The Best Garlic Butter Thanksgiving Turkey


A Thanksgiving or holiday table wouldn’t be complete with a big ol’ juicy and flavorful turkey at the center! This easy, no-fail Thanksgiving turkey recipe will knock your socks off, and be the best turkey you’ll ever serve! The secret to this juicy and aromatic turkey is my herbed garlic butter, and lots of it! Plus, check out my turkey roasting chart and my turkey drippings gravy recipe!

This recipe is measured for a 9 pound turkey; adjust the recipe according to the size of your bird. Also, try using this recipe with my ‘Smoked Turkey’ tutorial for a smoky and unforgettable flavor!

Defrost Your Turkey!!
*Important* – turkeys need at least 4 to 5 days to thaw in the refrigerator! Make sure you take yours out of the freezer ahead of time!

Try Brining the Turkey First!
If you want to make your turkey even more juicy, try brining your bird for 24 to 48 hours using my ‘Apple Cider Turkey Brine’. It’s super easy to prepare and you can have your turkey brining in just 10 minutes. It’s an easy way to add more juiciness and more flavor to any turkey recipe! When brining the turkey, make sure it is completely defrosted first. Plan accordingly and give yourself a few extra days for defrosting!

Ingredients for Garlic Butter Turkey
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the best turkey!

Herbed garlic butter and lots of it!! I season the butter with loads of spices, such as smoked paprika, basil, oregano and garlic.

I love to stuff my turkey with citrus, such as lemon and orange wedges, to add moisture and a fresh flavor twist.

I also add loads of garlic, shallots and big bundle of fresh herbs. You’ll love the aroma of this turkey in the oven!

Chicken Broth: for adding to the roasting pan. It adds extra moisture into the oven.

How to Roast a Turkey

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a large roasting pan. Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the giblets and neck. Place the turkey onto a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Using a small rubber spatula, or the back of a spoon, separate the skin away from the turkey breast, taking care not to puncture the skin.

Prepare the herbed butter spread. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, salt and all the spices. Mix until well combined. For easier spreading, heat the butter in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until it’s a bit runny.

Spread the butter underneath the turkey skin, inside and all over, coating it well. Stuff the turkey with the citrus fruit, garlic, herbs and shallots. Next, use twine to truss the turkey.

TIP: wrap the drumstick tips with foil to prevent them from burning!

Bake the turkey in the preheated oven, using my above chart for timing. At the 2 hours baking mark, baste the turkey with the 1/2 cup melted butter using a pastry brush. Pour in a cup or two of chicken broth into the roasting pan, to add moisture to the oven. Continue baking, basting one more time 30 minutes before the turkey is done and once you remove it from the oven.

Roast the turkey until the internal temperature measured at the thickest part of the thigh measures 165F.

Tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. Use a sharp knife and carving fork to carve the turkey.

Turkey Roasting Guide by Weight
Use this handy turkey roasting guide to figure out how long you need to roast your turkey based on weight/size in a 350F oven. Use this chart as a guide only! I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure the meat cooks to a safe temperature. The internal temperature should be taken at the thickest part of the turkey, in the thigh and drumstick area. The turkey is ready when it reaches 165F/74C.

Serving Your Turkey!
Presenting your turkey is as important is the baking process! Learn how to carve up your Thanksgiving or Christmas bird like a pro with my step-by-step video turkey carving tutorial!

Garnish your turkey platter with lots of color and a variety of fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs. Here are some of the garnishes that I like to use:

      • pomegranate segments; mini apples; orange or mandarin slices; orange wedges; cranberries
      • shallots, carrots, green onion
      • fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage or bay leaves

Turkey Drippings Gravy Recipe
You can’t serve your amazing, juicy turkey without gravy so I’ve included the most incredible turkey drippings gravy! It’s the one and only recipe I use and it’s so easy to make! Once the turkey is done baking and it’s resting, just strain the turkey drippings using a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. The cheesecloth will catch all the little bits you don’t want in the gravy. Use the drippings for the gravy! It’s that easy and ridiculously delicious!

Common Turkey Questions
Can I prepare the turkey ahead of time?
Yes! You can season, stuffed and butter up the turkey the night before and place it onto a roasting pan, then into the refrigerator.

Can I make the garlic butter ahead of time?
Yes, I recommend making the garlic butter ahead of time to save time the day of, especially if you have lots of other dishes to prepare.

Can I use this recipe for a larger turkey?
Yes! This recipe is super easy to adjust up or down depending on turkey size. For an extra large turkey, I recommend making double the garlic butter.

Watch My Turkey Video Tutorial!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for all the details and step-by-step instructions for how to make this amazing Garlic Butter Turkey! Want to receive new recipe notifications? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list on the homepage and to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!



Tatyana Nesteruk

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