How to Make Turkey Dinner Recipes

Learn how to make turkey dinner recipes for the holidays or anytime of the year. Endless creative holiday recipes are enjoyed around the world to celebrate the most wonderful of our celebrations. Often the simplest foods are easily enhanced for festive presentation with the addition of a little imagination and complimentary garnish.

Cooking a turkey is often our choice as an entrée for special dinners for several reasons. One is that a turkey can feed a large crowd, it also makes an elegant presentation and it is usually the most economical when feeding a large crowd. Another very important reason for choosing turkey is that there are so many creative holiday recipes for the preparation of this bird. Learn how to make turkey dinner recipes to please everyone’s taste buds.

How to Make Turkey Dinner RecipesHow to Make Turkey Dinner Recipes

There are some Americans who choose to serve beef or pork for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner but the majority will choose a big turkey bird. Although roasting a turkey is probably the most traditional way of serving, today people are choosing a variety of nontraditional cooking processes. You can learn how to make turkey dinner recipes a little different or out of the ordinary.

Learn how to make turkey dinner recipes made with young turkeys which can weigh as little as four pounds or the tom turkeys might weigh up to twenty or thirty pounds. I always purchase the largest one because it is the most economical having a higher ratio of meat per pound.


Learn how to make turkey dinner recipes by smoking the turkey which has become so popular in recent years. . 

  • 1 Turkey 10 to 15 pounds
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Apple cored peeled and quartered
  • 2 Medium onions quartered
  • 4 Stalks celery with leaves cut in thirds

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for other use.
Rinse turkey and pat dry; sprinkle cavity with salt.
Combine cinnamon and sugar; dredge apple in cinnamon mixture.
Stuff apple quarters, onion quarters and celery in cavity of turkey; close cavity with skewers.
Tie ends of legs to tail with cord; lift wings up and over back to tuck under bird.
Prepare charcoal fire in smoker and let burn 10 to 15 minutes.
Soak hickory chips in water for at least 15 minutes.
Place water pan in smoker and fill with water; place hickory chips on coals.
Place turkey on food rack; cover with smoker lids.
Cook 8 to 12 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 185F degrees when inserted in meaty part.
Smoking may take 9 to 12 hours; refill water pan and add charcoal as needed.


Every cook has their own turkey dinner recipes including the stuffing and I am sharing mine with you.

I cover with water and boil the turkey neck and giblets until tender. I then remove the pieces and discard. I add the turkey dripping to the broth. I then set aside enough broth for the gravy. Spray a roasting pan with a cooking spray and pour remaining broth into the roasting pan.

  1. 1 Loaf bread (lay out in shallow pan for 5 to 7 days prior so the air will dry it out) When ready to use, break bread into small pieces in a very large bowl or pan.
  2. Pour milk over bread pieces until all bread is soaked but no milk setting in bottom.
  3. Melt ½ pound butter in a large skillet.
  4. Add 3 Stalks finely chopped celery and 2 finely chopped medium onions to butter and sauté until tender.
  5. Dump butter and vegetable mixture into bread and milk
  6. Add to the vegetable mixture: 8 eggs, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground sage.
  7. Mix altogether until well blended; dump into pan with broth.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until it is dry but moist.

STUFFED TURKEY BREAST RECIPE for a tasty holiday recipe

  • 12 Ounces ground pork
  • 1 Package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • ½ Cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 Cup minced onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¾ Teaspoon dried whole thyme
  • ¾ Teaspoon dried whole rosemary crushed
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Boneless turkey breast (3 pounds)
  • ¼ Cup melted butter

Combine first 10 ingredients and set aside.
Lay turkey breast flat on wax paper skin side down.
Remove tendons and trim fat keeping skin intact.
Slice horizontally through thickest part of each side of breast ALMOST to the edges.
Open sliced parts making the breast fillet larger.
Pound breast to flatten to make more even thickness.
Spoon stuffing mixture in center of width of turkey breast leaving a 2 inch border at sides.
Fold in sides of breast over filling; roll up over filling starting from bottom.
Roll should be about 12 to 14 inches long.
Tie roll with several pieces of string; place seam side down on rack in roasting pan.
Insert meat thermometer making sure it rest in the meat of the turkey.
Pour melted butter evenly over roll.
Bake in preheated oven at 420F degrees for 30 minutes basting often.
Reduce heat to 350F degrees; bake additional 20 to 30 minutes until thermometer reaches 170F.
Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.


All turkey dinner recipes must include some type of turkey gravy. 

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Cups turkey broth

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add the flour and salt and stir until bubbly.
Add broth slowly into pan, stirring constantly.
Cook over low heat stirring constantly until starts to thicken about 15 minutes.
Add ½ chopped, cooked giblets to gravy if desired.


Ingredients for the Brine:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1⅓ cups kosher salt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dried sage leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. dried crushed rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 gallon ice water
  • 1 turkey (12-14 lb.), fresh or frozen and thawed

Ingredients for the turkey seasoning:

  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. table salt
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tsp. garlic powder  

For the brine:

Combine water, sugar, kosher salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, peppercorns and marjoram in a large stockpot.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, making sure the salt and the sugar are dissolved.

Remove stockpot from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Pour the cooled brine into a clean 5-gallon bucket; stir in the ice water.

Remove all turkey innards; place the turkey, breast down, in the brine filling the cavity with brine.

Place the bucket in a refrigerator overnight; brine the turkey for 24 hours, no longer.

Remove the turkey, draining off the excess brine and patting it dry; discard the brine. 

Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the turkey seasoning. 

Place the brined turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Gently pull up the skin of the turkey and rub the seasoning directly on the flesh.

Pour more seasoning into the inside cavity and rub all around.

Use the rest of seasoning to completely cover the outside of the turkey on top of the skin. 

Place the turkey in a large roasting pan; roast the turkey at 450F degrees for 30 minutes. 

NOTE: At this point, you may want to cover the top of the turkey, wings and legs with foil to prevent burning.

REDUCE HEAT TO 350F degrees and roast for another 1½-2 hours, or until the thigh meat and breast meat both reach 160˚ F on a meat thermometer. 

KROGER NOTE: This is where a digital thermometer comes in handy. You don't have to keep checking the doneness of the meat while it's in the oven. Start with the thermometer in the breast and when it reaches 160˚ F, move it to the thigh. Dark meat often takes longer to cook. A properly cooked turkey should reach 165˚ F. I like to remove my turkey when I know the dark meat is 160˚ F and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving. During this resting period, the turkey continues to cook and reaches the proper temperature for eating.