7 Roast Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving

Classic Thanksgiving Roast Turkey

Claire Cohen

Roast turkey is the most popular dish on Thanksgiving and there is no one way to make it. Each family's tradition and heritage are reflected in its choice of turkey marinades, flavors, spices, and stuffings. Our collection features lots of recipes for the same famous dish so you can choose how you want to present your bird on Thanksgiving. Get some ideas to create a new family recipe!

  • 01 of 07

    Herb Roasted Turkey

    Herb roasted turkey recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

    This whole 14 lb turkey roasts to perfection in just under 4 hours. Use a mixture of herbs and olive oil under the skin and all over the bird to flavor the meat and give it moisture while it cooks. Choose from dried and fresh chives, tarragon, marjoram, dill, and rosemary to make your herb mixture. Using both fresh and dried herbs enhances the flavors.

    Chunks of apples, oranges, and onions go in the turkey cavity to give moisture and flavor. This simple and flavorful recipe is great for those who have yet to attempt making a whole turkey.

  • 02 of 07

    Balsamic and Honey Roast Turkey

    Balsamic and Honey Glazed Roast Turkey

    Linda Larsen

    This wonderful recipe takes you from frozen turkey to a delicious whole glazed bird in a series of easy steps. The instructions give you the choice of whether to use stuffing or not and concentrate on how to make and apply a wonderful balsamic vinegar glaze using honey, orange juice, butter, and thyme.

    For a bird from 12 to 14 lb in size, the cooking time varies but it should be ready in under 5 hours.

  • 03 of 07

    Pavochón (Puerto Rican Roasted Turkey)

    spicy roast turky
    Michael Pohuski/ Getty Images

    Since Puerto Rico became an American commonwealth and adopted Thanksgiving traditions, it has been customary to serve turkey prepared in the way locals prepare suckling pig. In Spanish, turkey is "pavo" and a roasted pig is called "lechón," hence the name "pavochón."

    After rubbing the turkey inside and out with the famous adobo mixture (salt, garlic, oregano, pepper, turmeric, and onion powder), roast it according to the weight of your bird, but for a 12 to 14 lb it should take under 4 hours.

  • 04 of 07

    Classic Turkey Roast

    Thanksgiving roast turkey recipe

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    There are many ways of preparing your turkey before roasting it in the oven, and this recipe gives you a variety of options, letting you choose how you want to present your Thanksgiving table. The cooking times and methods vary depending on whether you're using a stuffed turkey or not. The recipe points out what you need to know from the moment you thaw your turkey.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Spatchcock Turkey

    Spatchcock turkey recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Spatchcocking is basically a butterflying technique for poultry. The backbone is cut out and then the whole bird is flattened, which means this spatchcock turkey will cook at 450 F in about half the time of a regular turkey.

  • 06 of 07

    Roast Turkey With Bacon

    Perfect roast turkey with bacon recipe

    ​​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

    Roasting turkey doesn't need to be complicated. This straightforward recipe uses bacon, pancetta, or prosciutto to prevent the turkey from drying out and to give a lovely flavor to the meat. This particular recipe teaches how to pre-salt the turkey using 1/2 tablespoon of salt per pound of turkey; although it seems like a lot of salt what this does is add flavor to the meat and help the turkey hold on to its natural juices.

    You need 2 days to make this recipe. Once you're ready to roast, simply rub butter and herbs all over the turkey and cover it with bacon. Roast until the meat is safely cooked (between 165 and 180 F at the thickest part of the breast) and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.

  • 07 of 07

    Roasted Turkey

    Roasted Turkey

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This easy recipe also has the instructions for a drippings gravy. Once the turkey is clean, stuff the cavity with onions, celery, carrots, and herbs and use generous amounts of salt and pepper on top of the bird. A buttery mixture with herbs goes on top of the turkey to add flavor and moisture while it cooks in the oven for approximately 3 to 4 hours.

    While the turkey is resting before carving, use the drippings to make your gravy. Mix some of the drippings fat with flour to make a roux, and then add chicken broth and salt and pepper.