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Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe with Best Turkey Stuffing

If you’re looking for an Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe that results in a moist succulent turkey with perfectly seasoned crispy golden skin, this may very well become your new favorite recipe.

Learning how to prepare a turkey for thanksgiving from scratch doesn’t need to be overwhelming or complicated. All you need is a turkey (go figure), an easy brine (not a must but highly recommended), a few simple seasonings, and bacon rice stuffing that your crowd will love!

Serve your roasted turkey with your favorite sides or any of these inspirational and crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving dinner ideas!

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Learn how to make this easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe with simple seasoning, delicious stuffing, and the option of a simple brine! When served with your favorite sides, you’ll have a beautiful Thanksgiving meal all your guests will love!

Not only is my easy-to-follow guide going to give you perfect taste and texture but I am also including incredibly delicious rice and bacon stuffing!

Ingredients Needed

  • Turkey – I opted for an organic turkey, but if that’s not feasible for you, any fresh or a thawed frozen turkey will do.
  • Butter – Softened to room temperature so it’s easily spreadable.
  • Garlic cloves – minced.
  • Salt & pepper – To taste.
  • Seasoning – I used Montreal Steak Spice because I think it’s delicious but you go ahead and use any of your favorite poultry spices.
  • Oil – Avocado oil, or oil of choice.
  • My Turkey stuffing – The BEST ever!

Turkey patted dry with paper towel. Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe with Best Turkey Stuffing.

How to Season Turkey for Thanksgiving

  • Before you begin seasoning it for roasting you want to get it into brine and leave it submerged overnight. Bringing the turkey will not only permeate all of the flavors right down into the meat but it will also help to keep it moist and tender and deliciously juicy!

Butter with spices inside the bowl.

  • Once you’ve removed the turkey from the brine (if you’re using it) be sure to pat it dry. In a bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and whatever seasoning you’re using. 

Butter with spices inside the bowl mixed with a fork.

Mix well using a fork.

Seasoned butter being placed under the turkey skin.

  • Gently lift the skin up using your fingers or a spoon, and pull it away from the flesh of the turkey trying not to rip it. Slather the butter mixture in between the turkey skin and flesh.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe stuffed with turkey stuffing and legs are being tight together with cooking twine.

Stuff turkey with Bacon Rice Stuffing and tie the legs together using cooking twine.

Turkey greased with oil and ready to be placed in a baking bag.

Then drizzle olive oil over the top, then using both hands grease the skin of the turkey, evenly.

Toothpicks added to the top of the turkey, then turkey is being placed inside the greased baking bag.

Instructions for Roasting Turkey

Step 1: Once you’ve seasoned and oiled your turkey, stuff it with stuffing and use twine to tie the legs together.

Step 2: Place turkey in a roasting bag and poke a few holes in it. Transfer to a non-stick roasting pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 2 ½ hours.

Step 3: Check to see if it’s done by piercing the thickest part of the meat and/or around the joints with a knife. If the juices run clear, it’s done!

Step 4: Allow the turkey to rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into it.

Step 5: If top of the turkey starts browing too fast, cover with foil paper. 

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe with Best Turkey Stuffing

Tips for Success

  • When possible, brine the turkey. I promise you, it’s worth that extra step!
  • Pat dry before adding the seasoning. Not only will it help everything to adhere better to the turkey but it will also help get you that crispy outer skin. If it’s too moist going into the oven, you could end up with soggy skin.
  • Using twine to tie the legs together is done to help keep the stuffing inside the bird but also so that the outer extremities aren’t exposed to the heat too much. If they are, they will cook too quickly and possibly burn. Holding them in protects them.
  • Using a roasting bag helps to keep the moisture in. Use toothpicks to help keep the bag from sticking to the turkey and poking the bag helps the steam to escape.
  • Allow the turkey to rest before serving. If you cut into it too soon you’ll run the risk of juices running out leaving the turkey too dry.

When to Defrost Turkey for Thanksgiving

I used a 10-12 lb organic fresh turkey. If you happen to be using one that is frozen, you’ll want to make sure to thaw it first.

For a 10-12 lb turkey, you can thaw it in the fridge for 2 days or thaw it in cold water in the sink for 5 hours.

For every 5 lbs after that, you’ll want to tack on 1 day in the fridge or another 2.5 hours in the fridge. For example, a 15 lb turkey would need 3 days in the fridge and 7.5 hours in water.

A 20 lb turkey would need 4 days in the fridge and 10 hours in the water and so on.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

What are Some Sides to Put with Turkey?

The incredible rice and bacon stuffing is a side in itself! Once removed from the cavity, it’s moist and flavorful and makes a delicious side dish.

Scalloped potatoes, crockpot mac and cheese, and Instant Pot mashed potatoes are always a hit.

Oven-baked asparagus and bacon wraps and grilled broccoli are great veggie options!


Ways to Use up Leftover Turkey?

I love a really good bone broth recipe, especially during the colder months. Using leftover turkey and carcass makes for some of the most deeply flavorful bone broth which has so many healing properties!

Other than that check out more ideas below.


Best Leftover Turkey Recipes:

I enjoy turkey leftovers as much as the next person, but at a certain point, I hit a limit! Then I start looking for other ways to use my leftover turkey and below are some of my kids’ favorites!

Chimichangas are gluten-free and made in just under 30 minutes. One of the most popular recipes here on Munchkin Time Blog!

Creamy Enchiladas are super tasty and made with white cream and lots of cheese!

Fried Cutlets with Green Onion which are made of fluffy dough, cooked turkey (or chicken), and flavor-loaded green onion. My kids love these!

The Best Turkey Stuffing Recipe Ever inside the cooked Turkey.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Love Keil
Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe with Best Turkey Stuffing from scratch. Learn how to roast a turkey from scratch and make the best turkey stuffing.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Coarse, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Servings 1 turkey
Calories 1897 kcal



  • 10-12 lb turkey
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste, skip salt if you brined the turkey
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Spice or use any of your favorite Poultry Spices
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil or any oil of your choice
  • Turkey Stuffing


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Pat dry the turkey using paper towels.
    Turkey patted dry with paper towel.
  • Then, using a mixing bowl add 1 cup of softned butter, salt and black pepper to taste, 5 minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of Montreal Steak Spice. Mix well.
    Butter with spices inside the bowl mixed with a fork.
  • Evenly spread the butter under the turkey skin. Then drizzle olive oil over the top, oil the top skin of the turkey, evenly.
    Seasoned butter being placed under the turkey skin.
  • Stuff turkey with Bacon Rice Stuffing and tie the legs together using cooking twine.
    Turkey greased with oil and ready to be placed in a baking bag.
  • Place turkey into an oven bag. Poke few holes in the bag. Bake turkey in a Non-Stick Roast Pan over 350F for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the turkey is cooked thru and when you cut between the leg the juices run clear. 
    Toothpicks added to the top of the turkey, then turkey is being placed inside the greased baking bag.
  • Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting. Slice and serve warm. Enjoy!
    Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe


  • Use left over turkey to make the most delicious and flavorful Bone Broth Recipe. Check out more best leftover Turkey recipes down below.
When YOU make this Turkey Recipe please tag us on @munchkintimeblog and hashtag #munchkinrecipes on Instagram, we would LOVE to see your creation!
Hi! All content & images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this Easy Turkey Recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.


Serving: 1gCalories: 1897kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 212gSaturated Fat: 120gCholesterol: 488mgSodium: 1624mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5673IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 1mg
Keyword turkey
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Do YOU like this Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe?

Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!


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Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Eileen Kelly

    5 stars
    This is aa perfect recipe for the most delicious turkey, So easy to follow the directions and the family loved the dinner.

  2. 5 stars
    So much flavor in this turkey! Can’t wait to try it this year!

  3. Thank you for the step by step instructions and very helpful pictures! This turkey looks so perfect 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Perfectly roasted turkey sure going to be a star of Thanks giving table. I haven’t made a whole turkey yet. I need to try this , your step by step pictures are really helpful.

  5. 5 stars
    This technique looks so easy! That butter coating sounds like absolute perfection, can’t wait to try!

  6. 5 stars
    We’ve already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving but this is making me look forward to Christmas and all the turkey we’ll be eating. This one looks perfect! And can’t beat an easy recipe when it comes to holiday entertaining!

    • Thank you Leanne! I am so glad you like this easy turkey recipe, it’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration! Also, I had no idea that in Canada you celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than USA, learned something new today! Happy holidays!

  7. Byron Thomas

    I’ve made turkey a few times, but never like this. I love the step by step tutorial – complete with pictures! I’ve never tried the baking bag, but you have convinced me to give it a go. And I’m certainly using all of that butter too!!!

    • Thank you Byron! Glad you like this step by step tutorial with pictures, thats my favorite way of learning how to do things by looking at the pictures! So I am glad you find it helpful! Yes, baking bag and butter makes turkey taste amazing and it get to be infused with juices while roasting. The result – 1 moist and juicy roasted turkey. Cant wait for you to try it!

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