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Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage & Herb Stuffing

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A delicious (and make-ahead!) alternative to traditional holiday turkey.

stuffed turkey breast

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

ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

melting butter in skilletAdd the onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until soft.

cooking onions and celery

Add the garlic and sausage.

adding 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.

adding the wine, rosemary and thyme to the sausage mixture 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.

stuffing mixture

Place the butterflied turkey breast skin-side down on a countertop or work surface.

turkey breast on counter Pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

pounded turkey breastSpoon 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.)

stuffing on turkey breast

Starting at the long end, roll the turkey into a long cylinder.

rollingTie 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.

rolled stuffed turkey breast ready to bake

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.

rolled stuffed turkey breast out of the oven

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.

stuffed-turkey-breast-sausage-1

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Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage & Herb Stuffing

A delicious (and make-ahead!) alternative to traditional holiday turkey.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Comments

  • 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 ; )

    • — Mary Moore on November 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, can I add six ounces of fresh cranberries to the rolled turkey stuffing?
    Thanks, Royce

    • — royce on November 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep definitely!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    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.

    • — Joe Hanlon on November 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joe, I would just add some to the mix; this recipe is very flexible. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Does this recipe have enough turkey dripping to make your gravy?

    • — Kelly on November 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, There really aren’t a lot of drippings here; you would have to rely mostly on chicken broth.

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Ruth on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes. 🙂
      The sausage adds so much flavor to the stuffing, that I wouldn’t recommend preparing this without it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Do I buy a whole turkey for the butcher to debone or just a turkey breast?

    • — Shelly Davis on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Just a turkey breast. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — JW on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much for your response–you really do go above and beyond in responding to all of these inquiries!

        • — JW on November 16, 2022
        • Reply
  • 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…

    • — Tam on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • do you think that cornmeal stuffing cubes would be good in this recipe?

    • — Joni on November 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes definitely!

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Joni on November 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Karen B. on October 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Megan on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Lexi on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2021
      • Reply
      • 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.

        • — Lexi on December 25, 2021
        • Reply
  • sounds delish. Will make this to go with my boneless turkey on Christmas morning

    • — kathleen leman on December 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — SusanL on December 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m excited to make this for Christmas this year, but curious how many packages of Pepperidge farm stuffing cubes I should purchase?

    • — Tamara on December 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tamara, It looks like a bag contains about 7 cups, so you’ll need to use one full bag and a little of a second bag. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • No mention of how many pounds of turkey breast!
    I had to go to the Neelys’ recipe to find “4lbs”, but no adaptation for larger double breast!
    Maybe I should make TWO ?

    • — Jen. on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, Sorry you missed it — the recipe specifies to use 1 whole (2 halves) (5-6 pound) turkey breast. This serves 8, so if you’re serving significantly more people, you may want to make two of them. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 9, 2021
      • Reply
    • I made the rolled turkey breast today, November 23, 2022.
      I hadn’t made it before. It was a great success.. Cooked to perfection and very tender and juicy. The stuffing was exceptional. My son gave me a 10 for this meal. The highest I received from him was 8-9 previously. My family said they would be happy with this turkey rather than the traditional turkey dinner.

      • — Lionel Guy on November 24, 2022
      • Reply

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