Traditional recipes

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing

Boneless turkey breast pounded thin and stuffed with breadcrumbs, mushrooms, dried cranberries and sage, rolled and tied and roasted.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

My father reminded me the other day that Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be a whole bird. If your gathering is only few people, and you don’t want to have several weeks of turkey leftovers, there’s no need to roast a 15 lb gobbler.

You could roast just a couple turkey legs if you like dark meat, or if you prefer white, stuff and roll a turkey breast.

The following recipe is for just that, a turkey breast, pounded thin, spread with a stuffing of breadcrumbs, bacon, porcini, shallots and dried cranberries, and rolled up into a roulade and roasted.

Now, the only issue I see with cooking just the breast, is that you end up with scant drippings for gravy. If you like gravy as much a I do, I recommend adding a fatty turkey wing to the roasting pan, and using those drippings for your gravy.

  • Want even juicier turkey? Try brining it before pounding and rolling! Just remove the skin before brining.

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing Recipe

Even if you end up not eating the skin, it's important to wrap it around the turkey roll for roasting. It will bathe the turkey in flavor and will keep the breast from drying out.

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless turkey breast (about 2 lbs)
  • Butter, extra virgin olive oil, OR bacon fat
  • Salt
  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 thick slice of bacon*
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon minced sage
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp turkey or chicken stock (can sub water)
  • 1 turkey wing (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Poultry seasoning

*If you don't eat bacon, you can skip, just use a generous tablespoon of butter instead, to sauté the shallots.

Method

1 Rehydrate and chop the dried porcini mushrooms: Place dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit for 15 minutes or so while the bacon in the next step is cooking. Once rehydrated, then chop.

2 Cook then chop the bacon: Slowly cook the bacon in a medium frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Once cool enough to touch, chop. You should have at least a tablespoon of fat in the pan. (If not, add butter or olive oil to make up the difference.)

3 Make the stuffing: Heat the same pan on medium (do not drain the fat rendered out of the bacon), add the minced shallots and cook until the shallots begin to brown. Add the chopped dried cranberries, minced sage and chopped mushrooms. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs, the parsley, chopped bacon, and the turkey or chicken stock and stir well. You want a rough paste, something that will stick to itself. Remove from the heat and allow the stuffing to cool.

4 Remove the skin, then pound turkey breast to even thickness: To make the stuffed turkey breast, remove the skin from the turkey in one piece and reserve.

Put the turkey breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. (It may be easier to butterfly the breast first, depending on how big the breast is.)


5 Spread stuffing over turkey breast, then roll up: Trim the pounded breast until it is roughly a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of the stuffing over the breast, leaving about 3/4 inch border around all sides.

Starting with one of the shorter ends of the turkey rectangle, roll up the turkey breast.

Lay the skin over the top of the rolled breast and tuck any under the edges.


6 Tie up the turkey breast: Tie the rolled turkey breast tightly with kitchen string (cotton, not nylon!) and set it on a roasting pan. Paint it with olive oil, or smear butter or bacon fat over it and sprinkle with salt. If you want more drippings for gravy, place pieces of a turkey wing on the roasting pan as well.

7 Roast: Roast at 400°F for 20 minutes, then drop the heat to 325° and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breast reads about 155° on a meat thermometer.

8 Rest: Once the turkey reaches that temperature remove it from the roasting pan and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest at least 10 minutes, and up to 25 minutes.

9 Make gravy with pan drippings: While the turkey breast is resting, if you want, you may be able to make a little gravy with the drippings. If you are only cooking the breast, and not the optional turkey wing as well, you may not have much to work with. But even a little bit of drippings can flavor a gravy. (If you really don't have much fat to work with, you can melt two tablespoons of butter into the roasting pan.)

Take the roasting pan with drippings and place over two burners on the stove-top on medium (if using turkey wing, remove first). Sprinkle with flour and stir until the flour is incorporated into the drippings.

Slowly add stock, whisking constantly, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning or ground sage or thyme. Let simmer on the stove until thickened to your preference.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 (about 1 3/4 pounds) boneless, skinless turkey breast
  • 4 slices (4 ounces) bacon
  • 1 pound white potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 (about 8 ounces) carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces

In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slice breast almost in half horizontally, leaving it attached on one side. Open like a book season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff turkey (below) with herb mixture cover with bacon slices, tucking ends under the turkey.

Combine potatoes, carrots, and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe dish. Place turkey on top. Cover, and cook on high 15 minutes.

Stir vegetable mixture return dish to microwave. Cook, uncovered, until turkey is 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (juices should run clear when meat is pierced with a knife) and vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let turkey rest 5 minutes before slicing crosswise and serving with vegetables.


Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry-Apple Chutney

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry-Apple Chutney is perfect for a small crowd!

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Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry-Apple Chutney is perfect to serve at Thanksgiving if you’ve only got a small crowd to feed! Nothing like roasting a 10lb bird for 4 people then finding yourself stuck eating cold dark meat for days. Maybe that’s your jam, but if not, this dish is for you.

Lean turkey breast is butterflied then stuffed with creamy wild rice, and then wrapped with bacon. After a quick roast the turkey is sliced then served with homemade Cranberry-Apple Chutney, which sounds fancy but all you have to do is throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Thanksgiving is notorious for being a tiny bit stressful, what with all the dishes to prepare, but this recipe is Easy with a capital E. ALL the components can be made/prepped a day or two beforehand, and have I mentioned how delicious it is?

If you are feeding a crowd this year, keep this recipe in your back pocket for a festive meal later this winter. You’ll love it!

Start by making the Wild Rice Stuffing. First saute 1 large chopped shallot with 1 rib chopped celery in 1 Tablespoon butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Next add a 6oz package wild rice mix, along with the amount of water called for on the package. Pop a lid on top then cook according to package directions.

Surf and Turf for Two

When the rice is tender, stir in 1/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup low fat sour cream (I would not sub in Greek yogurt) then set aside. You can make the wild rice stuffing up to two days ahead of time then refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Next turn to the turkey – can’t have Thanksgiving without it! I used a 12-oz turkey breast tenderloin, which is usually packaged in pairs. If you’re feeding four, I’d make both. If it’s just two or three, you’ll just need one. You’ll have enough stuffing to make both if you want.

Use a sharp knife to butterfly the tenderloin then place a piece of saran wrap on top and pound until 1/2″ thick. I usually use a rolling pin to do this – works like a charm! This is also something you can do a couple of days in advance.

Season the butterflied turkey with salt and pepper then mound 1 cup wild rice stuffing on one side and fold the other side over. Lay 6 strips bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet then place the turkey on top and wrap the bacon slices around the turkey, trimming any overlapping bacon. In the original recipe I used toothpicks to hold the turkey shut, but it’s not needed as the bacon hold everything together.

Roast for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, finishing with a broil blast if needed to really get the bacon sizzling!

You can serve the turkey with or without the Cranberry-Apple Chutney, but I highly recommend that you do. I LOVE this chutney, which has a bite thanks to apple cider vinegar, red chili pepper flakes, and fresh ginger. It’s such a fun twist on regular cranberry sauce, and it’s best made a day ahead of time so it can be chilled.

Combine 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce with 1 chopped Granny Smith apple, the juice of 1 orange, 1 large shopped shallot and seasonings like garam masala (I find that at Target under the Archer Farms brand,) red chili pepper flakes, fresh ginger, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge.

All together now! Thickly slice the bacon-wrapped and stuffed turkey breast then serve alongside the chilled Cranberry-Apple Chutney and extra wild rice stuffing. Give thanks, then dig in already!


More Stuffing Recipes You’ll Love:

This Turkey Breast is stuffed with Cranberry Stuffing and served with gravy – the perfect Thanksgiving dish for a smaller crowd.

  • 1 large boneless turkey breast half with skin , (about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 pieces cooking twine
  • 1 teaspoon salted butter , softened

Stuffing:

  • 5 ounces whole wheat french bread , cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium onion , minced
  • 1 large stalk celery , minced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves , minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon turkey or poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh pepper , to taste
  • 1 large egg , beaten
  • 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries , chopped
  • 1 piece Reynolds Wrap heavy duty foil

Gravy (makes 2 cups):

  • 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 2 leaves fresh sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon turkey or poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste

For the Cranberry Stuffing:

Stale cubed bread works best here, you can cut the bread the night before and let it sit to harden.

If your bread is fresh, preheat the oven and bake the bread cubes on a large baking sheet at 250ଏ for about 30 minutes, stirring half way until the bread is completely firm.

In a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the butter when melted add onion, celery, parsley, sage, turkey or poultry seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and saute on medium low until soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes then transfer to a large bowl and add the toasted bread and cranberries. Add broth and mix well.

For The Turkey Breast:

Remove the skin from the turkey breast and set aside keeping the skin in one piece and reserve for later.

Trim the fat and remove the tenderloin.

Place the turkey breast on a plastic cutting board and butterfly it open (see notes).

Then cover the breast with plastic wrap and pound it to about 1/4” thickness in a rectangle shape.

Season both sides of the turkey with salt. Spread the stuffing onto the pounded turkey breast leaving a 3/4 inch border around all the edges.

Roll it jelly roll style and top with the skin.

Cut cooking twine long enough to tie the breast with 4 to 6 pieces of twine.  Cut off extra twine. Spread the butter on top.

Preheat oven to 375ଏ. Set the rack to the center of the oven.

Transfer to a baking pan and cover tight with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil. Cook in the center of the oven until an internal temperature in the center of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Uncover the foil, then broil on high 5 to 7 minutes until the skin is golden. Allow it to cool 5 minutes while you make the gravy.

Combine all the gravy ingredients in a pot along with any pan drippings and bring to a simmer, whisking well over medium-high heat.

Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes  or until thickened. Discard the herbs.

Cut off the twine on the breast and slice into 12 slices. Serve with gravy.

Serving: 2 slices with 1/3 cup gravy , Calories: 484 kcal , Carbohydrates: 19 g , Protein: 68.5 g , Fat: 12.5 g , Saturated Fat: 4 g , Sodium: 1700 mg , Fiber: 2 g , Sugar: 2.5 g

Keywords: Stuffed Turkey Breast, thanksgiving turkey roulade

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Reynolds Wrap® Foil. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Skinnytaste possible. All thoughts are my own.


posted November 18, 2020 by Gina

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1. Use a sharp paring knife and your fingers to remove the skin from the breast, reserving the skin. Turn the turkey over so the side that had skin faces down and lay it flat on the cutting board.
2. Holding the blade of the knife parallel to the board about halfway down, slice into the thickest portion of the breast. Cut along the length of the breast but not all the way through.
3. Unfold so that the turkey opens like a book. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform thickness (about 1/4 inch).

Reynolds Wrap® Foil is a high quality and durable foil, making it my go-to in the kitchen. Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is also available in a wider 18-inch roll.


Cranberry and Apple Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll

If there are fewer of you around your holiday table this year, why not try this stuffed version of the real thing instead??

Ingredients

  • 1 package bacon (2 slices chopped and 10 slices reserved
  • 2 packages turkey scaloppine (flattened turkey pieces) about 350g each
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup dried craberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 cup cubed bread roughly 2-3 slices of bread
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk (you can sub in stock or even water)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • cooking twine

Instructions

Recipe Notes

NOTE: instead of using turkey scaloppini, you can use 2 butterflied boneless turkey breasts, stuffing each with the stuffing and wrapping them finished breast with bacon (remember to cook this for longer – about 45-60 minutes)


Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll (video)

Calling all turkey lovers! This stuffed turkey breast roll is perfect as a Thanksgiving recipe, for Christmas or any time of the year you want a delicious dish. It’s stuffed with BACON, shallots, mushrooms and even some spinach! The turkey is so juicy, tender and flavorful! This recipe is also a great alternative to roasting a whole turkey during the holiday season! Enjoy this turkey recipe with my ‘Garlic Baby Potatoes’, ‘BLT Salad’, or these delicious ‘Mashed Sweet Potatoes’.

Watch My Video!

Watch my video recipe to learn how to prepare the turkey breast, prepare the stuffing and get it ready! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Preparing the Turkey

Before filling the turkey breast with my amazing stuffing, the meat needs to be prepped. For this, you’ll need either a meat mallet (best option) or a rolling pin. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a pocket into the side of the turkey breast the pocket needs to be deep enough to lay the breast flat. Cover the meat with plastic wrap, then tenderize and flat the meat until it’s about 1/8th inch thick. Just make sure you don’t go through the meat, otherwise it will be hard to fill! You want a nice, large flat area where you can add the stuffing.

The Aromatic Stuffing

The stuffing makes this stuffed turkey breast so delicious and flavorful. I prepare an aromatic combination of smoky bacon, mushrooms, garlic, shallots and even added a bit of Parmesan cheese to the mix! I love the smoky flavor from the bacon and I also add a touch of smoked paprika. The result: moist and super juicy turkey with a smoky and tasty filling! If you want even more bacon flavor, try wrapping the stuffed turkey breast with more bacon! Trust me, you’ll love it!

More Recipes!

Want to tackle a full turkey this year? I’ve got you covered with two amazing, no-fail, juicy and delicious Thanksgiving recipes!


The Meatwave

View Recipe

I have a fair amount of friends who stay put for Thanksgiving, making holiday meals for just two or three people. I'm so accustomed to cooking for a crowd, I wondered what it would be like to make a Thanksgiving dinner that was a reasonable size for a couple. A whole turkey would probably be overkill, and ensure you'd be eating nothing but bird for at least a week straight. Thinking smaller, but not venturing into "Thanksgiving chicken" territory, I thought why not just cook the turkey breasts, but that seemed a little lackluster with no allure of holiday flare. So then I went a step further and created this turkey breasts with cranberry stuffing.

I went to the store looking for a single boneless, skinless turkey breast to purchase, but while I've definitely seen them before, they were nowhere to be found that day. So instead, I picked up this whole turkey breasts and simply cut them off the bone.

As with any grocery poultry, turkey breasts will benefit hugely from a brine. Unlike a whole turkey, which I brine for twelve hours, these breasts only soaked for an hour in the most basic of a salt, sugar, and water brine. This was sufficient time to ensure brine did its magic in adding moisture into the meat.

I have an all-time favorite sausage-cornbread stuffing I make every year at Thanksgiving. I played off this recipe to devise the stuffing for these turkey breasts, substituting the sausage for dried cranberries to add another staple of the holiday meal into over flavor of the main course.

This stuffing is so delicious, I wanted to make sure as much made it into the breasts as possible. So once the turkey was done with the brine, I butterflied them open, creating more surface area and an even thickness. The stuffing was then spread across the entire breast, leaving about a half inch border around the edges so the stuffing didn't overflow out when rolling.

Each breast was then rolled and tied shut. I was only too pleased to be able to bring my love for meat rolls like this to the Thanksgiving meal.

Then comes the most amazing part of these rolls, while a full turkey would take at least a couple hours from the time it started cooking until it was ready for the table, these were done in less than twenty minutes.

Quickness by no means signifies any diminishment of quality though, as these were truly fit for a grand holiday meal. Thanks to the brine, the meat came out moist and tender, while the stuffing fulfilled on the rich and flavorful notes you want in Thanksgiving dinner, spanning the requirements of turkey, stuffing, and cranberries. These two breasts made enough food for at least four people, but simply halving the recipe would get you down to two, which I know is the number of people around the Thanksgiving table for some of my friends, but a small crowd doesn't mean you have sacrifice any of the holiday splender.


How To Make A Boneless, Stuffed Turkey Breast

Our boneless turkey breast is rolled and stuffed with a moist and flavorful apple and cranberry stuffing and served with a sauce that’s richly flavored with apple cider and fresh sage.

If you don’t have a butcher that will debone a whole turkey breast for you, or, if you simply feel up to the challenge, it’s not that hard to remove the bones yourself.

The whole turkey breast we used for this recipe was about 6-1/2 lbs with the bone in. Once we’d removed the bones and tenderloins, we had a boneless breast that weighed about 4-3/4 lbs.

To ensure that your roast is moist and tender, it’s very important to leave the skin on, even the flap of excess skin at the neck. You can trim away some of the fatty thickness though.

Fine Cooking Magazine has an excellent how-to video on boning a turkey breast. (Click here).


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (such as Bell's®)
  • 2 loaves day-old white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through but still slightly soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels, retaining bacon drippings in the skillet.

Melt butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir bacon and poultry seasoning into onion mixture.

Mix onion-bacon mixture and bread pieces together in a large bowl fold in eggs. Spoon bread mixture into muffin cups.

Bake in the preheated oven until tops are crispy, about 25 minutes.