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stuffed baked turkey surrounded by herbs on a white plate
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4.66 from 47 votes

Mom's Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Mom's Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe is cooked in an oven bag! It's moist every time with delicious flavor thanks to her secret baste recipe.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings (depending on size of turkey)
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: $20


  • Reynolds Cooking Bag (turkey size)


  • 1 whole turkey thawed (you can also use a bone in turkey breast)
  • ½ orange or lemon sliced in quarters
  • ½ medium yellow onion skin removed and sliced in quarters
  • ½ cup (118ml) low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (59ml) sherry or white wine
  • ½ tablespoon (6g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Reynolds Turkey Sized Oven Bag
  • 1 tablespoon (9g) all purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from your turkey, then rinse and pat it dry. Discard giblets and neck (see note).
  • Place sliced citrus and onion in the cavity of the turkey.
  • Whisk soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar and pepper together in a measuring cup.
  • Prepare the oven bag as directed on package (shake flour inside the bag and place the bag inside a roasting pan that is at least 2 inches deep).
  • Place the turkey in the bag. Pour the baste over the whole bird. (You do not need to salt the bird; the soy sauce does that for you.)
  • Seal the bag according to package directions and cut six 1/2 inch slits in the top of the bag.
  • According to the directions in the bag, the cooking time will be 1.5-2 hours for an 8-12 lb turkey, 2-2.5 hours for 12-16 lb turkeys, 2.5-3 hours for 16-20 lb turkeys, and 3-3.5 hours for 20-24 lb turkeys.
  • Cook turkey until the internal temperature reaches 180° in the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone. Remove from oven and let stand in oven bag another 15 minutes.
  • While turkey is still in the pan, cut open the bag carefully and remove the turkey from the bag. Save the juices. Place on cutting board to rest until ready to carve.
  • Store leftover turkey in the refrigerator for 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.



  • Servings depend on size of turkey, as does baking time.
  • Because of the onion/citrus inside the bird, it may take to the longer end of the cooking times suggested on the bag instructions.
  • Neck: Want to make your own stock while the turkey cooks? Add the neck with a roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery stock and herbs to a 4Qt saucepan and fill with water (at least 1 inch above the items in the pan). Cover and simmer for 2 hours or until it's reduced by half. Drain out large chunks then strain through a wire mesh strainer. Use when making gravy.
  • I love making gravy with the juices left in the bag. Pour juices into a measuring cup and spoon off fat, then measure out however much needed. Normally with a mid-range size turkey I get about 2-3 cups juice just from the bag. Supplement with homemade or store bought turkey stock to make gravy as needed.
  • Turkey should rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Turkey will take 1 day for each 4-5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator so plan accordingly!


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 40kcal