Skip the stress of roasting a whole bird and make this unexpectedly easy, incredibly flavorful Turkey Breast Roll! Featuring rolled turkey breast meat with a sweet, savory chestnut and sausage cornbread stuffing. Roasted until golden brown and served with a silky gravy made from pan drippings, this recipe for turkey roulade is beyond delicious! It’s the perfect show-stopping juicy, white meat entree for the holidays – and you can stuff it in advance!
Featured comment: Made this [stuffed turkey breast] last year, it was such a hit I️ was asked it to make it again. You won’t be sorry, it’s awesome.” – Valerie
Update: This post was originally published in November 2014. I made edits to post below to include more information about stuffed turkey breast.
Sound the alarm and gather the troops, because it is time for the center piece of your Thanksgiving table. The piece de resistance of turkey day. The actual turkey! Yay!
I still have more Thanksgiving recipes for you; however, I wanted to share the main dish (entree) first. I know some of you like to preorder your turkey breast. Or maybe you want to plan your entire holiday dinner around this golden brown turkey roll. Either way, I’m sharing my go-to turkey recipe now, so you have plenty of time to prepare.
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About this rolled turkey with stuffing
Juicy, tender turkey breast rolled up tight around sweet, savory, earthy and rich stuffing.
This holiday rolled and stuffed turkey breast is gorgeously golden brown on the outside and mouthwateringly juicy on the inside with flavorful, moist, perfectly cooked swirls of cornbread stuffing.
Generously drizzled with a silky, smooth, rich gravy, this turkey roll recipe is a two-in-one holiday gift from the culinary Gods! I mean, this turkey roulade is essentially the two very best parts of Thanksgiving literally all rolled into one!
Why you’ll love this turkey roulade recipe
If you are a whole turkey traditionalist, you might look at this royal roulade of turkey and think: ‘Where is the rest?’ ‘Where are the thighs and dark meat??’ Where is the wish bone???’ ‘Where is the crispy skin? (see below)‘ ‘Where is the BIG BIRD?!?’
My response? Let’s do something different this year – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
- This stuffing filled turkey roulade is elegant and refined. Not to mention, healthier for you. Which is perfect, because now you don’t have to feel so guilty when you want to indulge in more sides. And dessert. Score!
- Roasting a whole turkey is a process; however, this stuffing filled Thanksgiving turkey breast roulade is also a lot more time efficient! You can prepare it in advance AND only takes less than 2 hours to roast!
Can I get a high five?!
*If having crispy turkey skin is a non-negotiable holiday tradition, I see you. Don’t worry, I have included that option in the notes section of the recipe card below!
What is a turkey roulade?
A roulade of turkey, also known as a turkey roll, rolled turkey, or stuffed turkey breast, is a dish features a flavorful filling rolled up inside of a turkey breast. The filling, or the inside layer, can be anything from stuffing (or thanksgiving dressing) as seen here, to thinly shaved meats (like prosciutto), vegetables and even grated cheese.
A roulade is traditionally found in various European cuisines, and the term originates from the French word ‘rouler’, which means ‘to roll’.
To serve, roulades are traditionally sliced into thick rounds or coins to reveal the gorgeous filling.
Turkey roll ingredients
Surprisingly, you don’t need a ton of ingredients to make this ultra-flavorful turkey roulade recipe. Here’s what to grab:
- Turkey Breast – Make sure you grab a boneless breast so you don’t have to worry about de-boning it yourself. If that’s not an option, go to your butcher counter; they’ll remove it for you! You can keep the skin on if you like, or you can remove it.
- Substitution: This would also work well for a pork loin!
- Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing – Please note that you’ll only need a half recipe to stuff the bird. Feel free to use the other half to bake separately as dressing!
- Substitution: You can use any prepared and unbaked stuffing/dressing recipe you like! Just make sure that the bread and aromatics are chopped into small pieces for easier rolling.
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper – For seasoning, to taste.
- Butter – For richness. You can use either salted or unsalted.
- Substitution: Feel free to use plant-based butter if you are dairy-free.
- Olive Oil – Regular cooking oil is all you need.
Turkey gravy ingredients
- Whole Black Peppercorns – For your flavor sachet. Whole spices (like peppercorns) retain much more of their essential oils and last almost indefinitely on the shelf, so feel free to splurge on that Costco-sized jar to save some $$$.
- Yellow Onion – For aromatic goodness.
- Substitution: You can also use white or red onions, shallots, or even leeks if needed. If you opt for leeks, make sure to wash them thoroughly after slicing as silt has a tendency to get between all the layers.
- Celery Rib – Make sure to use the inner part of the celery stalk that has all the flavorful leaves for the best results!
- Fresh Thyme & Parsley – For herbal flavor.
- Substitution: In a pinch, feel free to use about ⅓ as much dried herbs here. Just make sure to wrap your sachet extra well!
- Garlic – For allium-flavored goodness.
- Low Sodium Chicken Stock – A box of stock and pan juices (drippings) create the base of your turkey gravy.
- Substitution: You can also use bone broth or veggie stock instead.
- White Wine – For depth of flavor and acidity.
- Substitution: If you’re a booze-free household, feel free to swap in non-alcoholic wine or even white grape juice.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – For extra acidity and a slight hint of apple.
- Potato Starch – For thickening your gravy without any gluten!
- Substitutions: You can also use an equal amount of either cornstarch or Wondra superfine flour.
- Heavy Cream – For rich gravy deliciousness.
- Substitutions: You can substitute with half and half to save a few calories. You’re also welcome to use your favorite unsweetened, unflavored plant-based creamer to keep it dairy-free.
How to make a turkey roll?
While a roulade of rolled turkey does look impressive, it really is quite easy to roll together!
I put together a step-by-step photo collage showing you *exactly* how easy it is to roll a turkey breast with stuffing. Plus, here’s a few expert tips and kitchen tricks to help make the perfect stuffed turkey breast:
How do you roll a turkey roulade?
- Make sure you butterfly the turkey breast and use a meat mallet to gently pound the turkey breast to an even (3/4-inch) thickness.
- Be sure to leave a 1-inch border on all sides when stuffing the turkey breast. Also, be careful not to mound the stuffing or over-fill the turkey. Then it will be very difficult to roll the turkey.
- Make sure you roll the turkey starting at one end, jelly roll style.
- I highly recommend trussing your roulade of turkey. I like to firmly tie the rolled roulade with kitchen twine every 2-inches to form a compact cylinder.
- If you have any extra stuffing, place it in a buttered baking dish and bake it alongside the turkey during the last 45 minutes-1 hour of roasting.
Making this turkey roll recipe: step-by-step photos
FAQs: stuffed turkey roll
What is a “roulade” in cooking?
It’s essentially a savory swiss roll made of meat instead of cake and bread and/or meat stuffing instead of frosting. Jump up to “what is a turkey roulade” to learn more!
How do you butterfly a turkey breast for roulade?
Start by removing any packaging, netting, and the included thermometer (if there is one). Place the turkey breast skin side down on your cutting board with the narrowest side facing your dominant hand.
Use your non-dominant hand to hold the breast in place and use a sharp, thin blade (e.g. a boning knife) to begin slicing it in half like a hamburger bun. As you start making progress, use your non-dominant hand to lift the top meat flap up and expose your slicing surface.
Continue cutting until you’re about ¾ – ⅞ of the way through, leaving the last part connected like the binding of a book. Open up the breast like a book, then pound it out to an even thickness as shown in the photos below.
How do I keep my turkey breast from getting dry?
Since turkey breast is so lean, I *strongly* suggest brining it before cooking. At its most basic, a brine is simply a saline (salt water) solution, often flavored with sugar and spices.
You’ll want to dissolve roughly ¾ – 1 cup of kosher salt and about ½ cup of sugar (white or brown) for each gallon of water you use for a wet turkey brine. From there, feel free to add your own personal pizzazz! Peppercorns, citrus zest, dried cranberries, hard herbs like rosemary, and whole spices like cloves or allspice berries are all welcome additions.
Once the brine is made and cooled, submerge your turkey breast in it (it doesn’t have to be butterflied at this point) and refrigerate for 24-48 hours. Remove from the brine and dispose of the liquid, rinse the breast, then proceed with the recipe.
What is the best way to remove the kitchen twine after baking?
Simply use kitchen shears to snip the twine close to each knot, then gently pull it off and discard it!
What to serve with this roulade recipe?
What to serve with a turkey roulade will greatly depend on the filling and preparation of the turkey roll. Meaning, if you were making an Italian roulade (Involtini), then fresh tomato sauce and pasta is a great choice. However, you can serve any type of dish with a roulade – from salads to carbohydrates.
Since this Thanksgiving roulade already features stuffing, I would steer clear of more dressing recipes. Instead, opt to serve your stuffed turkey breast with different types of traditional (or non-traditional!) holiday or steakhouse side dishes. I love this thanksgiving roulade of turkey with classics, such as dinner rolls, potatoes, and roasted vegetables. But you do you! Below are some ideas to help inspire!
6 side dishes to serve with stuffed turkey breast
- Bread: Buttery bread, like fluffy dinner rolls, are a must for sopping up turkey gravy!
- Soups: Anything from creamy butternut squash soups or cheddar and apple soup to chunky minestrone or french onion.
- Rice: A nutty wild rice salad or even simple steamed brown rice works well with stuffed turkey roast.
- Potatoes: Stuffed turkey breast and potatoes are a classic duo. Everything from baked potatoes and rustic mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes and potatoes gratin.
- Casseroles: Hearty, cheesy casseroles, such as cheesy brussels sprouts and cauliflower casserole, are traditional pairing options for roulade stuffing.
- Vegetables: Throw your favorite veggies on a baking sheet, toss them with oil and seasonings and roast for an easy side vegetable side dish.
Storing turkey roll
Making rolled turkey in advance
Make-Ahead: The stuffing can be made up to 2 days in advance of assembling the roulade.
Feel free to assemble your turkey roulade (up through step 4) up to 2 days in advance of cooking it to make your holiday a little less stressful. Simply wrap the roulade in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can store your rolled turkey in the freezer. Simply assemble the roulade, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then place it in a zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible before popping it in the freezer for up to a month.To prepare it for cooking, defrost it overnight in the fridge.
To cook the roulade from the fridge, allow it to sit on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes before brushing with butter, browning, and roasting.
The gravy can be made up to 5 days ahead of time; in total, it has a shelf life of a week in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to a month.
Allow your leftover turkey roulade to cool completely to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. Store the turkey roll in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat the stuffed turkey breast, place an individual slice of the roulade on an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Transfer to a 325°F oven and reheat for 10-12 minutes, or until warm throughout.
Make this your year to shine and be the hostess (or host) with the mostess! Think outside the traditional box and add this Thanksgiving rolled turkey breast to your holiday menu!
Until next time, friends, cheers! To looking like a culinary rock star with a beautiful turkey roll that will definitely please!
More holiday entrees!
How to stuff turkey breast 👇
This turkey roulade recipe utilizes This chestnut stuffing; however, you can substitute your favorite dressing.
And, if you have turkey and stuffing leftovers, I recommend making these muffins from leftover stuffing!
Thanksgiving Turkey Roll Recipe
- Roasting Pan
- Meat Mallet OR Rolling Pin
- Kitchen Twine + Cheesecloth
- Small mixing bowl
- ½ Recipe of Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing - Prepared & Unbaked (SEE NOTES)
- 1 (3 pound) Turkey Breast - boned and butterflied (SEE NOTES)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper - plus more to taste
- 1 ½ TBS Butter - melted (salted or unsalted)
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack to the middle position. Place a wire rack into your roasting pan OR line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place an oven-proof rack over the top. Set aside.
- Pound out turkey breast: Lay the butterflied turkey breast between two large pieces of plastic wrap on clean work surface. Use a meat mallet (or rolling pin) to slightly pound turkey breast to an even ¾’’ thickness. Remove plastic wrap and discard.
- Add stuffing: Arrange the turkey breast so that it is skin-removed-side-down. Spoon the stuffing mixture in a ½-inch-thick layer over the breast, leaving a ¾ to 1-inch border on all sides of the turkey. (Tip 1: Don't over-stuff: Be careful not to overstuff the turkey or you will have a difficult time rolling it up. If you have leftover stuffing, transfer it to a buttered baking dish and bake it right alongside the turkey. See baking instructions below. )
- Roll and tie the turkey: Starting at the shortest end of the turkey breast, roll the turkey up and over the stuffing, jelly-roll style. Use your fingers to tuck in any stuffing that escapes on the sides as you roll. Firmly tie up the turkey roulade with kitchen twine every 2’’ to form a compact cylinder.
- Season the roulade: Brush turkey with melted butter (or oil) and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Brown the roulade: Heat oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven, or roasting pan (something large enough to hold the roulade) over medium high heat. Once hot, place the turkey seam side down in the pan. Sear the roulade, rotating and turning frequently, until it is golden brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. (Tip 2: Don't walk away when browning: Check on the turkey roll often when you are searing. You may need to rotate and roll the roulade often, depending upon how hot your pan is. Just take care not to burn it.)(Tip 3: Keep the pan you use to sear the turkey - you will use the sucs (French culinary term means dried and brown deposits at the bottom of the pan from sautéing) to the bottom to make the red wine gravy!
- Roast: Place the browned turkey roulade seam side down on the rack insert. Roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the center reads 160 degrees (be sure to test internal temperature in a few places. (Note: My turkey roulade took 1 hour, 10 minutes to reach 158 degrees F).(Tip 3: Don't over-cook the turkey! I recommend roasting your turkey roll until the thickest part of the roll reads 155-160 degrees F. The turkey breast will rise up to temperature as it rests - this is called carry over cooking.)
- Rest: Remove the turkey from the oven and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
- While Turkey is roasting, start the gravy - make a sachet: Make a sachet by laying a large piece of cheese cloth on a clean work surface. Place all sachet ingredients in the middle of the cloth, bring up the sides and tie the top with kitchen twine to form a small bag. (See photo).
- Reduce stock: To a small saucepan, add the chicken stock and sachet. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the stock is reduced to 2 cups, about 25-30 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, deglaze saute pan: Place the pan you use to sear the turkey over medium heat. Add the wine and vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits left on the bottom. Cook until reduced by half. Add the reduced stock to the pan with the reduced wine and vinegar. Bring to a simmer. In a small mixing bowl combine the potato starch with 2 tablespoons of water to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry mixture into the stock. Continue simmering the gravy, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until mixture has thickened to desired consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.Turn heat down to low and stir in heavy cream. Keep gravy covered, over low heat and stir occasionally until ready to use.When ready to serve, remove the gravy from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Snip and discard the kitchen twine from the turkey roll. Use a sharp slicing knife or carving knife to cut the turkey roll into ½- ¾’’ thick slices. Arrange on a serving platter and generously drizzle with gravy. Serve with extra stuffing on the side (if applicable). Enjoy!
- Turkey Breast can be skinless or with skin still on depending on your preference. If you want the traditional crispy skin on the outside of your roulade carefully remove the skin before starting with step 1 and set it aside. Continue as instructed stuffing and rolling the roulade. BEFORE trussing the roulade take the turkey skin and wrap it around the roulade, encasing it. Then proceed with trussing the turkey roulade.
- For the filling made of Thanksgiving stuffing, make sure you prepare the stuffing recipe, but do NOT bake it! Meaning - follow the recipe for the stuffing from step 1 THROUGH step 6 (stop when you hit the "bake" step). The stuffing can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.
- This roulade only uses 1/2 of the recipe of stuffing. You can cut the ingredient measurements in half, or you can prepare the full recipe and serve the other half as a side dish! To Use Extra Stuffing as a Side Dish: Butter a baking dish or shallow gratin dish. Transfer extra stuffing to prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake alongside turkey for 40 minutes. Uncover, brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and continue to bake until top is golden brown, about an additional 30-40 minutes.
- The turkey roulade can be prepared in advance through step 4. Simply wrap the roulade in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Before brushing with butter, browning and roasting, allow the roulade to sit on the counter, at room temperature, for 30 minutes.
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