Thanksgiving Dinner: Roasted Turkey Roulade

Last year I watched The Barefoot Contessa  put together a Thanksgiving dinner, the main course being a turkey roulade. There were only three of us that year so I thought I'd try something other than a whole turkey. I couldn't remember what she did about gravy, so I made the one I've been making for years. You can find the recipe HERE (It's worth taking a look as it's partially made the day before, an amazing time saver.). I also served two cranberry sauces; I posted them HERE. Along with the turkey, I made Ina's Rosemary Roasted Potatoes. They were fabulous. I'll post that recipe next week, along with Mashed Rutabega and Crispy Shallots.  And for the grand finale, I made my Pumpkin Flan

After this dinner, there were some happy campers and the leftovers were terrific!  I do love Ina, don't you?

Roasted Turkey Roulade

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small pan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don't mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center. (Test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving.


  1. A scrumptious roulade! Great stuffing.



  2. I am truly happy for this recipe. If you and Ina like it, it's for me. There will only be four of us this year and a breast is all we really need. I hate having to deal with a turkey carcass after all the cooking and good fellowship--problem solved.


  3. I love Ina too and I love your stuffed turkey Barbara. What a chic Thanksgiving entree.

  4. I'm still trying to decide what to do this Thanksgiving, if it turns out we don't have many people, this is definitely an option!

  5. Thought id say hello while passing your blog by, and i hope you folks have a very nice weekend. We are maybe a little past fall peek colors for taking pictures of our tree's here in central Pennsylvania, but ill try anyway to go out one last time to snap some images. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon Pennsylvania.

  6. I do adore Ina, and that looks fabulous... even to someone who dislikes turkey in general!

  7. Looks fantastic! What a great idea to make a roulade.

  8. Tender and juicy! I love the roulade.

  9. Ina is the best. If I were in charge I'd have put her as #1 on the 50 Women Game Changers! This is the best looking turkey I've ever seen, no kidding. And pumpkin flan? I could be your fourth this year!

  10. Now, this is one fantastic dinner that I & my hubby would totaly digg!!! I love stuffed food anyway & this turkey looks big & juicy & filled with the right ingredients too!

    I am so going to make this festive feast for the eyes & moth!!

  11. Beautifully done, and very impressive to behold! What a fantastic Thanksgiving main!
    *kisses* HH

  12. This would be a great recipe for a smaller gathering! It sounds delectable!

  13. The whole meal is calling my name. What a welcoming meal this is.

    The roulade is a better idea than a whole turkey, in my opinion. Even with more people, I would prefer to make a few.

  14. You have made everything sound delicious. I have to check out, the other recipes you made with the roulade.

  15. it looks really good! and I love that it has cranberries on it

  16. Dear Barbara, This looks beautiful!! I would love to try something like this. It is just my two kids and myself but they want the drumsticks and legs. This would be good to try for a birthday celebration or another festive occasion. Blessings and thank you for stopping by, Catherine xo

  17. This looks just gorgeous! I love the breast meat from turkey, so man, I am just loving the idea of this roulade! Great recipe ... great post!

  18. Looks beautiful Barbara.

  19. I WISH my parents would do something interesting like a roulade for thanksgiving! That stuffing sounds delicious!

  20. I adore Ina! Thanks for sharing this wonderful meal.

  21. oh man, this makes me so excited for thanksgiving, it looks wonderful!

  22. Marion and I have been "hemming and hawing" about what to do for Thanksgiving for days now. Your roulade just may be the answer. Love the dressing/filling!

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara...

  23. Yes, I do love Ina. I have never been disappointed in any of her recipes.

    Your Thanksgiving meal sounds amazing.


  24. What a lovely result! I have roulade envy! I have great intentions of being this creative in the kitchen, and crave that beautiful swirl, but when it comes time to cook, I tend to "chicken out."

  25. This roulade looks wonderful Barbara! I would love to try it but my traditional family would rebel! I can't get them to embrace change. Sigh.

  26. Roulades are such a great idea for entertaining since they're gorgeous when sliced through. Yours is really impressive!

  27. How fantastic, Barbara! Love that you added figs to this. Delish! :-)

  28. Yes, I do love Ina and can always count on her recipes. Your dinner is beautiful, Barbara. This turkey roulade is perfect for a small dinner party where a whole turkey is just too much.

  29. YES!! i DO love Ina - her recipes ALWAYS work and are spot on! Barbara, i'd be a happy camper if i had enjoyed that dinner at your house too - wow!!

  30. This is so lovely and elegant. I remember seeing her make this on TV. I really love Ina Garten--it's definitely my favorite Food Network show by far.

  31. good ol' ina. leave it to her to provide such a classy yet doable turkey recipe!

  32. Oh, my, this looks amazing. I love all the elements of that roulade stuffing. Ina is to be trusted for creativity and wonderful results. Change, at Thanksgiving, can be so good. I'd love to try your pumpkin flan.



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