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How to Cook a Whole Turkey

No matter what the occasion, cook your whole turkey in the oven the easy way! The prep is super simple - no brining necessary!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, Easter, holiday, Thanksgiving
Servings: 12 servings


  • Roasting Pan
  • Turkey Oven Bag
  • Meat Thermometer


  • 12-14 lb turkey, completely thawed

Herb Butter Mixture

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sage, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, chopped

Cavity Flavor Infusion

  • 1 red apple, chopped in half
  • 1-2 small onions, chopped in half
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in thirds
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sage, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, chopped


  • Remove thawed turkey from the packaging. Remove the neck and giblets (check both body and neck cavities) and save for later or toss.
  • Pat the turkey with paper towels to completely dry the inside and outside.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (or whatever the instructions on the roasting bag says).
  • Soften butter and mix in salt, pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Using your hands, loosen the skin over the breast. Spread as much of the herb butter mixture between the breast and the skin. Spread any remaining butter on the outside of the skin.
  • Season the cavity with salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Stuff the cavity with apples, onions, and celery.
  • Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and place in the roasting bag. Put in the roasting pan.
  • Roast until the thermometer reaches 165°F. (It usually takes about 15 minutes per pound.)
  • Remove from the oven and cut the bag away from the turkey. Let stand for 45 minutes. (Trust us on this one, you don't want to cut it too soon and lose all the juices!)