This Kale and Sweet Potato Stuffed Turkey Breast is perfect for a dinner party or small Thanksgiving feast. A boneless turkey breast is stuffed with quick caramelized onions, kale, sweet potato and herbs, then baked in the oven in just about an hour. Double the recipe to feed a crowd! It’s also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.
Stuffed Turkey Breast Recipe
It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving! If you are into the idea of making the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey, check out this recipe here with all the details you need to know if you’ve never made one before. But if you are hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to enjoy turkey without actually cooking a whole one? This Kale and Sweet Potato Stuffed Turkey Breast recipe is perfect. It has all the flavor of the traditional turkey but wrapped up in a beautiful package that takes about one third of the time needed for making a whole turkey.
Don’t worry–we are walking you through exactly how to make the stuffing, how to prepare and roll up the breast and finally how to cook it to perfection.
Steps for Making Stuffed Turkey Breast
Let’s start with the actual turkey breast!
You’ll be buying a boneless turkey breast roast. It usually comes wrapped up in a bundle of stretchable butcher’s twine. Go ahead and remove that and discard. Next you are going to place the turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. The turkey needs to be sliced through the middle and then opened up like a book so you can get more surface area to pound out. The more surface area you have, the more rolling you can do.
Next you will pound out the turkey with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform ¾” thickness. This again is so you have more surface area to roll and so that it cooks evenly. Finally, it’s time to brine the turkey. Luckily, you can do this in as little time as 1 hour, though the flavor really improves if you allow it to brine for up to 24. To brine the turkey, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 24 in the refrigerator. If you do refrigerate it overnight, bring the turkey breast again to room temperature before cooking. This ensures even cooking, and more tender meat.
Move on to the filling.
We wanted to make the filling all in one pan, which includes making (quick) caramelized onions, cooking up the sweet potato and braising the kale. It takes about 40-50 minutes for everything to cook, but if you were really in a rush you could break apart the steps of each component and cook separately, but at the same time. You do want to let the filling cool slightly before adding it to the turkey breast, because it makes it easier to handle and roll the meat. The entire filling can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Rolling and Tying up the Stuffed Turkey Breast
Because the turkey has been seasoned with salt, there will be a good amount of moisture on turkey after it has been brined. Pat it dry so that the filling doesn’t slip off. Spread the slightly cooled (or completely cooled) kale mixture into the middle of the breast, leaving a 1” border all around the edges. Then you are going to roll up the breast, starting with the short end that does not have the skin underneath. You do this so that when you have finished rolling the breast up, the skin is on the outside. Roll it into a tight log and completely enclose the filling. Turn the now stuffed turkey breast seam side down and smooth over the skin in the middle of the breast as best as possible. We’ve noticed that each turkey breast we worked with was a little different, and some of the meat had a cleanly butchered piece of skin, while others has less skin and it didn’t cover the entire rolled piece of meat. It’s important to leave the skin on because that helps keep the meat juicy, so do your best to ensure the skin is covering the meat. Next tie up the stuffed breast with butcher’s twine evenly in 5 places.
Bake the Stuffed Turkey Breast
Place the breast inside a roasting pan. Dry off the skin and rub all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and pour chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. This helps keep the meat moist, as you will baste the breast with it throughout the baking process. It also means you’ll have flavorful broth with which to make gravy after! Bake, basting every 20 minutes, until it reaches 155º degrees with an instant read thermometer, about 60-70 minutes. Then take it out and cover it to let the temperature continue to climb up to 165ºF.
Now it’s time to slice and serve!
How to Slice a Stuffed Turkey Breast
It is easiest to slice a stuffed turkey breast with a sharp serrated knife, such as a large bread knife. You can keep the stuffed breast tied up while you slice it, and then cut off the twine before serving.
What Temperature to Cook a Turkey Breast
The secret to a perfectly cooked juicy turkey breast is to not overcook it! Breast meat is pretty lean, so if it is overcooked it will taste dry and bland. As all meat does, the stuffed turkey breast will continue to cook after it has been removed from the oven.
We always suggest using an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of meat, and this should be removed from the oven at 155º. Once the turkey has been pulled out, cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow it to rest. This let’s the turkey finish cooking to 165º and lets all the juices reincorporate in the breast.
Sides to Serve with this Stuffed Turkey Breast
- Classic Mashed Potatoes (Paleo + Vegan)
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecans
- Healthy Creamed Spinach (Made Without Cream!)
- Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
And don’t forget the gravy! Check out this post for how to make gravy with and without drippings. Though let’s be real, it’s much better with the drippings!
Planning to have leftovers? Check out these recipes:
- 3-4 lb. boneless turkey breast roast
- 2-½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium (12 oz.) sweet potato, peeled and diced fine
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon dijon
- 2-¼ cup chicken or turkey broth, divided
- 1/2 bunch (2 cups) kale, cleaned, removed from stem and sliced thin
- Place turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Carefully, slice parallel through the thickest part of the breast, but not all the way through. Unfold the turkey so it lays flat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform ¾” thickness. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 24 in the refrigerator. If its brined and refrigerated make sure to bring it back to room temperature before baking.
- Meanwhile, make filling: Heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. Add in butter, garlic and sweet potato, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sweet potato is tender. Add in thyme, sage, dijon, ¼ cup broth and kale and cool until wilted down and all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 375 and set aside a 9”x13” roasting pan.
- Pat the turkey breast dry. Spread the slightly cooled kale mixtureinto the middle of the breast, leaving a 1” border all around the edge of the breast. Starting with one short end that does not have the skin underneath, roll into a tight log and completely enclose the filling. Turn the now stuffed turkey breast seam side down and smooth over the skin in the middle of the breast as best as possible. Next tie up the stuffed breast with butcher’s twine evenly in 5 places. Place inside a roasting pan.
- Dry off the skin and rub all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and pour chicken/turkey broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Bake, basting every 20 minutes, until it reaches 155º degrees with an instant read thermometer, about 60-70 minutes. Let rest, slightly covered for 10-15 minutes, to let the temperature continue to climb up to 165ºF.
- Slice and serve with your favorite side dishes.
- This serves at least 6, if you would like to increase the serving size double the recipe and make 2 turkey breasts.