Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

For most, turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving dinner table. Whether it's your first year hosting and roasting, or you're an experienced home cook wanting to experiment with new turkey cooking techniques and flavors, Butterball has you covered. Butterball Thanksgiving turkey recipes are professionally developed to be easy to follow so you can successfully cook a beautiful whole turkey for your guests.

Brined Brown-Sugar Turkey

Get a delicious, rich flavor with crispy skin and a juicy roast with this Brined Brown-Sugar Turkey recipe. 

Image of Brined Brown-Sugar Turkey

Your Thanksgiving turkey questions, answered

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

Other than because it’s delicious? In 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as the Thanksgiving holiday, turkeys were abundant, plentiful, and large enough to feed a big family. It became the perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s still a delicious holiday tradition today.

How to cook a Thanksgiving turkey?

There are multiple ways to cook Thanksgiving turkey depending on the type of turkey, the flavor profile you want, and the type of appliance you plan to use. Get our expert tips for turkey preparation including roasting, grilling, smoking, deep frying, air frying, spatchcocking, rotisserie roasting and more on our how to cook turkey page.

How to season a Thanksgiving turkey?

First, decide whether to rub, brine, or marinate the turkey. Spice rubs season the skin, but don't flavor the meat inside. Brining helps the meat stay moist, while marinating delivers stronger flavor. For maximum flavor, learn how to inject a turkey.

How long is turkey good for after Thanksgiving?

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey will stay good in the refrigerator for up to four days. Refrigerate leftover Thanksgiving turkey within two hours of cooking. For longer storage, freeze turkey for three to four months. Bonus tip: Shred or slice and store leftover turkey in pre-portioned containers for meal prep or to use in leftover turkey recipes.

How much turkey per person for Thanksgiving?

A rule of thumb is to plan for one pound of turkey per person, but that's flexible if you want leftovers, if your guests are big eaters or light eaters, and other factors. Our Perfect Portions calculator helps you consider all of these elements and plan the right amount of turkey per person.

Where to buy turkey for Thanksgiving?

If you want a high-quality, always-juicy fresh or frozen turkey, check your local grocer or find a specific product near you with our Where to Buy product locator.