For many, a roast turkey is the pride and joy of the festive season, so nailing the perfect recipe on Christmas Day can seem like the ultimate challenge. Everyone has their own special take on this centerpiece, so why not check out our 10 all-time favourite recipes to get your creative juices flowing. Whether you want a classic whole bird, a smaller crown, a twist on the traditional, or the chance to show off, we’ve got the turkey for every occasion.
For lots of helpful cooking advice, read our foolproof turkey guide and tips on how to cook a turkey. You can also follow our video for step-by-step instructions on how to carve your bird at the table.
Our best ever turkey recipes
1. Classic roast turkey
Celebrate Christmas the traditional way with this classic roast turkey recipe. To ensure it stays beautifully moist, the bird is part-cooked in a parcel of foil with a glass of red wine and streaky bacon draped over the breast to protect it. Nutmeg provides subtle spicing, and we’d suggest adding apricot sausage skewers and stuffing around the turkey 30 mins before the end of cooking for extra meaty flavour.
2. Turkey crown with roast garlic & pancetta
If you have a smaller crowd to feed or just don’t want to content with bones when carving up a whole bird, then a turkey crown is the perfect alternative. This Italian-style recipe is wrapped in crisp pancetta slices, which locks in moisture, and is stuffed with a fragrant lemon and garlic ciabatta mixture. We’ve ramped up the flavour even further with a sweet, boozy kick from marsala in the gravy. No wonder it’s one of our most popular roast turkey recipes!
Check out more delicious turkey crown recipes.
3. Roast turkey with lemon & garlic
Want to try something a little different this year? We’ve given traditional roast turkey a subtle twist with the help of some simple storecupboard ingredients. Lemons, onions and garlic are used as a fragrant stuffing, while a zingy butter under the skin provides moisture. If you have time, season the meat up to three days before with a thyme, pepper and salt brine to keep it more succulent. You can also achieve a satisfyingly crispy skin by leaving the turkey uncovered so the outer layer dries out.
4. Roast turkey breast wrapped in bacon
Tired of classic whole roast turkey? Try mixing it up with this mouthwatering retro roll, which delivers all the essentials in one juicy bite. Simply wrap turkey breast, sausagemeat, sage and cranberry sauce in strips of streaky bacon for a punchy parcel which is sure to impress your Christmas crowd.
5. Brown sugar & spice-glazed turkey with candied carrots
‘Sugar, spice and all things nice’ could be just what your turkey is made of this Christmas. For maximum flavour and succulence, rub the turkey with our aromatic spice mix as far ahead as possible to ensure the flavours penetrate throughout the meat. Finish the bird with a maple syrup glaze and serve with candied carrots and fresh herbs.
6. Brined roast turkey crown & confit legs
Get the best flavour from your turkey crown with minimum effort by using a dry-brining technique to tenderise the meat. Also, cooking the legs and wings separately means that you don’t overcook the breast. Our recipe uses a flavoursome brine mixture of salt, herbs, citrus peel, sugar and peppercorns, which should coat the legs and wings up to four days before the big day, and the breast on Christmas Eve. With such a sumptuously succulent result and leg meat that literally falls off the bone, this is sure to become a festive favourite.
Find out more about this method in our guide on how to brine a turkey.
7. Cider roast turkey
Calling all cider lovers! It may be Christmas Day but you needn’t part with your favourite fizzy beverage. Roasting the turkey and veg in gorgeous cider juices will allow the fruity flavour to permeate the meat, and for good measure, we’ve included a rich, boozy gravy to serve.
These irresistibly sticky glazed apples, pears & shallots provide the perfect side for your cider-roasted turkey. Glaze the fruit with quince or redcurrant jelly before and after roasting, then serve these sweet golden beauties around the bird for the ultimate festive centrepiece.
8. Wild mushroom, port & thyme turkey wellington
Try something different and impress your guests with this showstopping – yet stress-free – turkey wellington. Rather than flapping with carving up a whole bird before your dinner, this recipe can be prepped a few days in advance, then all you have to do on the day is bake it in the oven and carve into thick slices. Stuffed with a mouthwatering mixture of herby porcini and chestnut mushrooms, and encased in buttery puff pastry, it may turn out to be everyone’s favourite wrapped gift this Christmas!
Pining for more pastry? We’ve got plenty of wellington recipes.
9. Turkey crown kiev
Chicken kievs are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, so why not recreate this classic family favourite in your Christmas dinner? This turkey crown comes smothered in an irresistibly buttery baste of garlic and parsley flavours and is finished in a characteristic crunchy breadcrumb coating.
10. Perfect pancetta & roast shallot-stuffed turkey
Last but certainly not least, it’s a showstopping turkey to tantalise your guests’ tastebuds. Rather than wrapping the bird in pancetta, we’ve pushed this under the skin, which helps to seal in the moisture. Pull out all the flavour stops with a zingy citrus baste, plus a lemon, thyme and shallot stuffing, which will all meld beautifully with the juices whilst cooking. Prepare a luxuriously rich madeira gravy to accompany the roast and let your culinary creation take pride of place at the table.
Want more recipe ideas? Take a look at our turkey collection.
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Will you be roasting a turkey this Christmas? Let us know how you get on in the comments below…