Roasting Turkey Made Easy & Leftover Ideas

Impress your family and friends with a beautiful chestnut-golden turkey this holiday season. Roasting a whole turkey is incredibly simple and offers a truly a wonderful dinner along with plenty of delicious leftovers to enjoy afterward. Savor your holiday turkey the second time around with these easy-to-make dishes.

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  • 1 (14- to 16-pound) fresh or frozen turkey
  • 4 tsp teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, plus 10 to 12 leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
  • 1 ½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme, plus 5 sprigs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 to 4 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • Roasted garlic bulbs, for garnish
  • Champagne grapes, for garnish
  • Fresh herb sprigs, for garnish
  • Thaw turkey, if frozen. Remove and discard neck and giblets from turkey or reserve for another use. Rinse turkey body cavity with cold water. Trim off and discard excess fat. Pat cavity and skin dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt in cavity and 1½ teaspoons salt over skin. If desired, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove turkey from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Pat cavity and skin dry with paper towels. For herb butter, in a small bowl combine butter, 1 tablespoon sage, 1½ teaspoons rosemary, 1½ teaspoons thyme, lemon zest, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the black pepper; set aside.
  • Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray roasting rack with cooking spray; place rack in pan and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place turkey breast side up. Gently slide your fingers under the breast skin to loosen the skin to the thighs, being careful not to tear the skin. Slide 10 to 12 sage leaves under skin, spacing them evenly.
  • Loosely stuff onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, 2 rosemary sprigs and 5 thyme sprigs in the turkey cavity. Skewer neck skin to back. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back.
  • Place the turkey, breast side up, on the prepared roasting rack. Rub half of the herb butter evenly over outside of turkey. Add 2 cups stock to roasting pan. Loosely cover turkey with foil. Roast for 2½ hours.
  • Remove foil. Brush with remaining herb butter. If necessary, add 1 to 2 cups remaining stock to roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  • Baste turkey with cooking juices; roast for 30 minutes to 1¼ hours more or until internal temperature reaches 175°F to 180°F in thickest part of thigh away from bone or 165°F in the breast, basting every 20 minutes. (If necessary, replace foil cover to prevent overbrowning.)
  • Remove turkey from oven; transfer to cutting board. Loosely cover with foil and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • To serve turkey, remove and discard onion, garlic and herb sprigs from cavity. Transfer turkey to a warmed serving platter. Garnish platter with garlic bulbs, champagne grapes and/or additional herb sprigs, if desired.
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  • 2 tbsp 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 oz mixed salad greens
  • 12 oz sliced cooked Herb-Roasted Turkey breast
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese (2 ounces)
  • ½ cup candied walnuts
  • 310 cup pomegranate seeds
  • For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
  • For salad, place salad greens on a large platter. Arrange turkey and apple slices on top. Sprinkle with goat cheese, nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve with dressing.
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  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cube
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chopped cooked Herb-Roasted Turkey
  • 5 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sliced avocado, for garnish
  • Mexican crema, for garnish
  • Radishes, cut into matchsticks; for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Roasted pepitas, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed pan with foil. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil; spread in a single layer on prepared pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through. Remove sweet potatoes from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook for 15 seconds more. Stir in enchilada sauce, tomatoes and chipotle chiles. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a large bowl combine beans, turkey and sweet potatoes; add ¾ cup sauce and gently toss to combine.
  • To assemble, spread ½ cup sauce in a 10-inch-square baking dish. Spoon 1 cup turkey mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese along center of each tortilla; roll up. Place filled tortillas, seam sides down, in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and remaining cheese.
  • Bake, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until heated through. Garnish with avocado, crema, radishes, cilantro and pepitas, if desired. Serve with lime wedges.
  • *Note: Chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn skin and eyes. When working with chipotle chiles, wear protective gloves.
Expand Recipe
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • ¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 310 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ½ tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp refrigerated stir-in ginger paste
  • ¾ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ⅛ tsp Asian sesame oil
  • 3 heads baby bok choy
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 (3.2-ounce) container shiitake mushrooms, stems removed; caps cut into strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 12 oz cooked Herb-Roasted Turkey, shredded into wide pieces
  • Bias-sliced green onions, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Cook rice according to package directions. Cover and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, stir together chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, dry sherry or balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, ginger paste, crushed red pepper and sesame oil; set aside.
  • Cut bok choy white portions from green leafy portions. Cut white portions crosswise into slices. Set aside white and green leafy portions separately.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to wok or skillet. Add bell pepper; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add white portions of bok choy and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  • Push vegetables to edge of wok or skillet. Stir broth mixture and add to center of wok or skillet; bring to boiling. Stir in mushrooms, turkey and green portions of bok choy; cook and stir for 1 minute or until bok choy leaves begin to wilt and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
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