Our Classic Roast Turkey


This roast turkey will be the star of your Thanksgiving table. Use our orange and herb butter rub to really make your oven roasted turkey a memorable one. Be sure to make extra old-fashioned stuffing to go with this roast turkey recipe.

roast turkey on platter with oranges and bowl of cranberry sauce
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
15 mins
Roast Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 1 10 pound turkey

  • Salt and ground black pepper (optional)

  • Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze (optional)

  • Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing (optional) (See www.bhg.com)

  • Vegetable oil

  • Perfect Turkey Gravy

Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh sage

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • cup honey

Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing

  • 1 ½ cup chopped or sliced celery (3 stalks)

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

  • ½ cup butter or margarine

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 tsp. poultry seasoning or ground sage

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 12 cup dry bread cubes

  • 1 cup chicken broth*

  • Sage leaves (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; reserve for another use or discard. Pat turkey skin dry with paper towels; if stuffing turkey, wipe out cavity. If desired, use Orange and Herb Butter Rub as directed and sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. If desired, spoon desired stuffing loosely into cavity. Skewer neck skin to back. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across the tail if present or tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100%-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back.

  2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle (thermometer should not touch bone). Cover turkey loosely with foil.

  3. Roast turkey 2 1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut string between drumsticks. Roast 30 to 45 minutes more (1 to 1 1/4 hours if stuffed) or until thermometer registers at least 175°F; if stuffed, the center of stuffing must register 165°F. (Juices should run clear, and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) If desired, during the last 15 minutes of roasting, brush turkey twice with Orange and Herb Butter Glaze. Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil; let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and carve. If desired, garnish with fresh fruit and herbs. Serve with Perfect Turkey Gravy.

Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze

  1. In a medium bowl combine the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, orange peel, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture in half. Once the turkey has been rinsed and dried with paper towels, lift your fingers between the skin and meat on the breast to loosen skin. Lift skin and spread half of the butter mixture under the skin from front to back of turkey. Continue preparing turkey as directed in Step 1.

  2. Place the remaining half of the butter mixture in a microwave-safe bowl; cover. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) until melted. Stir honey into butter mixture. Use to baste turkey during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large skillet cook celery and onion in hot butter over medium heat until tender but not brown. Remove from heat. Stir in sage and pepper. Place bread cubes in large bowl; add onion mixture. Drizzle with enough chicken broth to moisten; toss lightly to combine. Place stuffing in a 2-qt. casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Top with fresh sage. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Perfect Turkey Gravy

Stir 1 cup chicken broth into pan drippings from roasted turkey in roasting pan, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour drippings into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Skim and reserve fat from drippings. If necessary, add enough melted butter to the reserved fat to make 1/4 cup. Add enough additional broth to the drippings in the measuring cup to make 2 cups total liquid. Pour the 1/4 cup fat into a 2-qt. saucepan (discard any remaining fat). Whisk in 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Add broth mixture all at once to saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving, strain gravy into a serving bowl. Makes 2 cups (1/4 cup each).

Buttery Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey:

For herb-butter, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup softened butter; 3 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme, basil, oregano, and/or chives; and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Prepare turkey as directed, up to placing it in the roasting pan and stopping before brushing the skin with oil. Starting at the tail end of the turkey, loosen the skin on both breasts by sliding your fingers under the skin, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the other end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub about two-thirds of the herb-butter seasoning under the skin over the breasts. Rub the remaining herb-butter mixture over the entire turkey. If desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast as directed.

Turkey Aromatics

If you aren't stuffing the turkey, fill the cavity with aromatics. As they heat, these fruits, vegetables, and herbs release scented steam into the turkey cavity, flavoring the meat from within. Aromatics are not eaten, so no need to remove peels and stems. After sprinkling the cavity with salt and pepper, insert 1 medium orange, cut into wedges; 1 medium apple, cored and cut into wedges; 1 medium onion, cut into wedges; 1 small bulb garlic, top and bottom cut off to expose cloves; and 3 sprigs fresh sage, thyme, and/or rosemary into the cavity. Continue as directed in Step 1. Discard aromatics after roasting

Test Kitchen Tip:*

If using to stuff a turkey, reduce broth to 3/4 to 1 cup. Try a mix of whole wheat, white, and multi-grain bread cubes for extra flavor.

Stuffing Addition Options:

1) Stir 2 medium cored and chopped apples into bread cubes. 2) Omit 1 cup of the celery and substitute 2 cups sliced mushrooms. Cook mushrooms with the celery in Step 1, above. 3) Stir one 15-ounce can chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped, into bread cubes. 4) Stir 1 cup cooked wild rice into bread cubes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

517 Calories
24g Fat
3g Carbs
71g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 517
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Cholesterol 346mg 115%
Sodium 440mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Protein 71g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles