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Roast Turkey on a platter.

Classic Roast Turkey Recipe

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 10 minute
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


This easy, classic roast turkey recipe is a simple, fail-proof way to cook a turkey that comes out juicy and flavorful every time in only 5 steps. The turkey is rubbed with a traditional mix of herbs and then oven roasted until golden brown. It's impressive, delicious, and beginner-friendly.


  • 1 (12-22 pound) turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Prepare the oven: move an oven rack to the lowest position possible. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.
  2. Prepare the turkey: take the turkey out of the packaging. Remove the neck & giblets from the inside cavity. Pat dry with paper towels. Stuff with onion and lemon. Tuck the wings under the body and tie the legs with twine (optional).
  3. Add seasoning: Rub turkey with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or butter). mix the seasonings and rub it all over the turkey, adding some under the skin and in the inner cavity if desired.
  4. Roast: cook your turkey in a roasting pan in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes per pound. Tent loosely with foil if it becomes too brown. The turkey is done when the temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and the thigh.
  5. Rest & serve: remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Roasting pan: any roasting pan will do; but a roasting pan fitted with a rack will help keep your turkey lifted above any drippings. Here's our favorite: Roasting Pan.
  • Carving: here's a quick tutorial on how to carve a turkey: Carving Tutorial.
  • Thermometer: an instant-read thermometer is easiest. Here's our favorite: Instant Read Thermometer.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours - 5.5 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: thankgiving, turkey, roast, seasoning, holiday, christmas, rub