Seasoned Roast Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 2-3/4 hours + standing


15 servings

Updated: Nov. 27, 2023
Rubbing the skin with melted butter keeps this simply seasoned turkey moist and tender. —Nancy Reichert, Thomasville, Georgia
Seasoned Roast Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 turkey (13 to 15 pounds)
  • 2 medium lemons, halved, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan; pat dry. Brush with butter mixture. If desired, place lemons in cavity; tie legs with kitchen twine.
  2. Bake, uncovered, 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Seasoned Roast Turkey Tips

How can you use roast turkey leftovers?

Think beyond the sandwich! Roast turkey leftovers can be used in a variety of ways, from a tasty salad to a delicious pasta dish with vegetables to a comforting casserole!

How long do you cook a turkey for, based on its size?

Size is always the important factor to consider in terms of roasting time for your turkey. For this recipe, we suggest roasting your 13 to 15 pound turkey for a little over 3 hours at most. If you are scaling up or scaling down on your turkey size, we have come up with the perfect turkey-roasting chart to provide you with the correct roasting time for your bird, as well as other helpful tips.

How can you tell when a seasoned roast turkey is done?

Your roast turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird (usually the thighs) registers at 170º and 175ºF (165ºF for a turkey breast). Make sure the thermometer is not touching bone, which can give an inaccurate reading. If you do not have a meat thermometer, pierce the skin of the mid-thigh with a fork and pay attention to the juices. If the juices run clear, your turkey is done.

How do you keep a roast turkey from drying out?

The key to perfectly moist and juicy turkey is to give it a rest. When you have removed the turkey from the oven, let it rest on the cutting board for at least 30 minutes to incorporate any juices back into the meat after being in the oven. Resist the temptation to baste your turkey, as every time you open the oven door, you are letting heat escape and thus increasing the time you need to cook the turkey completely, which leads to drier meat. Leftover turkey can dry out easily, as well. Try our tips for reheating leftover turkey.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

9 ounces cooked turkey: 488 calories, 24g fat (8g saturated fat), 221mg cholesterol, 698mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 63g protein.