Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage & Herb Stuffing
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A delicious (and make-ahead!) alternative to traditional holiday turkey.
Whether you’re cooking for a smaller crowd for the holidays or looking for an alternative to traditional turkey, this stuffed turkey breast is the answer. Adapted from Patrick and Gina Neely, it is much more flavorful and juicy than your typical roast turkey and cooks in just 1¼ hours. What’s more, it can be made entirely ahead of time and is a cinch to carve. The hardest part of the recipe is pounding the turkey breast thin, so I suggest asking your butcher to do it for you. This recipe has become part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition — everyone prefers it to traditional roast turkey, even the dark-meat lovers. Sometimes I even make it in addition to roasting a large bird to guarantee we have plenty of leftovers.
What You’ll Need To Make Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage & Herb Stuffing
To begin, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until soft.
Add the garlic and sausage.
Continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is cooked and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, rosemary and thyme.
Cook for two minutes more, using your wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, stuffing cubes, chicken broth, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sausage mixture. Stir until all the bread is moistened.
Place the butterflied turkey breast skin-side down on a countertop or work surface.
Pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness.
Spoon about half of the stuffing in an even 1/2-inch layer over the breast, leaving a 1-inch border all around. (You’ll cook the remaining stuffing separately.)
Starting at the long end, roll the turkey into a long cylinder.
Tie the roll with kitchen string with about 2 inches between each knot, and then trim the strings.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place an oven-proof rack over top. Place the turkey seam-side down on the rack, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roll reads 155°F.
Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest, loosely tented with foil for 15 minutes. The turkey will rise in temperature as it rests to 165°F. Snip the kitchen twine. Transfer the roll to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange on a platter and serve with gravy.
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Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage & Herb Stuffing
A delicious (and make-ahead!) alternative to traditional holiday turkey.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 large stalks celery, finely diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 ounces mild Italian pork sausage, casings removed (or substitute chicken or turkey sausage)
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 9 cups store-bought seasoned or unseasoned stuffing cubes
- 1¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 whole (2 halves) (5 to 6 pound) skin-on turkey breast, boned and butterflied (see note)
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Homemade gravy, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sausage and continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is cooked and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, rosemary and thyme and cook for 2 minutes more, using your wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, stuffing cubes, chicken broth, parsley, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and sausage mixture. Stir until all the bread is moistened.
- Place the butterflied turkey breast skin-side down on a countertop or work surface and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the turkey breast to an even ½-inch thickness — this takes some time and muscle so be patient. Rub the meat with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Spoon about half of the stuffing in an even ½-inch layer over the breast, leaving a 1-inch border all around. (Place the extra stuffing in a buttered 8-inch baking dish, and bake during the last 40 minutes of the turkey's cooking time.)
- Starting at the long end, roll the turkey into a long cylinder (start at the end with less skin; this way the skin will end up mostly on the outside of the roll). Don't worry if the stuffing peeks out in some spots. Tie the roll with kitchen string with about 2 inches between each knot, and then trim the strings.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place an oven-proof rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place the turkey seam-side down on the rack. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon oil and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roll reads 155°F. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest, loosely tented with foil for 15 minutes. The turkey will rise in temperature as it rests to 165°F. Snip and discard the kitchen twine. Transfer the roll to a cutting board and slice into ½-inch thick slices and arrange on a platter. Serve with gravy.
- Note: Ask your butcher to bone and butterfly the turkey breast for you (you can also ask if they will pound it to a ½-inch thickness to save you a step later). If you're buying a boneless turkey breast, look for one that is about 4 pounds.
- Make Ahead: The recipe can be prepared and cooked 1 to 2 days ahead of time, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Slice the turkey roll cold and reheat, covered, in a 300°F oven until warm, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Per serving (includes a side of stuffing - 8 servings)
- Calories: 1063
- Fat: 56 g
- Saturated fat: 15 g
- Carbohydrates: 53 g
- Sugar: 6 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 82 g
- Sodium: 2100 mg
- Cholesterol: 253 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
I apologize if this has already been answered- I can’t seem to find my post from a few days ago.
My question is can this stuffing recipe be adapted for a butterflied pork roast? Also can I stuff the roast and freeze it before cooking the roast?
Hi Nicole, it should work nicely for a butterflied pork roast and it’s fine to assemble and freeze it. 🙂
As usual a fabulous recipe!
Would you be able to use your dressing as illustrated in a pork loin roast?
Glad you liked it! Yes, this would also work with a pork loin. I’d love to hear how it turns out!
I froze the pork loin but did use your dressing in stuffed pork chops. It was fabulous! I served the chops with a sauce made with Dijon mustard, honey chicken broth and fresh rosemary.
Thank you again for all that you do!
Me again, I forgot to say I made my own bread cubes using a very good quality sour dough crusty bread, leaving the crust on as well. I just cubed the bread several days in advance so the cubes were perfectly dry when it came time to make the dressing. Excellent flavour!
I will never eat turkey any other way again! My husband and I are not fans of a traditional turkey dinner so when I came across your recipe for a rolled stuffed turkey breast, I decided to give it a go and we LOVED this recipe! It’s a keeper! I was able to purchase an organic boneless turkey breast, just perfect for this dish. I added sliced leeks, several handfuls of baby spinach and chopped parsley to the stuffing but otherwise stayed true to the recipe. I did not have any issues pounding the turkey to an appropriate thickness. It was a therapeutic experience! I served this with your wonderful Cranberry Orange Sauce with a Creamy Celeriac Mash side dish. All wonderful flavours together.
Don’t be intimidated trying this recipe, it is truly worth the effort!
Thank you for such an excellent recipe!
Santa was wonderful this year as I received your recent cookbook – Weeknight – Weekend and I cannot wait to try more of your wonderful recipes!\Happy New Year everyone!
My husband and I made this stuffed turkey breast for Christmas dinner for our family. I have been making turkey for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for over 50 years, and, although each meal was delicious, I have NEVER gotten rave reviews like I did this time. Even our not-so-fond-of-turkey son-in-law said it was good. Our teenage granddaughter proclaimed this is the only turkey she will eat in the future, and our daughters agreed that this was the best tasting turkey they ever had. I am convinced that the sausage stuffing was the game changer. I made the recipe exactly as was written with the exception of basting it a couple of times with a mix of butter and chicken broth . We could only get a three pound breast, but that only meant a bit more stuffing on the side. I assembled it the day before, and popped it in the oven 2 hours before serving time. It was cooked to perfection, juicy and oh-so-flavorful. By family demand, this will be our turkey recipe of choice in the future. Thank you for this incredible recipe.
Hello Jen, I have made this before and is the absolute best ever!! I put one together yesterday and have decided way bigger than my husband and I will need. Is it okay if I cut it in half and freeze, prior to baking??? Many thanks for all you do.
Sure, Kim, that should be fine. 🙂
I need gluten free bread cubes, which aren’t available in stores. They do sell gf breadcrumbs, so based on this recipe, would you advise using gluten free breadcrumbs or drying my own from gf bread (which is never 100% dehydrated like store-bought cubes or breadcrumbs). Since the stuffing is rolled and “squished”, I’m guessing breadcrumbs would be ok?
Gluten-free bread crumbs would be fine — hope you enjoy!
Just some feedback after using the
gluten free breadcrumbs for this (since store bought gf cubes are impossible to find)… Gf folks, don’t use breadcrumbs! I used 2/3 as much breadcrumbs as the recipe calls for cubes (for the same volume) and I thought store-bought dry per the recipe must be what’s needed here, but it was just too crumbly and bland for us, made it really hard to roll, carry and maneuver without stuffing crumbles falling out everywhere, and the stuffing on the side was like a casserole of wet sawdust. If I did this again, I’d dry out my own favorite gf bread which I think would give it a better flavor and certainly better texture. We also didn’t have as much success with everything else in this recipe as all of the 5-star reviews here but it must be a totally personal opinion (no drippings was the biggie for us, and the skin rolled inside wasn’t appealing to us). Ours never browned like the pic either (the term “pink alien” was thrown around our table, lol). Would love to know how to baste or brown this. Just one family’s 2 cents but thanks for the opp to try it!
Is this the same stuffing as your easy sausage and herb stuffing? If not, can we use that recipe for this recipe? We all loved it so much so that’s why I’m asking. Thanks in advance!
It’s not exactly the same but very similar; you can use it as the stuffing for the turkey breast. Enjoy!
I made three of these two days in advance of a large potluck Friendsgiving party that we hosted this year because I didn’t want to fuss with carving two turkeys while hosting. They were delicious and my family remarked while eating leftovers that the breast meat is more moist than regular roasted turkey and I agree. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to roasting a full turkey or even a regular turkey breast. I did not pound the breast as thinly as shown in the photos—it takes a lot of strength to do that, or perhaps I need a better meat cleaver. Also I modified the stuffing to add chestnuts because that’s our family tradition. Also, my butcher deboned two turkey breasts for me but I found a Jacques Pepin YouTube video showing you how to debone a chicken and deboned the third turkey breast myself, and better than the butcher. See https://youtu.be/nfY0lrdXar8
Also, I roasted the turkey bones and made a delicious gravy.
I was so hesitant to make this because I love my mother’s stuffing recipe (it has lots of sage.), and I had never cooked a turkey breast before. The only difficult part of the recipe was pounding the breast down to 1/2 inch thickness, but my husband showed great stamina! I had read reviews about other cooks who like sage in their stuffing, so I followed their lead and added a couple tablespoons to the rest of the spices. The end result was a delicious turkey breast that everyone enjoyed. My husband says we are never dealing with a whole turkey again!
Glad you enjoyed it, Susan! Pounding the turkey breast is my husband’s job every year!
I made this for my family this Thanksgiving . I have to say that it was probably the best Turkey that I have ever had. My brother said it was the BOMB! tells everyone what a great spread I had for dinner. The only thing that I added was, I always cover my Turkeys with bacon. It makes them self basting. Thank you again. I have tried several of your recipes and am never disappointed.
Such a great recipe, delicious and great looking.
I always make it the day before Thanksgiving, bake it off on the day. No messy carcass and greasy pan to deal with, just roast and slice.
If you are a really nice person make 2 and give one to a friend ; )
Jenn, can I add six ounces of fresh cranberries to the rolled turkey stuffing?
Despite a lifetime of cooking and baking I’ve never made a turkey or stuffing. I’ve decided to try this recipe. My only question is we like sage in our dressing. Would you add it to the herbs listed or use it as a replacement for thyme or rosemary? Thanks Jenn.
Hi Joe, I would just add some to the mix; this recipe is very flexible. Enjoy!
Does this recipe have enough turkey dripping to make your gravy?
Hi Kelly, There really aren’t a lot of drippings here; you would have to rely mostly on chicken broth.
I apologize if this question has been answered in one of your many comments. Can this be made without sausage in the stuffing?
Thanks very much. Simply reading your recipes is always a treat!
Glad you like the recipes. 🙂
The sausage adds so much flavor to the stuffing, that I wouldn’t recommend preparing this without it — sorry!
Do I buy a whole turkey for the butcher to debone or just a turkey breast?
Just a turkey breast. 🙂
I will need to have our oven at 350 degrees for some side dishes on Thanksgiving (and sadly, I only have the one oven!😊), so if I wanted to make the turkey roll the day before and reheat the slices on Thanksgiving, would reheating the slices at 350 degrees dry them out too much, or could I just reheat them for a much shorter period of time?
And can I say “thank you” for all of your wonderful recipes! I have made many of them, and they routinely are the ones guests want the recipe for!
So glad you like the recipes! 🙂
It should be fine to reheat this at 350; it will just take less time. I’d check it at 30 minutes. (And it will be covered so shouldn’t dry out.) Hope everyone enjoys!
Thank you so much for your response–you really do go above and beyond in responding to all of these inquiries!
If making the day ahead and then slicing cold and reheating…do you reheat the sliced pieces lying flat or do I slice and keep the roll as originally shaped? Worried about it drying out during the reheating process…
Hi Tam, When you slice it you can lay them down with the pieces overlapping almost so they look like shingles on a roof. It’ll be covered when you reheat it so it won’t dry out. Hope you enjoy!
do you think that cornmeal stuffing cubes would be good in this recipe?
my son loves challah stuffing. I cant decide if I should use the sausage stuffing or the challah stuffing in this rolled turkey breast? Or , maybe do both?
Hi Joni, I’d stick with the sausage stuffing as it adds a lot of flavor to the overall dish. If you’d like to replace the stuffing cubes with challah, you could do that. Hope that helps!
Is it necessary to use fresh rosemary and basil or can dried be used instead without compromising the taste? If dried spices are used in what amounts?
P.S. In the instructions where it says “Ask your butcher to bone and butterfly the turkey breast for you. If you’d like to do it yourself, watch this how-to video.” The link does not work for me.
Hi Karen, You can get away with using dried rosemary and thyme. I’d use a teaspoon of each. And thanks for pointing out the problem with the link — I’m going to look at it now and (hopefully) update it!
Made this for Christmas 2021 and it was a huge hit – cooked the day before and sliced it cold. Reheated enough for 4 of us that day and froze the remaining slices in a plastic zip bag with parchment between. Last night we had the leftovers, including some frozen leftover gravy (also this site). It was just as good as the first time!
As others mentioned, it’s best to get your butcher to bone and butterfly the turkey breast. I found it a bit daunting to roll because the skin distribution was uneven on mine so I think I’ll try removing all the skin before stuffing and rolling, then drape the skin over it once rolled. We don’t eat meat so the bacon isn’t an option.
Highly recommend – my family agrees this is the way to go for Thanksgiving next year, too!
I have made this turkey many times because everyone just loves it. Even dark meat friends gobble it up. Now I have an issue. I found out last night that 2 of my guests can’t eat pork. What to do? I am sure the sausage adds flavor and fat… but now I’m panicking. Any ideas so I can be calm tomorrow? Many thanks. Your books are fabulous and your speedy responses are amazing.
Hi Lexi, You can use turkey or chicken sausage – it will be just as good. Hope that helps and so glad you enjoy the cookbooks!
I can’t believe I asked a question that was answered in your recipe. Made so many times, but never read past pork sausage I guess. Again, thanks for all your great recipes. Off topic, I made the pecan squares yesterday and just Unbelievable. I had to hide them from my family so I would have some left for today.
sounds delish. Will make this to go with my boneless turkey on Christmas morning
I made this for Thanksgiving this year to a unanimous request from my family to repeat this every year! Had so much stuffing left over that I made a second one the next day to eat with leftovers. I did bard with bacon, which we all liked. So easy and fool-proof, which cuts the holiday stress in half!