Turkey Cooking Times

So, what is the cooking time for a turkey? This is a common holiday cooking question.

General Rule For Cooking A Turkey

As a guide, cook your thawed turkey 20 minutes per pound, but the actual cooking time will differ depending on whether your turkey is stuffed and the actual oven cooking temperature. 

Note:

  • For food safety reasons: It is strongly recommended that stuffing on the side and cook the turkey unstuffed.
  • Plus, you can actually cook more stuffing if you have a large enough dish and sufficient ingredients, than the inside of a turkey would have the capacity to hold.

How long to cook a turkey

  • The times on the chart below are based on the turkey being placed a preheated ( 350o F / 175o C) oven with the roasting pan on the center rack.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is maintaining the proper temperature, once preheated.
  • When roasting a turkey, always cook your turkey to a safe temperature (165o F / 74o C), use a meat thermometer, and check the thermometer often.

Turkey cooking times reference chart

Turkey WeightUnstuffed Roasting TimeStuffed Roasting Time
10 to 18 pounds3 to 3-1/2 hours3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds3-1/2 to 4 hours4-1/2 to 5 hours
22 to 24 pounds4 to 4-1/2 hours5 to 5-1/2 hours
24 to 29 pounds 4-1/2 to 5 hours5-1/2 to 6-1/4 hours

Turkey Roasting Tips

  • Start with a completely thawed turkey; for food safety reasons, plan ahead and use the refrigerator to thaw the turkey.
  • Always Preheat your oven
  • Basting is optional if you want a browner and more even browning of the skin.
  • Cook the turkey uncovered until the skin is lightly golden and then cover loosely with a foil tent.
  • remove the foil tent for the last 45 minutes of baking to finish browning the skin.
  • The only safe test for turkey doneness is the temperature of the meat, and the turkey is cooked when the thigh meat has reached an internal temperature of (165o F / 74o C).  To get an accurate internal reading, be sure that your meat thermometer is not touching the bone.
  • If you stuffed the turkey, the stuffing must reach the temperature of (165o F / 74o C), which can result in a drier and slightly overcooked turkey
  • When the turkey is cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Resting the turkey allows the juices to redistribute throughout the turkey and makes for easier carving.

Recipe – Parmesan Cheese Spaghetti Squash

This Spaghetti Squash recipe is deceptively simple.  A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese may not seem like much, but the salty tang of Parmesan brings out the flavor of the Spaghetti squash. Add a little butter and some salt and pepper, and this simple spaghetti squash recipe becomes a delicious addition to your meal.

What is great about this simple recipe?

  • The recipe requires it’s easy
  • The recipe requires minimal prep work, and
  • The recipe requires just four ingredients.

Parmesan Cheese Spaghetti Squash Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or three cheese mix
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan Cheese Spaghetti Squash Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C)
  • Use a paring knife to poke small cut through over the entire skin.
  • Place the spaghetti squash in a lined baking dish.
  • Bake about one hour or until soft.
  • Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and cut the spaghetti squash in half.
  • Scoop out and discard the spaghetti squash seeds.
  • Using a fork, scrape flesh in strings into a serving bowl.
  • Toss with Parmesan and melted butter
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and or Italian seasoning

Servings

  • Makes six servings

Recipe – Beef Burgundy

Beef Burgundy is a hearty beef stew, usually braised, which make an excellent lunch or dinner meal. Especially during the cooler of autumn, winter, and early spring.

Beef Burgundy Ingredients

  • 1 boneless beef sirloin steak, ½-inch thick, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 pounds)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 slices uncooked bacon, diced
  • 3 cups Burgundy wine or beef broth
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 20 to 24 fresh pearl onions
  • 8 small new red potatoes, quartered 
  • 8 to 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Beef Burgundy Directions

  • Coat beef with flour, shaking off excess; set aside.
  • Cook and stir bacon in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until partially cooked.
  • Add half of the beef to bacon; brown over medium-high heat.
  • Remove with slotted spoon; set aside.
  • Brown remaining beef.
  • Pour off drippings.
  • Return beef and bacon to Dutch oven.
  • Stir in wine, carrots, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper to taste and bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Cover; simmer 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Cook and stir onions, potatoes, mushrooms and garlic about 10 minutes.
  • Add to Dutch oven.
  • Cover; simmer 50 minutes or until meat is fork-tender.
  • Remove and discard bay leaf. 

Servings

  • Makes 10 to 12 servings

Mario’s Marine Corps Mash Recipe

My Fit Foods, which has since closed their doors permanently, introduced me to this dish. Marine Corps Mash was a favorite of mine, so I once made a copycat version of the dish, which I found on my computer today and thought I would post before I lose it.  Admittedly, this recipe is less spicy than the My Fit Foods version, but I like it, so, I hope you will as well.

Mario’s Marine Corps Mash Ingredients:

Mash Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup canned kidney or black beans, rinsed (optional)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup diced fresh tomato (Optional)
  • Pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • shredded cheese
  • diced fresh tomato

Mario’s Marine Corps Mash Directions

  • Cook quinoa according to directions on the package.
  • Over a medium-high heated skillet, add cooking oil, garlic, and onion.
  • Cook them, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn translucent (about approximately 3 minutes).
  • Add ground turkey and remaining mash ingredients (except cooked quinoa) and cook for about 10 minutes until turkey is well done.
  • Once is mash is cooked, add in the rinsed kidney beans, cooked quinoa, and fresh tomato stir thoroughly.
  • Add optional topping and garnish, if desired.

Reheating Recommendation

  • If you intend to reheat and serving later, then the following changes are suggested:
    • Treat tomato as an optional topping (and cheese) and add to the dish after it has been reheated.
    • Divide the prepared mash into its four serving and place in a vented reheatable contains.  Once chilled close vents.
    • Place in refrigerator and do not stack until thoroughly chilled.
    • The mash will be food-safe for about three days if stored in this way, so, you don’t want to prepare too much at one time.

Cooks Notes

  • The beans have been listed as optional in the ingredients, because some folks don’t like beans much, but they do add volume, flavor, color, and vegetable protein to the mash.

Serves

  • Makes about four servings

Mexican Style Riced Cauliflower

This Mexican-style rice, fire recipe is one we typically prepare on the weekends and use as a side dish in our weekday lunches. However, we frequently use on the site for dinner as well. Find the recipe easy to fix and because we are not terribly fond of tomatoes sauce or tomato paste we have reduced the total amount of tomato paste you might see in some other recipes.

Mexican Style Riced Cauliflower Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of rice cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste or regular tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 small chili pepper minced (optional)
  • 1 14 ounce can of kidney beans (optional)
  • 1 cup baby or petite peas (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro (optional)

Mexican Style Riced Cauliflower Directions

  • first, gather all your ingredients
  • clean and dice your carrots onions and other vegetables you may use
  • open drain and rinse your kidney beans and allow them to drain as dry as possible
  • in a large nonstick pan add your oil and for heat on medium setting
  • once hot but not smoking, add carrots and cook for a couple of minutes and tell nearly tender
  • add onions and cook until translucent
  • add cauliflower and cook for two minutes and Terrell thought throughout
  • add all other spices and ingredients except the baby peas, kidney beans, and cilantro
  • heat for another couple of minutes during until all ingredients are well combined.  At this point, the cooking cauliflower rice should have a reddish color.
  • Cook for two more minutes, add baby peas, kidney beans, and cilantro stir thoroughly turn off the heat and remove from burner.
  • At this point, you may serve hot as a dinner side or allow the cauliflower to cool off and stored in a refrigerator for use at a later time.

Cook’s notes

  • I usually add a couple of teaspoons of sodium free chicken bouillon, but this is a strictly optional item, and I don’t always add the bouillon.
  • When working with frozen rice cauliflower, I typically cook each pound separately for about three minutes each to the point that they are not frozen any longer before beginning.
  • While adding the kidney beans is strictly optional, it does bring up the protein level of the riced cauliflower some, and it adds character.
  • I frequently use frozen peas, but I do rinse them in some cool water and allow them to dry, before adding them to the cooking cauliflower
  • Adding chili is purely optional; however, we typically add some finely chopped poblano pepper, or half heat jalapeno, or my wife’s favorite a small Sereno chili.

Prep Time

  • 5 mins

Cook Time

  • 8 – 10 minutes

Total Time

  • 15 minutes

Related Reference

Zucchini Casserole Recipe

Here is a nice dinner dish which will use up some of those zucchinis and or summer squash from your vegetable garden.   

Zucchini Casserole Ingredients

  • Chicken breast- 400 gr (14 oz)
  • Zucchini- 1 kg (35 oz)
  • Cheese – 100 gr (3,5 oz)
  • Sour cream – 4 tbsp
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Small or 1 Medium Onion
  • Seasoning – optional
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Zucchini Casserole Direction

1. Wash zucchini and grate. (I recommend wringing zucchini with your hands to get rid of excess liquid).
2. Onions clean and cut into small cubes. Fry until soft.

3. Chicken breast cut into small pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream and spices to taste. Stir and leave to marinate.

4. In grated zucchini add eggs and fried onions. Stir and add spices to taste.

5. Marinated chicken mix with zucchini. Put in a form oiled. The surface of the casserole smear the remaining sour cream and sprinkle with grated cheese.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C (350F).

Related References

SKILLET SUMMER SQUASH

This is a quick and easy stovetop recipe side dish for zucchini and or summer squash.

Skillet Summer Squash Ingredients

  • 1 Packet Sodium free chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame seed oil or olive oil
  • 2 medium green zucchinis
  • 2 medium yellow zucchinis or yellow summer squash
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • Sprinkle with Feta cheese crumbles or grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Skillet Summer Squash Directions

  • Wash, trim of the ends of the zucchinis and summer squash, and dice
  • Mix the squash together until thoroughly combined
  • Add chicken bouillon and mix a little more
  • In a large nonstick skillet add oil and heat on medium-high until hot, but not smoking
  • Add the squash in an even a layer as possible (it should sizzle as it hits the skillet)
  • Do not stir for 2-3 minutes until the summer squash shows some browning on the bottom
  • Stir the squash, and let the zucchini continue to cook
  • Stirring every couple minutes, until the squash is tender to your liking, about 8 minutes.
  • Season to taste and top with cheese if desired.
  •  Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes

  • If using Feta cheese (my personal choice), sample the squash with cheese added before adding salt
  • Do not overcook or the summer squash will become soupy. If this happens drain of the excess liquid, season, and serve immediately.
  • While this recipe calls for yellow and green squash, either color will taste just as good, if you don’t happen to have both colors.

Servings

  • This recipe makes about six servings

Prep Time

  • 10 Minutes

Cook Time

  • 10 Minutes

Total Time

  • 20 Minutes