My Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy takes the stress out of Thanksgiving’s main dish!
This is it, guys! It’s November. Turkey roasting time. And I am here to guide you through the entire process with my Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy! Class is in session. The final exam is delicious. Your full syllabus is in my Stressed Out to Superstar Thanksgiving guide. Extra credit will be given for dancing in the kitchen (you know how we do!). Now let’s get to work!
My Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy all starts with a dry brine. It’s so simple to do a dry brine. No big bin of messy liquid necessary! Once you get your turkey defrosted, then you can get a dry brine going.
- Start with a 14-15 pound fresh turkey and 3 tablespoons of coarse kosher salt (not table salt!). Your turkey should be thawed already, so if it’s frozen, it needs to be placed in the fridge on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
- 36-48 hours in advance (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving), remove the thawed turkey from the packaging and pull the giblets out of both the body and neck cavity. Check both!
- Give your turkey a little pat dry with paper towels, inside and out.
- Rub 2 tablespoons of salt inside the body cavity of the turkey, then the remaining tablespoon goes on outside of the turkey: breasts, legs, and thighs.
- Put that bird in a roasting pan or on a platter, cover it with foil, and then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook
See? Easy as pie! Actually, easier than pie. Easy as Apple Crisp! 😉
Before it goes in the oven, we’re going to stuff the turkey. But only with a few simple aromatics. My trick here: don’t be afraid to REALLY pack everything in. Look at this tasty list of turkey stuffings:
- Fresh thyme, sage, and parsley
- Freshly cracked pepper
Once it’s packed in there, pull the legs together and tie it with kitchen twine. Ready for the oven!
Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy
GRAVY. Is it the best part of a Thanksgiving meal? Not by itself, but it’s the sauce that makes everything else so tasty! A spoonful of gravy in your mashed potatoes? Drizzled over a couple slices of turkey? It’s heaven. This gravy recipe uses drippings from the turkey pan, a little butter, some flour, broth, and a couple seasonings. That’s it! Simple is best when it comes to a classic like gravy.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Let’s talk sides! Now that you’ve got a Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy, here are all my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to go with it…
- 4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Easy Apple Crisp
- Comfort Corn Bread with Whipped Honey Butter
- Chestnut Herb Stuffing
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping
For the full lowdown on Thanksgiving with a timeline, grocery shopping list, and every recipe you need, check out my Stressed Out to Superstar guide with a Thanksgiving menu pack!
Simple Oven Roasted Turkey with Gravy
- 14-15 pound fresh turkey
- 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt NOT table salt
- pepper freshly cracked
- 1 stalk celery chopped into thirds
- 1 lemon quartered
- 1 apple quartered
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 6 tablespoon butter melted
Easy Gravy Ingredients
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup turkey pan drippings
- 2 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced sage
- Dry brine should be done 36-48 hours in advance. Once the turkey is thawed, remove carefully from packaging and remove giblets from both the body and neck cavity. Don't forget to check them both!
- Use paper towels to pat the turkey dry, inside and out. Rub about 2 tablespoons of salt inside the turkey cavity and remaining tablespoon on the outside of the turkey all over the breasts, thighs, and legs.
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan or on a platter, cover in foil, and store in fridge until ready to cook
- On the day of roasting, take the turkey out and pat dry with paper towels. No need to rinse off the dry brine! Let it sit at room temperature for 60-90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425. Position rack on the lowest setting of the oven.
- Stuff the cavity: sprinkle freshly cracked pepper inside, then add celery, lemon, apple, sage, and parsley. Don't be afraid to shove everything in there tightly. Tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
- Place a V-shaped rack in the roasting pan and brush it with some melted butter.
- Brush the skin of the turkey all over with melted butter. Place the turkey on the rack in the pan, breast side down. Bend and tuck the wing tips behind the back so they don't burn.
- Roast for 40 minutes, basting with butter after 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees.
- Use clean rubber kitchen gloves to turn the turkey breast side up on the rack. Add 2 cups of stock or water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Continue to roast, basting with the remaining butter until it's used up and then using pan juices to baste every 30 minutes.
- Roast for 90 minutes more until golden. After about 2 1/2 hours total, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast away from the bone; it should register 165-170 degrees.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil so it can rest for 30 minutes. Use the pan juices to make gravy.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute, stirring continuously. Whisk in pan drippings. If you have more than a cup of drippings, use it and reduce the amount of broth! If you don't have a full cup, use more stock.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Stir in salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Simmer for 5 more minutes, gradually adding more broth if gravy becomes too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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