Christmas Turkey

4.8 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 4 hrs Rest Time 30 mins Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 10 Calories: 600 Best Season: Winter


Looking for a delicious Christmas turkey recipe? This roast turkey recipe is perfect for your holiday feast. With a flavorful herb butter mixture and a stuffing of onion, garlic, and lemon, this turkey is sure to impress your guests. Follow these simple instructions to create a mouthwatering Christmas turkey dinner. Serve with cranberry sauce and gravy for a complete holiday feast. Enjoy the festive trimmings and your favorite side dishes alongside this juicy and flavorful roast turkey. Your family and friends will love this Christmas dinner centerpiece.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and place the oven rack in the lowest position.

  2. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity and rinse the turkey under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt, and black pepper.

  4. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the entire turkey with the butter and herb mixture.

  5. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.

  6. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and roast for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. Remove the foil during the last hour of cooking to allow the skin to brown. Check the internal temperature of the turkey using a meat thermometer. It should reach 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.

  7. Once the turkey is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Carve the turkey and serve with your favorite side dishes.


  • Remember to plan ahead for thawing if using a frozen turkey. 
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels before seasoning. This helps the skin crisp up during roasting.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey is cooked perfectly. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The turkey is safe to eat when it reaches 165°F/74°C in the thigh.
  • Baste the turkey every 30-45 minutes with pan juices or the herb butter mixture to keep it moist. However, frequent opening of the oven can reduce the oven temperature, so keep basting minimal if this is a concern.
  • Feel free to customize the herb mixture to your liking by adding or omitting any herbs you prefer.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20–30 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cover it loosely with foil to keep it warm. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier meat.
  • Use a sharp carving knife to carve the turkey. Start by removing the legs, then the breasts, and finally the wings. Slice against the grain for tender meat.
  • Serve the turkey with traditional sides like gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls for a complete Christmas feast.
Keywords: turkey, christmas turkey, christmas dinner

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I determine the right turkey size for my gathering?

Plan on about 1 to 1.5 pounds of turkey per person to ensure there’s enough for everyone, with some leftovers. Consider the number of guests and their appetites when selecting the size of the turkey.

How can I keep the turkey moist during roasting?

Baste the turkey periodically with pan juices or a mixture of melted butter and herbs to keep it moist. Covering the breast with foil for the first part of cooking can also help prevent it from drying out.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #themoderncookbook if you made this recipe. Follow @moderncookbook on Instagram for more recipes.

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