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Easy roasted turkey made with garlic, fresh herbs, and butter.

Easy Roast Turkey Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
Making a perfect Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be difficult! Try this Easy Roast Turkey Recipe with butter, fresh herbs, and garlic for a holiday meal everyone will love.
Servings : 8
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Brining Time/Resting Time 12 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 15 hrs 20 mins


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 8 to 10 pound whole turkey, thawed
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, halved
  • sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and divided


Important: Give yourself enough time because you will have to brine the turkey for 12 and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • In a saucepan, warm up 1 quart (4 cups) water.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the salt until dissolved.
  • Grab a bucket large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid.
  • Remove giblets from the turkey, set those aside or discard, and transfer the turkey to the bucket.
  • Pour the prepared salt water (brine) over the turkey.
  • Then, pour in the remaining 3 quarts of water. Make sure the turkey is submerged; if needed, weigh it down with a heavy plate or stone.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. NO more than 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cold water.
  • Pat dry the turkey with paper towels, inside and out.
  • Adjust a rack in the lowest position of your oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
  • Stuff the turkey cavity with the onion wedges, garlic halves, herbs, and bay leaves.
  • Set the turkey breast-side-up on a roast rack set in a roasting pan.
  • Brush the turkey with half of the melted butter.
  • Tent with foil and roast for 2 hours.
  • Remove the foil and baste the turkey with the rest of the melted butter.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425˚F and continue to roast for about 45 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the turkey thigh registers at 165˚F. Baste every 15 minutes with the juices inside the roasting pan.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
  • Carve and serve.


  • Size of Turkey: You should consider about 1-pound of turkey per person.
  • Thawed Turkey: You should consider thawing out the turkey because it can take a lot longer to cook if frozen. Keep in mind that the bigger the turkey, the more time it will need to defrost. You could be talking about 2 to 4 days for just thawing. Yes, you can cook a frozen turkey, but remember that you will need to estimate around 50% longer cooking time. 
  • Cooking Time for Turkey: A larger, 12 to 14-pound turkey will need up to 4.5 hours in the oven, but a smaller 8 to 10 pound turkey will be done in about 3 hours. 


Calories: 561 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 70 g | Fat: 30 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 262 mg | Sodium: 14622 mg | Potassium: 749 mg | Fiber: 0.2 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 532 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 66 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Net Carbs: 1 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cooking a turkey, roast turkey recipe, turkey recipe