Your family and friends will be WOW’ed over the holidays by this DELICIOUS turkey in a bag recipe. Roasting bags ensure a moist and tender turkey without the hassle of basting. Get our family’s favorite Champagne Turkey recipe below!
This turkey in a bag recipe (aka Champagne Turkey) is a family favorite. When you use an oven bag, you get a tender turkey breast and juicy dark meat roasted to perfection. It’ll taste like you spent hours in the kitchen, but this recipe comes together with three simple ingredients. Serve with a few make-ahead side dishes and mashed potatoes for the perfect holiday dinner!
Want to know how to cook a moist turkey everyone will rave about all day?
I whole-heartedly believe the best way to cook a turkey is in oven bags because it is no-fail. When planning a holiday meal, you’re juggling 101 different things — coordinating side dishes, entertaining guests, trying to keep your sanity — the last thing you need to worry about is basting a turkey to keep it moist. If you’re looking for a simple way to get those “best turkey EVER” compliments, use a turkey roasting bag.
What does an oven bag do?
Oven bags ensure your roasted poultry or meat remain moist and tender without any effort. As the meat cooks, roasting bags trap moisture making the oven bag an automated, no-effort, approach to basting. Easy-peasy!
Is it better to cook a turkey in a bag or not?
Cooking your holiday turkey in a roasting bag will ensure your turkey stays moist without effort. Plus, you’ve got deliciously flavored juices for whipping up a spectacular gravy. The meal mess stays in the oven bag, making clean-up super simple. No need to scrub the roasting pan when cooking a turkey in a bag! It’s a win, win, win.
Need to know how to cook a turkey in a bag? Here are the basics.
Oven bags are super-simple! You can usually find roasting bags at your local grocery store in the aisle with aluminum foil or Ziploc products. Reynolds bags are the most popular brand name roasting bags, but generic poultry bags work just as well. There are five simple steps to follow when using a turkey oven bag.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. *You cannot exceed 400F when using oven bags!
- Coat the inside of the bag with 2T of flour and place your holiday turkey in the bag along with any veggies, sauces, or spices.
- Secure the bag with the tie provided and place it in a 2″ to 4″ deep pan large enough to hold the entire oven bag. You do not want your roasting bag hanging over the edge of the pan!
- Puncture holes in the top of the bag using a fork and insert a meat thermometer through the poultry bag to keep an eye on the meat temperature. Roast the turkey to a minimum of 165F.
- For extra browning or crispness, be sure to split the top of the bag for the last 20-30 minutes of roasting. Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
Is a turkey done at 165 or 180 degrees?
Up until 2006, the FDA recommended roasting turkey to 180F for thigh meat and 165F for breasts. The revised recommendation is 165 degrees for the entire bird, including white and dark meat, as the turkey will continue to cook outside of the oven once removed.
If your goal is to roast a turkey as delicious as the one your mother or grandmother used to make, you’ll probably want to stick with the classic 180F they used!
This is THE BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect turkey recipe on Pinterest, you might be overwhelmed with how complicated roasting a turkey can be. What is wonderful about the Champagne Turkey recipe below is that it only requires three ingredients beyond the bird itself. Remember, my friend…
More isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more.”
We’re going to take butter, apples, and champagne to make THE BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe EVER. We love this recipe so much; we make a turkey for Christmas dinner too.
The best thing about making Champagne Turkey for the holidays?
It’s an excuse to have a mimosa!
Champagne Turkey Recipe
- 1 (12-15 pound) Whole turkey
- 1 stick Butter, sliced
- 2-3 Apples, diced into large chunks
- 2/3 bottle Champagne
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Coat the inside of your poultry bag with 2T of flour. Then place the bag in a 2″ to 4″ deep pan large enough to hold the entire bag and allow for some expansion.
- Pat the turkey dry and insert pieces of butter under the skin around the breast. Put the diced apple chunks in the cavity. Place the turkey in the roasting bag breast side up and pour the champagne over the turkey. Secure the bag with the tie provided.
- Roast until the internal temperature is between 165 and 180°F (85°C) when measured in the thigh. For browning, slit the top of the bag for the last 20-30 minutes of roasting.
- Remove the turkey from the bag and let the bird rest for at least twenty minutes before carving. Place meat on a platter and discard apples. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is delicious as is, but you feel free to play with spices and fresh herbs. We love the simplicity of the "poultry blend" — fresh parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage in one package — in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
In our family, multiple members struggle with kidney disease, so we are a low-sodium household. This recipe is deliciously flavored, but a crack of pepper and a dash of salt are another recommendation!
Turkey Bag Cooking Times
A quick heads-up! Turkey cooking time will vary greatly based on the size of your bird. So you can better plan your holiday feast, below is a handy guide for turkey bag cooking times, based on pounds (source)!
Does a turkey cook faster in an oven bag?
When using a roasting or oven bag, the meat will cook faster. The amount of time saved varies based on what you are roasting. It can save you over one hour of cooking time when roasting a whole turkey.
How long do you cook a turkey in an oven bag?
Roasting a turkey in an oven bag takes around two hours, but varies depending on the exact size and temperature of the oven. Below are timelines for cooking a whole unstuffed turkey in a roasting bag in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) to an internal temperature between 165 and 180°F (85°C).
- 10—12 lb: 1-1/2 to 2 hours
- 12—16 lb: 2 to 2 1/4 hours
- 10—20 lb: 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours
Cooking a turkey in a bag is THE BEST — Here’s why…
- You don’t have to be a slave to basting the bird! In other words, you can spend your holiday WITH your family. Life is short. Love your people. Plus, you’re guaranteed a moist and tender turkey without the hassle when you use a roasting bag.
- If you like to host a mid-day holiday feast, you don’t have to get up with the sun because… turkey cooking times are shorter when you use an oven bag.
- The juices from this Champagne Turkey recipe are DELICIOUS when coupled with the turkey gravy packet that comes with the bird. The best part about using a roasting bag? Once you grab juices for gravy and let everything cool, you can toss the entire bag (and mess!) right into the trash. There’s no scrubbing a roasting pan!
I hope you’ll love this Champagne Turkey recipe as much as our family does. My mom used turkey roasting bags my entire childhood. I never knew how amazing and helpful they were until I started making turkey for my family during the holidays. Whether you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another holiday — sending your family love.
Additional Resources Holiday Resources
Other ways to save time, money, and your sanity during the holidays…
- Free Printable Meal Plan for a Super Easy Thanksgiving dinner
- 7 Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes That Will Save You Time
- How to Not Lose Your Sanity When Hosting Thanksgiving
- 20 Awesome Leftover Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving Magic
- How to turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into festive holiday brunch
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am proud to be a Meijer Blog Ambassador. That being said, this is NOT a “sponsored post.” Many of the products I used in this Champagne Turkey recipe are from Meijer though because I love to shop there. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”