Easy Roasted Turkey

Ever go to Target for batteries and greeting cards, and come away with something entirely different? In my case, yes. All the time. Very rarely, though, is it a 12-pound turkey for just 68¢ per pound. Can you say bargain?

Thawing, dressing, roasting, basting and carving this tasty turkey was a learning experience, and with the help of my husband, a fairly simple one. The turkey turned out amazingly tender, crisp and delicious and if you haven’t made one before, I highly recommend this easy-to-follow recipe from Real Simple, which is also below.

Post-Thanksgiving, this was a fun and easy project and a learning experience for our future Thanksgiving feasts. If you’re planning on making a turkey for Christmas, or if you just want to pick up a bird and experiment like we did, this recipe with super simple guidelines and basic ingredients would be perfect for you.

The turkey was wonderfully tender, flavorful and moist, and served with hot gravy, roasted potatoes and vegetables, our finished product was a celebration in and of itself!

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Print Recipe

Easy Roasted Turkey

Yield: Serves 8 (with leftovers)

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes


1 12-pound turkey, thawed if frozen
12 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
kosher salt
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (if needed)


Heat oven to 375° F. Working on a baking sheet, remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Reserve the neck and discard the giblets. Using a paper towel, pat the turkey dry of juices. Stuff with the thyme and half the onions.

Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips underneath the body (this will prevent them from burning).

Rub the turkey all over with the butter and season with 1 teaspoon salt, making sure to reach the crevices of the legs and wings. Be careful not to tear the delicate skin.

Place the turkey neck, carrots, celery, and remaining onions in a large flameproof roasting pan. Put a roasting rack in the pan and place the turkey on top of it.

Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. (Basting will not make the meat moister, but it will produce an evenly browned skin.)

If the turkey begins to darken and there is still a substantial amount of cooking time left, tent it loosely with foil. If the vegetables begin to scorch, add some broth to the pan.

Continue roasting until the thickest part of a thigh registers 165° F, 2½ to 3 hours. Tilt the turkey to empty the juices into the pan. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 25 minutes before carving.


Adapted from Real Simple