Always-Tender Roasted Turkey Recipe
Always-Tender Roasted Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Always-Tender Roasted Turkey Recipe

Read Reviews
5 5 6
Publisher Photo
For years I prepared my Thanksgiving turkey only to have it turn out dry. That's when I decided to give this recipe a try. Baking the bird in an oven bag keeps it moist and tender...and there's no basting involved.—Shirley Bedzis, San Diego, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 3 hours + standing
MAKES:22-24 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 3 hours + standing
MAKES: 22-24 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 turkey (22 to 24 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 turkey-size oven roasting bag
  • 4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, sliced

Nutritional Facts

8 ounces cooked turkey equals 512 calories, 24 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 230 mg cholesterol, 375 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 67 g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic. Pat turkey dry. Carefully loosen skin of turkey; rub butter mixture under the skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper over skin of turkey and inside cavity. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
  2. Place flour in oven bag and shake to coat. Place oven bag in a roasting pan; add celery and onions. Place turkey, breast side up, over vegetables. Cut six 1/2-in. slits in top of bag; close bag with tie provided.
  3. Bake at 350° for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180°. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Skim fat and thicken drippings if desired.
  4. If preparing turkey the day before, pour drippings into a measuring cup; skim fat. Arrange slices in an ungreased shallow roasting pan; pour drippings over turkey. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, bake at 350° for 45-65 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 22-24 servings.
Originally published as Always-Tender Roasted Turkey in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2008, p111

Medium-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer

Reviews for Always-Tender Roasted Turkey

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Please Log In or Join to add a rating and review.
Click stars to rate
Any changes to your rating or review will appear where you originally posted your review
Loading Image
Sort By :
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2013

"Just finished Thanksgiving Dinner. I have tried several recipes over the years. I look no longer for a turkey recipe! This is it! I won't be trying any others. everyone loved it."

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2012

"I've been making this for 3 years for every turkey I've ever made in my life (I was looking for an easy recipe for my first time) and I've used it on about 8 turkeys and they always come out perfectly! I recommend it to everyone!"

Reviewed Nov. 14, 2012

"I've been making this recipe for, I think, 6 years now and it has always turned out perfectly!"

Reviewed Nov. 12, 2012

"This recipe is almost identical to the one I have used for years. It took me a few years to perfect my turkey and now I see a version of my trials here on ToH! This is an easy way to have your turkey come out moist and delicious with very little fuss, allowing you to spend your time on other dishes. My 10 children love turkey baked this way!"

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2011

"I made this for my family for Thanksgiving last year and they are still talking about how moist it was! Not to mention the amazing flavor it has!"

Loading Image