Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey. Here is an EASY and Stress-free method to roasting a Turkey! Cooking a whole turkey for Thanksgiving can be intimidating or even overwhelming for some of us cooks, but with shortcuts and no-fuss tips, helps take the pressure out of the holiday!
How to roast a Turkey on Thanksgiving!
Whether it’s your first time making a Thanksgiving turkey or just looking to simplify the cooking process; look no further!
When it comes to roasting a Thanksgiving turkey, my husband Joe does it best! Nothing fancy to his method, just a simple and easy prep to clean and stuff the turkey with a few vegetables and into the oven it goes.
First, forget fussing over complicated garnishes for the turkey and SKIP the multi-step brines and expensive marinades and rubs for the turkey. You can easily choose your favorite spices to make the perfect rub for pennies.
My husband makes the turkey the same way year after year, without any fancy seasonings and without the ‘brine in bag’ for days. And it turns out perfect year after year!
Shortcuts and no-fuss tips to take the pressure out of the holiday!
He simply cleans it, then stuffs the turkey (not with your traditional bread stuffing) with some fresh vegetables: onions, garlic and green peppers.
Stuffing the turkey with fresh vegetables will ensure and keep the turkey moist while it’s roasting in the oven.
Also, he prefers to rub only with extra virgin olive oil all over the turkey, and seasons it with only salt and pepper! That’s it!
Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey is very simple to do and always turns out perfect, super moist and juicy every time!
He believes that slow roasting it in the oven is the way to go. And depending how many pounds the turkey is, it’s always BEST to start in morning so the turkey will be ready to serve in the afternoon.
Then he always make our traditional Italian Stuffing (which is made outside the turkey) and serves it as a side. Making it separately and baking it becomes a stuffing not only amazingly delicious but also better and more healthier as a side. Best part? His stuffing can be made the night before, and reheated before you serve it.
Cook’s Notes on How to Defrost and CLEAN the Turkey – the easier way!
The night before! First thing to do. If frozen, allow the frozen bird to sit inside your sink (while still in the package) to thaw completely over night. Always do this on the “eve” of Thanksgiving.
Or you can thaw the bird in your refrigerator, a few days before, allowing 24 hours for every four pounds, or 4 to 5 days for a 16 to 20-pound turkey.
While it’s still sitting in the sink, remove the bird from its packaging, and remove the neck and bag from inside the turkey’s breast cavity. We discard these items, no need for them.
Rinse turkey in the sink under cold running water for a few minutes, including rinsing the inside as well thoroughly.
Once the turkey is fully cleaned, place the cleaned turkey onto a large work space platter or roasting pan.
Stuffing the Turkey with Vegetables:
Stuff the turkey with one green pepper that has been cleaned, cord and sliced, along with 2 or 3 large onions chopped into large chunks and 4 garlic cloves.
Stuffing the turkey with chunks of green peppers, onions and garlic cloves will not only help keep the turkey moist, it will eliminate the “gamy” taste.
My husband never-ever eats turkey, but this is the one time each year he does.
Some turkeys may have a thermometer inside for it to pop when the turkey is ready, but it’s best to invest in a good meat thermometer for a moister turkey.
Plunge it deep into the thigh and when it reads 165 degrees F, pull the turkey from the oven, and let it rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Also, while everyone is preparing and cooking the night before for the Thanksgiving feast, we find it to be extremely helpful and definitely less stressful if you set your table the night before.
This way if you need or forget anything, like flowers or more napkins, you have the possibility to run out and get them.
I always set the table with plenty of napkins, both fancy cloth for their laps, and paper for those “just-in-case” spills. Besides the food, we’ll have plenty of water and wine on the table.
Next to the turkey, our favorite thing are the sides!
Try some of our favorite side dishes to choose from! You can even make some of these sides the night before and just reheat on Thanksgiving Day!
This holiday, we’d like to say cook as much or as little as you want. Cook the things you feel comfortable with and buy the rest! Don’t feel you have to do it all just because you’re hosting Thanksgiving.
Here’s a GREAT TIP:
Send out emails to guests inviting them to “call dibs” on contributing any favorite sides, desserts or even an appetizer and make Thanksgiving a stress-free fun holiday!
Make this the best Thanksgiving ever… relax and enjoy!
* You can follow along below, or jump down to the bottom of this post for our full recipe card!
Ingredients for Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey:
1 – (12-14 pound) turkey (grain-fed turkey), rinsed, cleaned and defrosted
2 or 3 large onions – peeled, chopped into large chunks
1 large green pepper – cord, chopped into large chunks
4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1 to 2 cups of water or white wine
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove some of the racks to make room, and adjust a rack to the lowest position.
Stuff the inside of the bird with chunks of green peppers, onions and garlic.
Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; breast side up and drizzle generously with olive oil over the bird, and season with salt and pepper. Pour water or white wine into the pan under the turkey.
Cover with foil wrap and place into the oven. Follow the directions on the package for how many hours to cook the turkey, usually 20 minutes per pound. Or when the thermometer reaches the proper temperature, 165 -180 degrees F, depending on size.
UNCOVER the turkey for the last hour. This will give the turkey the chance to get its golden-brown color. Hold onto the foil wrap! You will need to “reuse” it again to cover the turkey once you remove it from the oven to keep it warm and while it sits before carving.
When the turkey is ready, remove it from oven. Set it aside and COVER with foil wrap. Allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. This will allow the bird to retain all its juices and not dry out. Use a large fork or spoon to remove the vegetables from inside the turkey and discard them.
Transfer turkey to a carving board, or serving platter. When carving the turkey, always go against the grain of the meat. Serve!
Serves 8 to 10
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Happy Cooking and Roasting! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
Anna and Liz
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