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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 chicken spice because I think it’s delicious but you go ahead and use any of your favorite poultry spices.
  • Oil – Olive 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 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Coarse, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Servings 1 turkey
Calories 1897 kcal



  • 10-12 lb Organic turkey
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Chicken Spice or use any of your favorite Poultry Spices
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or any oil of your choice
  • Turkey Stuffing


  • First brine turkey over the night using this Easy Brine Recipe for a juicy & moist roasted turkey results. You are welcome to skip this step if you would like, but I would highly reccomend brining turkey before roasting.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Pat dry the turkey using paper towels.
  • 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 Chicken Spice. Mix well.
  • Evenly spread the butter under the turkey skin. Then drizzle olive oil over the top, oil the top skin of the turkey, evenly.
  • Stuff turkey with Bacon Rice Stuffing and tie the legs together using cooking twine.
  • Place turkey into a baking turkey 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. 
  • Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting. Slice and serve warm. Enjoy!


  • Pat dry turkey with paper towel before spreading butter.
  • Before placing the turkey inside the baking bag I like to add toothpicks on top of the turkey to make sure the skin wouldn’t stick to the bag.
  • Also, before placing the turkey inside the baking bag, grease the inside of the bag with oil. It will prevent the skin sticking to the bag while roasting, in result you will get a good looking turkey for Thanksgiving table.
  • Poke the bag few times before placing it into the oven.
  • 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 my name @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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Munchkin Time

Learn more about author of Munchkin Time Blog, she is a mama to 2 beautiful girls and a wife to 1 handsome hunk.

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