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Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

LAURA VITALE: Roast Turkey + Turkey Noodle Salad + Turkey Enchiladas
LAURA VITALE: Roast Turkey + Turkey Noodle Salad + Turkey EnchiladasNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

This is the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. Herbed butter keeps the meat flavorful and moist and helps create a beautiful brown finish on deliciously crispy skin.


  • One 16-pound turkey
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vegetables for stuffing the turkey and for the pan, such as carrots, celery, onion and garlic



Preheat the oven to 350°F.


Place rough chopped veggies in the bottom of your roasting tray and coat with olive oil, mix and set aside.


In a small bowl, combine together the fresh chopped herbs, grated garlic, salt, pepper and butter, mix until it's all well combined.


Rub the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and all over the outside as well, season with a bit more salt all over.


Place the turkey in the roasting pan on top of the veggies and roast for 2 hours.


Remove from the oven and baste it well, cover with aluminum foil and cook for 1 and a half hours making sure to baste it every 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste it will one last time. Put it back in for 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey (between the thigh and breast) reaches 170°F when tested with a meat thermometer. Let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.