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The Garnished Plate Guide to Cooking a Turkey is the ultimate guide to a fuss-free, simple holiday turkey that your family will love.
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How to Cook a Turkey in the Oven

Are you cooking your first turkey? Or maybe you just want better results? My Ultimate Guide for How to Cook a Turkey in the Oven will have you getting rave reviews this Thanksgiving!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 10
Calories 546kcal


  • oven bags


  • 20 pound turkey
  • 16 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch


  • See post for instructions on thawing and prepping turkey for cooking
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Bring butter to room temperature and add seasonings (can be done up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated until day of, just bring to room temp before using)
  • Slice fruits and add to cavity of turkey
  • Rub outside and under skin of turkey with butter mixture
  • Place in oven bag that has been prepared with flour and slits (see package instructions) and into roasting pan
  • Roast for 2/12 to 3 hours until internal temp of breast is 165 degrees and thighs are 180 degrees
  • Remove and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving
  • Strain all pan drippings and add to a sauce pan
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of water for every cup of drippings and whisk until smooth.  Whisk into drippings and simmer over medium high heat until thickened.  Add salt and pepper as desired.


Nutrition info has been estimated and will vary greatly depending on yield of turkey and whether you eat dark meat and gravy.  Please calculate your nutrition information independently depending on cooked product if this information is important to you.
This recipe is easily scaled down for 10 or 15 pound bird or up for a 25 pound bird.  Just ask if you have questions!!
Oven bags are optional but perfect for keeping turkey juicy
To carve:
  • To carve make sure you carefully cut around the bones to remove the entire breast pieces first.
  • Then slice against the grain at a slight angle.  
  • Remove the wings and legs and then cut as much of the dark meat as you desire as well.  


Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 671mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 29.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2.6mg