Easy & Juicy Whole Roasted Turkey

Ok ok I heard you sheesh! Some of you RAVED about the herb roasted turkey recipe I put up a few years ago and some of you said “uhhh Monique I love you and everything but that turkey is just toooooo much work with all that flipping and basting!”  lol. So I thought it was time that I put up a super easy, moist, juicy, flavorful turkey for beginners or for those who just want something a bit more simple.

The meat on this turkey is so tender and the skin bakes up tight, flavorful, dry and crisp, just they way I like it! I can’t handle turkey with soggy, flabby, chewy skin. Ick!

Easy Juicy whole roasted turkey recipe
Juicy and tender!!

I adore this easy & juicy whole roasted turkey recipe for several reasons.

1.) The brine is super simple yet produces SUPERB results! Don’t you dare skip the brine!!  It’s gonna make that turkey stupid juicy and  it’s gonna allow you some wiggle room in case you accidentally overcook the turkey. Nobody likes a dry turkey!

2.) The seasonings are very simple yet gives it such a nice flavor that goes well with ALL those thanksgiving fixings and makes the best gravy ever!! Don’t you DARE skip the butter!! I know I’m being kinda bossy and I really don’t mean to be. It’s just that I want you too experience the juicy piece of turkey perfection that I just ate a few minutes ago.

3.) It’s so easy.  Brine. Season. Bake. No flipping. No basting. There, you have NO excuses to not make a turkey this Thanksgiving. None!

This recipe is for a 12-16 pound turkey. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time if you’re using a smaller or larger turkey. The rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound of turkey (cooking on 325) or when a themometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (although some folks say 165 is safe).

Food Network has this cute little turkey calculator that does all the work for you if you just put in the the size of your turkey. It will even tell you when you need to put the turkey into the oven based on when you want to eat dinner and also how big of a turkey you’ll need to feed X amount of people. So handy. You can check it out right here.

I’ve made this turkey before and roasted it breast side down and BAAAAABY it was oozing juices when I cut into the breast! It’s still crazy juicy (and much prettier) when cooked breast side up though and so for this video I decided to do it breast side up for a prettier presentation.

Watch me make the easiest, juicy whole roasted turkey from start to finish!

4.8 from 17 reviews
Easy & Juicy Whole Turkey Recipe
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: whole turkey
Serves: 16
  • 16 lb turkey, thawed, inside packets removed
  • 1 gallon buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning.
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  1. Combine the brine ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Line a large bowl, pot or bucket with an oven roasting bag.
  3. Place the turkey into the bag and pour in the brine.
  4. Tie the bag, making sure all the air is out and the buttermilk brine is completely surrounding the turkey.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 325.
  7. Rinse the brine off completely.
  8. Dry the turkey with paper towels until completely dry.
  9. Combine the salt and pepper and rub inside of the turkey cavity.
  10. Stuff the cavity with an apple and orange.
  11. Combine all of the seasoned butter ingredients.
  12. Brush this butter mixture generously onto the turkey, until covered with butter. Reserve some of the butter if desired.
  13. Place turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up.
  14. Place on the lower rack in the oven and bake uncovered for 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  15. Cover with foil for the last 45 minutes (if you are content with the browning) and also remove the apple and orange at this point.
  16. Remove from oven when done.
  17. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  18. Enjoy!
~TIPS~ Feel free to stuff the turkey with fresh herbs, onions, garlic, etc. Don't brine past 24 hours. Don't overcook!! Use that thermometer AND cooking guide! (oven tempts. can vary)





  1. Stephanie Limon says

    I have to say this was HIT for Easter. OH MY GOODNESS was this turkey ever good. My mom who doesn’t eat much turkey is now a turkey lover because of this recipe. Thank you sooooo much for posting this delicious recipe.

  2. Lilia says

    Hi, I want to try this for Christmas but was wondering if I could use a turkey bag to cook it instead of doing it without the bag? Also does the ove temperature change for gas or electric? Thanks

  3. Meacheall says

    Hello! Mrs.Diva this is my first time on your site I know it’s late & thanksgiving is over,but I would like to take the time to inform you that I really appreciated your roasted turkey recipe It was phenomenal!!! It was everything that you stated.The turkey was so good to the family I had to passed down the recipe

  4. Dee says

    I used your buttermilk brine recipe and my turkey came out excellent! I had a smaller turkey, so I only used a 1/2 gallon of the buttermilk. My mom gave me some brine seasonings that had peppercorns, kosher salt etc.-so I added that to the brine as well. The seasoned butter was great too! I also used your southern dressing recipe. My family was like whuttt! LOL! So I thank you for all of your recipes and taking out the time to make us all better cooks! Thank you!

  5. says

    Hey Diva, this was my first time doing a turkey and I followed your directions and that turkey came out excellent. Very tender and tasty. My friend who fry’s his turkeys said this was the best tasting roasted turkey he has eaten. I also did your recipes for cornbread dressing, candied yams and cornbread and they were OUTSTANDING!!!! I’ll be using more of your recipes. All you got to do is follow the directions and you can’t mess it up..

  6. Toni says

    I was looking for an easy recipe for juicy turkey and I am so glad that I found this one! Usually I am not a huge fan of turkey because it turns dry and bland so easily, but this turkey officially changed my mind! Yes it is that good. I think the buttermilk brine truly did make the difference so definitely don’t skip that step. I used a 12.5 lbs turkey left it in the brine for about 14 hrs, which was plenty. By the way the melted butter seasoning will make your mouth water! Thank you so much!

  7. Terri J says

    When I tell you this was by far the best turkey I have ever had, you better believe. My mother is a great cook and she was impressed. That buttermilk brine is the truth! The white meat was so moist! OMG. Your website has help me become the cook I always wanted to be.
    BTW, that pumpkin spice cake is just too good to describe. I sing your praises to my family. Please keep the recipes coming!

  8. says

    Thank you for the buttermilk brine recipe. I will be making it for Thanksgiving. I’m adding fresh poultry herbs and orange juice to the brine, hope it works! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Tina says

    I found your older buttermilk brine turkey recipe and then stumbled upon this easier one (thank you!!). I have a question that applies to both recipes: with regards to the apple and the orange to be put in the cavity, do you peel them and/or slice them, or just put them in there whole (peels and all)? I am a “first-timer” this year and my hubs has way high expectations….I’m hoping your turkey recipe will help me hit it out of the park. Thanks!!

  10. Grisel says

    I tried your recipe for the red velvet cake and it came out incredible!
    I was watching your video for the easy turkey recipe and I was curious….
    Would placing the turkey in an oven bag for the first few hours help make it juicier still or is it best to leave it out of the bag?

  11. Sarah says

    I will be using this recipe for my Thanksgiving dinner this year. I made this recipe last year and the older recipe the year before. I love your recipes. I have made so many of your recipes, and they all taste wonderful. I have learned to trust that if it comes from divascancook that it is going to be great. Thank you!!!

  12. Martisha Calloway says

    Hello! When you placed the turkey in the pan what was that at the bottom of the pan and why? (Something silver) btw I llloooovvveee your videos,! You give hope to young women like myself especially those with either a husband or children or both, thank you soo much!

  13. says

    I made this for Thanksgiving and I am making it again for Christmas, it was that Good! I never knew of anyone who brine their turkey so this was a first for me. It was juicy from the dark meat to the white meat even my picky husband was amazed. One tip after you have brine your turkey and rinsed and dried it and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to dry some more, when you cook it the skin will be extra crispy. I did not use any butter on the skin. This Buttermilk Brine is the only way to roast turkey and no, your turkey will not taste like buttermilk it will be moist and flavorful. Thanks Diva for this recipe I wish I could give you more stars. Blessings

  14. Shae says

    I love your website and have liked your page on FB, I will be using your recipes to set my very first thanksgiving dinner off right!!!! I made your smoked cheddar mac n cheese recipe before and people loved it!!!!! So….I am trusting you with my Turkey Day! LOL I have a question and I know you are busy so I may just have to figure this out….may be a stupid question, but I am supposed to refrigerate the turkey once inside the buttermilk brine….right??? and would it hurt for me to use injectables for extra flavor??

    • Natasha says

      I did a brine last year and you do need to refrigerate. I also don’t think it will hurt to add extra flavor but you honestly won’t need it! Hope your dinner goes well.

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