Traditional Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

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This Traditional Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy is the perfect main dish for your holiday dinner! This recipe is for a 12 to 14 lb turkey (thawed).


  • 112 to 14 lb turkey (thawed)

Herb Butter:

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • salt & fresh ground pepper

Pan Gravy:

  • pan drippings
  • 1/41/3 cup flour
  • salt (if necessary)
  • pepper
  • extra chicken broth (if there aren’t enough pan drippings)


  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Prepare your turkey:

  1. Prepare your turkey. Remove the neck and giblets, rinse, pat dry and place in a roasting pan.
  2. Make sure the skin from the neck of the turkey fully covers the back portion of the turkey, and that the legs and wings are tucked in.

Making the herb butter:

  1. Using a mixer, whip the 3/4 cup butter.
  2. Add the fresh chopped parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt & pepper. Mix well.

Get ready to roast:

  1. Warm up the butter/herb mix, just slightly. I put it in the microwave for 8 seconds…it’s just enough to soften the butter mix so you can rub it on the turkey.
  2. Rub the turkey with the butter and herb mix, making sure to butter all of the turkey (the breast, wings and legs).
  3. Place the turkey into the oven and immediately TURN DOWN the heat to 350 degrees.
  4. Roast for 35 – 40 minutes per 2 lbs, so a turkey of this size will need to roast for approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  5. The turkey is done when the thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 – 170 degrees F.
  6. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven, and place it on a large plate (keep the pan drippings!), then cover it in tin foil and let rest about 15 – 30 minutes, and make your gravy.

Making the pan gravy:

  1. Take the pan drippings and pour them into a saucepan or large skillet. You should have about about 2 cups of drippings. If you don’t, you can use extra chicken broth.
  2. Keep the stovetop heat at medium.
  3. Whisk in about 1/4 cup of flour while the gravy boils. Whisk until smooth.
  4. If the gravy separates, add more chicken broth and flour and whisk until smooth.
  5. Tip: If you would like your gravy nice and smooth, you can use a hand blender.
  6. Taste the gravy then salt and pepper to your taste preference.

Keywords: Christmas turkey, how to cook a turkey, roast turkey, Thanksgiving turkey