cooked turkey in a roasting pan

Simple Roast Turkey

Last Updated on December 13, 2022

There are lots of ways to prepare a turkey, but in this recipe ButcherBox’s turkey roasts quicker and the focus is on keeping it simply delicious. The turkey is first rubbed and stuffed with garlic, bay leaves and citrus zest, and while it roasts it is brushed with a buttery wine sauce. Just imagine how your kitchen is going to smell!

Make sure your turkey is fully defrosted and then let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. This recipe also leaves you with major turkey flavor drippings in the pan, so be sure to use those to make a gravy.

Simple Roast Turkey

3.72 from 57 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 large 18-20 pound ButcherBox Turkey (giblets and neck removed and patted dry)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons zested (or 1 orange)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4-6 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • 1/2 cup white or rose wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce


  • 1 hour before you plan to cook, take the turkey out of the fridge, pat very dry all over and set on a rack inside a large roasting pan. If you don’t have a roasting pan, a sheet pan will do. Tuck tips of wings under the turkey. In a bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons salt, the black pepper and zest. Rub the mixture all over the bird into every nook and cranny, including the main and neck cavities. 
  • After 1 hour, set a rack in the oven on the second- lowest level. Preheat to 450ºF degrees. Cut the lemons or orange into quarters. Stuff the main cavity with the onion, garlic, celery, sage leaves, bay leaves and citrus wedges. Stuff any remaining vegetables into the leg and wing nooks. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the butter all over the turkey and transfer to the oven. Pour 4 cups of the stock or water into the bottom of the roasting or sheet pan and roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, stir the soy sauce and wine into the melted butter. Keep warm, but don‘t simmer.
  • After 45 minutes, turn the heat down to 325ºF. Add more stock or water to the pan to maintain about ½ inch of liquid. Brush the turkey with butter glaze. Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes until the turkey registers 165ºF with an instant-read thermometer set in the thickest part of a thigh, about 2 ½ hours total. 
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