How to Cook a Turkey - Easy Turkey Recipe

How to Cook a Turkey – An Easy Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving

Follow this recipe on how to cook a turkey. This easy turkey recipe is not only flavorful and delicious, but the aromas from the fresh herbs will fill your kitchen with warmth and coziness!

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The first time I made a turkey, I searched high and low for the best turkey tips, called seasoned family members, and used trial and error to make the perfect turkey. One year I soaked the turkey in a salt brine, another year cooked it in a bag. Although both methods were delicious, when making an entire meal with many side dishes, you want a quick and easy way to cook a turkey!

After hosting many Thanksgiving dinners, this is now my go to recipe for an easy and juicy turkey each and every time!

Items you will need

First, you will need to get a turkey that will fit the size of your group. The general rule is: for a turkey less than 16 pounds, you will need to estimate 1 pound per serving. You will need to account for seconds and left overs. I would recommend a 12 pounds turkey for 8 people. 

How to Cook a Turkey – Easy Turkey Recipe

Recipe by LillyCourse: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time






  • 12 lb turkey

  • Fresh Herbs – 1 package fresh Sage,

  • 1 package fresh Thyme,

  • 1 package fresh Rosemary,

  • Seasoning – Salt, Pepper,

  • Cinnamon,

  • Seven Spice Mix

  • Melted Butter

  • Lemons

  • Flour for cleaning and prepping the bird


  • If the turkey is frozen, defrost the turkey in the fridge for two days.
  • Clean and season the turkey the day before Thanksgiving. Set the turkey in a colander and place in the sink. Use lemon wedges and scrub the bird. Then scrub with 1/4 cup of flour. This will take away anything on the skin and rinse away the blood and juices, making it extra clean. Rinse well with water on the inside and the outside and leave to drain for a few minutes. If not completely dry, pat dry with some paper towel.
  • Next we season the bird. Put a generous amount of seasoning on a plate. Melt the butter. Arrange the herbs on a separate plate.
  • Use the basting brush and brush the melted butter all over the bird. You can cut slits under the skin to brush the butter under the skin including the cavity.
  • Season the bird all over and inside the skin and cavity with all the spices and then with all the herbs.
  • Optional to stuff the bird with your favorite bread stuffing, rice stuffing, or with carrots, celery, onions.
  • Secure the bird with cooking twine.
  • Cooking the bird in a turkey bag makes it soft and extra juicy! Prep the bag by drizzling a little bit of olive oil in the bag and sprinkling some flour in the bag. This will insure that the turkey will not stick to the back. Shake it up and then place turkey in the bag. Make a few one inch slits in the bag once it is tied and secured. Place the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan.
  • Cook the Turkey for the recommended amount of time on the bag based on the size of the turkey or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Temperature in the oven should be between 325F to 350F.
  • Use the turkey baster a few times during the cooking process to baste the turkey.
  • Once turkey has reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees, it is Donet
How to Cook a Turkey - An Easy Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving

How Long to Cook a Turkey

The general rule is 15 to 20 minutes per pound of turkey when cooking an unstuffed turkey. For a 12 pounds turkey it should take between 3 1/2 – 4 hours.

How to Cook a Turkey - An Easy Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving

What Temperature to Cook a Turkey

We recommend roasting a turkey at a steady temperature of 325º for the entire cook time. This temperature is low enough to prevent moisture from evaporating quickly. It is still warm enough to cook the turkey thoroughly.

How to Cook a Turkey - An Easy Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving

By now, you should have learned how to cook a turkey perfectly. If you found it helpful, please share our easy turkey recipe with your friends or family. Enjoy!

How to Cook a Turkey - An Easy Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving


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