Simple Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Easy
  • 1 Hour 35 Minutes
  • 7 Ingredients
  • 6 Steps



5 g


0 g


34 g


4oz Serving Size


  • 4 pound whole turkey or chicken (giblets removed)
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 TBS salt (½ inside cavity, ½ outside on skin)
  • 1 TSP black pepper
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 orange quartered
  • 1 bouquet garni - a handful each of fresh thyme springs, rosemary and sage tied into a bundle with kitchen twine.
Simple Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving dinner is easily one of my favorite meals of the year, mostly because my mom usually cooks it! Like most families, our tradition has always been to have turkey. We try to buy local and fresh when possible because you really can taste the difference. It is hard to go wrong when making a “healthy” turkey recipe, I mean, all turkey is healthy!

I do like to keep it pretty simple with minimal ingredients and prep because so much work goes into the other dishes, like stuffings and pies! I like the addition of citrus fruits which gives the meat a wonderful aroma and helps keep it moist while cooking. Most people use lemons, but I like the warmth and brightness that oranges bring when mixed with rosemary, thyme, and sage. Plus they look beautiful on the platter. 

Aside from turkey, this recipe works great with whole chickens and ducks too, they just have a quicker cook time. I tend to make those more often throughout the year:)

If your turkey is more than four pounds, add 20 minutes per pound to the cooking time. For example, if your bird is 10-14 pounds, refrigerate salted overnight (instead of 4 hours) then cook for 1 hour at 425, then reduce to 375 for the remainder of the cooking time at 20 minutes per pound. 

**Macros estimated based on a combination of white and dark meat


  1. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with ½ tablespoon of the salt, then season the outside with the remaining ½ tablespoon of salt. Put the turkey on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours. Air drying it overnight results in a nice crispy skin!
  2. An hour before roasting, bring the turkey out of the refrigerator to stand at room temperature.
  3. While it is resting, stuff the cavity with the onions, oranges and bouquet garni, and tie the legs closed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, season with salt and the pepper and transfer to a large roasting pan. Roast for 85 minutes or until inner thigh meat reaches 165°. If the breast begins to brown too quickly you can cover that with foil.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
  6. Garnish your serving platter with fresh orange wedges and rosemary or thyme springs.
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