Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans

Much less hassle (and expense) than the whole bird. If you’re a little apprehensive about cooking an entire turkey or just have fewer people coming ’round this year, this rolled and stuffed turkey breast is a great alternative. Slices like a dream, too.

Substitute any dried fruit, nuts and booze – the method is the same.

Feeds 6 with leftovers


2kg turkey breast joint, boned and butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you)

3 – 4 slices good quality whole wheat seeded bread

6 slices smoked streaky bacon, chopped

Olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed

½ small bunch sage, finely chopped

Small bunch parsley, finely chopped

Few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped

3 tbsp sweet sherry

2 handfuls pecans, chopped

2 handfuls dried cranberries


Pulse the bread in a food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a frying pan with a little olive oil until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add a little more oil if necessary and add the chopped onion and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the chopped apple and herbs, and keep cooking until the apple begins to soften. Add the pecans, dried cranberries and breadcrumbs, then turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Unroll the turkey breast joint skin-side down and lay over a piece of clingfilm on top. Pound the turkey out slightly to create an even thickness across – or thereabouts – so the turkey breast is about the size of an unfolded napkin.

Season the inside of the turkey breast with salt and pepper. Pack on the stuffing, pressing down gently and leaving a small border around the edge. Roll up the breast joint – you may need someone else to help you – and tie with string to secure. Don’t worry about what it looks like at this stage; the point is just to secure the meat in a log and tuck the stuffing in so it won’t burn. It will all look great once it’s cooked.

Make ahead: At this stage, you can cover with cling film and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead.

Before cooking, take the turkey breast out of the fridge 1 – 1.5 hours before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C / 160C Fan.

Season the rolled turkey breast all over with salt and pepper.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little vegetable oil, then sear the turkey breast joint on all sides until a lovely golden brown.

Transfer the turkey breast joint to a roasting dish. Pour in ½ cup of water in the bottom and roast for 20 minutes per pound, plus 20 minutes at the end. For a 2kg turkey breast joint, cook for 1h 50 minutes total.

Once the time is up, remove the turkey breast and cover with foil and a clean tea towel. Leave to rest in a warm place for minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

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