The Best Roasted Turkey

Want a moist and flavorful bird with plenty of well-seasoned drippings. (That way we could use them to make the best gravy!) The key is to use traditional Thanksgiving herbs (think parsley, sage, rosemary, bay and thyme) and classic aromatics like onion and garlic. For richness, we basted with butter which also makes the most golden-brown and crispy skin. Leaving the bird untrussed allows the air to circulate for more even cooking.

8-10# turkey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion, quartered

1 head garlic, halved

Several sprigs fresh herbs, such as; thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage

2 bay leaves

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

  1. Adjust a rack in the lowest position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Remove any turkey parts from the neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses if desired. Dry the bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the inside of the breast cavity and stuff the onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaves inside. Set the bird on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan breast-side up. Brush generously with half of the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tent the bird with foil.
  3. Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove the foil and baste with the remaining butter. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the thigh of the bird, about 45 minutes more.
  4. Remove the turkey from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carve and serve.

Thanksgiving Buying & Storage Guide!

A Buying and Storing Guide for Your Thanksgiving Groceries

Exclusively for Prime members in select ZIP codes.

Getting ahead on your Thanksgiving shopping packs plenty of benefits — shorter lines, first dibs on essential ingredients, plus more time to spend with family and friends. It also requires a bit of planning. If you’re buying salad greens days ahead, will they be springy and crisp in time for your feast? And what about the bacon for your Brussels sprouts — or the heavy cream for your mashed potatoes? 

For most foods, it’s perfectly fine to stock up several days ahead as long as they are stored properly. Some ingredients, however, are best saved until the last minute. Use this guide to plan your shopping so your haul stays its best from our stores to your table.

How long will my Thanksgiving groceries stay fresh?

Build your Thanksgiving shopping list around what ingredients will last, bearing in mind that you may need to freeze the ones that won’t (like sausage). If stored and thawed correctly, frozen meats, vegetables and fruits can be just as tasty their fresh counterparts.

Storing Tips for Thanksgiving Essentials

Storing your ingredients correctly. Follow these tips to get as much as possible from your groceries.

  • Get organized. Thanksgiving groceries, especially turkey, can require serious kitchen real estate. Organizing your refrigerator, pantry and countertops before you shop will guarantee that every item in your haul has its rightful storage spot.
  • Use the produce drawers. The humidity level in this often-overlooked space is actually different than the rest of your refrigerator, and it will help keep your green beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and salad greens crisp.
  • Handle greens with care. To keep your salad greens nice and crisp, don’t wash them in advance. Until you’re ready to use them, refrigerate in an open plastic bag and add a few paper towels to soak up any loose water.
  • Butter is safe at room temperature. Butter will last longer in your refrigerator, but it can also be stored safely at room temperature for 1 – 2 days. If you’re baking recipes or serving rolls, having softened butter at the ready can be a game changer.
  • Some ingredients are happiest in the pantry. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic and winter squash do not need to be stored in your refrigerator. When stored in a cool, dark space like your pantry, these ingredients can last several weeks.
  • Buying a fresh turkey? Fresh turkeys are kept in a deep chill to maintain a crust of ice on the surface. This ensures that you can safely store your bird at home until you’re ready to cook. Keep your turkey deep-chilled (35°F) in the coldest spot in your fridge, turned down as low as possible, or store in a secondary fridge. Over time, the ice will easily melt and your bird will be perfect by Thanksgiving.