How to cook a turkey in the oven: 3 easy recipes in simple steps

how to cook a turkey in the oven

Outlines how to cook a turkey in the oven easily and perfectly, with step-by-step instructions for 3 simple recipes.

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Turkeys are classed in the family Phasianidae (pheasants, partridges, francolins, junglefowl, and grouse). With a weight of up to 45 pounds (20 kilos) depending on the species, sex and age, the turkey is the largest domestic poultry species. They are also available as baby turkeys weighing up to a maximum of 6 pounds 3 kilos) until the adult animals weighing between 26 and 45 pounds (12 and 20 kilograms). It is considered low in fat and digestible, contains a lot of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. 

The special thing about this large bird is that it delivers both white and red meat. The meat from the chest is very white but quickly becomes a little dry. The meat of the thighs on the other hand, is red and rather juicy. This sometimes puts people off when they consider how to cook a turkey roast. We will outline 3 ways for how to cook a turkey in the oven to be moist and perfect!

How long to cook a turkey? Check our weight tables for cooking time

How long to cook a stuffed turkey or how long to cook a turkey at 350 F are the most common questions about turkey cookery. How long to cook a turkey will depend on the oven temperature and whether or not you are stuffing the turkey. We do recommend roasting turkey at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey and 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey. So for example, how long to cook a 12 pound turkey? 2 3/4 to 3 hours if unstuffed and 3 to 3 1/2 hours if stuffed. We have calculated for both unstuffed and stuffed turkey cooking times below

10 to 12 lb6 to 82 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours
12 to 14 lb8 to 102 3/4 to 3 hours
15 to 18 lb10 to 123 1/4 to 4 hours
18 to 20 lb12 to 144 to 4 1/4 hours
20 to 22 lb14 to 164 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
23 to 24 lb16 to 205 to 5 1/4 hours

A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook than an unstuffed turkey. Roast a stuffed turkey for 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F. It is important to check the temperature of the stuffing; it should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) when you insert the thermometer into the center of the stuffing.

10 to 12 lb6 to 82 1/2 to 3 hours
12 to 14 lb8 to 103 to 3 1/2 hours
14 to 18 lb10 to 123 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
18 to 20 lb12 to 144 1/2 to 5 hours
20 to 22 lb14 to 165 to 5 1/2 hours
22 to 24 lb16 to 205 1/2 to 6 hours

How to cook a turkey in the oven

We outline 3 different but eqully simple recipes to get the perfect turkey roast.

How to cook a turkey in the oven: recipe 1

how to cook a turkey in the oven

Ingredients for 8 people

  • 7.5 lb (3 1/2 kg) Turkey (1 small turkey; ready to cook)
  • Salt
  • Pepper from the mill
  • 2 sticks Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 2.5 oz (75 g) Butter
  • 7 oz (200 g) Beef minced meat
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  • 3 sprigs Sage
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Chicken broth
  • 14 oz (400 g) old-fashioned wholemeal rolls or bread
  • 3 tbsp lard, ghee, speck or similar
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) light grape juice or wine
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (200 ml) Whipped cream

Kitchen tools: 1 knife, 1 workboard, 1 pan, 1 roasting pan, 1 sieve


  1. THE STUFFING: Peel the onion and wash celery. Dice them small.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onion and celery in it over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the minced meat and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring.
  4. Wash the herbs, shake dry and chop. Stir into the onion an d celery. Season everything with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut the rolls into small pieces, gradually mix them with broth and vegetable mixture. The mass should be moist, but not liquid.
  6. THE TURKEY: Wash the turkey. Rub inside and outside with salt and pepper and fill with the bread mixture. Sew with kitchen yarn.
  7. Heat the lard in a large frying pan on the stove. Fry the turkey in it over a high heat, then place on the side of the chest. Fry in a preheated oven at 180 °C (circulating air: 160 °C; gas: level 2-3) for about 2 hours.
  8. Baste with roasting juices from time to time.
  9. Wrap the finished turkey in aluminium foil and leave to rest for a short time.
  10. MAKING THE SAUCE: Remove the juices from the roasting pan, put it back on the stove, add the grape juice and mix in any leftover frying pan juices from the celery and onion frying.
  11. Pour in the chicken stock, transfer to a saucepan through a fine sieve, reduce to half over a high heat, gradually pour in the cream and reduce again. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve the turkey with the sauce in a jug.

How to cook a turkey in the oven: recipe 2

how to cook a turkey in the oven

Ingredients for 8 servings

1 7.5 lb turkey (approx. 3.5 kg)
2.5 cups (500 ml) Poultry bouillon or stock
1 tsp Paprika powder
1 prize pepper
1 Rosemary sprig
1 sprinkle of salt
4 tart apples
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup (250 ml) water
3 Onions


  1. First wash, peel, cut in half and core off the apples.
  2. Now peel and halve the onion.
  3. Wash the turkey, remove the last part of the wing and cut off the remains of the neck.
  4. Rub the turkey with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  5. Alternately fill the turkey with apples and onions and seal it with toothpicks.
  6. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, add water and spread the remaining onions and apples around it.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and paprika and add the sprig of rosemary. Close the roaster and cook the turkey in the oven (top / bottom heat) at 180 ° C for about 1.5 hours.
  8. Remove the lid of the roaster, pour on the chicken stock and let the turkey bake for another 40 minutes.
  9. Pour the juices over the turkey regularly while it is cooking.
  10. Pour off the meat stock and bind it with the cornstarch mixed in a little water. Cut up the turkey, arrange it and serve it with dumplings and sauce, for example.
  11. The cooking test: the turkey is cooked when clear juice comes out of the thickest part of the leg when the needle is pricked.

How to cook a turkey in the oven: recipe 3

how to cook a turkey in the oven

Ingredients for 8 people

8.5 lb (4 kg) Turkey
14 strips bacon
4 branches marjoram
7oz (200 g) White bread
2 sticks Celery
3 Apples
50 g Walnuts
1 egg
10.5 oz (300 g) celery root
3 Carrots
1.75 cups (400 ml) chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup (100 ml) Whipped cream
1.7 oz (50 g) butter
olive oil

Kitchen tools: Cutting board, knife, Wooden spoon, pan, big bowl ,Kitchen twine, Roaster, Sieve, small pot, platter, Whisk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C.
  2. Rub the outside and inside of the turkey with salt and pepper.
  3. THE STUFFING: Cut the bacon into small cubes.
  4. Pluck marjoram leaves and roughly chop.
  5. Cut white bread, celery and 2/3 of the apples into small cubes.
  6. Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Add the marjoram. Then set aside.
  7. Mix the white bread, apples, celery and walnuts with the crispy bacon.
  8. Add the egg and mix everything together well. Season the filling with salt and pepper.
  9. Then fill the turkey with the mixture.
  10. THE TURKEY: Seal the opening well with kitchen twine.
  11. Then rub the turkey all over with olive oil.
  12. Peel the celeriac. Cut into small cubes along with the carrots and the remaining apple.
  13. Place the stuffed turkey breast up in a roasting pan. Spread the carrot, celery and apple pieces around the turkey.
  14. Fry in a preheated oven at 160 ° C for approx. 2 – 2.5 h.
  15. Pour the chicken stock over every 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 200 ° C for the last 30 minutes.
  16. Then arrange the turkey on a serving plate and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  17. THE SAUCE: In the meantime, pour the excess liquid from the roaster into a small saucepan. Add the whipped cream and butter and bring to the boil.
  18. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  19. Serve the sauce with the turkey.