When you have a good plan for stuffing and roasting the turkey, Thanksgiving feels a lot more manageable.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
5 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with roasting rack in lowest position. Stuff and prepare turkey for roasting.

  • Set roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Place turkey on rack; rub all sides with butter, and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour 3 cups water into roasting pan. Loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil (unbuttered). Roast 1 hour, then baste every 30 minutes with pan liquids until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 125 degrees, 2 to 3 hours.

  • Remove foil; raise oven heat to 400 degrees. Continue roasting, brushing 3 to 4 times with maple syrup, until thigh reaches 170 degrees, 45 to 60 minutes more (temperature will rise about 10 degrees as turkey rests after roasting).

  • If bird browns too quickly, loosely cover with buttered foil; add more water if pan becomes dry. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, cover loosely with buttered foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving so juices are reabsorbed. Reserve pan for making gravy.

Cook's Notes

You can also make this recipe with a 16-pound turkey.


Reviews (4)

70 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 27
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: 5 stars
This year I modified this because I wanted to cook the turkey in an oven bag. I just brushed the bird with maple syrup after I took it out of the oven.
Rating: 5 stars
I did this the first time I made a turkey. It was perfect! Thank you so much MS staff. :)
Rating: Unrated
Love this recipe!! It's so easy and so good, it definitely makes for a beautiful turkey. Its great for people who are not experienced at roasting turkeys. This will be my 3rd Thanksgiving making it.
Rating: Unrated
This is an excellent recipe. My family loved it, and it was very easy to make. The flavor is fantastic. This is definitely has become one my tried and true recipes.