Traditional Roast Turkey Recipe

Traditional roast turkey is one of those things that immediately evoke your senses!

Ahhh, traditional roast turkey, one of the few things that evoke your senses when you see a photograph of it. You imagine your family all sitting around a table, and delicious smells coming from the kitchen.

Often labelled a ‘dry meat’, turkey still remains our top choice for Christmas Day. Last year, the UK consumed some 10 million turkeys! According to British Turkey an estimated 76% of British families have a turkey on their table every year.

With that in mind, we thought a recipe for Traditional Roast Turkey would be ideal!

You’ll Need

3kg oven-ready turkey, thawed if frozen
25g butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C, Fan Oven 200C, Gas Mark 7. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the turkey and use to make the turkey gravy.
  2. Position the turkey in a large roasting pan and rub the butter all over it. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 20 min. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C, Fan Oven 160C, Gas Mark 4 and cook the turkey, covered with foil, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting occasionally.
  3. Remove the turkey from the oven, take off the foil and baste well in the juices.
  4. Cook the turkey for a further 20 – 30 minutes to brown. Check it’s thoroughly cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If juices run clear, it is cooked, but if there is a trace of pink it will need extra time. Before carving, allow the bird to rest for 15 minutes, covered with foil to keep it warm.

Preparation time
10 min

Cooking time
2 hr 20 min

Serves 8



Recipe and food styling: Sue Ashworth
Photography: Nathan King, Jonathan Short

Karlie Simmonds

Karlie has worked in Digital Media for over 10 years, she is passionate about health and wellbeing and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, children, and Pug, Poppy.