Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breast

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be upon us soon! Today, I am sharing a recipe that is perfect if you are planning a small gathering or are just afraid to cook a whole turkey (like me). This cranberry stuffed turkey roll is actually very easy to make and tastes delicious. In our house, my husband is the only one brave enough to tackle a whole bird, but I can manage a turkey breast no problem.
I am joining with several other bloggers today to share loads if menu ideas for Thanksgiving, so be sure to check them all out at the end! 
Just look at this sampling of what awaits you:

The recipe that I am sharing has minimal ingredients, but loads of good flavor. It includes a turkey breast, dried sweetened cranberries, chopped pecans, and stuffing. And that is pretty much it!
The first time I made this main dish,that I originally found on, was Christmas of 2012, and everybody loved it. The cranberry makes it festive and the pecans give it just enough crunch. And who doesn't love stuffing? (Well, my kids don't, but what do they know they are pretty picky).
The first step, is to make the stuffing as per the directions on the package, if you buy store bought. To make the one that I had taste a heck of a lot better, I sautéed chopped celery and onions in butter. If you have a killer homemade stuffing recipe, definitely go with that one. When I make this dish, I always make extra stuffing to have some on the side as well.
Next is the not so "pretty" parts (confession I am terrified of raw poultry, but I have learned to work through my fears in the past eight years of marraige). I used a split turkey breast for this recipe since it was only going to serve the four of us (two adults and two kids who don't really eat very much). I butterflied it and layed it between wax paper. Not gonna lie...I have watched YouTube videos on how to butterfly a turkey breast but I am still not very good at it. 
The next step is to tenderize the turkey...but not too much. Since turkey is fairly tender already, the meat will tear when it is rolled if over done. (Trust me, I know.)
I sprinkled a little sea salt over the turkey once it was nice and flat and then covered it in stuffing leaving some room around the edges. 
The cranberries and pecans go on next. 
The next part is probably the hardest of this whole recipe, and that is rolling it and tying it up. The meat may start to break apart if over tenderized or over stuffed. But once you get it rolled up nice and tight, tuck the ends in and then tie with butcher's string. I tied it around the roll a few times and then one time lengthwise. Put it in a roasting pan drizzled with olive oil. 
Then let it cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. Once it reaches 170 degrees it's good to come don't want it to dry out so best to check and take it out once it reaches the temperature. It should sit for about 15 minutes prior removing the string and slicing it. Once this one was all done, I simply arranged it all on a pretty fall plater with the extra stuffing on the sides for garnish (and to eat of course). You can add some more cranberries and pecans on top as well.
Make your favorite gravy to serve with it and voila! Super easy and delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas meal for a small group of family or friends, or as an option if you are having more than one main course.
The year that we made this for Christmas dinner, it was one of the three options we decided to serve. If you always make a whole turkey and are thinking of changing things up, this is a good way. We served this alongside glazed ham and meatless lasagna, so there was something for everyone.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Full ingredient list and instructions below. Wish I had a snazzy "plug in" to create a "print it" option for you, but sadly I don't (Blogger isn't fancy like that). You'll just have to do the good old copy and paste :)

Come back on Friday to check out some of my easy Thanksgiving tablescape ideas that I can't wait to share with you! And follow me on Instagram in the meantime to get snippets from my daily life! You can also follow me by email to receive my posts directly in your inbox:
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Till next time...
~Alice W.

(adapted from recipe on

(Approximate - may need adjusting depending on the size of the turkey breast)
One split turkey breast
1 1/2 cups prepared stuffing (make extra for serving on the side)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 chopped pecans
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare stuffing according to package (or as per your favorite stuffing recipe). Optional: saute one celery stalk, chopped, and half of one medium onion, chopped, in butter until soft. Combine with prepared stuffing and set aside.

If necessary, remove any bones left in the turkey breast, then butterfly to lay flat. Place the turkey breast between parchment or wax paper and use a meat tenderizer (flat side) to pound gently. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt. 

Cover turkey breast with one and a half cups of stuffing (more or less depending on how large it is) and spread to 1/4" around breast. Then sprinkle on cranberries and pecans evenly. Roll like a jelly roll starting from the longest side then tuck in ends. Tie with butcher's twine around the roll three to four times and then once lengthwise. 

Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil and then place turkey breast in center of pan. You can add any herbs you might like at this time or leave the breast plain if you prefer.

Place in heated oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until 170 degrees F. Don't overcook.

Allow to sit for about 15 minutes before cutting string. Cut into slices approximately 3/4" thick and serve with additional stuffing and your favorite turkey gravy. Enjoy!

Serves approx 4-5.

Now are you ready for a feast? Head over to check out all of these delicious recipes and get your Thanksgiving menu ready!

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