Stuffed Turkey Breast
When roasting a whole turkey is too much food, juicy roasted Stuffed Turkey Breast with turkey pan gravy and cranberry stuffing is a traditional turkey for two dinner to enjoy for Thanksgiving and Sunday suppers.
When it comes to your Thanksgiving dinner for two, how traditional are you?
Do you make the same recipes each year or do you branch out with new ideas?
We are very traditionalists here when it comes to any holiday dinner (although we may try something new for Christmas and Easter).
Thanksgiving I can almost guarantee what the menu will be year after year – mashed potatoes for two, gravy without drippings, green bean casserole without mushroom soup, Mom’s stuffing, and Dad’s pumpkin pie.
The only change up we have is the meat.
Since there’s only four of us (with one not liking turkey and another who doesn’t eat much meat), we usually cook two stuffed Cornish hen.
However, I know not everyone wants chicken. They want a turkey dinner with stuffing because it’s synonymous with Thanksgiving.
Problem is there is no such thing as a small turkey. The smallest Thanksgiving turkey I’ve seen is 10 pounds. Probably 9 pounds too many.
My stuffed turkey breast recipe is different from most because you don’t need to pound and roll it up.
All you do is cut a pocket into the side and fill ‘er up with a delicious, buttery stuffing like I did with my stuffed chicken breast with rice.
Luckily bone-in turkey breasts are thick enough to stuff so you’re not missing out on that part.
Plus by leaving the skin on, you still get to eat crispy skin (the best part)!
Ingredients For Stuffed Turkey Breast
To make the best stuffed turkey recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients.
- Stuffing: I provide a link to my stuffing recipe, but you can use your favorite.
- Butter:Used for the turkey rub.
- Garlic: Aromatic to make the rub more flavorful
- Herbs: Use thyme, rosemary, sage, or a combination of all three
- Salt: Seasoning so both your turkey and butter aren’t bland. If using salted butter, you’ll want to use less.
- Bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts: In order to serve crispy skin, you’ll need to debone the breast yourself. More on that below.
Where To Buy Bone-In Turkey Breast
When I first made my stuffed turkey breast, I’ve never actually bought bone-in skin-on turkey breast before.
I’ve bought turkey tenderloin, turkey legs, Cornish hen, boneless skinless chicken breast, all meats very similar to it but never bone-in skin-on turkey breast.
I bring this up because I had quite the adventure buying it.
First, there is no such thing as boneless skin-on turkey breast. It’s either bone in with skin or boneless and skinless.
And since you neeeeed that crispy golden turkey skin, you need to debone the turkey breast yourself.
Second, there is no such thing as tiny turkey breasts. Go big or go home.
It took me three stores to finally buy my meat. One butcher told me most breasts are bigger than 3 pounds because of the high demand.
I somehow got incredibly lucky and found 2.5 pound and 2.97 pound turkey breasts at another store.
Because of this factor, this recipe may vary for you. You may have leftover stuffing. You may use all of the stuffing. Your cooking time may take longer if the meat is bigger.
If you’re about to pull your hair out because you can’t find turkey breast, make my turkey tenderloin recipe as tenderloin is much easier to find.
How much turkey breast per person?
One turkey breast half is probably three times the size of a regular chicken breast.
Depending on what else you’re serving, you can serve one breast per person or cut each breast in half and stretch it into 4 servings.
How To Debone Turkey Breast
Deboning turkey breast is easier than you think because the bone is all on one side.
Using a boning knife or a chef’s knife (make sure it’s sharp and long enough), place the breast skin side down. Make a cut down the center of the breast all the way down to the bone.
Here’s a video on how to debone a turkey breast.
Or depending on where you buy your meat, you can very nicely ask the butcher to debone it for you.
Now you’re ready to fill your boneless turkey breast with stuffing!
How To Cook Stuffed Turkey Breast
To roast your stuffed turkey breast for Thanksgiving, first gather a roasting pan with a rack. Line it with foil then lightly grease both the rack and foil with cooking spray.
You want to use a rack because the turkey breast will cook underneath while the juices drip down (which you’ll need to make turkey gravy).
Don’t have one? Make one by placing a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
Now it’s time to cook your small Thanksgiving turkey!
- Mix together the butter, garlic, herbs, and salt until smooth and spreadable. Evenly rub over both breasts.
- Cut a pocket into one side of each breast large and deep enough to hold stuffing without cutting all the way through then fill. Use a few toothpicks to close the pocket then transfer to the roasting rack.
- Bake at 325F for 60-90 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F and juices are clear. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Make the gravy using the pan drippings while you wait for the meat to rest.
Store leftover turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How To Make Stuffed Turkey Breast Ahead Of Time
Although stuffing a turkey breast isn’t complicated, it does take some time to prepare.
Here are some easy ways to make stuffed turkey breast for Thanksgiving ahead of time:
- Prep the stuffing the day before. Mix it altogether until moistened then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Make the herb butter then refrigerate. Let it soften at room temperature until spreadable.
- Debone your turkey breast. Thawed turkey breast can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
What To Serve With Stuffed Turkey Breast
Now that you chose turkey as your main dish, what about sides?
Most Thanksgiving side dish recipes make enough food to feed an army; if you’re cooking for two, you’ll never finish it all!
Luckily for you, this blog is all about recipes for two, so check out these small batch side dishes:
- Stovetop Scalloped Potatoes – Cook your potatoes while you wait for the turkey to finish.
- Au Gratin Potatoes For Two – These au gratin potatoes do require oven space, but you can cook them at the same time as the turkey.
- Sweet Potato Casserole For Two – A classic dish of mashed sweet potato with marshmallows on top.
- Green Beans with Almonds – A classic healthy side dish
- Cranberry Sauce – Makes one small jar, which is about 2-4 servings. Serve any leftovers on cranberry baked Brie!
Stuffed Turkey Breast FAQ
Turkey breast is considered white meat.
Turkey often dries out when you overcook it. To keep your meat juicy and moist, use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
- 1 recipe Cranberry Stuffing, made but not baked yet
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature*
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb such as thyme, rosemary, and/or sage
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher*
- 2 (3-pound) bone-in skin-on turkey breasts, deboned with skin left on
- 1 recipe Turkey Gravy
- If you haven't already, make my Cranberry Stuffing (click here to get ingredients and directions).
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a roasting pan with foil and place a roasting rack inside. Lightly grease both rack and foil with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, garlic, herbs, and salt until smooth.
- Evenly rub butter underneath and on top of the turkey skin. If your butter isn't spreading well, microwave it for 5-8 seconds to soften it (do not fully melt it).
- Cut a pocket into one side of each breast large and deep enough to hold stuffing without cutting all the way through. Fill with stuffing. Use a few toothpicks to close the pocket.
If you have leftover stuffing, place it in a heatproof pan to bake alongside the turkey. Don't put it in the bottom of the roasting pan or it'll absorb the drippings needed for gravy.
- Place both turkey breasts on the roasting rack then bake for 60-90 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160F (it'll continue to cook while resting). Carefully tent with foil to keep warm then rest for 10 minutes. At this point, the internal temperature should read 165F.
- Meanwhile, take the drippings left behind in the pan and make my turkey gravy recipe (click here to get ingredients and directions).
- *If using salted butter, you'll need to use less salt. Brands vary so I can't give you an exact amount (hence why I recommend using unsalted).
- Can't find bone-in turkey breast? Make my Turkey Tenderloin recipe as tenderloin is easier to find.
- Planning your holiday menu? Check out Thanksgiving Dinner For Two and Christmas Dinner For Two for recipe pairings.