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A deboned turkey is easy to carve and makes an impressive looking roast that will wow your Thanksgiving guests. The idea of removing pesky bones before your bird makes its grand holiday entrance may not be one you've thought of, but it is definitely worth considering! Don't be worried about sacrificing flavor — a deboned turkey tastes virtually identical to one with bones, and this technique works on any size bird. So skip the fuss of table-side carving and enjoy all of the flavor with none of the bones! Stuff with your favorite stuffing.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 45 mins
20 mins
2 hrs 25 mins

If you're wondering how to cook a deboned turkey, you've come to the right place. Chef John's boneless whole turkey recipe creates an impressive holiday meal your guests won't soon forget. 

Boneless Whole Turkey Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to cook a deboned turkey:

· Turkey: You'll need one 15-pound whole turkey with the neck, giblets, and bones removed (see the recipe footnotes to learn how to debone a turkey). 
· Seasonings: This whole deboned turkey is simply seasoned with salt and pepper. 
· Stuffing: Use a store-bought stuffing mix or make one of our top-rated stuffing recipes.  
· Heavy whipping cream: Stir heavy whipping cream into the pan drippings to make a rich, creamy gravy.

How Long to Cook a Boneless Whole Turkey

If you cook a 15-pound turkey according to this recipe, it should be done after a little under two hours in the oven. Of course, you'll need to use your instant read thermometer to measure the temperature before serving. The internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F. 

Does a Deboned Turkey Cook Faster? 

Yes! A boneless whole turkey cooks faster than a whole turkey with bones, making Thanksgiving prep less stressful.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Absolutely the best turkey method ever," according to Chocolate Lover. "Have been doing it Chef John's way for three years. This makes it so easy to get the most out of your turkey, and entertaining is a breeze. Just slice and go!"

"The entire turkey 'roast' was moist and the after dinner clean up was a snap," says pattyshaw. "I used the carcass to make turkey broth using Chef John's Chicken Broth recipe."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  • Lay deboned turkey, skin-side down, on the cutting board and even out the meat as much as possible. Slice through the thicker areas of breast meat as needed and rearrange over thinner parts to create an even thickness of meat all over.

  • Season turkey with salt and black pepper. Press stuffing all over the surface of the meat.

  • Fold long edges of the turkey around stuffing into the center of the bird and carefully turn turkey seam-side down. Tie the leg-end of the turkey with kitchen twine to cinch the turkey together. Repeat ties at 2-inch intervals along the length of the turkey, ending with a single tie along the length of the turkey. Season with salt and transfer turkey to a large roasting pan.

  • Roast turkey in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey reads 155 degrees F (68 degrees C), about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Remove from the oven and transfer turkey to a platter. Remove and discard twine. Let rest until internal temperature increases to 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 20 minutes.

  • While the turkey is resting, place the roasting pan over medium-high heat and stir cream into the pan drippings. Cook and stir until sauce thickens and reduces, 3 to 7 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a gravy boat or bowl.

  • Slice turkey crosswise and top slices with gravy.

How to Debone a Turkey:

Place turkey on a cutting board. Use a thin, flexible boning knife and cut off wings in the center of the joints. Flip bird so the breast is facing down. Make one slice along the center of the backbone, then use the knife (keeping the tip against the carcass) to peel the skin and flesh away from the bone on one side of the turkey.

On the back, cut through the hip joint, then break the thigh bone off. Keep trimming until you get to the bottom of the carcass, but don't cut through the skin. On the front, cut along the shoulder blade to the shoulder joint and cut or break apart. Very carefully slice along the breast bone without cutting through. Repeat on the other side, working on the hip, the shoulder, and finally the breast.

Hold the carcass in one hand and carefully trim along the breast bone, cutting through the cartilage (not the skin) until the carcass pulls away.

Find and trim around the thigh bone. Slice through the skin on the leg and carefully remove the bones. Pull tendons out with pliers and discard. Repeat with the other leg, and then the two wing bones.

Nutrition Facts

567 calories; protein 69.8g; carbohydrates 6.6g; fat 26.9g; cholesterol 202.8mg; sodium 349.9mg. Full Nutrition