13 Easy Turkey Recipes For Beginners

Because nobody wants to spend all day in the kitchen.

GMVozd/E+/Getty Images

After the year we've all had, we deserve a bit of a break this Thanksgiving. Fortunately, the food bloggers of the internet have blessed us with plenty of easy Thanksgiving recipes so you can satiate your appetite without breaking too much of a sweat. The only perspiration you need to experience should be that of eating too much meat.

First and foremost, if you're planning to cook a whole turkey, get a meat thermometer. The National Turkey Federation — a real organization that exists — has a helpful guide to meat thermometers from their recommended internal cooking temperature to where to take the temperature from. It'll keep you from the guess-work of trying to figure out whether your bird is cooked or praying to the turkey gods that you don't give yourself and your loved ones salmonella.

Food blogs like Brown Eyed Baker also have tons of tips and tricks on how to cook a turkey. Use them to answer the age-old questions: to brine or not to brine your turkey. Stare at them while you contemplate ordering take-out. This year, rules do not exist and that absolutely applies to your Thanksgiving meal. Whether you're a novice in the kitchen or just don't want to spend hours babysitting a baking bird, here are 13 easy turkey recipes that'll be a hit this Thanksgiving.


Low-Fuss Roast Turkey

If you're planning to cook a whole bird, you'll want to check out Damn Delicious' easy turkey recipe. With just 30 minutes of prep time and a 3-hour cook time, it's the ideal way to cook a turkey if you want to be in the kitchen as little as possible.


Three-Ingredient Roast Turkey


The Kitchn's recipe uses only three ingredients: a whole turkey, chicken brother, and butter. And the butter is optional. The key is patience and consistently basting your bird.


Turkey & Wild Rice Pot Pie

Don't want to worry about a whole entire turkey? Just buy turkey breast. Half Baked Harvest's turkey pot pie was designed for leftovers but just as easily can be made with pre-prepped turkey breast for Thanksgiving day.


10-Minute Prep Time Turkey


If you can set a timer, you can make Food Network's simple Thanksgiving turkey. With just a 10-minute prep time, you don't have to spend a bunch of time finicking with brines or adorning your turkey with various herbs.


Easy Turkey With Stuffing

Averie Cooks' fool-proof turkey recipe is a little more ingredient-intensive but is easy to follow even if you've never cooked a whole turkey. The key is patience. Also, butter.


Turkey Tetrazzini

OK, let's say you try to make a gorgeous turkey and it turns out edible but... kinda ugly. Brown-eyed Baker's recipe for turkey tetrazzini will be your saving grace. You really can't go wrong when you add noodles and cheese.


Turkey, Mushroom, & Wild Rice Soup

Not a huge fan of turkey but still want it to be part of your Thanksgiving meal? Try this soup recipe from Brown-eyed Baker that hit all the classic Thanksgiving flavors without requiring you to bake a whole bird.


One-Pot Turkey & Potato Dumpling

If you're looking to make a little turkey go a long way, you'll want to save this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It only requires a cup or two of cooked, shredded turkey breast which you can buy frozen or pre-made from the store.


Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

If oven space is an issue in your kitchen, this slow cooker recipe from Damn Delicious will be your saving gracing. Plus, it's very much a "set it and forget it" recipe.


Fail-proof Roast Turkey

So long as you don't mind closely following a recipe, this one from Pillsbury is a great step-by-step guide to cooking your bird. It doesn't even require regular basting.


The Butterball Way

As one of the go-to Thanksgiving brands, Butterball's turkey recipe is a reliable roast turkey that won't take up too much of your time. You can get a pre-cooked whole bird that will be ready-to-go in way less time.


Start-from-frozen Roast Turkey

Kroger's recipe doesn't require you to wait for your bird to thaw before putting it in the oven. In other words, you don't need to stress about fridge space while you're prepping other ingredients.


Sesame Soy Sauce Roasted Turkey

Want a turkey that will impress while still being simple? The Little Epicurean's sesame soy sauce roasted turkey is equal parts delicious and unique. Plus, you can make an equally good gravy from the drippings.

If all else fails, order takeout and stick a feather in it. Close enough.