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Southern-Style Brown Paper Bag Turkey

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southern style brown paper bag turkey


A very “southern Grandma” way to make your turkey. But somehow, cooking your turkey in a brown paper bag makes it come out perfect and delicious every time! They didn’t have fancy cooking bags back in the day and trust me, it’s not the same. So if you’re wondering how to cook the perfect turkey while doing something different, the brown paper bag turkey is the way to go! 

Brown paper bags are still a thing, and you just need to ask for them at the grocery store. You might want to get the biggest one that is available, and test fit your bird to make sure it will fit. And as you might be wondering, the paper bag does not burn! You’ll just need to rub it with oil, and then the steam and juices from the turkey will keep it moist. You can also rub the inside with butter for some extra flavor. 

To season this bird, I simply melted about ¾ a stick of butter and mixed 3 tbs of Spicy Dan-O’s Seasoning with it. I then poured this over the bird, and brushed it all over. The spicy Dan-O’s has the herbs and spices needed to make the perfect turkey, and just the perfect little kick! I stuffed the insides with the traditional things, which basically all the carrot, celery, lemon, onion, and butter I could fit. 

Once I pulled this from the oven, I got real grandma vibes and knew my bird was perfect. I might make a southern-style brown paper bag turkey every year! Oh and a pro tip, when making your gravy pack that comes with the bird, add a little red wine vinegar, about half a cup of drippings from your turkey, and a few tbs of Dan-O’s Seasoning. You’ll thank me later. 

Serve with your favorite holiday sides and dinner rolls. Save the carcass, unused dark meat, and bones for turkey soup! Recipe coming soon 😉 Happy holidays! 


  • 16 lb turkey or larger 
  • 3 tbs spicy Dan-O’s Seasoning 
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil 
  • Celery, onion, carrots, lemon
  • 1 large brown paper bag

Prep Time

20 Mins

Cook Time

160 Degrees Internal

Serving Size

1 1/2 lb Per Guest


  1. Thaw out your turkey based on the USDA recommendations and instructions on the package. 
  2. Prepare your turkey by removing gravy packs, giblets, and innards from the cavity. Stuff the cavity with whatever veggies you have on hand and sliced lemon. 
  3. Coat the brown paper bag in vegetable oil on both sides and set to the side. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 
  4. Melt ¾ of a stick of butter, and mix in 3 tbs of Spicy Dan-O’s Seasoning. Pour all over your bird and brush evenly. 
  5. Place the turkey breast-side-up in the brown paper bag, and make sure the seam of the bag is facing up. Close the opening of the bag by stapling it shut, or simply tucking it under the turkey. 
  6. Place paper bag turkey in roasting pan, and cook in the oven for roughly 10 mins per pound. Pull turkey when the popup timer goes off or when the bird reached 160 degrees in the deepest part of the breast. (note, keep track of where the popup timer is and carefully press that part of the bad to ensure it comes up). 
  7. Remove turkey from the oven and carefully remove it from the bag. Same some drippings to make gravy, and let turkey rest for about 45 minutes before carving. 
  8. Serve with gravy, rolls, and all of your holiday fixings. Enjoy!

Contributed by Chuck in Louisville, KY.

2.8/5 (5 Reviews)

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