The Best Turkey Recipes

Cook up a perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner

Come Thanksgiving, most family dinners will feature a roast turkey centerpiece. Unfortunately, many of these turkeys will be bland, dry, and unappealing. Whether you're serving a whole bird or just pieces, we've collected our favorite turkey recipes to make sure that your Thanksgiving dinner goes off without a hitch.

Roasting a whole turkey can be a challenge. One trick to help ensure that the bird stays moist is using a brine. Soaking the turkey in a salty brine causes it to absorb some of the seasoned liquid, which breaks down the proteins and seals in flavor and moisture. Once you've got the technique down you can add in a range of flavors, from a simple mix of black pepper and sage to an intense achiote-citrus marinade, which will give the bird a striking red hue.

People are split when it comes to stuffing—some cook it on its own in a pan, while others think it must be cooked in the turkey. We see merit in both sides, and have some great turkey recipes with stuffing included. Our herb-roasted turkey is stuffed with hominy, sausage, and oysters. For our chile-rubbed turkey, we use a beet stuffing with olives, corn, and carrots.

If you're comfortable breaking with tradition, don't feel compelled to serve a whole roast bird on Thanksgiving. For a Cajun twist, try our rich smoked turkey and andouille gumbo. Alternatively, cross the Atlantic and prepare an Alsatian-inspired feast—a play on choucroute garnie with turkey, sausage, potatoes, and sauerkraut.

Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of turkey recipes.

Brined and Roasted Turkey
Brined and Roasted Turkey
Brining turkeys has become de rigueur in many American households. See the recipe for Brined and Roasted Turkey ».Vanessa Rees
Roasted Turkey with Achiote Citrus Marinade
Roasted Turkey with Achiote Citrus Marinade
Achiote paste gives the rub for this recipe a deep red hue, making for a visually striking roast holiday bird. See the recipe for Roasted Turkey with Achiote Citrus Marinade ».Helen Rosner
Herbes de Provence Grilled Turkey
Herbes de Provence Grilled Turkey
Massachusetts-based home cook Eric Silvers, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, employs an innovative method for cooking his family's Thanksgiving turkey each year: The bird is set atop a rack inside a disposable aluminum pan, which is nestled directly into the coals of a grill, and charred at a very high temperature. The result is a crisp-skinned, juicy, smoke-kissed turkey that's finished in just a fraction of the time it would take to roast it. See the recipe for Herbes de Provence Grilled Turkey ».Andre Baranowski
Bouchon Roast Turkey
Bouchon Roast Turkey
At California's Bouchon Bistro, turkey is divided into pieces for cooking to maximize its flavor and texture. The drumsticks and breast soak in a tenderizing brine—honey, lemon, herbs, garlic, and lots of salt—before roasting, while thighs are deboned and stuffed with an herbed turkey mousse for roulades. See the recipe for Bouchon Roast Turkey »Eilon Paz
Braised Turkey in Green Mole
Braised Turkey in Green Mole
Deconstructed turkey braised in a refreshing green mole provides a light and quick alternative to the standard Thanksgiving bird. See the recipe for Braised Turkey in Green Mole »Helen Rosner
Grilled Turkey Breast with Caramelized Onion, Cracked Black Pepper, and Vinegar
Grilled Turkey Breast with Caramelized Onion, Cracked Black Pepper, and Vinegar
Black pepper is a major ingredient in this dish, so be sure to use fresh-cracked as opposed to pre-cracked pepper. See the recipe for Grilled Turkey Breast with Caramelized Onion, Cracked Black Pepper, and Vinegar »Helen Rosner
Roast Turkey with Celery-Root Stuffing and Giblet Gravy
Roast Turkey with Celery-Root Stuffing and Giblet Gravy
Celery root brings an earthy dimension to the stuffing for this crisp-skinned bird, which is dressed in a white wine, giblet, and mushroom gravy. See the recipe for Roast Turkey with Celery-Root Stuffing and Giblet Gravy »Michael Kraus
Thanksgiving Roast Turkey
Thanksgiving Roast Turkey
This recipe comes from a true Kentuckian, Rena McClure, who has lived there her whole life. Serve it with cornbread dressing cooked in a cast-iron skillet on the side. See the recipe for Thanksgiving Roast Turkey »Helen Rosner
Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo
Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo
Made with smoked turkey wings and a dark roux, this is a medley of rich, smoky, and roasted flavors. See the recipe for Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo »Ingalls Photography
Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages
Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages
Turkey soaks up aromatic flavors like a sponge, and this riff on the Alsatian dish choucroute garnie is a case in point: as the bird roasts under a cloak of bacon and braises in sauerkraut, wine, apples, and a bundle of spices, it takes on the piney fragrance of juniper berries, the fruity flavor of the riesling wine, and some of the smokiness and savor of the pork. Serve this dish with the traditional choucroute accompaniments: sausages, boiled potatoes, and tangy mustard. See the recipe for Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages »Todd Coleman
Turkey in Mole Poblano
Turkey in Mole Poblano
It may be called the great American bird, but turkey was first domesticated in Mexico, where, as James Beard once wrote, "it was to that country what beef is to the United States." One of our favorite preparations is a celebratory dish from the Mexican state of Puebla: a slow braise of breast meat in a deep, dark mole that's shot through with three kinds of dried chiles, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds and enriched with chocolate and spices. The spicy, sweet, savory sauce can be sopped up with hot tortillas and rice, or even crusty bread. See the recipe for Turkey in Mole Poblano »Todd Coleman
Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast
Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast
Butterflying breast meat and stuffing it is a cook's trick for ensuring a flavorful, juicy, and evenly cooked holiday roast. This dish, inspired by a recipe from the chef Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, has a Cajun accent: the stuffing of boudin (a spicy pork and rice sausage) gives the turkey a piquant appeal. The best part? Rolling the breast and slicing it enables everyone at the table to have a piece with plenty of sumptuous stuffing and crackly skin. See the recipe for Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast »Todd Coleman
Chile-Rubbed Turkey with Beet Stuffing
Chile-Rubbed Turkey with Beet Stuffing
New Mexico and arbol chiles create a sauce similar to a mole that coats the turkey, while adding spice and depth. See the recipe for Chile-Rubbed Turkey with Beet Stuffing »Todd Coleman
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Hominy, Oyster, and Sausage Dressing
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Hominy, Oyster, and Sausage Dressing
Rubbing the turkey with olive oil and fresh herbs yields a moist, flavorful bird with crisp skin. An apple cider gravy and a dressing of hominy, sausage, and oysters add richness to the festive Thanksgiving centerpiece. See the recipe for Herb-Roasted Turkey with Hominy, Oyster, and Sausage Dressing »Beth Rooney
Grilled Turkey
Grilled Turkey
This recipe for grilling a whole turkey—a method that yields a smoky flavor and crisp skin while freeing up oven space for side dishes—comes from Barbara Ries of San Rafael, California. Grilling works the best with a bird that's been soaked in a brine solution overnight. See the recipe for Grilled Turkey »Barbara Ries