Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey
3 Reviews
Roast turkey recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or any other night of the year!
10 min
Prep Time
Total Time
16 servings


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove turkey from plastic bag. Remove neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey thoroughly in cold water; drain well.
  4. Stuff neck and body cavities lightly (about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey).
  5. 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.
  6. To Roast Turkey:
    Heat oven to 325°F. Place turkey, breast-side up, in shallow pan; brush with melted butter.
  7. Roast turkey according to directions below.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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: 33/4-4 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 Tips

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)

Dietary Fiber

Recipe Comments and 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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