Easy Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

21 Nov

For all those procrastinators out there, who have not thought about Thanksgiving Dinner, do not despair. There is still time to prepare a succulent turkey, just follow this Trader Joes recipe, and you will impress your guests.

It is simple, and easy. It is the recipe I follow every year, and I was never disappointed. The Turkey gets crunchy on the outside and juicy and soft inside. They recommend you use a brined turkey, but in case you don’t want to brine it for tomorrow, or could not find one already brined, don’t worry, just add a little bit more salt to the Herb Butter.


  1. Remove the neck and giblets from inside the bird
  2. Rinse the bird inside and out with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel
  3. Let the bird come to room temperature (about an hour)
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400 F

Herb Butter

  1. Rinse one package of each:  Thyme, Rosemary and Sage
  2. Let herbs dry on paper towel
  3. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature in a food processor with the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste, or if you are feeling like it, chop herbs by hand, and mix all together

The bird

  1. Transfer the bird to a roasting pan with a rack
  2. Loosen the bird’s skin with your hands and rub the Herb Butter all over it, under the skin and inside the cavities
  3. Stuff the cavity with 3 lemons cut in half, and 3 peeled and halved sweet onions
  4. Truss the bird if you like, keeping the legs together


  1. Place the bird in the oven for about 30 minutes
  2. Turn the oven down to 325F and let it roast for about 2 hours. Carefully open the oven, take the pan out and baste the bird.
  3. Make a little tent with aluminum foil and place the bird back in the oven
  4. Keep checking the bird. When the temperature reaches 165F in the thickest part of the bird (thigh meat). Remember that cooking times vary depending oh the bird’s weight. I used here a 13 lbs bird.
  5. Let bird rest covered in foil for about 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

15 Responses to “Easy Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe”

  1. johnnysenough hepburn November 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Looks amazing! Apart from turkey legs I’ve never actually cooked a whole turkey. If I ever do I’d go with this.


  2. Mike Knoche November 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    How did it turn out?


    • foodnotherstuff November 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      Moist And juicy inside and crispy outside! This recipe is unbeatable 😉


  3. Adriana Petersen November 24, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    We made the Trader Joe’s brine turkey this year with Alton Brown’s recipe, which looks very similar to this one…scrumptious!


    • foodnotherstuff November 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! Have you tried this with chicken? Yum!


  4. Katariina Partala November 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    That looks delicious!!! Too bad we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Finland.. 😦


    • foodnotherstuff November 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Thank you! Do you guys eat turkey there? What is a traditional holiday meal?


      • Katariina Partala December 2, 2012 at 4:31 am #

        Yes, we do.. but not thaaaaat often. A traditional holiday meal is quite hard to describe, but around Christmas we often eat potatoes & ham with casserole and rye bread. I’ll try to remember to take a pic of such meal when I get to eat some 🙂


      • foodnotherstuff December 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

        Katariina, Please do take some photos, I am curious to see them!


      • Katariina Partala December 8, 2012 at 12:53 am #

        Okay, this is a promise! I’ll take some pics 🙂


      • foodnotherstuff December 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        Yay! Thanks 😉


  5. Jody November 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    We do it the easy way – with a Trader Joe’s (new) Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy. Already stuffed – easy peasy!


  6. janaline's world journey April 27, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    This looks delicious!! So want to try out this recipe!


    • foodnotherstuff April 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Thank you! It is my go to recipe for turkey and everyone loves it. It is also delicious with whole chicken!


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