Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey

Roast turkey recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or any other night of the year!

10 min. prep time
16 servings
343 Ratings


1 (18- to 24-pound) frozen whole turkey
Stuffing, if desired
Grapes, if desired


To Prepare Turkey:

Thaw turkey in original plastic wrapper according to directions below. Keep thawed turkey refrigerated. Do not stuff until roasting time. Roast within 24 hours after thawing. Refreezing is not recommended.

Approximate Thawing Times

8-12 pounds:
4-6 hours in cold water* or 1-2 days in refrigerator

10-16 pounds: 6-8 hours in cold water* or 2-3 days in refrigerator

16-20 pounds: 8-10 hours in cold water* or 3-4 days in refrigerator

20-24 pounds: 10-12 hours in cold water* or 4-5 days in refrigerator

*Change water frequently to keep cold.

Remove turkey from plastic bag. Remove neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey thoroughly in cold water; drain well.

Stuff neck and body cavities lightly (about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey).

Fold neck skin to back of bird and secure. Fold wing tips under back or tie to body. Tuck tail into body cavity. Tie legs together.

To Roast Turkey:

Heat oven to 325°F. Place turkey, breast-side up, in shallow pan; brush with melted butter.

Roast turkey according to directions below.

If using a standard meat thermometer, insert into thigh muscle next to body, not touching bone. Turkey is done when meat thermometer reaches 165°F.

Giblets, except liver, may be cooked over low heat in salted water for 2-2 1/2 hours; add liver for last half hour. Use cooked, chopped giblets in gravy or dressing.

Approximate Roasting Times

8-12 pounds

Unstuffed: 2 3/4-3 hours; Stuffed: 3-3 1/2 hours

12-14 pounds

Unstuffed: 3-3 3/4 hours; Stuffed: 3 1/2-4 hours

14-18 pounds

Unstuffed: 3 3/4-4 1/4 hours; Stuffed: 4-4 1/4 hours

18-20 pounds

Unstuffed: 4 1/4-4 1/2 hours; Stuffed: 4 1/4-4 3/4 hours

20-24 pounds

Unstuffed: 4 1/2-5 hours; Stuffed: 4 3/4-5 1/4 hours

Recipe Tip

Roasting time will be shorter or longer than indicated on the chart if turkey is warmer or colder than refrigerator temperature.

Read more about this recipe on Recipe Buzz® Blog.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving)

Calories: 470

Fat: 22g

Cholesterol: 185mg

Sodium: 150mg

Carbohydrates: 0g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: 64g

Recipe #4224©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

I am not sure how big a turkey to get this year for Thanksgiving. I am planning on about 12-15 people and would like to have leftovers. Is there an easy way to determine the right size turkey to purchase?
Wonderful, brown, moist...tasty
I have used this way of fixing a turkey for over 30 years. It is so easy. I have graduated from the oven to an electric roaster - this leaves the oven free for the rolls, pies, and everything else.

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