When fall rolls around, we're usually happy to have a piece of turkey and gorge on salad, sides, and desserts. But since it's that time of year when a whole meal—heck, a whole day—revolves around turkey, we wanted to be sure we had Thanksgiving turkey recipes on-hand that everyone (including our picky selves) would devour.
In narrowing down our go-to options for Turkey Day, we think we've got it covered: A traditional butter and wine number, a citrus style for a twist, a buffalo sauce-topped option for spice-lovers, and a skillet meal for when you're not serving a crowd. No matter how or who you happen to be celebrating Thanksgiving with, you'll be giving thanks when you take a bite of these seven delectable Thanksgiving turkey recipes. Just make sure to save some room for dessert!
Traditional: Butter and White Wine Roasted Turkey
The Recipe: Butter and White Wine Roasted Turkey
Why We Love It: This turkey recipe from How Sweet Eats founder Jess Merchant features extra-crispy skin, thanks to a method involving patting the turkey dry with paper towels, and leaving it to sit uncovered in the fridge overnight. Fill the bird with your choice of stuffing or a mélange of herbs, and then use a cheesecloth soaked in white wine and melted butter to cover the turkey as it roasts.
Pro Tip: Finish with homemade gravy from the drippings; just remember to add extra stock before roasting the bird.
Spicy: Buffalo Roasted Turkey
The Recipe: Buffalo Roasted Turkey
Why We Love It: Some like it hot, and for those guests, we say serve them an out-of-this-world turkey from Foodie Crush that’s roasted in tangy buffalo sauce. Add aromatics—onion, celery, carrots, and rosemary will do—and then cook the bird while basting it with butter and Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce. The skin will be perfectly crunchy and spicy; don’t forget to use the leftover sauce for dipping or as a faux gravy.
Pro Tip: "The stuffing needs to register 165 degrees F before it is done and so does the turkey. All ovens heat at different temps so be diligent about checking your bird at least 1/2 hour before you think it should be done according to the directions," Foodie Crush advises.
Tangy: Citrus and Herb-Roasted Turkey
The Recipe: Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey
Why We Love It: A brine of fresh spices and herbs, orange peels, apple cider, and vegetable stock gives the traditional roasted turkey a zesty twist in this Thanksgiving turkey recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon. This holiday for giving thanks only comes once a year, so it’s worth spending a little extra time on your turkey–brine it for at least eight hours. Roasting on high to start, lower the temperature, and cook for another three and a half hours.
Pro Tip: "If your breast is beginning to dry out, you can cover the breast tightly with foil and remove 30 minutes before the turkey is finished to crisp the skin," Spoon Fork Bacon recommends.
Baste the turkey with more butter every hour, as it will help balance out the citrus in the best way possible.
Dry-Brined: Salt and Brown Sugar-Brined Turkey
The Recipe: Dry-Brined Turkey
Why We Love It: A salt and brown sugar dry brine means lots of flavor without the mess in Sugar and Charm's roasted turkey recipe. Make sure to spread brine on the wings, inside the turkey and under its skin before letting it sit for up to two nights in the fridge. Stuff with vegetables and aromatics, and give it a good rub down with butter before roasting.
Pro Tip: "You should cook your turkey for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. Be sure to check your meat throughout, as times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the bird," Sugar and Charm recommends.
For the Time-Strapped: Instant Pot Turkey
The Recipe: Instant Pot Turkey
Why We Love It: Succulent turkey breast that's ready in 20 minutes? Sign us up. I Am a Food Blog shows us how to do it in an Instant Pot with skin-on boneless turkey breast, butter, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and chicken stock.
Pro Tip: To make this recipe with turkey legs instead, "Cook the turkey legs for 20 minutes on high pressure, let it natural release for 10 minutes so it can continue to get tender, then release the pressure and take the legs out," I Am a Food Blog recommends.
For Small Crowds: Skillet Turkey With Bacon and White Wine
The Recipe: Skillet Turkey With Bacon and White Wine
Why We Love It: Not every Thanksgiving dinner calls for a 20-pound turkey, and when that happens, what do you cook? You don't need to choose a different protein, but prepare thighs instead, skillet-style. This recipe from Lindsay Ostrom's Pinch of Yum is perfect for two. You'll need skin-on turkey thighs, bacon, dry white wine, stock, butter, shallots, herbs de Provence, and flour.
Pro Tip: Top with fresh or dried parsley to serve.
For the Day After Thanksgiving: Leftover Turkey Dinner Hash
The Recipe: Leftover Turkey Dinner Hash
Why We Love It: No Thanksgiving turkey gets left behind in this hearty breakfast or brunch recipe from Pickled Plum. Leftover mashed potatoes binds leftover shredded turkey, Brussels sprouts and chopped green beans. Shape into patties and pan fry for 4–5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Pro Tip: Top with gravy, cranberry sauce, sriracha, or whatever condiments you have on hand. Go for the fried egg if you're feeling it too.