Published Jun 8th
Cola Roast Turkey
Prep 10m Cook 4h Additional 15m Ready In 4h 25m
Servings 1 whole turkey Calories 993

Want a delicious, tender, juicy and BEAUTIFUL turkey? Try what my Grandpa taught me when I was just a little girl. I’ve ALWAYS made my turkey this way and it always turns out great. And besides, you get LOTS of wide eyed looks! The idea behind the cola is that the acid in the soda helps to tenderize the bird, the sugar and caramel gives it just a hint of sweetness, and the coloring helps to give the bird a beautiful roasted color. Enjoy!!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 (16 pound) whole turkey - thawed, neck and giblets removed
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups cola-flavored carbonated beverage (such as Coke®)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. 2 Wash the turkey well, and pat dry with paper towels. Use your hands to slather the whole turkey, front and back, with butter. Make sure to butter the wing tips and leg ends. Place the turkey into a roasting pan, and pour the cola over the turkey. Sprinkle the whole turkey with salt and black pepper.
  3. 3 Roast the turkey for 4 to 5 hours, checking for doneness after 4 hours. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the turkey drippings. If the breast skin browns too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 993
  • Carbohydrate 4.6 g
  • Cholesterol 378 mg
  • Fat 50.1 g
  • Protein 122.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 17.2 g
  • Sodium 352.8 mg
  • Sugar 4.6 g


  1. My husband wouldn't stay out of the pan!
  2. I'm not the world's best book so this was the first time I ever made my own turkey. It was the best turkey I've ever tasted hands-down. My guests at my Thanksgiving dinner just gobbled (lol) it all up! It turned out nice and juicy with a tasty flavor to it. I'll be using this - Read more ...
  3. This did brown especially beautiful and tasted good but I probably would not use this recipe again.
  4. Wonderful! We made this with Root Beer and added Celery and Onions! Very easy and yummy!
  5. We used this with a cooking bag and it turned out great. Very moist!
  6. I roasted a turkey using this recipe last night! My family & I were very happy with the results! This was probably one of the most tender & juicy turkeys we've ever had! In addition the beautiful golden brown color made for a great presentation! I followed the recipe as written & wouldn't change a - Read more ...
  7. Great recipe. In Louisiana down on the Bayou Teche we did this a lot sometimes with Cola then with 1/2 Cola and 1/2 Apple cider or even sometimes with Root beer. Try using a reduction to about 1/2 the amount of Cola or other as a baste. Note: never use a DIET Cola or DIET - Read more ...
  8. I used root beer instead of cola and it worked great! The turkey browned very nicely and was juicy and tender. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is that the gravy I made from the pan drippings was too sweet for me but my husband liked it!
  9. Love it! I tried it out before turkey day just to make sure it was tasty on a smaller bird and it worked out great. Highly recommended!