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9 Ways to Cook Turkey

A delicious collection of 9 Ways to Cook Turkey! From a traditional roasted turkey to bacon wrapped turkey to simple recipes for smaller gatherings, and more.

’Tis the season for turkey! Thanksgiving and Christmas are both right around the corner (whether we are ready for them or not!), and more often than not the star of the big family dinner is going to be a big ol’ bird. There’s something here for you if you are looking for the traditional, the unexpected, something to serve a large crowd, or just a small main course for your intimate family dinner. I hope you find exactly what you are looking for to make your next turkey dinner special!

Turkey Recipe Ideas for a Crowd

If you are feeding a big group, a traditional roasted turkey is such an easy way to make sure everyone gets enough food and you don’t spend too much time working away in the kitchen. I’ve collected my favourite roast turkey recipes for you to choose from, including instructions for brining! 

Brining A Turkey

Have you ever brined a turkey? Or eaten one that’s been prepared this way? Roasted turkey that has been brined beforehand is SO moist, flavourful, and delicious. And don’t be afraid, it isn’t as hard as you might think! From the brine ingredients, to what container to use, to how long to let your turkey soak and more, I’m giving you all my brining tips and tricks to make sure you have a turkey that turns out perfectly! 

Traditional Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

This Traditional Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy is the perfect main dish for your holiday dinner! Smothered in whipped butter and parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (did you sing that last bit like I do?), this turkey cannot be beat if you are in a super traditional holiday mood.  Never roasted a turkey before or feeling insecure about trying out your roasting skills on a crowd? Never fear! I’ve included roasting tips for every sized turkey along with this gorgeous recipe.

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Turkey with Savoury Hazelnut Stuffing

This recipe for my Lemon Rosemary Roasted Turkey is really simple! It has fresh ingredients like lemons and fresh poultry herbs that pair perfectly with turkey for a beautifully traditional holiday meal. I’m on team separate baking dish for stuffing, so I fill the interior of the turkey with chunks of lemon and sprigs of fresh rosemary instead. The lemon and rosemary steam the turkey from the inside out while it roasts! And the herb and butter rub creates a golden, juicy turkey with a gravy that has hints of butter flavour. 

Then, I make this Savoury Hazelnut Stuffing for a delicious side dish with all the traditional herb flavours. Plus, I’ve also added hazelnuts and apples to this stuffing for extra crunch and deliciousness! Raisins too, but I know that’s a controversial topic for stuffing. I will let you debate that amongst yourselves while you prep this delicious meal! 

Bacon Wrapped Roast Turkey

I don’t think in the history of cooking that anything has ever been made worse by adding bacon, don’t you agree? So it should be no shock that a bacon-wrapped roasted turkey would be an amazing innovation! So if you’re cooking a turkey this coming holiday, consider wrapping it in bacon! Because bacon. This recipe is really just as simple as putting a turkey in a pan, adding some spices, covering it in bacon, and putting it in the oven. Done. This is truly my favourite way to roast a turkey…the flavour is incredible!

Turkey Recipes for a Small Gathering

If you are having a smaller gathering this year, a full-roasted turkey might just be too much food! But if you still want turkey, I’m going to give you a bunch of ways to cook a turkey breast that will be the perfect amount of food and still satisfy your craving for all the traditional turkey flavours and feels! 

Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll

If you’re planning a smaller gathering this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas where a whole turkey would be just too much, this Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll recipe is perfect for you! Easy and ready in two hours, it is the perfect amount of food for a small gathering that is intimate but special. It combines the turkey and savoury stuffing into one beautiful dish, and to make it that much more delicious I wrapped the whole thing in bacon! Because bacon! 

One Dish Turkey + Stuffing

Here is another great option if you don’t want to roast a full turkey, One Dish Turkey and Stuffing made with a turkey breast. This recipe is delicious and very easy, and perfect for a small holiday dinner.

a top down image of a pan with a roasted and sliced turkey breast sitting on a bed of stuffing. fresh herbs sit on the turkey

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

If you’re hosting a small group for your holiday dinner this year, why not consider roasting a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey? This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is SO easy to prepare and ready in just over an hour, from start to finish. Talk about making Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner easier than ever! Roasted with a homemade cranberry & rosemary glaze, this main course is tender, moist, and flavourful!  So good. And really, turkey and cranberry are a match made in Heaven so you really can’t go wrong with this one! 

Slow Roasted Herb Marinated Turkey Breast

By now, you guys have probably gotten the idea that I love a good roasted turkey breast. I can’t help it! It is the perfect holiday meat for a small group of people, and I will not apologize for giving you yet another fantastic way to cook it. This savoury Herb Marinated Turkey Breast is slow roasted, resulting in tender and juicy turkey bursting with the traditional holiday flavours of rosemary and thyme. Serve it with all the usual holiday side dishes and enjoy! 

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Holiday meals are all about the turkey. But maybe you’re tired of all the traditional turkey meals and want to try something different! If you are feeding just a small group of people this year and want to branch out from roasted turkey, might I suggest this BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub? I make a small batch of homemade rub, then generously cover the meat with it so you get a delicious taste of sugar and spice in each bite. Then we toss the turkey onto the grill and cook it up until it’s juicy and tender. Once the meat is almost done cooking, we smother it with our favourite BBQ sauce and roast it a little longer…just until the sauce gets nice and sticky! This would be a perfect way to include turkey in your non-traditional holiday meal! 

Traditional Herb Turkey Roast

Are you looking for the flavours of a traditional turkey dinner, but with less prep work and cook time? Then I have the perfect recipe for you! This Traditional Herb Turkey Roast is ready in less than three hours and is super easy and low maintenance. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying yourself with family and friends! No muss, no fuss, just delicious.

I hope you found something delicious!

There you go, so many different and delicious ways to cook turkey for the holidays! I hope you found something here that really spoke to your taste buds. I would love it if you shared your foodie holiday pics with me @aprettylife! If you want inspiration for the rest of your meal, I’ve put together an entire menu for Thanksgiving or Christmas with a grocery list and hosting tips. You could just substitute any of these turkey recipes for the main course and make your planning so much easier! And of course, I have some ideas for the inevitable turkey leftovers 🙂 Happy holidays everyone!  

Have a delicious day!

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