Stuffed Turkey with Stuffing & cranberry sauce

Ah the classic Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, cranberry sauce & stuffing. Things we all know too well. However, I have never been overly excited by these things on their own. Between that fact, and my lifelong belief that every bite should be the best bite, I started a journey for the creating the best Thanksgiving bite many years ago.My first version of recreating Thanksgiving dinner into a single, delicious, perfect bite was making a ravioli stuffed with well seasoned turkey and cranberry sauce served in a light cream sauce. Super delicious. But a ton of work. (Still, I do love that recipe!)The next year, I moved on to what we started referring to as “Turkini’s.” Turkini’s are everything you want in your thanksgiving bite piled high on a crostini. And they are good! Really good! I toast slices of baguette, slather them with cranberry sauce, layer on turkey, followed by stuffing and smother with gravy. As single bite of thanksgiving deliciousness. The problem here is that Turkini’s are really an appetizer. You put them on a platter and pass them around. They also get cold pretty quickly. However, they are a serious crowd pleaser.Ahhh and then for two years in a row, the mother of them all- Thanksgiving pizza. Huge hit! HUGE! I thought I had it. Don’t get me wrong, I am never going to stop making Thanksgiving pizza because if I did, my friends would disown me. For realz. It is by far, the most talked about amongst them. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s the best of Thanksgiving dinner on a pizza! The problem here is similar to my Turkini issue- it’s an appetizer, or a party food. Which is great because we often host Black Friday parties. It’s perfect for serving around the fire pit or a late night surprise, but not for a dinner.I could not stop thinking about how much everyone loves these bites of delight that I have made over the years, but how no one ever talks about the dinner itself. I’m sorry but there is no such thing as a memorable roasted turkey, a platter of stuffing and a bowl of cranberry sauce. I want a WOW factor on my Thanksgiving table. And I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.I decided to try something. I had the idea to stuff turkey scallopini (fancy name for cutlets pounded very thin) with a buttery stuffing, cranberry sauce and a bit of parmesan cheese, roll, tie, cook and smother with gravy.I tested out several different versions (all of which were delicious).1) In my first attempt, I included provolone cheese, whole berry cranberry sauce, rolled long side in, and cooked only by pan searing in cast iron. Version one had very good taste, but the cheese oozes and if cooking multiple portions, the oozing cheese could create too much burn in the pan- not sure it’s worth it.

In this round, I also wasn’t sure about the whole berries, which are great but makes spreading and rolling inconsistent.  I also decided I had way too much stuffing and by rolling lengthwise, only one fit in pan comfortably and didn’t produce the spiral I was looking for. More work to be done.2) In version 2, I omitted the provolone and choose to use a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. (I think it helps add a bit of fat from the inside to help keep the turkey tasting delicious.) I also opted to try a jellied cranberry sauce with no whole berries thinking it would make rolling the turkeys easier.  I decided to try baking this round and while this is significantly easier than pan searing for a crowd, they just didn’t produce that gorgeous browning that searing gives you. I also decided that whole berries cranberry sauce is a an absolute must. Without them, the cranberry gets lost and absorbs too easily into the stuffing. It must be whole berried sauce. Which lead me to Version 3.3) In version 3, I went back to the whole berries and decided to again bake the turkey. However, I added another step and this was to reverse sear the turkey in a cast iron pan in a butter and cranberry reduction, to finish the dish. This not only added the golden color of deliciousness that I was looking for, but also an additional level of flavor. This was the winner. It came out absolutely perfect!4) In version 4, what I was looking to test was how far in advance I could prepare this dish. So I used up the rest of my ingredients and made about 6 portions. I wrapped each one in plastic wrap and into the fridge they went. The next day, I let the tray sit out to take the chill off just for a short while. (Cooking ice cold meat makes it seize up so always take the chill off before cooking.) Then into the oven they went, then reverse seared in the pan. The result was just as good, if not better than when made to order. This was very important to me because I like to always prepare as much of the meal as I can in advance.  After all, no one wants to watch you work with raw turkey!This dish will forever change Turkey dinner.I have to admit, I considered not even sharing this one! But it’s just too darn good not to. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family & friends do. Cheers!I made this a complete entree when served with shredded brussel sprouts and my make ahead mashed potatoes. It was a perfect meal.

I have also served this dish as an hors d’oeuvre using a toothpick through each piece. My friends went nuts! In appetizer form, it was named “turkey sushi” and we haven’t stopped talking about it since!

Turkey rollatini with stuffing & cranberry
Prep Time
1 d 30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
 

Turkey scallopini stuffed and rolled with classic stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Course: entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffed turkey, thanksgiving, turkey
Ingredients
  • Turkey cutlets pounded thin
  • Your favorite premade, cooked stuffing (I like Whole Foods chicken stuffing)
  • Whole Berry Cranberry sauce
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Butter
  • Brown Gravy
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

  2. Pound turkey cutlets between two pieces of plastic wrap until very thin

  3. Season cutlet swith salt, pepper and spread on an even layer of cranberry sauce.

  4. Using a spoon and your fingers add and level out stuffing. Sprinkle with parmesan, if using.

  5. From the short side, roll tightly. If filling comes out, just let it go. It happens! Use butchers twine to tie in multiple locations. Season with salt and pepper. Brunch on a bit of cranberry sauce.

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter with 2-3 tablepsoons of cranberry sauce in a cast iron pan. When sizzling, add turkey rolls. Sear on each side for about 1-2 minutes each side so they glaze and brown.

  8. Let rest for no less than 5 minutes. Remove strings, slice on a slight with a very sharp knife and artfully plate. Smother with gravy or serve gravy on the side.

    Turkey Rollatini

herb-roasted-turkey-breast-03

Ihave been making Ina’s Herb Roasted Turkey Breast for at least ten years. Each and every time I make it I continue to be amazed at how delicious it is. As wonderful as roasting a whole turkey is (not!) there is simply no way to properly cook the legs and thighs without overcooking the breast. Since I really can’t bear to eat dry turkey, I turned to this recipe and never looked back.Over the years, I made two notable tweaks to Ina’s original recipe. The first is that I always double the amount of marinade she calls for. The second is that I always prep the turkey one day in advance so the flavors have time to really infuse the turkey meat.

The combinations of herbs create a really wonderful savory crust that somehow manages to penetrate the entire turkey. It is simply delicious! The hardest part is prepping the herbs you’ll need, which I think we can agree is more time consuming than it is difficult!

Look no further, this is simply the best turkey recipe and the only one you’ll ever need.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
resting time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

Savory roast turkey breast is the only turkey recipe you'll ever need. 

Course: entree
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic 6 cloves
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. 

  2. Cover the turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

  3. 1 hour before you are ready to cook, take the turkey out to come up closer to room temperature. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

  5. Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

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This is the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving leftovers meal. This Thanksgiving pizza has the best of it all in every single bite.  Flatbread style pizza layered with tart cranberry sauce, covered in shredded turkey, then a layer of savory stuffing and finally smothered with cheddar cheese and of course, gravy! I don’t think it gets much better than this.

thankgiving-pizza

This Thanksgiving pizza made it’s first debut at a Friendsgiving party where I had never made anything like it before. I remember it clearly, that night when Thanksgiving pizza first came into our lives. Everyone was gathered around the fire pit talking and laughing and I disappeared into the kitchen to attempt to make what I called an experiment. I returned 15 minutes later with my first Thanksgiving pizza.  Well, that first pizza is still being talked about today!

This Thanksgiving pizza is packed with all the flavors of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes so that every bite, really is the best bite! Even better, it’s so simple and a really fun way to use up those leftovers. I’ll tell you now, plan to make two because it’s really good!

Feaster's Tips:

5 from 2 votes
Thanksgiving Pizza
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

The absolute best way to use up leftovers is to make a Thanksgiving Pizza! 

Course: Appetizer, entree, lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving, turkey
Servings: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 Flatbread style pizza crust such as Stonefire brand
  • 3/4 cup Cranberry sauce
  • 1.5-2 cups Cooked turkey, Shredded
  • 2- 2.5 cups Sharp White Cheddar, Shredded
  • 1.5-2 cups Stuffing, Cooked
  • 1 cup Gravy
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven (or grill!) according to package instructions. Typically this is about 425 degrees F.  

  2. Spread a layer of cranberry sauce on the pizza crust. 

  3. Next, layer and lightly press the shredded turkey on top of the cranberry sauce. 

  4. Add the stuffing on top of the turkey, and again, light press down as you work your way around the pizza. 

  5. Top with shredded cheese (use a heavy hand with the cheese) and bake directly on oven rack or grill for about 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 

  6. While the pizza is cooking, heat up the gravy. 

  7. Top the pizza with a generous swirl of gravy. Garnish with parsley. Slice. Serve hot.