Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

Go beyond basic brines with turkeys that are infused with the flavors of herbs, fruits and even cured meats.

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Good Eats Roast Turkey

Alton Brown's recipe for the perfect turkey calls for a flavorful brine containing allspice berries, candied ginger and peppercorns, and for the cavity to be filled with herbs, fruits, veggies and spices.

Get the Recipe: Good Eats Roast Turkey

Maple-Bacon Lattice Turkey with Sage Butter

Everything's better with bacon, and Dean McDermott's take on the Thanksgiving bird is also beautiful. Maple-brined turkey is rubbed with sage butter and then carefully covered in woven bacon strips, resulting in a crispy and juicy turkey.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Bacon Lattice Turkey with Sage Butter

Deep-Fried Turkey

One of the quickest ways to cook a super-crispy turkey is in the deep fryer, and Rev Run keeps things simple with his bird by seasoning it with only salt and pepper.

Get the Recipe: Deep-Fried Turkey

Easy Herb Roasted Turkey

Kelsey Nixon’s simple three-hour turkey recipe calls for the bird to be slathered with herbed butter and its cavity filled with more butter, fresh herbs and vegetables. Her timesaving tip that'll guarantee you even moister meat? Buy a prebrined turkey.

Get the Recipe: Easy Herb Roasted Turkey

Brined Turkey Breast with Spanish Spice Rub and Sour Orange Sauce

There's a reason so many chefs cook their turkeys in an orange-based sauce: The resulting sweet and tangy flavors were meant to be. Bobby Flay rubs his bird with a robust spice mixture to lend additional depth to the holiday meal.

Get the Recipe: Brined Turkey Breast with Spanish Spice Rub and Sour Orange Sauce

Michael Symon's Roast Turkey

Michael Symon cloaks his turkey in butter-soaked cheesecloth while it's roasting, to keep in moisture and add unbeatable richness to the meat. Stuffed with aromatics like garlic, fennel and fresh herbs, this top-notch turkey is brimming with comforting fall flavors.

Get the Recipe: Turkey

Herbes de Provence Turkey

Tia Mowry uses French herbs and pomegranates for an unexpected version of the holiday's main course. Artfully arranging it on a platter is optional, but this design will cause oohs and ahhs at the table. 

Get the Recipe: Herbes de Provence Turkey

Traditional Roasted Turkey

Bryan Voltaggio opts for a classic roast turkey to be the centerpiece of his Thanksgiving meal. But he has a secret technique: homemade mayonnaise as a marinade. The egg yolks help the oil adhere to the skin, creating a golden-brown, crispy skin.

Get the Recipe: Traditional Roasted Turkey

Gravy from Roast Drippings

Alton's easy recipe takes the trickery out of gravy making by using the drippings from a roast turkey (or any roast for that matter) and enhancing the natural flavor with just broth, red wine and a bay leaf.

Get the Recipe: Gravy from Roast Drippings

Orange and Shallot Stuffed Turkey Breast

Bobby Deen marinates turkey breasts in his mom’s signature house seasoning, along with sage, shallots and orange juice, to infuse the meat with bright flavor before rolling it with sweet stuffing. The results seem indulgent but are far healthier than typical bird-and-bread recipes.

Get the Recipe: Orange and Shallot Stuffed Turkey Breast

Turkey with Stuffing

It's a Thanksgiving classic for a reason: When only the traditional turkey will do, turn to Alton's recipe that's roasted over a bed of vegetables and filled with a comforting challah and herb stuffing. 

Get the Recipe: Turkey with Stuffing

Whole Roasted Turkeys with Fennel Spice Rub

Toast fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns, then grind them to make a complex spice rub that will add warm flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey.

Get the Recipe: Whole Roasted Turkeys with Fennel Spice Rub

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast Stuffed with Pear Hash

Covering a turkey breast in bacon prior to cooking encases the meat in rich, smoky fat, infusing it with both flavor and moisture. Take the time to brine the meat before cooking it to ensure the breasts stay juicy and not at all tough.

Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast Stuffed with Pear Hash

Ree's Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Before starring in her own Food Network show, Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond faced off against Bobby Flay with this bay leaf, peppercorn, rosemary and orange-peel-scented turkey. Rubbed with the herbs and orange zest, it possesses bright flavor and will steal the show as a holiday table centerpiece.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Deep-Fried Turkey

Alton soaks his Southern bird in a brown sugar brine for eight to 16 hours before it hits the fryer. Make sure to invest in a real turkey fryer that easily fits a large bird, and use peanut oil for the best results. You'll be rewarded with crackly crisp skin and deeply moist meat.

Get the Recipe: Deep-Fried Turkey

Classic Gravy

The Voltaggio brothers use cornstarch instead of flour in their gravy recipe because they don't want it to be too thick. Gravy's role at Thanksgiving is to lightly coat the turkey and the sides and to bring it all together.

Get the Recipe: Classic Gravy

Alex's Turkey + Stuffing

Butter-soaked cheesecloth prevents the turkey’s skin from burning before it’s done cooking in this recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli. Aromatics roasted in the pan with the turkey double as flavoring agents for the bird and ingredients for her hearty pork sausage and sourdough stuffing.

Get the Recipe: Turkey and Stuffing

Stuffed Turkey Breast

It’s impossible to go wrong with sausage, prosciutto, sage and chestnuts, but it’s the green olives that really take this combination to the next level. Giada De Laurentiis uses the savory mix as a stuffing for turkey breast.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Turkey Breast

Spiced and Super-Juicy Roast Turkey

Nigella Lawson's holiday turkey sits in a cold brine for up to two days before it goes in the oven. While the turkey cooks, continue to baste it regularly so it stays moist.

Get the Recipe: Spiced and Super-Juicy Roast Turkey

Citrus-Marinated Grilled Turkey

Tangerines and a Thai bird chile add the sweetness and spice that make this dish stand out. Tyler Florence suggests marinating the bird overnight for maximum flavor.

Get the Recipe: Citrus-Marinated Grilled Turkey

Turkey Scallopine Milanese with Mustard Cranberry Sauce

Pounding turkey breast into thin rounds not only allows the meat to cook quickly, but it prevents the turkey from drying out. Michael Chiarello serves his breadcrumb-coated meat with cranberry sauce and a light arugula salad, giving a Thanksgiving feel to this any-night-of-the-week recipe.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Scallopine Milanese with Mustard Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Apple Roasted Turkey Breast

Kelsey brines her bird in a mix of apple cider, cranberry juice and pickling spices for perky fall flavor. Those ingredients make a second appearance in her dark and decadent glaze that's made extra sticky with maple syrup.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Apple Roasted Turkey Breast

Apple-Glazed Roast Turkey

Whole lemons and oranges fill this brined bird while it's roasting and help to produce aromatic meat from the inside out. Make the easy apple cider and rosemary glaze a couple days ahead of time or while the turkey is roasting. 

Get the Recipe: Apple-Glazed Roast Turkey

Fried Turkey

In addition to freeing up your oven and shortening your turkey cook time, frying your bird creates a ridiculously crisp exterior while allowing all of the juices to remain inside the turkey. This guarantees that every single bite is moist and tender. So why would you ever want to roast a turkey?

Get the Recipe: Fried Turkey

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Ellie Krieger's turkey breast fills the kitchen with the fragrant fall aromas of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage. Producing tender and moist meat, this slimmed-down recipe is a quick-cooking alternative to a whole turkey that's sure to satisfy.

Get the Recipe: Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Smoked Bacon

Fill your bird with cornbread stuffing and slip sage-specked butter under the turkey's skin before roasting it in the oven. After a few hours of cooking, cover the turkey with — yes — maple-glazed bacon strips.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

Turkey Roulade with Apple Cider Gravy

Ellie's ultimate healthy turkey uses just the breast. It's filled with cranberry and pecan stuffing, then rolled and secured with kitchen twine. Sear the turkey until lightly brown and then roast until done.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Roulade with Apple-Cider Gravy

Bay and Lemon Brined Turkey

This simple recipe is all about the warm and bright brine containing bay leaves, lemon, cinnamon sticks and cloves. The sweet and salty solution infuses the turkey with moisture overnight, ensuring a juicier turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Get the Recipe: Bay and Lemon Brined Turkey

Roasted, Brined Turkey Breast with Maple-Worcestershire Gravy, and Fruit and Nut Rice Pilaf

Don’t be intimidated by the 25-hour total time on this recipe –– you’ll spend only an hour doing actual cooking (the rest is just for marinating). Rachael Ray makes a simple-yet-genius gravy by adding maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce to the turkey pan juices.

Get the Recipe: Roasted, Brined Turkey Breast with Maple-Worcestershire Gravy and Fruit and Nut Rice Pilaf

Maple Flake + Black Pepper Crispy Turkey

Michael Voltaggio turns to technology and uses the sous-vide cooking method on his turkey. He brines the breasts and legs separately and then uses an immersion circulator to ensure all the meat is moist, tender and cooked evenly.

Get the Recipe: Pressed Turkey Thighs with Crispy Maple Flake and Black Pepper Turkey Breast and Drumsticks

Pilgrim Meatloaf

Keep it simple this Thanksgiving with Rachael's one-dish dinner: a turkey meatloaf containing ground stuffing cubes and dried cranberries, served with cider gravy and cranberry sauce. Plate the loaf with steamed green beans or mashed sweet potatoes if you'd like to round out the meal.

Get the Recipe: Pilgrim Meatloaf

The Best Turkey in the World

In Jamie Oliver's book, the perfect bird is 14 to 18 pounds, feeds about 10 to 14 people and has better flavor than bigger birds. He uses herbed butter to give the turkey a little love.

Get the Recipe: The Best Turkey in the World

Apple and Sage Turkey

Aida Mollenkamp's sweet-and-savory turkey is stuffed with Pink Lady apples and served with a simple apple juice gravy.

Get the Recipe: Apple and Sage Turkey

The Legendary Turducken

You'll likely need a kitchen helper, but it will be worth it for this turkey, duck and chicken combination. Not to worry — it can be assembled the day before Thanksgiving and kept in the refrigerator.

Get the Recipe: The Legendary Turducken

Southern Fried Turkey

This fried bird gains extra flavor from a spice rub that's generously sprinkled inside the cavity and smeared underneath the skin. Fried for about 45 minutes, the turkey emerges with a super-crunchy, golden-brown skin.

Get the Recipe: Southern Fried Turkey

Turkey Stuffing Meatloaves and Mashed Potatoes with Herbs

Rachael's recipe makes any day Thanksgiving. But on actual turkey day, it's a delicious alternative to a big bird. Combine ground turkey with apple stuffing and create individual loaves.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Stuffing Meatloaves and Mashed Potatoes with Herbs

Oven-Roasted Turkey with Quick Pan Gravy

Justine Simmons' simply seasoned bird — rubbed with salt, pepper, thyme and smoked paprika — is delicious on its own, but once her cream-spiked gravy is poured over the top, the real party begins.

Get the Recipe: Oven-Roasted Turkey with Quick Pan Gravy