. If you choose to stuff the turkey with any vegetables, insert them into the cavity of the turkey now. 
  8. Tie a string around the 2 legs. It’s ok if you forget this step, but your bird won’t look as pretty but will still taste good. 
  9. By now the oven should be preheated. Put the turkey in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  10.  After the timer goes at 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees for the remaining cook time. 
  11.  The skin should start to get golden brown, but to ensure it doesn’t get burnt, make a tent foil and put it over the turkey. Just lay a piece of foil over the top of the bird. (Check the chart above for cooking times) 
  12.  Check the turkey using a meat thermometer. It needs to be at 165 degrees in the thickest part of the turkey. 
  13.  Take out of the oven and let it rest for 15-40 minutes. 
  14.  Carve your turkey. (See instructions above on how to carve a turkey)


  • See above instructions for how to brine a turkey
  • It takes about 24 hours per 5 lbs of turkey to thaw in the fridge
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity
  • Remove the turkey about 30 minutes before working with it 
  • This is a very important step…after you rinse the turkey, make sure to pat the whole bird dry otherwise your butter rub will not stick to the turkey
  • Don’t stuff the turkey with stuffing. But you can stuff it with vegetables or fresh herbs
  • To make sure you have enough to make gravy, add about 4 cups of water to the bottom of your roasting pan
  • See the chart above for cooking times
  • Using a meat thermometer the turkey needs to reach 165 degrees 
  • You can roast a turkey while still 100% frozen, but it will take about double the amount of time to cook plus you can not start it with any type of rub
  • Cover the turkey with a piece of foil while roasting so the skin doesn’t burn
  • Let it rest on the counter for about 15-40 minutes so the juices soak into the bird
  • For help carving the turkey, see above instructions
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American