Keep Turkey Cooking and Serving Size Easy for Thanksgiving Day.

A beautiful golden brown juicy turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday table. I love the mouth-watering scent that fills the house after it has been roasting slowly for hours.

Cook for Today
2 min readNov 17, 2021
Photo by Cook for Today

But with great taste comes the price of overeating. So now is the time to grasp a serving size of turkey meat without needing to think twice during the holiday meal.

Recommend preparing as soon as possible for the upcoming dinner by figuring out protein serving sizes with a small portable weight scale.

There are many categories of protein to choose from, but we are only focusing on red meat, chicken, pork, and fish at this time, not dairy products, eggs, beans, or nuts.

Key Points:

1oz. of protein is 7 grams.

3oz. of protein is 21 grams.

The serving size of cooked protein at each meal should be approximately 3oz. (21 grams) to 4oz. (28 grams).

As tempting as it may be, I never deep-fry poultry.

I only eat white meat but choose to buy a whole turkey instead of just a turkey breast. The dark meat provides flavorful drippings for a tasty gravy.

I stay with the old-fashioned way of roasting a turkey to keep it on the leaner side.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe:

Oven Preparation:

  • Adjust oven racks to accommodate the turkey and the pan size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Clean and dry roasting pan with lid. (Tin foil is an option.)

Cooking Process:

  • Place the unstuffed turkey in a roasting pan. Cover with a lid or tin foil and put in the oven. (Stuffed turkey is an option.)
  • For the first 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, gets the turkey and roasting pan hot. Then turn it down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. (Cooking at a lower temperature will help retain the turkey flavor and juices.) (Keep in mind turkey cooks faster covered than uncovered.)
  • At approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit, I uncover the turkey to allow the skin to become golden brown and crisp.
  • Using a meat thermometer, cook until 165 degrees Fahrenheit (thermometer in the deepest part of turkey).
  • Place cooked turkey on a serving platter.
  • On the counter, Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before beginning to slice the meat.
  • Use the drippings for gravy.
  • Keep the leftover bones and dark meat to make broth. I use the broth to make a hearty turkey noodle soup and freezes well for up to three months.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you! :-)

Disclaimer: My food and nutrition articles are for informational purposes only. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and orders.



Cook for Today

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a culinary arts degree. Food and nutrition freelance writer "back to the basics!”