Discover the EASIEST way to cook a turkey wrapped in bacon so you never have dry turkey ever again.

Get your quick and easy FREE printable turkey cooking schedule and easy-to-follow guide with FREE keto holiday meal plans.

BONUS: FREE printable Christmas gift tags and a FREE printable sugar-free advent calendar.

collage showing the best way to cook a turkey
Best way to cook a turkey for beginners

Why is roast turkey sometimes dry?

Because turkey is low-fat meat and has to be cooked for hours, turkey meat can easily dry out. To avoid dry turkey, you need to trap in all the moisture and fat the turkey does have AND add as much moisture and flavor as you can.

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There are two ways to do this.

  1. You can stuff the skin with low-carb stuffing. This TRAPS in any fat and moisture the turkey has. It also adds a burst of flavor.
  2. You can also cover the turkey with butter then wrap it in bacon. This ADDS more moisture and fat to the turkey.

How much turkey do you need?

I generally buy a whole turkey weighing 450 – 700g (1 – 1.5 lb) per person. If you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people, you can buy turkey breast or a half turkey.

I like to cook a very large bird so I ensure I have turkey leftovers for the next few days.

a bacon-wrapped turkey served with a slice of lemon on a silver dish
Delicious moist Thanksgiving turkey

How long does a turkey take to cook?

You need to weigh your turkey after you have wrapped it in bacon and added your pork sausage stuffing.

Time to cook a turkey

20 minutes at 200C/400F then 15 minutes per 500g/1 lb at 180C/350F

Temperature to cook a turkey

Always pre-heat your oven and ensure you have a large roasting pan or roasting rack.

Begin to cook the turkey at 200C/400F to ensure the meat and stuffing are hot, then reduce to 180C/350F for the remainder of the cooking time.

What internal temperature should the turkey meat be?

The minimum internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey should be 75 C/165 F.

You can use a meat thermometer to test the turkey’s temperature and to ensure you bake the perfect turkey for your Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner.

CHEAT SHEET: Turkey portions and cooking times

20 minutes at 200C/400F then 15 minutes per 500g/1 lb at 180C/350F

Size of turkeyServesCooking time
1.8-2.7 kg : 4-6 lb (breast or rolled)2-4 people1 ½ to 2 ¼ hours
2.7-3.6 kg : 6-8 lb (breast or rolled)4-6 people3 to 3 ½ hours
3.6- 5.4 kg : 8-12 lb8-10 people3 to 3 ½ hours
5.4- 6.3 kg : 12-14 lb10-12 people3 ½ to 4 hours
6.3- 8.2 kg : 14-18lb12-15 people4 to 4 ¼ hours
8.2- 9 kg : 18-20 lb15-18 people4 ¼ to 4 ¾ hours
Turkey portions and cooking times

Should I roast turkey covered or uncovered?

To ensure you have the tastiest and most moist turkey for your Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner, you need to bake the turkey covered to trap in all the juices. You can either use aluminum foil, or you can use a covered roasting dish.

How to maintain the best flavor?

low-carb and keto stuffing held in a serving spoon about to stuff a bacon-wrapped turkey
Low-carb and keto stuffing

Plain turkey can be a bit bland so to give it more flavor, I add herbed low-carb and keto stuffing.

To add the low-carb stuffing, you can add it to 2 areas:

  1. In the cavity of the turkey – either spoon or place balls of turkey stuffing inside the open cavity of the turkey before cooking. The turkey stuffing adds moisture, fat, and flavor.
  2. In between the skin and the meat of the turkey – you slowly start separating the turkey skin from the turkey breast to create a small cavity. Begin by pressing the stuffing inside by hand.

Which stuffing is the best for turkey?

a perfect bacon-wrapped easy turkey served with a side dish of keto mashed cauliflower
The perfect Thanksgiving feast

If you love meaty stuffing, then the pork sausage stuffing recipe below is perfect. Especially if you follow the keto carnivore diet. The pork and sage stuffing adds even more moisture, fat, and flavor.

If you prefer the traditional bread stuffing, but you want to stay low-carb or keto, then I suggest the low-carb and keto stuffing recipe might be more to your taste.

Made with keto cornbread, fresh herbs, and chicken broth (chicken stock). It’s one of those delicious side dishes the whole family will love.

Keto Pork Sausage Stuffing Recipe
The easiest Keto Stuffing (Pork Sage Sausage Stuffing) you'll ever make! Perfect for keto Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gluten-free and quick to make.
Check out this recipe
Low-Carb and Keto Stuffing Recipe (Cornbread)
Delicious keto cornbread stuffing 3.4 g net carbs (low-carb and keto stuffing) – the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish the whole family will LOVE.
keto cornbread stuffin served with a wooden spoon

How to make a foil tent

The easiest way to cook a turkey is to wrap the prepared bacon-wrapped turkey using large sheets of aluminum foil.

In your large roasting dish, place 1 sheet lengthwise and 1 sheet sideways to the turkey. Once the turkey is ready for cooking, loosely wrap the first sheet of foil over it and crimp (fold) the edges together to form a seal.

Do the same with the next sheet and crimp (fold) the edges. The turkey should be sealed from any moisture being lost. It will look like one huge silver Christmas present. If there are any gaps, use another sheet of foil.

I always remove the foil (or lid) for the final 20 minutes of cooking time, to allow the skin and bacon to go crispy.

Prep your turkey (4 easy steps)

The easiest way to prepare your turkey is to follow these 4 easy steps.

  1. Line your baking tray with aluminum foil
  2. Add stuffing inside your turkey
  3. Cover with butter and bacon slices
  4. Crimp the edges of your foil tent

What to prepare, the night before

Try to get some holiday meal preparation completed the night before.

  • Make the pork and sage stuffing. Roll a quarter of the mixture into stuffing balls. Either store in the fridge OR begin to prepare the turkey by stuffing the cavity and the skin.
  • Peel and cut the roast vegetables. Leave in a large saucepan or mixing bowl of water to stop them from browning
  • Peel and cut any vegetables that need to be cooked on the stovetop
  • Make any low-carb and keto desserts you need
  • Wrap the sausages in bacon, place in a small casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Keep it in the fridge

COOKING SCHEDULE: Cooking calculator

20 minutes at 200C/400F then 15 minutes per 500g/1 lb at 180C/350F

the best way to cook a turkey cooking schedule
Easy turkey recipe cooking schedule

1: Calculate your TOTAL cooking time for the size of turkey you have.

2: Work your turkey cooking schedule backward from when you want to serve your meal.

3: Always check your turkey using a meat thermometer to ensure it is completely cooked. Your oven may vary in cooking temperature and heat distribution.

Sample cooking schedule for a 4 kg/8 lb turkey

The best cooking schedule for a 4 kg/8 lb turkey from first putting in the oven, to being ready to carve = 20 minutes + 2 hours + 20 minutes +30 minutes = TOTAL TIME 3 hours and 10 minutes.

  • 20 minutes at 200C/400F
  • THEN 2 hours at 180C/350F
  • THEN 20 minutes uncovered at 180C/350F
  • PLUS 30 minutes of resting time

This is how I cook our easy roast turkey for Christmas every year, and it turns out perfect and moist every time. Roast turkey is the most popular meal for Christmas and for Thanksgiving. With guests and family over, you want to make it a success.

Plan the timing of everything, so that while you are enjoying a glass of wine, you don’t need to think of what to do. You will have a plan.

I’ve given you my easy-to-follow schedule to show you exactly how to plan and the best way to cook a turkey. This schedule has saved me many times and allowed me to relax and have a glass of wine.

I don’t have to think, I just have to look at my timesheet and know exactly what has to be cooked and when. Set a timer for each next step and make this easy roast turkey.

How to carve a turkey?

Once your delicious bird has finished cooking, you will need to remove your roasting rack and let the turkey rest.

Always rest the turkey for 15-30 minutes before carving. This allows all the juices and turkey drippings to soak back into the turkey meat and makes it easier to carve that straight out of the oven.

While it is resting, keep the cooked turkey covered in aluminum foil (or roasting lid) and a few kitchen tea towels (or hand towels). This helps to insulate the turkey, keeping it warm, and helps to draw in the juices.

My Christmas day routine

The times shown are calculated for a 4 kg/8 lb turkey.

  • 9.50 am I put the turkey in the hot oven at 200C for 20 minutes
  • 10.10 am reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for 2 hours
  • 12.10 pm remove the foil and cook uncovered to crisper the bacon and turkey skin for 20 minutes
  • 12.30 pm remove the turkey from the oven, cover it in the foil again and place a few tea towels on the clean side of the foil to insulate, keep the turkey hot and let the meat rest for 30 minutes
  • 1 pm ready to carve

Add these times to the turkey schedule if you are cooking sausages, roast vegetables, and stuffing balls.

10.10 am = I run out of cooking space in my oven so I add the roast vegetables at 10.10 am, cook for an hour

11.10 am = remove roast vegetables then cook the bacon-wrapped chipolatas and stuffing balls for 30 minutes

11.40 am = remove chipolatas and stuffing balls

12.30 am = When I remove the turkey at 12.30 to allow it to rest, I put the roast vegetables, chipolatas, and stuffing back into the empty oven to bring them back up to temperature. I make the gravy and cook the stove-top vegetables already prepared last night.

1 pm = all ready

Turkey FAQs

Which way up should I cook my turkey?

It is best to have your turkey roasting with the breast facing up (as shown).

What is the best roasting pan to cook a whole turkey?

You can use a traditional turkey roasting pan, an extra large tall-rimmed baking sheet (for smaller birds), or a cast iron roasting pan. A disposable roasting pan is convenient but it doesn’t transfer heat very evenly and doesn’t retain heat while the turkey is resting.

How do I defrost a frozen turkey?

You cannot cook a frozen turkey. The frozen turkey will need to be placed in your fridge for at least 1 day for every 4 pounds/1.8kg of turkey to defrost.

Will roasting it uncovered make my turkey dry?

It depends on your oven. If you have a well-sealed oven or a steam oven, then your whole turkey should remain moist and tender. If your oven releases a lot of steam while cooking, then you may end up with dry breast meat.

How long can I keep leftover turkey?

Leftover meat should be stored in the fridge as soon as possible once cooled to room temperature. Place leftover turkey immediately in an airtight container, or a covered dish for up to 3 days in the fridge.

FREE Christmas gift tags

Mockup of beautiful FREE printable gift tags
FREE printable gift tags

You can download the PDF file for your free printable gift tags. They are a fun way to gift a sugar-free holiday treat such as cinnamon-roasted almonds.

FREE sugar-free advent calendar

sugar free advent calendar hanging on string on a white wall
FREE printable sugar-free advent calendar

I have a FREE printable sugar-free advent calendar for you. Why not make this year really special? Imagine the surprise on your children’s faces each morning opening their special little gift and an activity to do together. Make this Christmas one to remember.

I have free printables and activity ideas for you. I will show you how to make the bags, some amazing gift ideas, and activity ideas – whether you celebrate Christmas in a hot or cold climate. It’s all here in your FREE sugar-free advent calendar.

how to cook a roast turkey covered in bacon and served on a carving dish

The Best Way to Cook A Turkey (wrapped in bacon)

The best way to cook a bacon-wrapped turkey and you can say goodbye to dry roast turkey. Once and for all. This is the easy turkey recipe PLUS an easy-to-follow cooking schedule.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Wheat Free
Keyword: easy roast turkey
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 648.4kcal
Want to lose weight and get healthy for life—without dieting, drugs, or making yourself miserable?We can help! Tell me how!


  • Roasting pan or large baking pan


Easy Roast Turkey

  • 4 kg turkey
  • 500 g bacon
  • 55 g butter

Pork and Sage Stuffing (optional – see notes)

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 750 g ground pork sausage meat
  • 1 eggs – medium
  • +/- salt and pepper


Pork and Sage Stuffing (optional – see notes)

  • Place the onion, sage, pork and egg in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix through with your hands, squeezing all the ingredients together.
  • Half will be used to stuff the turkey breast, a quarter will be used to stuff the turkey cavity, and the remaining quarter can be rolled into balls and baked for 30 minutes.

Easy Roast Turkey

  • Separate the skin from the turkey breast and push half of the stuffing gently as you can into the space.
  • Rub the butter over the skin of the turkey breast and legs.
  • Cover turkey as shown with slices of streaky bacon.
  • Loosely wrap the large aluminium foil around the turkey and turn over the edges to make a wrapped parcel. This will keep the turkey moist.
  • Place in a large roasting dish and cook according to the cooking schedule above.



Nutrition is for bacon-wrapped turkey.
The stuffing is additional as you can choose the low-carb keto bread stuffing OR the pork sausage stuffing (above).


Serving: 1serving (serves 10)Calories: 648.4kcalCarbohydrates: 0.6gProtein: 67.8gFat: 40.3gSodium: 688.4mgPotassium: 736.5mgSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 315IUCalcium: 35.1mgIron: 2.6mg

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Julie Hawkes says:

    5 stars
    Wow! I’ve just read through your Christmas recipe ideas and your easy turkey recipe, you make cooking so easy with pictures and detailed instructions. I’m so looking forward to a feast of tasty food without feeling like I’ve missed out on all the sugary and high carb foods that I normally pig out on! Thank you for making this so simple for us to manage. I live in the UK and I’m sharing your website with anyone who’s interested and those who aren’t!!! I’m feeling better about Christmas now and know that I can do a LCHF end to the year without feeling bad about myself and going on a stupid diet in the new year.

    1. 5 stars
      Julie I am so glad my instructions are clear and easy to understand. Once you have been doing something for years, it is hard sometimes to put it in words for others to understand. I like to have a checklist then I can hit the wine and not worry 😉 And yes, isn’t it great knowing we won’t be starting the new year trying to lose the weight we usually put on over christmas. My weight remains pretty much stable year on year now, and I continue to eat all the recipes you see here, real food, healthy fats and not a low fat item in sight. Have a fantastic Christmas. Libby x

  2. 5 stars
    thanks libby,,,, for all u do
    I agree once you do this for a long time it is just…WHAT U DO.. I have been baking for my cancer group bake sale.. sooo.I will finish up tomorrow and deliver them wed.. collect and they can enjoy all my old favorites…and nope I did not even lick the beaters… thank god,,, it just does not tempt me anymore……I have come down a long,, long,, way on my weight and want to keep it that way also… ..and you have helped me a lot… thanks again
    merry christmas dear lady
    sheila in ga

    1. 5 stars
      Wow Sheila, you are incredible and such kind lovely words. It truly does become a part of life doesn’t it. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Libby (way down in NZ) x

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  5. 5 stars
    I’ve just come across this as it’s the first year holding Christmas at ours, so I’ll be cooking the turkey for a change! This recipe looks fab, however I can’t put bacon on the turkey as I have family members who can’t have it. Would the recipe work without bacon, and with sage and onion stuffing instead? I want to keep the turkey moist. Thanks, Julia

    1. Yes, it would work without the bacon. I simply use bacon to flavour the skin and to keep the turkey moist. Just ensure the turkey is wrapped in the aluminium foil well and the edges are crimped together so the turkey doesn’t dry put. Enjoy 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Super, thank you Libby! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Libby, the turkey looks fantastic. Where do you get your sausage meat and sausages from? I find most of them have so many additives in them, I would love to find a source in Whangarei.

    1. 5 stars
      I tend to buy Henderson’s bacon, and you can buy that in New World, Countdown etc. I choose sausages that are 85% or above meat. Check the carb content. If it is above 1-2% it indicates there are a lot of fillers in there such as wheat, rice flour etc so avoid those. Turkey is all free range here in NZ so that’s an easy one.

  7. 5 stars
    Can you please tell me if the temperatures you suggest are in a fan forced oven, or should I reduce the temp a bit so as not to overcook?

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for all your dedication & experimentation! I would love to know your recipe for (turkey)gravy, too!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    Hello. I rarely buy turkey for Christmas because of its dryness. This recipe looks just what I need. 1a. Do you wrap the whole chicken in bacon or just the breast side. 1b.If all how does it not stick to the foil. Also I have a well used baking dish with lid. 2 Would you recommend I wrap the turkey in foil plus use lid? I always use lists so this recipe really excites me! Might be last time the family let me do the cooking – 74 years so the next generation want to show off their non keto cooking!

    1. 5 stars
      Great questions. 1a: Wrap the turkey on bacon as shown, all the breast, body, and legs. 1b: The sheets of foil are wrapped loosely and create an envelope (or parcel) and do not touch most of the turkey or bacon. 2: I would not use a lid, wrapping the turkey in bacon then foil works brilliantly. Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this recipe, without the stuffing, for my family for Thanksgiving this year and it was a big hit!

    1. 5 stars
      How wonderful, I’m so pleased you love this and chose to make it for your family on your special Thanksgiving day.