A New Spin on the Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Switch up the Thanksgiving bird and try a new Thanksgiving turkey recipe for a memorable holiday meal this year.

Have you always cooked your turkey the same way? Looking for a different way to make your bird for the holidays? Try something new this year – whether it comes to unexpected ingredients or cool cooking techniques. To keep it convenient and free up your oven space, consider using your Crock-Pot to make slow cooker whole turkey or grilled turkey. To wow your guests, make crisp-skinned butterflied roast turkey or squash-roasted bacon-wrapped turkey roulade. Bacon is also a key ingredient in the bacon maple-orange turkey recipe. And with any of these Thanksgiving turkey recipes, make sure to save plenty of the drippings for gravy.

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey with Gravy Recipe

What’s the favorite part of any Thanksgiving turkey – besides the leftovers? The crisp skin. That’s the whole idea behind this crisp-skinned butterflied roast turkey with Gravy Recipe from Serious Eats. To maximize the crispness, split apart the turkey and generously coat it with oil before cooking at high heat.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

Is your oven already full of baking pies, big pans of stuffing and other fixins’? Free up some space by using your Crock-Pot for your bird. Use this recipe for slow cooker whole turkey from The Little Kitchen as a guide. Place aromatic vegetables at the bottom of the Crock-Pot and then rub the turkey with seasonings for big flavor with little effort.

Grilled Turkey

Besides your Crock-Pot, you might also want to try barbecuing your turkey this year. For the best results use a charcoal grill. Place the turkey onto a cooking grate and cover. This grilled turkey from Butterball still takes 2-3 hours to cook but the smoky undertones will be worth it.

Bacon Maple-Orange Turkey

Bacon + turkey = holiday perfection. Slather the turkey with a combination of maple syrup and orange juice. Secure pieces of bacon in place with toothpicks so the meat doesn’t curl while baking. This bacon maple-orange turkey from Woman’s Day makes great gravy to pour over mashed potatoes (or even better, sweet potatoes).

Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey

The secret for incredibly moist turkey? Mayo. Chop together thyme stems, rosemary, oregano and sage leaves, along with the mayonnaise, and spread over the outside of the bird. Bake until the skin turns golden. Allow the meat to rest before carving. Garnish this mayonnaise roasted turkey from She Wears Many Hats with rosemary stalks.

Squash-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

Here’s something completely different for Thanksgiving – this squash-roasted, bacon-wrapped turkey roulade with cider gravy from Simple Bites. You’ll need to make this turkey in stages – first butterfly the turkey, then stuff, roll and wrap in smoky bacon. Place the rolled turkey into a spaghetti squash and bake. Serve in the squash to impress your guests.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.


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