Roasted turkey for 12

Updated: 04-09-2020

This recipe serves about 12, with half left over for sandwiches, salads or soups.

: SERVES 12

  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Coarse ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 whole turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, cut in half through stem

Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C).

In a small bowl, add the shallots, garlic and black pepper to taste. Stir until evenly mixed and set aside.

Arrange carrots, celery and onion in the bottom of a roasting pan. Unwrap the turkey from its package and remove the neck, giblets and fatty tissues from body and neck cavities. Discard giblets and fatty tissues; reserve the neck for making stock. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place the turkey breast-side up on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Tuck the wing tips behind the back of the turkey. Rub the turkey with the shallot mixture. Arrange tomatoes around the outside of the turkey. Place into the middle of the oven uncovered.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F (200 C), then reduce the oven temperature to 325 F (about 162 C). Check the doneness after the bird has roasted about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Turkey is done when the thigh is pierced deeply and juices run clear (180 to 185 F, or 82 C to 85 C) or when the breast muscle reaches 170 to 175 F (77 to 79 C).

While the turkey is in the oven, put the turkey neck into a small saucepan. Add 4 cups of water. Place over medium heat, cover and simmer for at least an hour, while the turkey roasts. You can use this stock to make gravy or freeze it to use later as a base for soup.

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set on a platter. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and arrange around the turkey. Cover the turkey and vegetables tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Carve turkey and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving
  • Calories:337
  • Total carbohydrate:8 g
  • Cholesterol:145 mg
  • Dietary fiber:1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat:2 g
  • Protein:56 g
  • Saturated fat:3 g
  • Sodium:161 mg
  • Total fat:9 g
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Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Servings
Diabetes Meal Plan Choices
DASH Eating Plan Servings