Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey can be intimidating, not to mention time consuming. If instead of spending hours in the kitchen, you’d rather spend your holiday hanging with family, watching the parade, or trying to steer clear of a conversation about Area 51 with your conspiracy theorist great uncle (just me?) then these nine sheet pan turkey recipes may be just what you’re looking for. Not only will you save time before dinner, but clean up will also be a breeze. Pro-tip: (actually I’m a total kitchen-amateur, but nonetheless), you can line your pan with parchment paper for the quickest route to a sparkling kitchen.
While I like the main dish, on the most leisurely Thursday of the year, I usually take the opportunity to load up on my favorite sides. I’ll have a small piece of turkey, then heap my plate with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie. Because while turkey may not always be the star of my show, it’s an important and nostalgic aspect of the holiday (I know because my aunt said she was going to make salmon instead and I had a minor internal freakout). It shouldn't be overlooked, but it also shouldn’t take all day, which is why these nine sheet pan turkey recipes have your back.
1. Roasted Turkey Thighs & Drumsticks
Perfect for a smaller gathering, this recipe from Simply Scratch only takes a few hours, but will leave your home smelling like a proper feast. Just add a few of your favorite sides and maybe something green, and you have a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Plus, the best part of the turkey (in my humble opinion) is the drumstick, so this recipe speaks to me.
2. Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
You get a full bite of Thanksgiving goodness with these turkey cranberry meatballs from Well Plated. Packed with fall flavors, the recipe includes sweet apples, sage, tart cranberries, and of course, turkey. You can keep these warm before serving time in a slow cooker (so you don't eat them all).
3. Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
This citrus herb roasted turkey breast recipe from Mom On Time Out couldn't be easier, but it tastes like you worked for hours. The zesty orange makes the flavor pop, plus it looks really pretty in the oven. Roasting on parchment makes for the easiest cleanup so you have more time for pie and wine.
4. Turkey Sausage
I know this isn't typical Thanksgiving fare, but hey, maybe you want to change it up this year by serving this turkey sausage from Averie Cooks. Packed with harvest veggies and topped with savory parmesan, this is an easy dish you'll make again and again. Plus who doesn't love a unique take on a traditional holiday?
5. Lemon Honey Garlic Turkey
This recipe from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs had me at the mention of lemon honey. The turkey marinades (ideally overnight) in lemon, honey, and garlic, and yes, the final product is just as good as it sounds. This is a perfect recipe to serve if you want the spirit of a Thanksgiving meal without leftovers for a whole week.
6. Paleo Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving doesn't have to mean you break from the meal plan you follow, especially when there exists paleo recipes as delicious as this one from Wholefully. This goes above and beyond the call of duty by including not just turkey but candied sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower rice. Perfect for an intimate celebration for two.
7. Mojo Turkey
Mojo turkey just sounds so cool, I feel like it's a must-try. You can cook a whole turkey on a sheet pan by cutting out the backbone, according to A Cozy Kitchen. Roasting on a base of oranges and lemons makes this turkey extra flavorful, plus it's ready in under two hours.
8. Roasted Turkey And Cranberry Pecan Stuffing
Stuffing just may be my favorite of all the Thanksgiving foods, and I can't wait to try this recipe for turkey and cranberry pecan stuffing from Damn Delicious. It's pretty amazing that something this delicious (did I mention it's made with french bread?) can be made on one pan, but I'm willing to accept it.
9. Easy Thanksgiving Turkey
This turkey recipe from The Crepes Of Wrath takes under 90 minutes — think of all the time this frees up to chat, watch football, or whatever else you do on the chillest day around. This recipe also uses the spatchcock method of cutting out the backbone which can be used to make bone broth for the richest gravy ever.