Recipe For Basic Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables


I had the most interesting conversation with a Canadian friend the other day. I said something about her celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this week and she told me it wasn’t until next week. I “hmmm’d” to myself and went home to Google it. It appears she will be eating her feast a week after the rest of Canada… Any-hoo, I thought I’d get a jump on the U.S. Thanksgiving by posting a roast turkey on our northern neighbor’s holiday.

I have always been one to buy a couple of turkeys in November and pop them into the freezer for later. Sometimes they come out as late as Easter! It used to be that I’d make the meat department guy search through his freezer vault for the biggest bird he could find; that was in the “olden days,” when they went on sale for $.19/pound. Nowadays, they are still a bargain under $1/pound, but I am happy with an eighteen pound bird instead of twenty-five. In fact, they fit better in my freezer if they are on the smaller side. I can still get a lot of meals out of one bird.

Recently, I discovered a little trick that added a lot to our meal. I put my root vegetables (ie carrots, onions and sweet potatoes) under the bird rack during the last hour of cooking. Wowzer! The best flavors of the turkey drip right down into those vegetables. And think of it; I saved myself from washing an extra pan, too! Generally, there would be many, many more veggies under the bird than shown in the photo, but I hadn’t originally thought to photograph it and had already dished up a bunch. You get the idea, though.

1. Info for Basic Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables

  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 340 kcal

2. Ingredients for Basic Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables

  • 1 whole turkey (16+ pounds), thawed, any packets removed from cavities
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper (salt free lemon pepper would also work)
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage

3. Directions:

  1. Place the prepared, thawed, turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  2. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and sage all over it, including in the cavity.
  3. Completely cover it with foil and begin roasting it at 325 degrees.
  4. Time it according to weight and package directions.
  5. hour before it will be done, remove the the pan from the oven.
  6. Remove the foil and place the vegetables under the rack.
  7. This may take two people, or you can lift the rack, put it on a large baking sheet on the counter while you add the vegetables and then put it back in the roaster.
  8. Recover the bird with the foil and roast 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil and roast it the remaining 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place them in a serving bowl.
  11. Place the turkey on a platter and serve separately.

4. Tips and advices:

  • For added flavor, you can quarter a lemon or orange and place it into the turkey cavity while roasting. Discard fruit after turkey has finished roasting.

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