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Easy Roast Turkey recipe. A no fuss recipe (no brine) that makes juicy turkey with crunchy skin every time! With a few simple tricks, your holiday turkey will be the favorite! BoulderLocavore.com

Easy Roast Turkey

This simple no-brine turkey recipe is perfect every time and relies cooking the turkey on high temperature with the breast down to start, then flipping and finishing on low temperature. It keep the turkey moist and allows the skin to be crisp. Relying on an instant read temperature to determine them the turkey is done will make it perfectly every time. If cooking a smaller or larger turkey, the general rule of thumb if cooking a turkey only on 325 the entire time is to allow 15 minutes per pound of the turkey. 
 The initial 45 minutes accelerates this rate but will give you a general guide to calculate the cooking duration. Note on prep time: the prep time includes 2 hours of the turkey sitting at room temperature to warm up before cooking.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword easy roast turkey
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 15 Serves 15 (using guide of 1 pound turkey weight per person)
Calories 520kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 1 15- pound Turkey* , thawed; rinsed and patted dry with paper towels (giblets and neck removed; can reserve for gravy)
  • 1 small Apple , rinsed, cored cut into wedges
  • 2 small Celery Stalks (with leaves), rinsed and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 1 small Onion , peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 medium Garlic Cloves , peeled
  • 6-8 fresh Thyme sprigs , rinsed
  • 3 stems fresh Italian Parsley , rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper


  • The night before roasting: put the turkey on a baking sheet uncovered in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
  • The day of roasting the turkey: Remove turkey from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for two hours. (When ready to roast the turkey) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover V-rack (roasting rack) with foil (dull side outward), poke holes and spray with cooking spray; place in a roasting pan no deeper than 2-inches. Combine the salt and pepper into a small bowl.
  • Coat the cavity of the turkey with some of the oil (easiest down with your hand), and some of the salt and pepper, rubbing all around the cavity. Fill the cavity with the onion, apples, celery, garlic and herbs. Brush the remaining oil all over the outside of the turkey and rub in the remaining salt and pepper to coat. Truss the turkey legs (ignore if the legs were done before purchasing) and place breast DOWN in the prepared rack in the roasting pan.
  • Cook the turkey for 45 minutes (note: cook 45 minutes with the breast down even if cooking a different size turkey).
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn the oven temperature DOWN to 325 degrees. Using several paper towels (and avoiding touching the hot roasting pan) turn the turkey over so the breast is now UP. Note: avoid using utensils which can puncture the skin. Cook for 1 hour.
  • After an hour wrap foil around the wing tips to avoid them burning and return to oven.
  • At 2 hours cooking time, check temperature in the thick part of the thigh with an instant read thermometer (without touching the bone). Return to oven and cook until the temperature of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. Note: the temperature can rise quickly as the turkey is almost done. Once the turkey temperature registers in the 140 degree range check again in 15-20 minutes to avoid over cooking. Once the thigh registers 165 degrees, remove from oven and lightly tent with foil; allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.


*Should your turkey different in weight, larger or smaller, follow the recipe through flipping the turkey and once breast up measure the temperature and remove when the thigh registers 165 degrees (quicker with a smaller turkey and more time for a larger turkey).


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 247mg | Sodium: 699mg | Potassium: 811mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3.1mg