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Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

This juicy Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe is made using a dry brine. The flavorful rub, combined with the citrus herb butter, lends both smoky and citrus notes to the overall flavor.

Oven Roasted Turkey

Best Ever Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Roasting a whole turkey seems to intimidate many cooks. It could be that, the sheer size is generally much larger than an everyday chicken and if not handled properly, it can be dry. There are many different cooking techniques, wet brines and seasoning blends you can use. Each one claiming to be the “secret” to the best turkey and admittedly, it can be a little overwhelming. I utilize different techniques, depending on the flavors I want to shine through, and this recipe is one such variation in my turkey arsenal.

Oven Roasted Turkey on a platter

How to Make the Best Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Oven Roasted Turkey: 12-14 pound whole bone-in turkey, salt, sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic powder, black pepper and poultry seasoning. You’ll also need chicken stock, onion, orange wedges, sprigs of thyme, sage and rosemary, butter, honey, orange zest and a bulb of fresh garlic.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large turkey roasting pan or a large pan fitted with an oven safe rack, a small bowl to mix together the dry rub, a sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons. You’ll also need a carving set to carve the turkey.
  • The turkey should be fully thawed before rubbing with the seasonings. Rinse, remove giblets and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Can you use a fresh turkey? Of course! The technique and seasoning would be the same.
  • This recipe utilizes a dry brining technique. In other words, the turkey is rubbed with a seasoning blend then chilled for 24 hours before roasting. Whether you use a dry brine or a wet brine, 24 hours is a good rule of thumb for the amount of time it needs to permeate and flavor the turkey.
  • It’s preferable to bring the turkey to room temperature before placing it into the oven. This will allow for more even cooking.
  • The addition of honey in the citrus herb butter balances the flavor without making the turkey or drippings sweet.
  • You should always adjust the roasting time depending on the size and weight of the turkey you’re cooking.  See more turkey roasting tips from Butterball here. 
  • Check the temperature of the turkey before removing from the oven. Insert a thermometer into the deepest portion of the thigh. Keep in mind, it will continue to rise as it rests on the counter.
  • Allow time for the turkey to rest after baking, to reabsorb juices.
  • Store leftover easy Oven Roasted Turkey chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or cool and freeze for up to 2 months.
how to make Oven Roasted Turkey

Southern Style Side Dishes to Serve with Oven Roasted Turkey

I get as excited about the side dishes as I do the actual turkey on Thanksgiving, Maybe even more so. Some of our favorite holiday side dish recipes:

Oven Roasted Turkey plated

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Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Stand time20 minutes
Total Time3 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best-roast-turkey, oven-roasted-turkey-recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 114kcal


  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 12-14 lb thawed turkey giblets removed, rinse and pat dry
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 1 medium orange quartered
  • 1 small bulb garlic top cut off
  • 1 bunch each fresh sage, rosemary and thyme (Reserve 1 Tbsp thyme leaves for butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest


  • In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and black pepper.
  • Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat on the breast, Season with rub under the skin. Use remaining on all sides and interior of turkey.
  • Place turkey into a dish or on a rimmed pan, cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
  • To prepare: Remove turkey from fridge 1 hour prior to roasting. Set oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a roasting pan fitted with rack, with cooking spray.
  • Center turkey on rack. Tie legs using kitchen twine and tuck wings under. Pour stock into pan.
  • Place onion, orange, sage, rosemary and thyme with garlic inside turkey. Sprinkle breast with additional salt and black pepper if desired.
  • Mix together butter, honey, reserved thyme and orange zest. Drizzle 1/3 over turkey.
  • Roast turkey for about 2 1/2 hours total, depending on weight. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165-170°F. Check at 1 1/2 hours, drizzle with 1/3 reserved butter and lay foil on top to prevent over browning.
  • Transfer to a platter brush or drizzle with remaining citrus herb butter, Cover loosely with foil. Rest for 20 up to 30 minutes.
  • To make gravy, pour pan juices into a saucepan, bring to a boil. You may add more chicken stock, if needed. Whisk in a flour slurry, of all purpose flour and chicken stock (or milk) whisking until smooth. Cook whisking until thickened then immediately lower the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm until serving.


As the citrus herb butter sits it will solidify. Warm in the microwave for a few seconds as needed. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 130g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 517mg | Sodium: 1199mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. The recipe says 1 TBSP, which is pretty clear, but then it says 1 1/2 tsp. Is that 1 1/2 tsp or one 1/2 tsp (meaning 1/2 tsp). When I got to the pepper and it called for 1 1/2 tsp pepper I realized that is A LOT of pepper.

  2. This recipe look delicious.
    How much of the seasonig I need to use for a 20 pound turkey?
    May I use a Probe?
    Thanks very much for your reply

    1. Yes, you can. You may need to adjust ingredient amounts a bit. For the baking time, it depends on weight. Follow the recommendation on the package according to the weight of the turkey breast you use.

  3. 5 stars
    I am going to try this dry rub! I love your other recipes that I have tried. I am looking forward to a yummy Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Melissa I always do a wet brine so would you not recommend the dry rub or maybe leave out salt in dry rub? I really want to season under skin overnight and these seasonings sounds delicious!

      1. If you’re using a decent amount of salt in the brine, you absolutely would need to adapt the dry rub to accommodate to avoid over salting the turkey.

  4. This looks amazing! my turkey has been injected with 8%salt brine already so I want to avoid wet brine this year -I did that last year and didn’t realize it had already been injected with salt and it was too strong. So I want to only try a dry brine. This recipe sounds amazing. Could I use a turkey bag? I used one years ago and loved the results. Thank you!

    1. Hi Tara, sure you can use a roasting bag. In that case, you may want to drizzle with butter at the beginning, and skip halfway through. Reserve some for brushing on at the end of baking.

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