50 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ideas Whether You’re Cooking for Two or Twenty
Categories: Food

50 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ideas Whether You’re Cooking for Two or Twenty

The key to a successful and stress-free Thanksgiving is organization. You’ve got your Thanksgiving checklist ready, you’re planning on doing make-ahead appetizers and the desserts are lined up. Now you just have to figure out what the heck to do with your turkey — the main event! As if cooking a turkey wasn’t intimidating enough, there are about a million ways you can prepare it. Do you want to brine it, smoke it, fry it or go the traditional route? Are you cooking a whole turkey or just the breast or legs? Don’t fret, we’re here to help. Scroll down to discover 50 Thanksgiving turkey ideas that’ll be a winner whether you’re cooking for two or your whole family.

1. Lemon Rosemary Brined Turkey: The fresh flavors of this brined turkey is great to balance the heaviness of the rest of your meal. Don’t forget to thaw your turkey even earlier if you’re planning to brine. (via Bake. Eat. Repeat.)

2. Maple-Glazed Turkey With Bacon and Sage Butter: Maple and sage are a very autumnal combination that screams Thanksgiving. Those ingredients paired with bacon will keep your turkey moist throughout the day. (via Five Heart Home)

3. The Best Roast Turkey: If Jamie Oliver claims that this is the best roast chicken, you should probably listen to him. There’s no shortage of ingredients supporting it, so you know there’s bound to be tons of flavor involved. (via Jamie Oliver)

4. Rosemary Roasted Turkey: Leave it to rosemary to infuse your whole house with aroma and lend its woodsy flavor to the turkey. The secret is mixing it into a compound butter that also keeps the meat juicy. (via Alisha Enid)

5. Roast Turkey Thighs for Two: Not all Thanksgivings consist of a giant group of people. If you’re cooking for just you and your partner, these crispy roast turkey thighs are the best option. Plus, no one has to fight over the dark meat. (via The Life Jolie)

6. Roast Turkey Breast With Saucy Cranberry Sauce: No need to separate your cranberry sauce and turkey. Let the two infuse one another while they cook simultaneously in the oven. (via Jo Cooks)

7. Slow Cooked Turkey Leg With Honey Glaze and Garlic: This slow-cooked turkey leg is literally fall-off-the-bone tender. Definitely make extra so you can have the most EPIC sandwich the day after. (via Eatwell 101)

8. Smoked Turkey Legs: If you have a smoker at home, then it’s time to break it out for the holidays. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a smoked turkey leg — Disney World style. (via Say Grace)

9. Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast: If you’re planning on cooking a turkey breast you don’t have to opt out of stuffing. This one is filled with pistachios, dried cranberries and bread for a mini version of the classic bird. (via Noshing With the Nolands)

10. Crock Pot Turkey Breast: While you can’t cook a whole turkey in the slow cooker, you can certainly use it to cook a breast with ease. This worry-free option lets you focus on all of your other dishes while letting your main course cook itself. (via Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

11. Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey: Herb-filled butter is the key to getting a crispy skin and succulent meat after hours of roasting. Fill the cavity of the bird with more herbs and citrus slices to inject even more moisture and flavor. (via What’s Gaby Cooking)

12. Citrus-Rubbed Turkey With Cider Gravy: Simply rub your bird with a bit of citrus-enhanced salt the night before to set you on the right track toward this succulent turkey. The real key is to baste it continuously while it bakes in the oven. (via Martha Stewart)

13. Turkey Roasted With Herb Butter: The focal point of our made-in-two-hours Thanksgiving feast, this classic turkey is just as good whether it’s your first or fifteenth time hosting the holiday. Garnish your centerpiece with fresh clementines and you’re good to go! (via Brit + Co)

14. Chile-Rubbed Turkey: How gorgeous is this shiny, glossy bird? Rubbed with a trifecta of chiles and a touch of cumin, the resulting turkey promises to be just as interesting the day of as it is in leftovers. (via Bon Appétit)

15. Classic Dry-Brined Turkey: If a sloshing bucket of brine sounds unappealing, let us introduce you to the dry brine. Whether you include or omit the assorted seasonings, your turkey will turn out delectable EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. P.S. This method also works wonders on chicken too. (via Honestly Yum)

16. Smoked Turkey: If you live somewhere with a climate for year-round outdoor cooking, why not hack your charcoal grill into a smoker? It’ll free up your oven for more important things (like pie, duh). (via Chow)

17. Roast Turkey With Pears and Sage: Here, pears are featured in three clever ways. They form a roasting rack on which the bird is set, add flavor to the sweet honey-wine glaze and stud a sage-scented stuffing. Sounds pretty irresistible, right? (via Adventures in Cooking)

18. Bouchon Roast Turkey: Separating the turkey into pieces and prepping each a bit differently yields a roast that highlights every section in the best way possible. The hardest part about eating this scrumptious bird will be deciding which piece(s) to load onto your crowded plate. (via Saveur)

19. Deep Fried Turkey: The flavor payoff of a deep-fried turkey can be great, but only if you exercise extreme caution. We like you (a lot), so we’ll just encourage you to be very, very careful if you forgo the roaster in favor of the fryer. The results will be well worth it. (via Chaos in the Kitchen)

20. Asian-Rubbed Turkey: Sriracha adds a spicy kick to the ginger-garlic-mayo mix that coats every surface of this turkey. Also stuffed with Thai basil, lemongrass and ginger, this bird is definitely AH-mazing. (via A Spicy Perspective)

21. Traditional Turkey: Nothing beats traditional turkey on a cold November day. We adore how this recipe includes temperature settings so the burning incident of ’07 can be left in the past. (via Better Homes and Gardens)

22. Brined Turkey: For a juicy bird that slices like butter, try Martha Stewart’s easy brine recipe. It features dried juniper berries, peppercorns and thyme, plus a few other ingredients. (via Martha Stewart)

23. Simple Turkey: First Thanksgiving with the in-laws? Don’t break a sweat. This simple turkey recipe will help you ease into the process. Now, on to the real brain buster — the seating arrangement! (via The Kitchn)

24. Juicy Turkey: Worried that your turkey might be a little dry? Try this recipe for a fool-proof moist bird. This recipe even includes a delicious traditional stuffing that benefits from all that juice. (via Natasha’s Kitchen)

25. Cajun Turkey: This spicy cajun-inspired bird is sure to be a hit. Make sure to plan at least one day ahead to let the turkey cure overnight. (via Epicurious )

26. Rosemary Turkey: Rosemary gives off a holiday scent that is unparalleled. The herb layers beautifully with the meaty taste of oven-baked turkey and whatever sides you pair with it. (via Whole Living)

27. Turkey Roulade With Sundried Tomatoes: This elegant main course adds color and tons of extra flavor to mild turkey breast. Stuff the roulade with your family’s favorite veggies for a unique take on your classic meal. (via Miel and Ricotta)

28. Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs: Still going crazy for autumn pumpkin flavors? These sweet and savory turkey legs are the perfect way to get your pumpkin fix without the pie. (via Bakeaholic Mama)

29. Crock Pot Turkey Breast: Thanksgiving for two can still be a classy affair. It’s all thanks to this easy recipe that gives you a super juicy piece of meat and a perfect cranberry sauce with almost no effort. (via Krafted Koch)

30. Turkey Sausage Stuffed Turkey: It’s like turkey inception, but super delicious and focused on not wasting any of that delicious dark meat. You could even make this with leftovers from a big bird. (via Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures)

31. Hoisin Sesame Turkey Tails: Turkey tails have a bad rep, but they’re actually one of the tastiest and meatiest parts of the bird. Plus they’re crazy cheap and super easy to cook! (via Jules Food)

32. Crispy Turkey Cutlets: Honestly, who is going to turn down a super crispy fried cutlet? Made with turkey or chicken for a delicious main course, served best (duh) with cranberry sauce. (via Things I Made Today)

33. Whiskey Glazed Turkey: This sweet and spicy turkey recipe gets a kick from whiskey and hot mustard. Consider this the perfect excuse to break out the booze. (via Spicy Ice Cream)

34. Braised Turkey Legs: You can get turkey legs all year-round, but they make an especially impressive centerpiece on Thanksgiving. A long, slow braise will get your house smelling as if you cooked a bird all day… without needing to hover over the stove. (via Bon Appétit)

35. Boudin Blanc Stuffed Turkey With Chestnuts: Stuff a turkey breast with sausage and you suddenly go from lean white meat to a super moist star of the dinner table. Even those who prefer dark meat will love this preparation. (via Bon Appétit)

36. Oven Roasted Turkey Legs: Brining and butter basting these giant turkey legs help them to cook evenly while adding tons of flavor. Plus, they only take a couple of hours so you’re chowing down in less time. (via Vodka and Biscuits)

37. Turkey Porchetta: Still want a super decadent turkey meal to throw you into a tryptophan coma? This take on the traditional Italian porchetta will do just that, with plenty of leftovers to make insane sandwiches the next day. (via Serious Eats)

38. Applewood Smoked Turkey: If you’re in search of a turkey recipe you can make all yours, we suggest you try this option that’s prepped with a maple bourbon brine and served with a cider bourbon gravy. Excuse us while we wipe away our drool. (via How Sweet Eats)

39. Garlic and Herb Deep-Fried Turkey: Garlic and herb marinade + garlic and herb dry seasoning = a flavor-packed fried turkey. Just remember to use caution and work outside when using a deep fryer. (via Kirbie’s Cravings)

40. Spatchcocked Turkey With Butter, Herbs, Olive Oil and Lemon: Whether you’re looking to trim down your turkey cooking time or your bird is bigger than your oven, spatchcocking (AKA butterflying) is your holiday hero. Just make sure you have a good pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife on hand for the task. (via The Musician Who Cooks)

41. Sage and Apple Brined Turkey: You know that brining is a sure-fire way to get a juicy bird, but when you brine in apple juice you’re also adding major flavor. Not to mention those garnishes are gorgeous tablescape inspo. (via Life Love Liz)

42. Spiced Apple Cider Glazed Turkey Breast: For those who think that traditional turkey is boring, this spiced apple cider glaze says otherwise. There’s even a corresponding gravy recipe to spoon over your meat and potatoes. (via The Noshery)

43. Garlic Herb Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast: The breast is known for being the first piece of a turkey to get dried out. Prevent that by slathering it in garlic and herbs before wrapping it in bacon. (via Whitney Bond)

44. Roasted Turkey Breast with Blueberry Balsamic Glaze: Sure, some people look forward to having the same ‘ole turkey every year. But if you’re looking to switch things up without going too crazy, try this gourmet blueberry balsamic glaze. (via Feasting At Home)

45. Butter-Roasted Turkey Breast: You can never go wrong with a little extra fat. When all else fails, take the simplistic route and get to basting those turkey breasts with butter. (via Epicurious)

46. Cajun Thanksgiving Turkey: Do it like they do in the south and light your mouth on fire this Thanksgiving. This Cajun turkey is not for the faint of heart, which is made clear by the chiles decorating the tablescape. (via Real New Orleans Recipes)

47. Citrus and Herb Butter Roasted Turkey: Citrus and herb turkey certainly doesn’t sound like anything revolutionary, but it’s the meticulous execution of this bird that sets it apart. Follow along with each step and you’re guaranteed to have a delicious turkey. (via The Suburban Soapbox)

48. Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast: You always go through the trouble to make cranberry sauce only to have everyone pass it up. Combat that diss by slathering it on your turkey! (via I Food Blogger)

49. Roasted Turkey Breast With Garlic, Butter and Herbs: The key to keeping this breast outrageously tender is cooking it a lower temperature. This keeps all of the juices inside of the meat and not on your cutting board. (via I Food Blogger)

50. Orange-Honey Glazed Roasted Turkey Breasts: There are few things more drool-worthy than combining orange and honey in a savory dish. Heads up, you’ll want to make extra of the glaze to pour over everything. (via The Cozy Apron)

Follow us on Pinterest for Thanksgiving recipe ideas!