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5 from 16 votes

How to Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

Learn how to carve a turkey like a pro! It's easy, promise. Make sure to watch the video above! With just a few slices, you'll have a stunning, photo-worthy Thanksgiving platter.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carving a turkey, How To Carve A Turkey
Servings: 14 servings (for a 14 pound turkey)
Calories: 96kcal
Author: Lisa Bryan


  • 1 roasted turkey
  • any garnishes like lemon slices, cranberries, fresh herbs, etc.


  • Remove the legs and thighs by slicing through the skin between the leg and the breast. Then pull back on the leg, laying it flat outward, and push up on the joint from underneath. You may hear a slight pop. At that point, use your knife to cut around the joint and remove the leg and thigh completely. Repeat this process on the other side and set these pieces aside.
  • Remove the breasts by slicing down on either side of the breast bone, using long strokes. As your knife hits the bottom, use your thumb to gently pull the breasts outward, continuing to slice down and out until the breast meat is removed. If needed, you can slice horizontally at the bottom of the breast from the outside to help remove it. Repeat this process on the other side and set the breasts aside.
  • Remove the wings by gently pulling them away from the body and slice through the joint to remove it. You can remove the wing tips (there's really no meat here), then set aside.
  • Separate the drumstick from the thigh by flipping this piece over so it's skin side down. Slice through the meat and gently pull pack on the drumstick to expose the joint, then slice through it. You'll have two pieces, the drumstick and the thigh.
    Removing the drumstick from a carved turkey.
  • Remove the bone from the thigh by using your knife to slice around the thigh bone, preserving as much meat as possible.
    Removing the thigh bone from a carved turkey
  • Carve the final pieces. Just slice against the grain for tender pieces of meat, and try to keep the skin attached to each piece.
    Carving a roasted turkey into small pieces.
  • Arrange all of the pieces on a platter and add any garnishes.
    A carved turkey on a platter with garnishes.



  • The platter I'm using is perfect if your turkey is 13 pounds or less. For a bigger turkey, use a larger platter.
  • Wondering if pink turkey meat is safe to eat? Read this information from the USDA.


Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg