Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Jessica Published April 8, 2020

This recipe makes delicious Thanksgiving turkey a cinch!  My mom gave me this recipe and it is made for a 15-lb. turkey. It is cooked for 3.5 hours total.

How To Make Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

0 from 0 votes
10 mins
210 mins
220 mins


  • 15 lb turkey preferably fresh young turkey
  • 1 orange
  • 2 spanish onions
  • fresh poultry herbs: rosemary, thyme and sage handfuls of each
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped

For Rub:

  • 1 cup margarine melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Open your turkey and drain any liquid that may be present if your turkey is fresh. 
  • Put your turkey in a strainer in the sink and rinse the skin. Check poultry cavity for giblets or neck and set aside.
  • Chop your orange into 8 segments. Chop up both onion into different sized pieces. Chop carrots and celery stalks.
  • Stuff the poultry cavity with the orange segments, one chopped onions, one chopped carrot, one chopped celery stalk and the fresh herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary).
  • Place 1 C. water in bottom of a metal roasting pan big enough to hold your turkey. Add the other chopped onion and the remaining chopped carrots and celery stalks. Place turkey in pan, bottom side up.
  • Mix all rub ingredients except for margarine together in a bowl. Pour half of the melted margarine onto the turkey and then rub in your spice mixture to coat the skin. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  • At this point, remove the turkey and turn it over so the topside is up. Use two forks to pierce the bird at both ends and flip over (you will probably need another person to help you). 
  • Mix the margarine with the spice mixture and brush it onto the topside of the turkey to avoid burning your hands. Return turkey to the oven and cook for 2 more hours.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 932mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9850IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg


A food blogger with a strong passion for all thing delicious. Being able to take a simple ingredient and transform it into something complex and delectable brings me joy. It is my mission to show you how to do the same with the simple ingredients that you have on hand. Learn how to make restaurant-worthy meals, on a budget, and right at home!

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