Turkey in a Bag


Cooking turkey in a bag is easy with this recipe. Your Thanksgiving turkey will be perfectly moist when done, and you can make gravy out of the juice that forms in the bottom of the bag. Plus, cleanup is a snap! The cooking time will vary if your turkey is larger or smaller than 12 pounds.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins

Cook your turkey in a bag for a tender, juicy, and flavorful holiday dinner. This method yields perfect results every time and makes cleanup a breeze.

Why Cook Turkey In a Bag?

Cooking turkey in a bag keeps the bird juicy by trapping in the moisture. It also speeds up the cooking time by trapping in the heat. Plus, you won't have to scrub the roasting pan – when you're done, just throw the bag out.

Turkey In a Bag Ingredients and Tools

Here's what you'll need to make this top-rated turkey in a bag:

· Turkey: This recipe calls for a whole 12-pound turkey. If your bird is larger or smaller, you'll need to adjust your cooking time.
· Seasonings: The turkey is simply seasoned with just salt and pepper, which allows the natural flavors to shine.
· Flour: Two tablespoons of flour keep the bag from bursting and help with browning.
· Vegetables: The turkey is roasted alongside onions and celery. For an extra pop of color, add carrots.
· Turkey Bag: You should be able to find turkey-sized oven bags at your local grocery store, likely in the aluminum foil and plastic wrap aisle.

How to Cook Turkey In a Bag

side view of a golden-brown turkey in a roasting pan

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below – but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you roast this turkey in a bag:

1. Prepare the Turkey: Remove and discard the giblets, pat the turkey dry, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Pack the Bag: Sprinkle the bottom of the bag with flour. Place the turkey in the bag along with cut celery and onions. Seal the bag, transfer to a roasting pan, and use a fork to poke several holes in the bag.
3. Roast the Turkey: Bake in a preheated oven until the juices run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh meat should read 180 degrees F.

How Long to Cook Turkey In a Bag

A 12-pound turkey should be fully cooked (using this bag method) after about 3 to 3.5 hours in a 350 degrees F oven.

More Turkey FAQs

Here at Allrecipes, we know a thing or two about cooking the perfect Thanksgiving feast — that's why we've made it our mission to answer your most burning turkey questions. Check out some of our best turkey tips, tricks, and guides from over the years:

· How to Brine a Turkey
· 3 Ways to Safely Thaw a Frozen Turkey
· How Much Turkey Per Person Do You Need?
· How to Truss a Turkey the Easy Way
· How to Smoke a Turkey
· How to Carve a Turkey the Easy Way

Explore our entire collection of Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Turkey in a bag, where have you been all my life??" asks chiquitabanana. "Cooked the turkey breast-side-down as a few people recommended. Followed the recipe and it worked like a charm! This is our new holiday standard!"

"I'm a beginner cook and this recipe was so easy for me," says Candice Schmidt. "I cooked this for my family's Christmas get together and it came out perfect. I did add carrots and a couple apples, but other than that I did everything the same and it came out perfect."

"PERFECT," raves BABBYLEE. "Tender, juicy, and easy! I will be making ALL of my future turkeys this way. Planned for the rest of the food to be done sooner, as my turkey was done in less time."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 5 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 large onions, quartered

  • 1 large turkey bag


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    Raw turkey, celery, onions, and seasonings resting on a counter.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  3. Remove and discard giblets.

    Raw turkey with discarded giblets off to the side.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  4. Rinse turkey and pat dry.

    Raw turkey being rinsed in the sink.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  5. Season turkey with salt and pepper.

    Raw turkey being seasoned with salt and pepper.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  6. Sprinkle the bottom of the turkey bag with flour.

    Flour being sprinkled into the bottom of the turkey bag.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  7. Place turkey in the bag and add celery and onions.

    Turkey in a bag with a hand placing celery and onions in.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  8. Seal the bag and transfer into a roasting pan; poke several holes in the bag with a fork.

    Hand using a fork to poke hole in a sealed turkey bag that has a raw turkey and vegetables inside.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  9. Bake in the preheated oven until turkey is cooked and the juices run clear, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh meat should read 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).

    A cooking thermometer stabbed into the turkey thigh as the turkey sits in a bag in a baking dish.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

    A cooked turkey resting on a white plate.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  10. Enjoy!

    close up view of sliced Turkey on a white platter


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

744 Calories
37g Fat
4g Carbs
93g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 744
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 309mg 103%
Sodium 310mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 93g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1289mg 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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