Grandma G's Baked Thanksgiving Turkey

Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs 15 mins

The secret for my buttery tasting moist turkey, is the injector! Yes the large "syringe looking" injector usually used for injecting cajun spices into meats. The result is a very moist turkey, every time! Cook times are based on the size turkey you have. I usually cook a 12 to 15 pounder. I've based cook times on 12 to 15 pound turkey.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (12 lb) turkey
  • 14 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 34 cup butter or 34 cup margarine, melted (I use Parkay sticks)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped in 1 inch chunks
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, cut in 1 inch chunks
  • 12 cup butter
  • Basting

  • 14 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 34 cup butter or 34 cup margarine, melted (I use Parkay sticks)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove giblets and neck.
  3. For those of you who have never cooked a turkey before, check inside the body cavity, and inside the neck chest cavity.
  4. Rinse turkey and pat dry.
  5. Mix melted butter and salad dressing.
  6. Draw up mixture into injector and inject bird in several locations in the brest, thighs and leg.
  7. Place in roaster pan and add all vegetables inside the body cavity.
  8. Cut 4, 1/2 inch slices from the butter and insert under the breast skin, and push up as far as it will go.
  9. Place the remaining stick of butter in the cavity.
  10. Cover with heavy foil, making sure the foil does not touch the turkey.
  11. Bake for 2 hours 30 minutes in 450 degree oven.
  12. If meat thermometer reads 185 degrees, it's time to uncover and baste using all of basting liquid.
  13. If it has not reached 180 degrees return to oven for additional 30 minutes.
  14. Check therometer.
  15. Bake another 45 minutes, until golden brown.
  16. Remove from oven and cover with foil again and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
Most Helpful

5 5

I'm a 23 college student who likes cooking enough to make meals at home majority of the week, but I had no experience ever making a turkey. After learning that I would be responsible for making the turkey this year for Thanksgiving, I was excited to try out this recipe. IT WAS AMAZING!!! I followed the recipe to the T with a 15 pound turkey and my whole family kept giving me compliments all night about how perfect it was, which I agree with. Thanks so much!

5 5

WONDERFUL. This was my first time making a turkey alone. My husband usually does it but he is in the military and is deployed. I had relatives coming so I had to make something really good to impress them. This was the best thanksgiving turkey they ever had. My aunt could not stop talking about how tender and juicy the turkey was. I will make this for my hubby when he comes home in Jan. This will be my go to recipe every year....thanks for helping us make a tradition in our family. Thanks for posting GrandmaG and Happy Holidays :)

5 5

Thank you. This is the best Turkey recipe I have ever got. Turkey turned out tender and juicy. I will do it again for Christmas party. Many thanks GrandmaG, and god bless. vj