Beautiful, Moist, EASY Roasted Turkey Recipe

Beautiful, Moist, EASY Roasted Turkey Recipe

They say a picture speaks 1,000 words so I will let this year’s turkey do the talking for me.  Hold on a minute while I lick my computer screen won’t you? ;)

 Roasted Turkey

Have I ever told you that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday?  I love that we’ve settled back into a routine – school and sports and homework and dinners.  I love that there aren’t any gifts associated with the holiday other than the gift of our family and friends’ company.  I love the changing colors and crisp temperatures.  I love that dinner tables around the country are surrounded by people coming together in gratitude not expectation.  


I know that you can have Thanksgiving without turkey, but for many of us the Turkey is a staple in our Thanksgiving lineup. In fact my family roasts two turkeys, one for eating and one for leftovers to send home with people.  Brilliant, right? 

The kids are with their Dad for Thanksgiving this year, so I made our Turkey early this week so we could share it together (and stuffing and sweet potato soufflé and cranberry orange relish and…).  

The Turkey came out PERFECTLY!

I had a friend ask me how I made it and after I typed it all up and sent it off to her, I decided I’d share the steps here too in case there are any other people scouring the internet looking for how to tackle the Turkey.  Roasting a turkey can be intimidating the first few times you try it, but a roasted turkey is actually very easy. 

Roast Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

1)  First step is to pick a turkey with one of those turkey popper upper thingamajigs that tells you when it’s done.  Technical term.  

Tip:  If for some reason the turkey you bought doesn’t have one, you can buy them individually at the store.  I highly recommend having one in your turkey.  

2)  Thaw the turkey.  It can take up to 2 days, so plan ahead.  

3)  Rinse the turkey in the sink and remove the neck and gizzards from the cavity (inside) the turkey.  Rinse inside the cavity too and then make sure you drain all the water back out.

cleaning a turkey

Tip:  You can boil the turkey neck to create broth and extra meat for the gravy. 

Turkey neck gravy

4)  Look the entire turkey over and remove any pinfeathers that you find (check under the wings, where the legs meet the body, the back, etc.)  Pinfeathers can be white or black and are little feathers that didn’t get out of the turkey skin.  You have to remove them by squeezing the turkey on either side until they pop out.   You can see pinfeathers (black ones) in the red circles below.

turkey pinfeathers

Tip:  It’s a gross analogy, but you get the pinfeathers out the same way you would a blackhead.

5)  Place the turkey breast up in a roasting pan (deep enough to catch all the drippings without spilling) and cover with pats of butter and paprika.  

stuffed turkey

6)  Fill the cavity (body) with your choice of stuffing (I used sausage stuffing) or if you don’t want to stuff it, fill with flavors you want to permeate the turkey – common ones are rosemary, sage, apples, lemons, etc. 

Thanksgiving Turkey

7)  Cover with foil.

turkey foil

8)  Preheat oven to 325 deg F and bake for approximately 20 minutes per pound.  When juices start to gather in the roasting pan (about 1/2 way through), baste the turkey (suck up the juice and put all over the turkey) every 30 minutes or so until done.

 9)  About 45 min before it’s done, remove the foil and allow the turkey to brown.  

Tip:  If the turkey’s gotten brown and the turkey’s done popper thingamajig hasn’t popped yet, re-cover the turkey with foil and continue baking until done.

10)  When it pops, remove promptly from oven (will dry out if cooks longer) and let sit about 10 minutes before carving.  

Roasted TurkeyENJOY! 

 I’d LOVE it if you wanted to PIN this recipe.  Here’s another image if you like this one better for Pinning. 

Turkey Recipe Collage


Happy Thanksgiving!  

2 Responses to Beautiful, Moist, EASY Roasted Turkey Recipe

    • Thank you Chrissy! I think it’s the prettiest ice ever made, abandoning it to tend to a broken arm seems to have done the trick. I don’t recommend it though. ;)

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