Italian Christmas Recipes/ Mains

Sausage & Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Breast

December 7, 2020 by Emily

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Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or Christmas impress your family and friends with this show-stopping Sausage & Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Breast! Wrapped in crispy pancetta it’s packed full of flavour and so juicy, perfect served with plenty of gravy and your favourite sides.

A stuffed turkey breast on a serving plate with slices cut and roasted potatoes

If you’re looking for something a little different and extra special to serve for the holidays then this stuffed turkey breast is the ultimate way to do it.

It’s made with boneless turkey breast stuffed with sausage, chestnuts, apple and herbs and then wrapped in crispy pancetta. It’s so festive, impressive and super delicious!

Check out the end of the video tutorial to see just how juicy it is, it’s mouth-watering!

Ingredients – what you need

Boneless turkey breast (around 5lbs or 2.2-2.5kg), sausages, cubed pancetta, rosemary, sage, apple, chestnuts, garlic, strips of pancetta or thin cut bacon and kitchen string for tying it up.

I also prop the turkey breast up with 2 large carrots and onions so the heat can radiate underneath it too, this also helps add extra flavour to the gravy.

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

An overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make stuffed turkey breast

How to make Stuffed Turkey Breast – step by step

Remove the sausage meat from their casings and put in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients for the stuffing and mix together using your hands or a spoon until thoroughly combined, set aside (photos 1 & 2).

Step by step photos showing how to make sausage stuffng and butterfly a turkey breast

Carefully remove the skin from the turkey breast. Butterfly the turkey by cutting lengthwise from the thickest part of the breast without cutting it all the way through so it opens up like a book (photos 3 & 4).

You may or may not have an extra fillet underneath the breast like we have (see photo 4) but don’t worry just make sure to cut above it and try not to separate it from the breast.

Place some plastic wrap (cling film) over the turkey breast so it’s covered and beat it with a rolling pin or meat mallet until 1 inch thick, set aside (photo 5).

Step by step photos showing how to stuff and roll an turkey breast

On a clean work surface lay out sheets of plastic wrap that’s big enough to wrap around the whole breast. Lay the strips of pancetta or bacon over the plastic wrap overlapping each slice by ¼ inch (1cm) at the sides and by 1 inch at the ends (photo 6).

Place the butterflied turkey breast in the middle of the pancetta and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the sausage stuffing in the middle of the breast and shape into a log (photo 7).

Starting from the side closest to you, roll the turkey breast right over the stuffing using the plastic wrap to keep it tight. Keep rolling until the turkey resembles a log and is tightly wrapped, tuck the ends in with the pancetta. Remove the plastic wrap (photos 8 & 9).

Step by step photos showing how to tie up a turkey breast with kitchen string

To secure the turkey breast, tie a piece of kitchen string around the whole length of the breast tying a knot in the middle (photos 10 & 11).

Next, work your way from the middle to each end tying individual pieces of string over the breast about 1 inch apart (photo 12).

Step by step photos showing a stuffed turkey breast before and after roasting

Drizzle a large roasting pan with olive oil. Cut the carrots and onions in half and place them in the centre of the pan. Place the turkey breast on top of the carrots and onions then cover with foil (photo 13).

Roast for 50 minutes then remove the foil and roast for another 1 hour and 25 minutes until cooked through and the pancetta is crispy (photos 14 & 15).

Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 1 hour. You can leave it for 30 minutes if you are short on time but I find 1 hour makes it extra juicy and delicious (photo 16).

Serving suggestions – sides and gravy

To make gravy

To make a simple yet delicious gravy remove the turkey from the roasting pan to rest. Scrape all the juices, onion and carrots into a saucepan on a medium-low heat.

Add 1 cup of white or red wine (250ml) and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Next, add 3 cups (750 mls) of good quality chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes then remove the vegetables.

Mix 1 tbsp of cornstartch with 2 tbsp of water and add to the pan. Bring it back to a simmer and stir until thickened, taste and add any salt if needed.

There are so many delicious sides you can serve with this recipe and the good news is that the stuffing is already done for you!

Whether you go for creamy and buttery mashed potatoes, crispy roasties or our Italian roast potatoes with rosemary potatoes are a must.

Here are some other sides that would go well;

A close up of sausage and chestnut stuffed turkey breast on a serving plate

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • No need to baste – the great thing about this recipe is that there is no need to baste it. The sausage and apple in the stuffing help keep the inside juicy and the fat from the pancetta around the outside helps baste the turkey without you doing a thing.
  • Roasting – carrots and onions are used to prop up the turkey from the roasting pan this helps the heat radiate underneath.
  • What to do with leftovers – leftover turkey is just as good if not better than it is served on the day. We love to make leftover turkey sandwiches with red onion chutney or serve it BLT style with tomato, lettuce and a little mayo. You could also serve leftovers in a salad or add to casseroles.
Should I use fresh or frozen turkey?

You can use either fresh or frozen boneless turkey breast as long as it’s not brined. Brined turkey will be too salty since this recipe wraps the turkey in pancetta/bacon. If frozen make sure it is thawed completely before using.

How do you know the turkey is done?

Cooking times can vary depending on how hot your oven is, how big your turkey is and even how often you open the oven door. The best way to tell is by using a meat thermometer inserted right into the middle of the meat, it should read 74C/165F.

How long do leftovers last?

Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 5-7 days or can be frozen. If your turkey was previously frozen you must re-freeze it within 3 days.

Can it be reheated?

Yes, you can reheat the turkey until hot just make sure you don’t leave it too long or it’ll dry out.

A close up of slices of stuffed turkey breast on a plate with gravy

If you’ve tried this Sausage & Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Breast or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!

Sausage and Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Breast

Whether it's for Thanksgiving or Christmas impress your family and friends with this show-stopping Sausage & Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Breast! Wrapped in crispy pancetta it's packed full of flavour and so juicy, perfect served with plenty of gravy and your favourite sides.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 10 – 12 servings
Calories 662kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 5 – 5.5 lbs single boneless turkey breast (2.2 – 2.5kg)
  • 1 lbs smoked pancetta strips or smoked bacon (480g)
  • 2 large white onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

For the stuffing

  • 6 pork sausages (14 oz/400g)
  • 1/2 cup cubed smoked pancetta (2.2 oz/65g)
  • 1 apple grated
  • 2 cloves garlic finely grated or minced
  • ½ cup chestnuts roughly chopped (100g)
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Make the stuffing

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  • Remove the sausage meat from their casings and put in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients for the stuffing and mix together using your hands or a spoon until thoroughly combined, set aside.

Prepare the turkey breast

  • Carefully remove the skin from the turkey breast. Butterfly the turkey breast by cutting lengthwise from the thickest part of the breast without cutting it all the way through so it opens up like a book. You may or may not have an extra fillet underneath the breast like we have (see photo 4) but don’t worry just make sure to cut above it and try not to separate it from the breast.
  • Place some plastic wrap (cling film) over the turkey breast so it’s covered and beat it with a rolling pin or meat mallet until 1 inch thick, set aside.

Assemble and roll

  • On a clean work surface lay out sheets of plastic wrap that’s big enough to wrap around the whole breast. Lay the strips of pancetta or bacon over the plastic wrap overlapping each slice by ¼ inch (1cm) at the sides and by 1 inch at the ends (see photo 6).
  • Place the butterflied turkey breast in the middle of the pancetta and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the sausage stuffing in the middle of the breast and shape into a log.
  • Starting from the side closest to you, roll the turkey breast right over the stuffing using the plastic wrap to keep it tight. Keep rolling until the turkey resembles a log and is tightly wrapped, tuck the ends in with the pancetta. Remove the plastic wrap.

How to tie it up

  • To secure the turkey breast, tie a piece of kitchen string around the whole length of the breast tying a knot in the middle.
  • Next, work your way from the middle to each end tying individual pieces of string over the breast about 1 inch apart.

Roasting

  • Drizzle a large roasting pan with olive oil. Cut the carrots and onions in half and place them in the centre of the pan. Place the turkey breast on top of the carrots and onions then cover with foil.
  • Roast for 50 minutes then remove the foil and roast for another 1 hour and 25 minutes until cooked through and the pancetta is crispy. The tukey should have an internal temperature of 165F/74C.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 1 hour. You can leave it for 30 minutes if you are short on time but I find 1 hour makes it extra juicy and delicious. See note 6 to make gravy.

Notes

1. Turkey cooking times – Cooking times can vary depending on how hot your oven is, how big your turkey is and even how often you open the oven door. The best way to tell is by using a meat thermometer inserted right into the middle of the meat, it should read 74C/165F.
2. No need to baste – the great thing about this recipe is that there is no need to baste it. The sausage and apple in the stuffing help keep the inside juicy and the fat from the pancetta around the outside helps baste the turkey without you doing a thing.
3. Roasting – carrots and onions are used to prop up the turkey from the roasting pan this helps the heat radiate underneath.
4. Storage – Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 5-7 days or can be frozen. If your turkey was previously frozen you must re-freeze it within 3 days.
5. What to do with leftovers – leftover turkey is just as good if not better than it is served on the day. We love to make leftover turkey sandwiches with red onion chutney or serve it BLT style with tomato, lettuce and a little mayo. You could also serve leftovers in a salad or add to casseroles.
6. Gravy – To make a simple yet delicious gravy remove the turkey from the roasting pan to rest. Scrape all the juices, onion and carrots into a saucepan on a medium-low heat. 
Add 1 cup of dry white or red wine (250ml). Next, add 3 cups (750ml) of good quality chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes then remove the vegetables. Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water and add to the pan. Bring it back to a simmer and stir until thickened, taste and add any salt if needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 71g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 230mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1771IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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