Thanksgiving Turkey with Sage Dressing
how to roast a turkey, how many cups dressing to make


Bake sage dressing inside the turkey or separately in a 9x13 pan. See instructions below.
What side dishes to serve with this turkey dinner?

See my
Gourmet Side Dishes and Thanksgiving Menu Ideas and Recipes

Thanksgiving Turkey with Sage Dressing
Peggy Bucholz recipe and photograph created for my website

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(if you are stuffing a turkey with dressing, see chart below for Sage Dressing recipe)

Prepare Turkey for roasting (if you are not stuffing with dressing)


1 yellow onion, unpeeled, medium sized, cut into wedges
1 carrot unpeeled, large size, cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, large size, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon Thyme


Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry; rub inside cavities with salt. Fill cavities with vegetables and roast at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes per pound.

Cook the Giblets for gravy
Remove giblets from the cavity, I discard the liver, it has a bitter taste and should not be included in making the stock but it is up to you. Put the neck, gizzard and heart into a large saucepan along with the onion, carrot, celery and thyme. Add enough cold water to completely submerge the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until tender, approximately 1-1/2 hours.

Remove the giblets to a cutting board. Strain the broth (stock) into a large saucepan, or if not preparing the gravy immediately put the stock into a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Press the vegetables with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables. Remove meat from the neck bones and chop coarsely along with the gizzard and heart. Store separately, refrigerate in a covered container.
This can be done 1 day ahead.

How to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving
If the turkey is frozen allow 4 to 5 hours per pound to defrost in the refrigerator.

Rinse inside and out with cold water; pat dry; rub inside cavities with salt. Loosely fill with Sage Dressing (recipe below) . Secure cavities shut with kitchen string or skewers; tie legs together, fold wings under. Place on a rack, breast side up, in a large shallow baking pan; rub skin generously with vegetable oil. Roast on oven rack in lowest position at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes per pound. When the turkey begins to turn golden, cover with a loose tent of foil. It is done when juices run clear and the legs move freely up and down easily without much resistance at the hip joint.

Remove from oven to rest on a cutting board and cover with foil; do not avoid this step to let it rest, this is what makes the meat juicy and tender, not dried out; if you carve the meat too soon, the juices run out instead of staying in the meat. Tent with aluminum foil while preparing the gravy. Carve Turkey.

Gravy Recipe for Thanksgiving
Pour pan drippings from the baking pan into a large saucepan; skim off as much fat as possible. Add the stock you made from the giblets in the refrigerator, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Combine cornstarch with enough cold water to dissolve.  Whisk desired amount into the heated stock to your preference of thickness, continue stirring until all lumps disappear.  Add chopped giblet meat, taste for seasoning.

See my
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu's for ideas of what to serve with this meal.

how much dressing to make? See my easy chart to determine how much you will need

What size (lbs.) Turkey are you preparing?

From the chart below select the amount of stuffing to prepare for your Thanksgiving bird.

Stuffing Recipe


4 lb. Turkey

8 lb. Turkey

12 lb. Turkey

16 lb. Turkey

20 lb. Turkey

24 lb. Turkey

Yellow onion

1/2 cup

1 C.

1-1/2 C.

2 cups

2-1/2 cups

3 cups


1/2 cup

1 C.

1-1/2 C.

2 cups

2-1/2 cups

3 cups

Vegetable oil

4 tablespoons

4 tables

1/3 C.

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

Bread cubes

3 C.

6 C.

9 cups

12 cup

15 cups

18 cups

Chicken Broth

1 cups

2 cups

3 cups

4 cups

5 cups

6 cups


1 egg

2 eggs

3 eggs

4 eggs

5 eggs

6 eggs

Kosher salt

3/4 teasp

1-1/2 teasp

2-1/4 teas.

3 teaspoons

3-3/4 teasp

4-1/2 teasp

Black pepper

1/4 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon

3/4 teasp

1 teaspoon

1-1/4 teaspoons

1-1/2 teaspoons

Nutmeg, grated

1/2 teaspoon

1 teaspoon

1-1/2 teaspoon

2 teaspoons

2-1/2 teaspoons

1 tablespoon

Sage, rubbed

2 teaspoons

4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

8 teaspoon

10 teaspoons

4 tablespoons

Poultry Seas.

1 teaspoon

2 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

4 teaspoon

5 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

Parsley, fresh

2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

6 tablespoons

1/2 cup

10 tablespoons

3/4 cup

Dice onion and celery, saute with oil in a large skillet over high heat until tender. Place bread cubes in a large bowl, heat chicken broth to boiling, pour over bread cubes, add onion-celery mixture, blend well.

In a small bowl beat eggs slightly, add salt, pepper, nutmeg, sage, poultry seasoning and parsley. Add to bread mixture blending well.

Stuff and truss both ends of the bird with this stuffing recipe.

If you are not stuffing the bird or have an excess amount of stuffing, place it in a 9x13 oiled pan, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until it is crusty and golden, approximately 35 minutes more. Enjoy!

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