This turkey breast is is stuffed with rosemary, cranberries, and pine nuts and is roasted with root vegetables. It’s therefore pretty nearly your full Thanksgiving dinner, all in one pan! This post was originally sponsored by Columbia Crest.
Perfect For A Small Thanksgiving
This year we have a small group for Thanksgiving dinner. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do since a turkey serves so many people. But then I remembered experimenting with roasting boneless turkey breasts a few years ago. What I discovered was that cooking a turkey breast is the perfect thing to do if you don’t have a lot of people coming over. It serves about 6 and is easy to work with. And really easy to carve.
The other thing that you can do, and I seriously love this, is to roast a variety of turkey pieces. You can do the breast I’ve explained here, and then buy other turkey parts and roast them like this. The best part is that you can buy as many drumsticks as you have drumstick-lovers in the house – no more fighting over just the two!
Turkey Breast, Stuffing, And Veggies In One Pan
The recipe I’m sharing with you today covers the entrée and two side dishes of your meal all in one roasting pan. Thanksgiving dinner was never easier. But don’t worry, this isn’t a boring recipe. You’ll get your hands dirty stuffing the turkey and you’re going to love the play of flavors in both the stuffing and the roasted vegetable mixture. If you just have to go ahead and roast that full turkey, here’s how to roast it so that it’s juicy inside with nice crispy skin. But I’m telling you, this breast is perfect for a smaller group.
The turkey breast is stuffed with bread cubes, rosemary, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and lots of black pepper. Then the turkey breast is surrounded by a mixture of root vegetables. It’s a common root vegetable medley but with the addition of the less familiar fennel. If you haven’t had fennel before, it has a texture similar to celery but with a sweet licorice flavor that gets very mellow when roasted.
Other Side Dishes For A Turkey Breast
This recipe is a complete meal but you might want to add some bread and butter or a salad. Or you could go with a traditional Thanksgiving side dish like a Sweet Potato Casserole or a Green Bean Casserole for something extra. If you really want to go the extra mile, here are some great additional sides to serve.
Gravy For A Turkey Breast
Even though turkey breast doesn’t yield drippings (the liquid that ends up in the bottom of a roasting pan when you cook a roast), you can still make gravy to go with this meal.
I would suggest this Gravy Without Drippings recipe. It’s perfect for exactly this kind of situation. It’s also a make-ahead gravy so it’s really easy to whip it up the day before, refrigerate it, and then just heat it up in the microwave before serving.
Can You Brine A Turkey Breast
The answer is a resounding YES! You can absolutely brine a turkey breast and it is much easier to do than brining a whole turkey since it’s a lot smaller. I brined my turkey breast for the first time 3 years ago and I do it that way every single time now. It’s so moist and juicy.
You’ll want to follow the instructions for brining over here, making a batch of brine that has about 8 cups of water, so that it’s enough to fully submerge the turkey. Then brine the turkey breast for 8 hours. You don’t want to do more than that. If you use a brine with a higher salt concentration though, then my recommendation is to only do it for 4 hours. I have this turkey brine recipe over here that has a higher salt concentration and it really only needs the 4 hours. And oh, you’ve gotta try the recipe. It truly is the best turkey brine ever. It uses the food processor (or blender) to really get a ton of flavor into the brine before you add the turkey. Amazing!
The only caveat to brining a turkey breast is that you should either omit the salt in the stuffing recipe below, or not stuff it at all. The reason is that the juices in the turkey will be a bit on the salty side. Those juices will be moistening the stuffing as it cooks. It could get a bit overly salty, especially if you salted the stuffing first.
The vegetables in the roasting pan with the turkey breast should be fine though since the turkey breast isn’t going to give off much liquid into the pan.Print
Cooking a turkey breast for Thanksgiving is a great option if you’re having about 6 people over. For this recipe, the turkey breast is stuffed with rosemary, cranberries, and pine nuts and is roasted with root vegetables.
- 1 and ½ cups day-old bread cubes (about 5 slices)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
- Coarse black pepper
- ½ cup to 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Butcher’s twine
- 3 lb. boneless skinless turkey breast, butterflied
- 4 carrots, peeled
- 2 medium heads fennel, trimmed and cored
- 2 lbs. potatoes, in 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Into a large bowl put the bread cubes, dried cranberries, pine nuts, rosemary, 1 teaspoon of coarse black pepper, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Add ½ cup of the chicken broth. Mix well. If the bread isn’t damp add up to ½ cup more broth (how much you add depends on the type of bread and how dry it was to start with).
- Cut five (18-inch) pieces of butcher’s twine and arrange them parallel to each other on a work surface.
- Season the turkey breast lightly on both sides with salt and pepper and then place it nicest-side-down across the pieces of twine.
- Arrange the bread stuffing along the middle of the turkey breast, leaving an inch at the edges.
- Wrap the turkey around the stuffing and secure in five places with the twine. Place in a large roasting pan.
- Slice the carrots and fennel ¼ inch thick. Toss them in a large bowl with the potatoes, olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of coarse black pepper.
- Arrange around the turkey in the roasting pan.
- Roast for 30 minutes. Gently stir the vegetables.
- Continue to cook until the roast is 160°F in the center, 20-30 more minutes. Transfer turkey to a rimmed plate to catch any juices while it rests.
- Return vegetables to the oven to continue to cook for 10 more minutes. If you’d like, use a broiler so that the vegetables develop some brown color, but watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
- Cut the 5 pieces of butcher’s twine and remove them from around the turkey breast. Discard.
- Slice the turkey into 12 slices. Using an electric carving knife is the easiest way to make nice slices that hold together well.
- Serve with the roasted vegetables.