This Brown Bag Herb Roasted Turkey is a simple, delicious, and foolproof way to make a never-dry turkey dinner by locking in the turkey’s natural juices and concentrating a rich, earthy aroma nobody can resist roasted in a paper bag!
If you’ve ever struggled with making Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner, you know the host of problems that can come along with roasting your bird: slow cooking, uneven temps, dry breast meat, flabby skin; but Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be so difficult.
I recently found the foolproof secret to roasting turkey – and the best way to roast a turkey, ever.
The weird trick?
Roast the turkey…. in a paper bag!
Any old paper bag – even the grocery bag you bring the turkey home from the store in – will work.
By cooking the turkey in the bag, which seals in the steam to help it circulate around the bird and help it cook faster and more evenly, you can get perfect juicy turkey meat every time.
JUST TAKE ME TO THE BROWN BAG HERB ROASTED TURKEY RECIPE EVER ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious turkey baked in a brown bag recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
How To Make The Perfect Brown Bag Turkey
Making a delicious, juicy turkey that won’t dry out is crazy-easy in a brown paper bag – thanks to increased heat from steam that circles around it as it cooks – but
- Resist the urge to peek!
- Opening the bag will let out steam, so you’ll only want to do it towards the end to take your turkey’s temperature. Trust that the bag is basting your turkey for you and locking in all those juices!
- You could also use a remote meat thermometer so you don’t even have to open the oven!
- Let it crisp if needed.
- While the brown bag method will help your turkey skin crisp thanks to your butter rub, you might want a little extra crunch – go ahead and pop your bird under the broiler on high for 5-8 minutes at the end of cooking (watch it very closely to be sure it doesn’t burn) to get a tiny bit extra flavor!
- Let it cool.
- Make sure to let your turkey cool for at least 15 minutes before carving to lock in the juices.
- Take the temperature right.
- Hit the deepest part of the turkey you can WITHOUT touching the bone with a digital thermometer when taking your turkey’s temperature.
- Double check the giblets!
- Many turkeys have giblets packed in plastic bags or with twine – double check for the giblets to be sure you’re not melting plastic inside your bird!
- While we want to cook the turkey with the giblets for a delicious gravy, you don’t want to melt plastic. Check for the giblets!
To Make This Brown Bag Herb Roasted Turkey, You’ll Need:
This Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe doesn’t require a ton of fussy extra equipment, but there are a few standard kitchen tools that will help you get a perfect never-dry roasted turkey every time.
- Large brown parchment cooking bags or brown shopping bag
- Roasting Pan
- Large cooling racks
- Meat thermometer
Other Easy Holiday Dishes You’ll Love:
If you love this easy and delicious paper bag roasted turkey, be sure to check out some of my other favorite easy and delicious holiday dishes you will love!
Brown Bag Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe
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Brown Bag Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe
- 1 turkey 10 to 20 lbs, brought to room temperature
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 lemon quartered
- 6 tbsp butter softened
- 2 tbsp italian herb blend
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Large parchment paper bag or brown paper shopping bag
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Sprinkle the turkey liberally with salt and pepper on the outside and inside, and rub the salt and pepper on it.
Be sure giblets are removed from inside birds cavity, and remove from plastic bag or any twine/string they have holding them in if there is any.
Put the onion, celery, carrot and lemon inside the turkey, as well as giblets and neck.
Rub butter all over turkey, including under the turkeys skin.
Generously sprinkle herbs over turkey.
Put turkey inside the bag and place in a roasting pan.
Pour the chicken broth inside the turkey cavity.
Fold bag closed, and tuck under turkey so that it locks in the steam as it cooks.
Put the turkey in the middle rack of your preheated oven.
Estimate the cooking time is about 2.5 hours for the first 10 lbs, plus 12 minutes for each additional pound (for example, the cooking time for 12 lb turkey is 2.5 hours + 12 minutes + 12 minutes = 2 hours 54 minutes).
When turkey is fully cooked (insert thermometer in thickest part of bird without hitting bone to be sure) remove from oven and leave in bag for 15 minutes.
Then cut the bag open, carve, and enjoy!