Thanksgiving is set to return to normal this year after a scaled-down holiday took place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. However, whether someone is reuniting with family for the first time or they are still social distancing, the turkey is still going to be the most essential part of their dinners.

Those who still cook their holiday bird this Nov. 25, luckily won’t have to worry about the meal being too difficult to make because cooking a turkey is actually easier than it looks. Check out this easy roast turkey recipe that is perfect for everyone—from beginners and first-timers to seasoned pros—this Thanksgiving 2021 (via All Recipes).

You Will Need The Following Items: 


  • 1 turkey, weighing 15 pounds, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp. ground dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. rubbed dried sage
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 bottle champagne

Turkey Prep/How To Thaw: 

Before even thinking about getting the turkey in the oven, the bird has to be properly prepped, and, if starting with a frozen bird, it needs to be thawed before being cooked. Times vary for thawing depending on the weight of the bird, though you can learn how to do so safely here. For this recipe, proper thaw time is between 3-5 days in the refrigerator or 6-10 hours in cold water.

Once the turkey is thawed, remove it from the fridge one hour prior to roasting so it can come to room temperature. Adjust your oven rack to keep the turkey properly seated in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the neck and giblets from inside the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels.

Step-by-Step Recipe: 

1. Line a turkey roasting pan with long sheets of aluminum foil that will be long enough to wrap over the turkey.

2. Stir together parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon pepper and salt in a small bowl and rub the herb mixture into the cavity of the turkey. Stuff with celery, orange, onion and carrot. Truss if desired, and place the turkey into the roasting pan.

3. Pour the chicken broth and champagne over the turkey, making sure the champagne gets in the cavity.

4. Bring the aluminum foil over the top of the turkey and seal. Try to keep the foil from touching the skin of the turkey breast or legs.

5. Bake the turkey for 2 ½ to 3 hours until it is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. Uncover, then continue baking until the skin turns golden brown, approximately 30 minutes to one hour.

6. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone. It should read 180 degrees. Remove turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil and allow to rest in a warm area 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Oven Cook Times:

Cook time can vary on turkeys, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service advises the following times for stuffed birds.

  • 6-8 lb. Breast or 8-12 lb. bird: 3-3 ½ hours
  • 12-14 lb. Bird: 3 ½ -4 hours
  • 14-18 lb. Bird: 4- 4 ¼ hours
  • 18-20 lb. Bird: 4 ¼-4 ¾ hours
  • 20-24 lb. Bird: 4 ¾-5 ¼ hours

Thanksgiving Turkey Follow this recipe for an easy Thanksgiving turkey.  Photo: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay