Cranberry Glazed Turkey

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This Cranberry Glazed Turkey is a stunning bird! A golden browned turkey stuffed with aromatics and smothered in a sweet and tart cranberry glaze. It’s packed with flavor, juicy, and so easy to make!

Overhead view of a whole turkey glazed with a yummy homemade cranberry sauce.

I know cooking a Thanksgiving turkey can be a very intimidating thing but I am here to tell you just do it….it isn’t as hard as you may think! And this cranberry glazed turkey will definitely be the center of attention. The color alone is so pretty and it tastes just as good as it looks.

And don’t worry, if you think this isn’t the turkey for you try this delicious Beer and Butter Turkey. Injected with a beer and butter solution it’s no wonder it’s been a family favorite. Or if you are serving a smaller crowd try this Apple Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breast.

Reasons You Will Love This Cranberry Glazed Turkey

  • Freezer-friendly leftovers
  • Something different than the usual turkey
  • Makes GREAT sandwiches
  • Super easy to make
  • No basting, brining, or fussing
Ingredients to make the turkey: large turkey, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, cranberries, dijon mustard, honey, cranberry juice.

What Size Turkey Do I Buy?

I like to buy about 2 pounds per person that way there are leftovers. So if you are feeding 5 people buy a 10 pound turkey.

How To Thaw A Turkey?

It takes a lot longer than people think to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator. Plan for 1 day in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey. Be sure to place your turkey on a baking sheet to catch any leaks.

Don’t Wash The Turkey

There is no need to wash a turkey before baking because any bacteria will be killed in the cooking process. Plus, this just contaminates your sink.

Two pictures: one showing a close up of the turkey breast and the other a blue plate filled with cuts of turkey ready to serve. Garnished with lots of parsley and cranberries.

Don’t Brine The Turkey

If you are buying a turkey from the store it’s probably already brined. Just check the outside to see if it has been injected with a solution. If so no need to brine. However, if you are buying a FRESH turkey you should brine it to help ensure maximum juiciness.

Don’t Baste The Turkey

I know, I know, this is going against everything that has been taught but it isn’t necessary. You can get an awesome golden bird just by brushing it with oil or butter. And opening the oven constantly to baste will only lower the oven temperature taking it longer for your bird to cook.

Three pictures showing how to make the turkey: brush bird with oil and salt and pepper, make cranberry sauce, brush roasted turkey with sauce.

How To Make Cranberry Glazed Turkey

PREP THE TURKEY: Brush the outside of the turkey with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like to use seasoned salt to add even more flavor. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with onion, rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

Bake an 8-12 pound turkey for 1 3/4 – 3 hours, a 12-14 pound bird for 3 – 3 1/4 hours, and a 15-16 pound bird for 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cook time slather the bird with the cranberry glaze.

CRANBERRY GLAZE: Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. The cranberries will pop and become very soft.

Tips and Suggestions

Test The Turkey With A Meat Thermometer

Please don’t rely on that pop-up timer. Most likely your bird will be overcooked. Instead, use a meat thermometer and pull the bird when you get a temperature of 155 degrees F at the breast. It will continue to rise in temperature to 160 degrees F as it rests.

Let The Turkey Rest After Roasting

This is very important because it allows the bird to redistribute all those yummy juices. If you cut into it too soon you will lose all that hard work! Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes. And I promise it won’t be cold when you cut into it.

How To Store Leftover Turkey

Remove the meat from the bones and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Turkey sliced and on a white plate with mashed potatoes and gravy and a salad.

Serving Suggestions

Now what to serve with this stunning bird?? There are so many options! Here are a few:




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Overhead view of a whole turkey glazed with a yummy homemade cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted turkey
This Cranberry Glazed Turkey is a stunning bird! A golden browned turkey stuffed with aromatics and smothered in a sweet and tart cranberry glaze. It's packed with flavor, juicy, and so easy to make!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe



  • 1 (15-16 pound) (6.8-7.2kg) turkey, thawed and giblets removed
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  • 2 cups (200g) whole fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup (235ml) cranberry juice
  • ½ cup (120ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional



  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Pat turkey dry and place in a roasting pan. Can also place on a rack in a roasting pan. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Brush the outside of the turkey with the oil and season with salt and pepper well.
  • Bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven and brush outside with cranberry glaze and bake until you have a temperature of 155°F at the breast. Remove and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.


  • While the turkey is roasting or the day before combine the cranberries, cranberry juice, honey, mustard, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.


  1. For a smoother glaze blend in a blender before glazing the turkey. 


Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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