Salt-and-Pepper Roasted Turkey

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett  

With a turkey this simple and with so few ingredients, focus on the techniques that matter most. First, pat the turkey very dry, which will help it achieve a crispier skin in the oven. Then season liberally with kosher salt. Season the cavity, gently under the skin, and again on the surface of the skin to enhance the flavor from the skin to the bone.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Recipe from Southern Living

More From Southern Living

Recipe Time

Hands On: 20 Minutes
Total: 4 Hours, 25 Minutes


  • 1 (11- to 12-lb.) whole fresh turkey
  • 1/3 cup canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Kitchen string


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and if desired, reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin. Rub 2 Tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper under skin and inside cavity.
  2. 2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string; tuck wingtips under. Brush turkey with remaining oil, and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Bake at 325° for 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.
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