Turkey Roulade

updated Oct 29, 2022
christmas
Turkey Roulade Recipe

Juicy turkey breast swirled around sausage and herb cornbread stuffing packs the best fall flavors into a single bite.

Serves6 to 8

Prep45 minutes

Cook1 hour 33 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

No part of the holiday meal gets more attention than the turkey, and here we’re taking the traditional roast on a (literal) spin. This roulade features juicy white turkey breast meat spiraled around a savory mixture of fresh herbs, cornbread crumbles, apples, and crispy browned pork sausage for a stunning take on turkey that’s sure to impress.

What Is Turkey Roulade?

A roulade is a dish that’s filled and rolled. It can be sweet, like this pumpkin swiss cake roll, or savory, like these chicken roll-ups or this turkey roulade, which is filled with homemade stuffing.

A turkey roulade is easier than cooking an entire bird because, instead of the thigh meat lagging behind the breast meat, the rolled roast bakes evenly. As another bonus, a turkey roulade tastes even better when you prepare it in advance. Allowing the skin to dry overnight means it’ll brown and crisp, leaving the breast meat juicy and tender.

Do I Need Any Special Equipment for Turkey Roulade?

You likely have everything you need to prepare this upscale turkey roll-up, but it’s worth checking for these pieces of equipment before things get rolling.

  • Meat mallet: The smooth side of a meat mallet makes quick work of flattening a boneless turkey breast. If you don’t have one, a rolling pin or small skillet works, too. Pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness to easily wrap a tight swirl.
  • Kitchen twine: Cotton string, or kitchen twine, helps the roulade maintain its shape while it roasts. Wrap the string around the roulade lengthwise to support the ends, then tie in several spots to keep the roll tight.
  • Instant-read thermometer: The best way to determine the doneness of poultry is with an instant-read thermometer. The roast is done when a thermometer inserted into the center of the roulade reaches at least 160°F. The temperature will rise to 165°F as it rests.
Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

What’s the Best Filling for Turkey Roulade?

I’m partial to a homemade sausage and herb cornbread stuffing, which packs all the best fall flavors into a single bite. To make it, you’ll cook celery, onion, apples, and garlic in melted butter until tender, then cook the pork sausage until it’s brown and crispy. Mix everything together with breadcrumb-sized pieces of cornbread (either store-bought or homemade) and fresh herbs.

What Should I Serve with Turkey Roulade?

A turkey roulade is turkey and stuffing all in one, leaving even more room on the plate for your favorite holiday sides. Use the broth and pan juices to make a quick homemade gravy to spoon over mashed potatoes. And of course, it isn’t a holiday without sweet potatoes and green beans.

Turkey Roulade Recipe

Juicy turkey breast swirled around sausage and herb cornbread stuffing packs the best fall flavors into a single bite.

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 33 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    medium stalks celery

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 1

    medium sweet-tart apple, such as Honeycrisp or Gala

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 8 ounces

    uncooked pork sausage

  • 4 ounces

    store-bought or homemade cornbread

  • 1 whole

    skin-on, boneless turkey breast (about 5 pounds)

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive or vegetable oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Prepare the following, placing each in the same large bowl as you complete it: Finely chop 2 medium stalks celery (about 3/4 cup), 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup), and 1 medium sweet-tart apple (no need to peel, about 1 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves.

  3. Prepare the following, piling each on the side of the cutting board as you complete it: Finely chop 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chop 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, and pick 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and finely chop. Chop more fresh herbs for garnish if desired and set aside.

  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Return to the large bowl.

  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to the pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add 8 ounces pork sausage (remove casings first if needed) and cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onion.

  6. Crumble 4 ounces cornbread into very small pieces about the size of breadcrumbs (about 1 1/2 cups) into the bowl. Add the herbs on the cutting board and toss with a spatula to combine. If you are not planning to roast the turkey roulade immediately after stuffing, let the stuffing cool to room temperature before using.

  7. Place 1 whole boneless, skin-on turkey breast skin-side down on a large cutting board with a longer side closer to you. Cover the turkey with 2 slightly overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. Use the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small frying pan to pound the meat until it is an even 1/2-inch thickness. Season the meat on both sides with the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

  8. Position the turkey so it is skin-side down again with a longer side closer to you. Transfer the filling onto the turkey and spread into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Roll the turkey from the bottom up tightly into a log and arrange seam-side down, tucking the ends in. Tie with kitchen twine once down the length of the roast and then around the width at 2-inch intervals.

  9. Pour 1 cup chicken broth into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place the roulade seam-side down in the center the dish. Pat the skin dry with paper towels, then rub 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil over the top of the roulade, focusing on the exposed areas of meat not covered by skin. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  10. Roast until the skin is golden-brown and the internal temperature registers at least 160°F, 70 to 80 minutes.

  11. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Use the broth and pan juices to prepare gravy or discard. Cut off and remove the kitchen twine, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Garnish with the reserved chopped fresh herbs.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The roulade can be completely assembled and refrigerated, uncovered, up to 24 hours in advance. Keeping the roast uncovered helps to dry out the skin so that it browns and crisps in the oven.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.