Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing

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.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 3-4


  • 1 boneless turkey breast (about 2 lbs)
  • Butter, 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.


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.)

stuffed-turkey-breast-1.jpg stuffed-turkey-breast-2.jpg
stuffed-turkey-breast-3.jpg stuffed-turkey-breast-4.jpg

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.

stuffed-turkey-breast-5.jpg stuffed-turkey-breast-6.jpg
stuffed-turkey-breast-7.jpg stuffed-turkey-breast-8.jpg

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.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Shara

    Great recipe! Left out the bacon…still a hit! Thank you!

  • Robin

    Has anyone ever tried freezing this ahead of time? Seems like it should work if its thawed completely and cooked well in the center? Thanks for any imput.

  • Leslie

    What do you think about roasting it the night before serving, and reheating? I want to serve it for my mother’s birthday and won’t have time to cook that day…

  • Cindy Brown

    Do you have any idea how this recipe would do in a crock pot? I’ve been searching for a rolled stuffed turkey breast (with preferably a bread stuffing) for the crock pot – and strangely enough I can’t find any. Closest I’ve come are sausage or nut/berry stuffings. I’m wondering if there’s a reason – maybe a bread stuffing wouldn’t do well in a crock pot? Any advice on this one? Thanks, Cindy

  • Judy G

    Say! This was absolutely wonderful! My guests were simply over joyed with my turkey meat. Some of them even wanted to plunge there hands into it. It was lovely.

  • Kali

    I love this recipe! I love that you can make it as healthy or as fattening as you’d like. The way you made it with a nice light stuffing does allow you to be guilt free on such a caloric holiday. You could add just about anything to this recipe, even a nice rice stuffing. Thanks for sharing.

  • matt

    This recipe looks absolutely amazing. By pounding out the turkey that thin does it not get dry? The recipe looks fairly easy to follow so I might make this for dinner tonight and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Over-cooking the turkey will result in it getting dry. Pounding it thin? Not necessarily, unless you over-cook it. ~Elise

  • IcyPlunder

    Thank you, Elise. This year, my husband and I decided against travelling for Thanksgiving. This was my first time cooking for this holiday so I didn’t need an entire turkey for the two of us. This rolled breast was fairly simple, delicious and impressed my husband. Oh, and it introduced me to dried porcini. I made string beans and mac&cheese to go with it.
    Thank you bunches and I hope you had a warm holiday.

  • Regina

    I made this Thursday for Thanksgiving…. I couldn’t find a boneless turkey breast, so I bought the WHOLE breast (basically the turkey carcass, minus the wings, legs and thighs), deboned it, and had TWO rolled turkey breasts!

    I didn’t see in the instructions where you use the bacon (other than for the fat), so I just threw it in the stuffing…. I also used the whole package of mushrooms, and kind of “winged it” on measurements (I had 2 to stuff, after all!)…

    After my “mishap” with brining 4 years ago (THEY said it was too salty, I thought it was WONDERFUL), I have officially redeemed myself on turkey! Thank you!

  • cool

    I did it, successfully! I used your brine solution for 2.5 hours and it is just right. I do not have good debone skill and tool, so it broke to two pieces. But, with good engeering skill, I merged them together on the thin sides. Haha! Now I will pay attention to the boneless kind. Thanks again!

  • robbiefresno

    This was a great recipe. I used dried cherries and added some almonds as well. Good proportion of stuffing to turkey. I would make this again…soon.

  • Lelaine

    Just ate one of the best Thanksgiving meals based on this recipe! I went to a butcher and they were able to cut a tenderloin for me. Mine was nearly 6 lbs, but it turned out wonderfully! I broiled the skin for 5 minutes before I took it out of the oven to brown and crisp the skin.

  • Kathy

    I am making this recipe today.Can you make this ahead of time and pop it in the oven an hour 1/2 before dinner will be served? Thank you.

    I would let it sit on the counter for at least half an hour to help take the chill off before popping it in the oven. ~Elise

  • cool

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. I plan to make it this Friday when my son and his girl friend are here for dinner. Would it be wise to brine the breast first for flavor and tenderness? If so, which kind of brine solution you recommend? Please advice.

    You could brine if you wanted. I would use 1/4 cup of Kosher salt to one quart of water. Brine for an hour. ~Elise

  • Corina

    This looks wonderful. I am not familiar with dried porcini mushrooms (although I know my local market carries it) – is that 1/4 ounce for the whole recipe? (I’m just wondering how I’ll measure that…)

    Dried mushrooms are very light. I buy dried porcinis in 1 ounce packages. You’re not making a lot of stuffing for this one breast, which is why the recipe calls for only 1/4 ounce of dried mushrooms. ~Elise

  • Barbara

    What a wonderful recipe. It’s too late for this year, but I will definitely remember this one.

    Elise, I just want to thank you for your excellent blog. Your recipes are always more interesting than what I would think to do, but your directions make them do-able. I really appreciate your site and the time you spend explaining methods of cooking. Many of your recipes have become regulars in my kitchen, to the delight of many! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Hi Barbara, you are very welcome. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well! ~Elise

  • Valérie ( France )

    J’adore cette façon de présenter cette volaille, du beau et bon travail
    Je te souhaite une belle journée

    Merci Valérie! ~Elise

  • Shelley

    Hi Elise. So you bought a whole turkey breast & then deboned it yourself? Any guidance/directions on how to perform that myself?
    Thank you.

    Take a sharp paring knife or boning knife (don’t recommend chefs knife, too big) and cut the breast away from the bone. It’s not that hard. Cut away the tender (it’s loosely attached to the rest of the breast) and save for another purpose. ~Elise

  • Shelley

    This is a beautiful recipe & one that I’ve had in my dreams for years. My questions is: Where do you get a true Turkey Breast with the skin but no bones? I see Turkey Breast Roasts in the freezer section but they’re just rolled & compacted to be cooked & sliced; then I see whole Turkey Breasts (again, frozen)but they have the bone. Please advise. Thank you.

    We just cut the bone of this turkey breast. But usually we can find the boneless turkey breasts as well. ~Elise

  • Karrie

    This looks wonderful. It is now only my husband and I at home and I think this would make a great weekend meal, not just for the holidays. My husband loves the dark meat, I like both. I think I would try doing this with the turkey thighs, I think it would be great! Thanks for the great idea and another wonderful recipe.

  • June

    Great idea to add a wing to the pan for gravy! We boned a whole bird last year, stuffed it with forcemeat and rolled it. You’re right that it’s a great solution when there’s just a few of you and still makes for some awesome leftovers.

  • John DM

    that’s a good looking recipe. I’m off wheat these days, and wondering whether chopped walnuts or almonds might substitute for the bread crumbs? Or…?

    If you are going gluten-free, there are good packaged gluten-free bread crumbs available. If you are going low-carb, I would use chopped walnuts, but just note that the stuffing will then be rather rich. ~Elise

  • Jem

    Do you use fresh or dried bread crumbs?

    Either. ~Elise