Simple Roast Turkey Recipe + More Turkey Ideas


So, you're hosting Thanksgiving this year and don't know how you want to cook the turkey? Don't worry! We've got some great ideas for you below. These will make your kitchen smell amazing as they fill up the house with delicious aromas.

Thanksgiving turkey on a platter surrounded by side dishes.

There is more than one way to do almost everything. This includes preparing a turkey. We all know just how good a slow-roasted turkey from the oven tastes. Let's stick to the basics for an everyday meal, and then go all out for Thanksgiving. When November rolls around, you might want to try Barbecued Turkey or Fried Turkey, heck, maybe even Turducken.

Looking for a Simple Roast Turkey Recipe that works for Thanksgiving dinner or any Sunday dinner during the year? We've got just the thing!

Grilled Turkey

We put everything else on the grill, why not a turkey too? Grilling a turkey gives it a unique flavor and texture much like chicken parts grilled to perfection for a family outing. The difference is that here we are grilling an entire turkey at once. Instead of putting the turkey on the grill slats, it is placed in a baking pan over the flames. This way, the turkey can be basted and seasoned prior to and during the cooking process. As the turkey nears being done, add your favorite sauce to it for an extra kick.

Fried Turkey

Who would have thought you could ever fry a turkey? I don’t know who thought of it, but let me tell you I’m glad they did. A deep-fried turkey is delicious.

Many people think there is not a pan big enough to fry an entire turkey and up until several years ago, they were right.  Not that long ago we started to see turkey fryers everywhere. Using peanut oil in a large frying pot, once the oil reaches a certain temperature, a clean and dry turkey is slowly lowered into it. The turkey can be seasoned beforehand or injected with a marinade to seal in flavor. It takes at least an hour to cook a turkey thoroughly. Depending on your marinade on the outside, the skin will be crispy and dark, but don’t worry. That crunchy and tasty skin hides the most tender, perfectly cooked meat beneath.


What the heck is a turducken? It sounds like something that rises out of the graveyard on Halloween night. Actually, it is a combination of various de-boned fowl: turkey, duck, and chicken. They are all put together and layered with stuffing to create this newest addition to the Thanksgiving table. The turducken looks like a turkey on the outside, but all you have to do is cut into it to see that it is anything but. Those who have tried them, say that turduckens taste great.

Smoked Turkey

If you want a turkey fresh off the coals, try a smoker to cook your turkey this year. The bird is cleaned and seasoned. It can then be injected with a marinade if the cook so chooses. Once the coals have burned hot and come to a temperature that is not so hot it will burn the outside skin, place the turkey on the smoker. It will take several hours for this turkey to cook, but placing a pan of water on the smoker will help hold in moisture and create a juicy yet well-smoked turkey for everyone to enjoy.

Roasted with an Oven Bag

This roasted turkey recipe from Craft Create Cook uses a roasting bag to keep your turkey super juicy and flavourful! No need to keep basting the turkey for hours and cleanup is a breeze!

Simple Roast Turkey Recipe

This is a super simple roast turkey recipe and comes out fantastic every time! Turkey is one of my favorite foods. We eat it here many times a year, not just for Thanksgiving. With the large family we have, it just makes sense to cook a large bird to feed us all.

Plain and Simple Roast Turkey

Any type of stuffing works with this roasted turkey. You don't even have to use stuffing if you prefer not too. It tastes great with or without.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 24
Author Savanah


  • 1 18 lb. whole turkey
  • 5 C of your favorite stuffing
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter softened
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 qt. turkey stock


  • Clean the turkey by removing the neck and giblets and rinsing the turkey with cold water.
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towel inside and outside.
  • Bring the oven temperature up to 325 degrees.
  • Move the rack to the lowest position you can in your oven.
  • Place a roasting rack into a large roasting pan.
  • Stuff the turkey cavity with your favorite stuffing mixture.
  • Rub the turkey skin with the soft butter making sure to cover the whole outside of the turkey.
  • Sprinkle on the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour 2 C of the turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Place the turkey breast side up on the rack in the pan.
  • Make a tent out of aluminum foil to completely cover the turkey but not over the roasting pan.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and allow roasting for 2 1/2 hours being sure to baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the stock in the roasting pan.
  • If the stock should evaporate add 2 C to the roasting pan and continue adding as necessary 1 to 2 C at a time.
  • After 2 1/2 hours remove the aluminum foil and continue roasting for another 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees when inserted into the thigh.
  • Be sure to continue basting every 30 minutes during the last 1 1/2 hour of roasting.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a large platter for at least 30 minutes before carving.
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