how to brine a turkey
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5 from 5 votes

Easy Turkey Brine

This basic turkey brine recipe will teach you how to brine a turkey - the easy way! Takes just 3 simple ingredients and is failproof. This is the best turkey brine for beginners and makes a great Thanksgiving dinner! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey brine recipe
Servings: 16
Calories: 477kcal
Author: Jamielyn Nye


  • 12 pounds turkey (can use 12 to 16 lbs)
  • 32 ounces Italian dressing (2 bottles)
  • 14.5 ounces chicken broth (1 can)
  • large food-safe plastic bag or deep non-metallic container

Optional: Lemon slices and fresh herbs for topping the turkey


    • Thaw turkey (will take about 4 days in a refrigerator or 8 hours in cold water). Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities, discard. Place turkey breast side down in a bag or container. Pour dressing and broth over turkey. Close bag and cover pan. Marinate in refrigerator 12 hours or overnight.
    • Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from bag or pan and discard brine.
    • Place turkey in roasting pan. Add fresh herbs and lemon if you’d like. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reaches 180°. Cover turkey loosely with foil after the first 30 minutes to prevent turkey from browning.
    • Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.


    Want to take it up a notch? Rub about 1/4 cup in between the meat and the skin before baking.


    Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 609mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2.3mg