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Roast Turkey
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Perfected
This roast turkey recipe takes all the guess work out of your Thanksgiving Holiday Feast!


One fresh or frozen turkey. See sizes below.

A 15 pound turkey feeds 9-11 people and should roast for 4.5-5 hours at 325.

A 20 pound turkey feeds 12-14 people and should roast for 5-6 hours at 325.

A 24 pound turkey feeds 15-16 people and should roast for 6-6.5 hours at 325.


Figure on 1.5 pounds of turkey (frozen weight) per person if you want leftovers.

Allow 4 days in your refrigerator for a 17-20 pound frozen turkey to completely thaw. If the turkey is still partially frozen on Thanksgiving morning, place the bird in a sink of cold water to thaw. Replace the water in the sink with fresh water every half hour. If you forgot to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, you can thaw a 20 pound bird in cold water in 10 hours. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature!

The cooking times above are for stuffed turkeys. Subtract 30-40 minutes from the total cooking time if you bake your stuffing in a separate casserole dish.


Remove the giblets from the body cavity of the thawed turkey and discard if your not using them for the gravy or the stuffing.

With the turkey laying on it back with the breast side up, loosely stuff the cavity with your favorite family stuffing. Figure on about .75 pounds of stuffing per pound of turkey weight. The stuffing will expand so dont pack it in the cavity.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and twist the wings tips together under the back.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place the turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan with sides less than 2 inchs high.

Brush the turkey with melted butter, cover loosely with a tin foil tent and place in the oven to roast. You can baste the bird from time to time with the pan drippings.

Cut the leg string and remove the tin foil tent for the last hour of cooking. This will allow the bird to become a perfect golden brown color.

According to the USDA Your turkey is safe to eat when the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees at the inner most part of the thigh, however it will be easier to carve and better tasting if you wait for 170 degrees.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before carving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Serves: 9-16
Recipe Origin: United States
Submitted by:
United States
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