This Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey is the ultimate centerpiece on the holiday table. Dressed in herbs and butter while surrounded by tender roasted vegetables, every bite of this Thanksgiving classic is moist and delicious!
The best juicy turkey recipe with butter
This is the best Thanksgiving turkey I’ve ever made! Extra moist and full of flavor, you’re going to fall in love with this Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey on the first bite just like I did.
This juicy turkey is surrounded by butter, herbs, chicken stock, and fresh vegetables in the roasting pan. The drippings naturally moisten and tenderize the vegetables while the butter penetrates through the meat. In just a few hours, this golden brown holiday classic is ready to eat and will please all of your guests.
It isn’t Thanksgiving without the sides! Make it a meal and serve this delectable and moist roasted turkey with Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Amish Potato Stuffing, Butternut Squash Soup, and Green Bean and Potato Casserole.
What’s the secret to cooking a moist turkey?
There are a few secrets to cooking a moist turkey in the oven but the most important may be the temperature at which it bakes. A lower temperature (usually between 325ºF-350ºF) prevents the meat from drying out. As a bonus, I’ve also covered this turkey in butter and foil to seal in the juices!
One of the best things you can do to keep the delicious juices inside of the meat is to rest the roasted turkey when it’s done. A minimum of 10 minutes will do but for the best results, you can leave it as long as 40 minutes.
How to prep a turkey for Thanksgiving
Proper preparation is key to any flavorful, golden brown, and evenly cooked turkey. Follow these tips before you get cooking:
- Using a frozen turkey? Cover it in a plastic bag and leave it in the fridge to thaw over several days (the rule is 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey).
- Let the turkey sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes so it can come down to room temperature. This helps it cook evenly!
- Rinse the turkey under water and dry it well using paper towels. Get into all of its folds and under the wings. The dryer the turkey, the better your butter and seasonings will stick.
- Place it in the roasting pan before seasoning and stuffing.
- Separate the skin from the breast meat so you can season it properly.
How to roast a juicy turkey for Thanksgiving
I made this recipe using a turkey between 12 and 14 pounds. You can keep all of the steps the same if you’re using a heavier or lighter turkey, but make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Remember: cook the turkey for 13 to 15 minutes per pound.
This is how to make a juicy Thanksgiving turkey:
Rub half of the butter underneath the turkey skin and the other half on top.
Pour the chicken broth all over the turkey.
Mix the herbs and seasonings together in a small bowl. Rub them all over the turkey.
Turn the turkey so it’s breast-side up and surround it with the carrots, celery, and onions. Cover the pan with foil.
Roast the Thanksgiving turkey for 3 hours. Afterward, remove the foil and cook until the internal temperature measures 165ºF.
When it’s done, take the roasted turkey out of the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 40 minutes. Slice and enjoy the holidays!
Tips to make the best moist turkey
- Save the drippings! You can use them to make homemade turkey gravy.
- Don’t stuff the turkey. It’s likely that the turkey will be overcooked by the time your stuffing is ready. Instead, cook it separately in a casserole dish (I have lots of stuffing recipes for you to try!).
- For extra flavor, you can add chopped green apples, fresh herbs, onion, or garlic inside the turkey as it cooks.
- The skin should be golden brown when you remove the foil. If it isn’t, continue cooking it covered until the skin is crispy and brown.
- Make an herb butter! Simply mix the butter, herbs, and seasonings all in one bowl and spread it underneath and overtop of the turkey.
- Do you have more leftovers than you know what to do with? Use the turkey in this Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Casserole!
Storing leftover Thanksgiving turkey
To store, keep the sliced turkey in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze, add the sliced turkey to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Enjoy your juicy turkey with these Thanksgiving classics
- Carrot Casserole
- Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
- Green Bean Broccoli Casserole (With Frozen Vegetables)
- Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
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Juicy Thanksgiving TurkeyPrint
- 12 to 14 pound whole turkey neck and giblets removed
- 6 tablespoons butter cut into tablespoon slices
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 5 carrots peeled and chopped
- 4 stalks celery chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and rinse your turkey under water. Put the turkey in a roasting pan.
- Separate the skin over the breast meat and put 3 tablespoons of butter underneath the turkey skin and the other 3 tablespoons on top.
- Pour the chicken broth all over the turkey.
- In a small bowl mix parsley, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub all over the turkey.
- Add carrots, celery and onion in the bottom of the pan.
- Put turkey breast side up, cover with foil and cook for 3 hours. Remove the foil and cook an additional 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.