Whole Roasted Turkey with Red Wine Pan Gravy & Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving Day is almost here, and I’ve got your main dish covered with this whole roasted turkey.

Whole Roasted Turkey

Whole Roasted Turkey

I hope everyone is getting as excited as I am for the big turkey day!! This entire time of year is so special because it gives us the perfect excuse to gather loved ones around the table and celebrate with delicious food.

I am going to keep this post pretty short, because I am sure you are all quite busy this week getting everything ready to go! Grocery shopping, cleaning, preparing the kitchen, prepping the food…it is go-time!

Tonight, I’ll be doing my first round of grocery shopping. We do a big Friendsgiving tomorrow every year, where I usually make the turkey and everyone brings a fun appetizer, side dish, or dessert. And then for Thanksgiving on Thursday, my dad and I do most of the cooking, with my mom always making her famous cheesy broccoli casserole.

I’ll be picking up two large turkeys tonight, plus all the other staples. Then tomorrow or early Thursday morning I’ll usually run out again for any last-minute items.

It’s definitely a jammed packed two days!! But I couldn’t love it more.

My favorite dish this year might definitely be this baked mac & cheese, just saying..

Whole Roasted Turkey

So, below you’ll find my favorite turkey recipe. It’s basically stuffed with citrus, butter roasted, and topped with a silky red wine pan gravy. And you can’t forget the cranberry sauce! This stuff is so good. It’s tart and full of warm spices.

I hope everyone enjoys this week! I have two more recipes to share with you before Thanksgiving…a decadent chocolate pecan pie and my sausage fennel stuffing!


[Here’s a really helpful video on carving a turkey!]


Whole Roasted Turkey with Red Wine Pan Gravy & Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

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a crispy, tender whole roasted turkey with red wine pan gravy and tart cranberry sauce

serves: 10

  • Author: Kayla Howey



Whole Roasted Turkey

  • 1 (13 lb) whole turkey, giblets removed
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
  • flaky sea salt, to garnish

Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 bag (12.5 oz) fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • water, as needed

Red Wine Pan Gravy

  • ¼ cup turkey drippings (from above)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 qt turkey (or chicken) stock
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and black pepper, as needed


Whole Roasted Turkey

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat the turkey dry and place it in a roasting pan on a wire rack. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the orange, lemon, thyme, sage, and oregano. Smear the softened butter over the entire turkey, making sure to cover every inch of the skin. Season the turkey generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Place the turkey in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and roast for 50 more minutes. At this point, you’ll want to cover the top of the turkey with a piece of foil to prevent it from burning while the rest of the turkey cooks through. Continue to cook for 1 ½ more hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reads 160°F. Remove the turkey from the oven, keep covered tightly with foil, and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the pan drippings for the gravy. When ready to serve, carve the turkey. Make sure to use a very sharp knife! Garnish the sliced turkey with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon stick, and star anise in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a bubble over medium-high heat. Once the cranberries begin to burst, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until thickened and “jam-like”, stirring often. Add water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick or sticks to the pan. Continue to reduce until silky smooth. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Serve warm.

Red Wine Pan Gravy

While the turkey rests, measure out ¼ cup of the turkey drippings from the roasting pan. Add the drippings to a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the fat is hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season with a pinch of salt. Saute until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, sprigs of sage, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and let the gravy simmer until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Right before serving, strain the gravy.

To Serve

Serve the carved turkey on a big platter. I like to arrange different fruits and herbs around the platter for decoration. Serve the gravy and cranberry sauce on the side.


If you want this to serve more people, just buy a larger turkey, follow the same cooking process, but increase the last 1 ½ hours at 350°F as needed. You can easily increase the amounts for the gravy and cranberry sauce as well.

Whole Roasted Turkey

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