No brining, no basting and no stuffing – this is my easy, fuss-free recipe that really lets the flavour shine, and ensures the turkey is lovely and juicy.
Whether you’re cooking a small or a larger turkey this year (we always go large because we LOVE turkey leftovers), I’ll show you how to roast a turkey without the stress.

Roast turkey on a white rectangular plate surrounded by side dishes.
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I’m just going to come out here and say it – I don’t stuff my turkey! In addition I don’t brine it, baste it, lay it on piles of vegetables, cover it in bacon or smother butter under the skin.
Why? You might ask?

Turkey Faff SuggestionReason I don’t do it
Stuff turkeyI don’t like soggy stuffing (crunchy coating is better IMHO) and stuffing the bird increases roasting time – which will make the bird drier.
Brine turkeyI’ve never noticed a significant difference to taste in the turkey after brining. It does increase moisture slightly, but the moisture is just water – which dilutes the flavour of the meat.
Baste turkeyEvery time you open the oven to baste, the oven cools = longer to roast the turkey! Also it softens the skin, and the flavour of the meat juices doesn’t sink into the meat (only the skin).
Lay turkey on veggie trivetI don’t want those veggies sucking up all that turkey flavour, to then have to spend 10 minutes squeezing it all out of the veggies at the end of cooking. Too much faff.
Cover turkey in baconIt looks good, but the bacon itself loses its flavour. The salty flavour goes into the turkey skin (which is a small benefit), but that flavour doesn’t penetrate the meat. When everyone goes to grab a bit of bacon, and that bacon is flavourless, it’s so disappointing!
Smother butter under skinThere’s a risk of tearing the skin, and also the water in the butter can make the browning of the skin uneven.

After years of roasting turkeys, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to keep it simple. A flavourful turkey, with any energy for fancy stuff being saved for the side dishes!

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for roast turkey on a wooden table

This is a 4.5kg (10 pound) bronze turkey. I’ve include a little table further down this post with info on using different weights of turkey.

🔪 How to roast a turkey

**Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.**

  1. Remove the giblets and neck, tuck the tips of the legs into the cavity and tuck the tips of the wings underneath the bird.
  2. Place the turkey on a large wire rack on top of a large roasting tray, then rub all over with oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  3. Pour a cup of chicken stock into the base of the roasting tray and cover the turkey and the tray with foil – tenting the foil over the turkey, so it’s not touching.
  4. Roast the turkey according to the cooking times in the table further below, removing the foil for the last hour of cooking.
  5. Transfer to a warm serving plate and leave to rest for 30-60 minutes.
8 image collage showing how to roast a turkey


Check the turkey is done by piercing the deepest part of the meat with a skewer – the juices should run clear, not pink. Give it a little longer in the oven if the juices are still a little pink.

If you have a meat thermometer, the temperature should read 70C/158F. Test the thickest part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast. The temperature will rise a little further when it’s resting.

Roast turkey on a white plate with herbs, side dishes and a carving knife and fork on the plate.

⏲️ Turkey Roasting Time

Note: this is for whole turkeys (not turkey crowns).
For turkeys under 4kg (8.8lbs), this is 20 minutes per kg (2.2lbs) plus 70 minutes.
For turkeys 4kg (8.8lbs) and over, this is 20 minutes per kg (2.2lbs) plus 90 minutes.

Table showing cooking and resting times for roast turkey.

🍽️ What to serve it with

Time planning tip:

It’s a good idea to work out your time plan backwards from the time you want to serve.
You’ll need to consider not only the roasting time, but also taking the bird out of the fridge 1 hour before roasting, and then resting the bird after roasting.
So if you want to serve at 2pm (and you have a 4.5kg/10lb bird) it would need to come out of the fridge at 9:15am. Then it would go into the oven at 10:15am. It would be done by 1:15pm, and can rest for 45 minutes before serving at 2pm.

Roast turkey on a white plate surrounded by fresh herbs, cranberries and other garnishes.

📺 Watch how to make it

YouTube video

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5 from 6 votes

Easy Roast Turkey Recipe

No brining, no basting, no stuffing – this is my easy, fuss-free recipe that lets the flavour shine and ensures the turkey is perfectly juicy.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 -10 people
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British


  • Large roasting tin
  • Roasting rack
  • Non-stick tin foil.
  • Meat thermometer (if possible)


  • 1 turkey – approx 4.5kg/10lbs see notes for different size turkeys
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock this can be warm or cold
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  • Preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
  • Remove the giblets and neck (you can save these to make stock another time), tuck the tips of the legs into the cavity and tuck the tips of the wings underneath the bird.
    1 turkey – approx 4.5kg/10lbs
  • Place the turkey on a large wire rack on top of a large roasting tray.
  • Rub the oil all over the turkey, then sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper
  • Pour the stock into the base of the roasting tray.
    240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • Brush or spray the foil with a little more oil, then tent the foil over the turkey and the tray so there are no gaps. Try not to let the foil touch the turkey – this will allow steam to circulate around the turkey as it’s cooking. You will probably need to connect a couple of large pieces of foil together so it will fit – just roll and then scrunch the edges of the pieces of foil together so they stay connected.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 2 hours.
  • Remove the foil roast for a further hour.
  • Once the turkey is lovely and golden brown, remove from the oven and transfer to a warm serving plate.
  • Leave to rest for 30-60 minutes (I usually rest mine for about 45 minutes). This is ultra-important if you want a juicy turkey. The turkey will still be warm after this period (plus if you’re serving on warm plates with hot gravy you have nothing to worry about at all). There is no need to cover the turkey (unless you’re in a really cold room) during this time, as the internal temperature tends to rise a little more during the resting period, and covering with foil would just cook the turkey further and the skin will soften.
  • If you need more time to make roasties etc after the turkey comes out of the oven and think you might need to let the turkey rest for 60-90 minutes, then tent foil over the top, leaving space between the turkey and the foil (this is so any trapped steam on the foil isn’t touching the skin – which would make it go soggy).
  • Use the juices in the bottom of the tray to make gravy (or add these juices to gravy you’ve made ahead – check out my video for make-ahead Christmas gravy).
  • Serve with all of those wonderful side dishes for an amazing Christmas dinner.


YouTube video


Nutritional information is per person – attributing approx. 175-200g (6-7oz) of meat per person.


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Angelina Vaughan says:

    Am I missing what temp to cook at!?

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Angelina,
      It’s on the first step of the recipe card: Preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas mark 4.

  2. Linda says:

    5 stars
    Oh gosh – I made 10 pounders twice and they were so good that my son insists I make the 22 pound turkey later this month. Any advice besides the added time (still remove foil in the last hour). I’m having performance anxiety. I looooove a bread/vegetable stuffing inside the bird but the recipe appears to discourage that. Is it doable? Any advice. (Your super simple recipe just got me onto the hot seat!)

  3. Linda C Gilbert says:

    5 stars
    NO ONE could believe how easy this was to make. My adult son said it was the best he ever had (I agree), and he has fussed over his for years, brining, adding wine, etc.

  4. Sue says:

    5 stars
    Great Turkey! It was moist and tender and perfect and easy peasy! Thank you Nicky and Chris! Happy New Year!!

  5. Shane says:

    Does this work for a crown, we don’t eat legs so don’t see the point in getting a whole bird…

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Shane, Yes you could use this method for a crown, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time to the instructions on the pack, as turkey crowns cook quicker.

  6. Walter says:

    5 stars
    my kind of preparation and completely agree with yr way of thinking
    Thks and happy festivities

  7. Veronica Ellis says:

    5 stars
    Thank you, Excellent advice Nicky.
    I rate the recipe 5 stars,
    Thank you for all your useful tips and recipes.

    Wishing you all the very best.

  8. Janice says:

    5 stars
    I totally agree. Minimum faff and maximum flavour. Great guide, thanks.