EatingWell's Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes
A golden roast turkey is the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving feasts. These healthy turkey recipes are packed with flavors, from herbs and citrus to garlic and spice, to make your dinner uniquely delicious. We hope you find the perfect turkey recipe for your Thanksgiving meal.
Traditional Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy
Here's the best roast turkey recipe for your holiday festivities. To make the gravy, use instant flour (aka Wondra), which is flour that has been steam-treated then dried. You can use it straight from its package to thicken gravy for your Thanksgiving turkey without making a slurry, as you would have to with regular flour, to get lump-free results every time.
Traditional Herbed Roast Turkey
A medley of fresh herbs and vegetables flavors the turkey while adding minimal carbs, calories, and fat in this recipe.
José Andrés' Brined Roast Turkey & Gravy
When José Andrés commandeered an army of chefs and other kitchen pros to make Thanksgiving dinner for 40,000 in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, they served roasted brined turkey breasts. We've adapted the recipe used in Puerto Rico for this roast turkey and gravy.
Cider-Brined Spatchcock Turkey
Brining is a classic way to prep roast turkey for the oven. It infuses the meat with so much flavor from apple cider, celery, onion, oranges and fresh herbs. Spatchcocking is the technique of removing the backbone of a turkey or chicken and pressing the bird flat. It's a convenient way to speed up the cooking time and it results in evenly browned, moist turkey.
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic
If you're scaling back your Thanksgiving dinner this year, this bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts, also called split breasts, are inexpensive and nice for (just enough) leftovers. Roasted garlic, salt and pepper and a few fresh herbs make the breast meat flavorful. This recipe also takes less time than a whole turkey—you start checking for doneness after 30 minutes in the oven.
This easy method produces all the good looks and moist flavor you dream of in an oven-roasted turkey. Make sure you show this beauty off at the table before you carve it. Garnish your serving platter with fresh herb sprigs and citrus wedges for a show-stopping Thanksgiving turkey.
Lemon-&-Fennel-Rubbed Turkey with Homemade Giblet Gravy
Fennel has sweet flavor notes that pair vibrantly with tart lemon in this juicy Thanksgiving turkey recipe. A rub of herbs mixed with olive oil and lemon juice infuses the meat with flavor without all of the space needed to soak the turkey in a liquid brine. Making the giblet gravy in a large saucepan rather than in the unwieldy turkey roasting pan is way easier to manage on the stovetop--plus it frees up a burner.
Spatchcock Turkey with Sage & Thyme
When it comes to cooking a whole turkey quickly and evenly, spatchcocking—removing the entire backbone from the bird and splaying it open—is a great technique. This skin on this spatchcocked turkey gets crispy and golden brown because nearly all of the skin is exposed. This recipe uses a simple blend of oil, fresh herbs and spices for classic roasted turkey flavor. Look for a small turkey, about 12 pounds, as it fits better in most roasting pans.
Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy
In this herb-roasted turkey recipe, apples and shallots cook inside the bird to keep the meat moist and add rich flavor. The extra shallots in the roasting pan also give the gravy recipe a rich, caramelized-onion depth and, with apple cider, the gravy is out-of-this-world delicious. The easy turkey stock adds extra flavor to the gravy, but you can use chicken broth instead with good results.
Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White-Wine Gravy
The zesty lemon-garlic rub for this turkey gives it amazing flavor. Instead of using a conventional supermarket turkey that's been "enhanced" with added sodium solution, here we brine a natural or organic turkey to keep the meat extra juicy without a lot of extra sodium. To learn everything you need to know about brining—including how to dry brine, check out our quick guide on how to brine a turkey.
Southwestern Grilled Spatchcock Turkey
This isn't your average Thanksgiving turkey! Loaded with spices of the Southwest, the flavor of this bird is enhanced even more by grilling. Removing the backbone from the turkey, called "spatchcocking" or butterflying, allows it to lay flat on the grill so it cooks faster. Make sure you have a good pair of kitchen shears to make it easier to remove the backbone.
Turkey & Stuffing for Two
Cooking a turkey doesn't mean you have to cook an entire bird if it's just the two of you—and you also don't have to eat turkey for days. With this recipe, you pound out turkey cutlets and roll the stuffing up into the meat like a cinnamon roll and tie it up with kitchen twine. Roast it and remove the turkey from the oven in just 20 minutes.
Main-Dish Turkey Stuffing with Herbed Gravy
If you're doing an abbreviated Thanksgiving dinner this year, let us present the one-dish turkey and stuffing dinner. Turkey breast tenders are cut into chunks and combined with bread cubes to combine our two favorite dishes at Thanksgiving without skimping on all the necessary ingredients. The gravy is just as simple and doesn't require any drippings making this an easy Thanksgiving dinner for a smaller group.
Smoked Turkey Breast
This smoked turkey breast is great for entertaining because it feeds a crowd. Plus there's not much to do except wait while the brine turns the bird luxurious and then wait again until the grill turns it irresistible.
Brine-Cured Roast Turkey
A big turkey is so spectacular you hardly need to do anything to embellish it. But brining can be that extra touch that makes it so juicy and flavorful that you'll remember it for years to come. Brining the turkey takes 3 days so you'll need to plan ahead, but the lengthy brining time really pays off with fabulous flavor. Make sure you start with an all-natural bird without any added water and sodium solution. Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.
In this delicious brined turkey recipe, the turkey marinates in a cider brine before roasting to ensure moist, flavorful meat. Plan on about 1 pound of turkey per person when buying your bird.
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Calvados Gravy
Bay leaves in the dry rub and fresh sage guarantee that this easy turkey recipe has tons of flavor. Leaving the turkey uncovered in the fridge creates extra crispy skin. Look for a heritage, organic or natural turkey, which won't contain the sodium solution that's pumped into most conventional turkeys.
Bay-Spiced Roast Turkey
In this healthy roast turkey recipe, brining keeps the turkey moist and a homemade bay-spice mix gives the turkey amazing flavor. Diced celery root or parsnip adds flavor and texture to the gravy. A heritage, natural or organic turkey, without added sodium solution (found in most conventional turkeys), tastes best in this recipe. If you have a conventional bird, just skip the brining (Step 1). The recipe that's included for Bay Spice Blend makes 1 cup; if you want to skip the step of making the spice blend, you can substitute Old Bay Seasoning.
Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
During the autumn season in Italy, turkey is often deliciously paired with a stuffing of chestnuts and sausage. The wild turkey was brought to Europe from the New World, and once domesticated, returned there to breed as the classic festive bird. It also became one of the large courtyard fowl animals in Lombardy. With Italy being one of the largest producers of chestnuts, it was expedient to put the two together in another happy marriage of New and Old World for a holiday meal.
Roasted Garlic & Meyer Lemon-Rubbed Turkey
Mellow white miso paste is the secret ingredient in this amazing roast turkey rubbed with Meyer lemon and roasted garlic. The miso gives the turkey a mildly salted taste without the hassle of brining.
Sage-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Lemon-Bay Gravy
This roast turkey recipe is flavored with sage and served with gravy made extra-tasty with the lemony pan drippings from the turkey and bay leaves in the giblet stock. The salt rub in this recipe acts as a "dry brine," plumping and seasoning the meat for moist, juicy, flavorful turkey.