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Champagne-Basted Turkey Recipe

Champagne-Basted Turkey Recipe

I've made this turkey every Thanksgiving for the past 15 years. We all love it. The secret is to use lots of fresh parsley on top and inside and to keep basting. That creates a tender, delightful turkey. —Sharon Hawk, Edwardsville, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing YIELD:16 servings


  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh sage and parsley sprigs, optional
  • 2 cups Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup condensed beef consomme, undiluted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • GRAVY:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • 1. Pat turkey dry. Combine the butter, salt, celery salt and pepper; rub over the outside and inside of turkey. Place sage and parsley sprigs in cavity if desired. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • 2. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the Champagne, onions, parsley, consomme, thyme and marjoram; pour into pan. Bake for 3 to 3-1/2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with Champagne mixture. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
  • 3. For gravy, strain drippings into a small bowl. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add drippings. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey. Yield: 14 servings (1-2/3 cups gravy).

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 518 calories, 25g fat (9g saturated fat), 224mg cholesterol, 522mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 64g protein.

Reviews for Champagne-Basted Turkey

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cwbuff2 User ID: 5946195 214407
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2014

"The gravy was the best I've ever tasted, as others have said. The only thing I'd change is to double or triple the butter and flour for the gravy - mine didn't thicken enough with only 1 tablespoon each. I will definitely do this recipe again next Thanksgiving!"

annamossburg User ID: 6911458 181452
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2014

"I made this last year and plan to do it again this year. I added a cut lemon, carrots and celery inside the bird for extra flavor. It was awesome."

Kittybabytime User ID: 5769647 190221
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2014

"I've made this several times now. The meat stays nice and moist. It's very very fragrant when cooking. The broth makes an amazing gravy! The only thing I omit is the parsley. It tends to burn when it's stuck on the turkey after basting it."

Ruffshse User ID: 4225266 108947
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2012

"i gave a friend this recipe to try,which she made for Thanksgiving,as i also made,and both of our turkeys came out great,except the onions burnt so we could not make the gravy.could u please give me some help on why the onions burnt so the next i make this the onions will not burns thanks"

Ruffshse User ID: 4225266 131294
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2012

"i gave a friend this recipe to try,which she made for Thanksgiving,as i also made,and both of our turkeys came out great .except for one thing the onions burnt so we could not make the gravy,can u please give me some help on why they burn so that this does not happen again thanks"

nmburns User ID: 6979948 131293
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2012

"No one will let me make anything else for Thanksgiving! I've made it 3 years in a row so far."

suemom41 User ID: 4889051 191241
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2012

"This is our new holiday turkey. Very moist and tasteful!"

np7333 User ID: 6433818 181450
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2012

"Rather dry. Try putting more butter or basting juices under the skin."

MzBlue User ID: 6222991 181448
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2011

"Our turkey came out so moist and tasted wonderful. We will definitely be serving this for many Thanksgivings to come."

Tite User ID: 5948658 193909
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2011

"Everyone around our table raves about this one. I prepare two turkeys now in order to have leftovers for everyone. This recipe never disappoints...moist, flavorful, and warms up nice. Thanks TOH!"

sylviasaturn User ID: 4711875 193904
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2011

"Turkey and gravy came out too sweet. Interesting, but I'll try a different recipe next time I cook turkey."

helens924 User ID: 5659731 148964
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2011

"I have been making this Turkey recipe for almost 35 years. Just had guest visiting from Germany and had a special request just for the Turkey. Guests have always commented that it is the most moist white meat they have ever had. I always use a good Brut Champagne (Korbel) and the gravy is amazing. I baste the turkey at least 3-4 times and make sure the juices get in the cavity. Also, in recent years, I have added apple slices in the cavity as I do not like the stuffing in the turkey. FYI: the recipe is from Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook circa 1961."

veggiemamma3 User ID: 5783378 176648
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

"I made 2 turkeys with this recipe for a HUGE crowd for Thanksgiving. It was a crowd pleaser!"

lyn17 User ID: 4480599 115248
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2011

"I made this at Thanksgiving and the flavor was very good. I bought a couple of extra turkeys while they were on sale and today will be making this again. Turkey tonight and turkey gumbo this weekend!"

SpringinMT User ID: 5730155 192722
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2010

"My mom has always cooked, so this was my 1st year cooking Thanksgiving. I followed this recipe to a T... and WOW... It was amazing.. I also used the fool proof gravy recipe on the next page over & everyone went on & on about it... They were still talking about it on Christmas..Thanks! It will surely be used again next year."

jenniferhadden User ID: 5576770 193900
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2010

"I cooked my first turkey for Thanksgiving and used this recipe. It turned out great and everyone loved it."

Csuzanne User ID: 5722385 115245
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2010

"I made this for Thanksgiving and it was so delicious everyone wanted me to make it for Christmas, This is definately a keeper."

marvalrus User ID: 5659639 108945
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2010

"I bought a larger bird than usual, and I've never seen such a big turkey breast carve up so juicy and tender. I did as the OP said, and used globs of parsley on top, and inside. I also added a cut up onion and apple inside. I used a Pink "Brut" champagne and some Prosecco. I took the turkey out to baste, rather than baste quickly while the heat escapes the oven. This was much nicer way to baste. As I was basting I shot the juices up under the skin, mainly on the breast meat, but also in any area that was open to that. Also, I cooked mine upside down, last hour turned it right side up. WHAT-A-BIRD! I normally like dark meat because it's more tender, but this bird's white meat was incredibly juicy and tender and flavorful. Thanks for the parsley tip! I think it's def part of the secret to it's juiciness."

martinna User ID: 2142710 122245
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2010

"This turkey had a lot of flavor, and was very moist. Will definitely make again. I used a Brut champagne, and I may experiment with others, but we were all very happy with this recipe."

jmello User ID: 5648366 131292
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2010

"Best turkey I every made."

cooljewell03 User ID: 3327094 181442
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2010

"My niece made this for Thanksgiving and OMG this is the best, even better than my moms Turkey. Thank you for sharing it."

blueyedtraveler User ID: 4303966 148963
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2010

"Just made this for thankgiving moist and great flavor. my family is still making happy noises over the leftovers. This recipe is a keeper for sure."

mns355 User ID: 5614405 115243
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2010

"Made this recipe a week ago and it was a hit with the family. Will cont to make it every year. Never had such a moist turkey before!"

Ruffshse User ID: 4225266 193898
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2010

"could you please let me know what kind of champage you use ;if it is a brut or etc I would like to try this recipe."

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Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.