This year for Thanksgiving, try my Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing! Roasting a whole turkey can be quite daunting, so I always prefer to make something smaller like this one.
It takes just 1 hour or less to cook in the oven, and it’s also make-ahead friendly. You can assemble it the night before and just pop it in the oven the day of. This will make Thanksgiving dinner prep a breeze!
If you have a small crowd or just want to change it up this year, you’ll love this Turkey Roulade recipe for Thanksgiving dinner!
Cooking a turkey roulade takes just 1 hour or less in the oven, and it always turns out moist and delicious. The key to keeping it moist and extra flavorful is rubbing it with seasoned butter, which is a similar technique I use in my Dutch oven chicken recipe.
The filling is a very simple stuffing. I use boxed stuffing, which I elevate using Italian sausage, onions, and celery. I know plain boxed stuffing can sometimes taste bland, but you don’t have to worry about any of that here!
Here’s the best part: It’s completely make-ahead friendly! Assemble the entire thing the day before and just pop it in the oven the next day.
If you’re looking for more easy turkey breast recipes, try my favorite Slow Cooker Turkey Breast or Brined Roast Turkey Breast recipes. To change it up, give my Brown Sugar Glazed Ham a try – it’s a showstopper!
Why we love this easy turkey roulade recipe:
- Keep it simple: This is a great option if you’re hosting Thanksgiving for a smaller crowd or just want to keep everything simple this year.
- Easier and faster than roasting a whole turkey. It takes just 1 hour or less in the oven.
- Make-ahead friendly: Assemble the night before and pop it in the oven the next day. It’s super simple.
- The sausage stuffing filling is very easy to make. I use boxed stuffing and elevate it with a few add-ins. It takes just 10 minutes to make.
- Moist and so delicious! The turkey is slathered with flavored butter before it goes into the oven to keep it extra moist and delicious.
This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients. Here are a few notes on the ingredients, which I hope will be helpful when you make your shopping list. As always, the quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card below.
- Boneless turkey breast: Look for “boneless turkey breast roast” or “boneless turkey breast.” They are usually about 3 to 4 pounds. Make sure it’s boneless because deboning turkey breast can be quite tedious. I use the Butterball brand, and also like Jennie O. Most already come in a brine solution, which is perfect to keep it moist.
- Unsalted butter: Butter keeps lean meats moist and flavorful.
- Seasoning: Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Boxed stuffing mix: Use your favorite brand (I like Pepperidge Farm brand). Most stuffing mixes come in 6-ounce boxes.
- Italian sausage: I use mild Italian sausage, casings removed.
- Onions and celery: The aromatic vegetable base. It adds depth and texture to the stuffing.
- Chicken broth: Adjust the amount based on your preferred stuffing consistency.
Believe it or not, making a turkey roulade is very easy! You need about 30 minutes of prep time, and about 1 hour of cook time. Here’s how to make it.
Step 1 | Prepare sausage stuffing
In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the Italian sausage until browned, breaking it into crumbles. Push the sausage to the side. Then, in the same skillet, melt the butter, and sauté the diced onions and celery until softened, about 6 minutes. Incorporate the cooked sausage with the veggies.
Add the stuffing mix and chicken broth until it’s moist. I usually add a few additional splashes for extra moisture to prevent it from drying out in the oven.
Step 2 | Butterfly turkey breast
To butterfly the turkey breast, lay it flat on a cutting board and carefully slice it in half horizontally, starting from the longer end. Cut the breast open, stopping about ¾ inch before reaching the other end. Open it like a book.
Then, place plastic wrap on top. Using a meat mallet, pound it thin to about a ½ inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3 | Assemble
Evenly spread the prepared sausage stuffing over the turkey, leaving a ½ inch border around the edges. Depending on how large the turkey breast is, you may not need all the stuffing.
Carefully roll it tightly, starting from the longer end. Tie with kitchen twine at intervals, making sure it’s snug.
Step 4 | Butter and cook
Make a mixture of softened butter, salt, pepper, and spices. Rub the assembled roulade with half of the butter mixture, saving the rest for later. This is key to keeping it extra flavorful and moist.
Transfer to a baking pan and cook in the oven for a total of 50 to 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in the center. 15 minutes before the cook time is up, melt the remaining butter and drizzle it over the turkey, and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F – this will help with browning. For additional browning, broil for a few minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Make Ahead Tips
You can assemble the entire roulade the day before and simply bake it the next day. It’s that simple and easy!
Here’s how to make it ahead: Assemble as directed (wait for the sausage stuffing to cool down completely first). Then, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to bake the next day. 1 hour prior, take it out of the fridge so it’s not so cold. Then, cook in the oven as directed, adding an extra few minutes if needed.
Prep ahead: You can also prep a few ingredients ahead. The stuffing can be made up to 2 days ahead. The turkey breast can be butterflied 1 day ahead.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in a sealed container, or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Elevate Boxed Stuffing
To keep this recipe simple, I start with boxed stuffing and elevate it so it’s extra delicious. I’ve had my fair share of bland out of the box stuffing, and that’s NOT happening here!
To transform stuffing, all you have to do is add a few of your favorite ingredients to the mix. This cuts down prep time significantly. It’s perfect for the roulade!
Of course, if you want to get fancy and make everything from scratch, you can use a smaller batch of my favorite Cornbread Stuffing or your favorite stuffing recipe for the filling.
Here are my favorite mix-ins:
- Protein: Sausage (this is what we use here), bacon, pancetta, or turkey bacon.
- Veggies: Onions, celery, and garlic are my go-to veggie base additions. Mushrooms are also a great addition.
- Add fruits: Either fresh or dried, such as diced apples, pears, dried cranberries, or raisins.
- Herbs: Pack the stuffing with extra herbs, such as fresh Italian parsley, rosemary, or thyme.
Pairing and Serving Ideas
If you’re making more than one main dish, I’d also recommend this gorgeous Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.
As for my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to serve with this recipe:
You don’t have to, as most already come with some sort of brining solution. Cooking a boneless turkey breast takes only 1 hour and cooks pretty evenly, so there’s no big risk of drying out as long as you don’t overcook it. However, if you want to brine it, that’s totally fine – use the same brine in my roasted turkey breast recipe.
For this recipe, you’ll need boneless breast. If you can only find bone-in, you can try de-boning it, but I personally find it difficult and tedious to do.
You definitely need a meat mallet and plastic wrap to pound the turkey breast thin. You also need kitchen twine to tie the assembled roulade. Additionally, I’d recommend a sharp knife and a 9×13 inch baking pan.
My favorite add-ins are celery, onions, and garlic (for the vegetable base), diced apples, raisins or dried cranberries, mushrooms, and fresh herbs.
This recipe was originally published in 2020 and updated in November 2023 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- Aim for an even thickness when butterflying the turkey breast to ensure uniform cooking throughout, about ½ inch thick.
- Securely tie the roulade with kitchen twine. This helps maintain the shape, keeps the stuffing in place, and ensures an even cook.
- The keys to keeping the meat moist are to slather it with butter, and also to not overcook it. For a 3-pound boneless turkey breast, 45 to 55 minutes should be enough – always check for doneness using an instant read thermometer. It should read 165 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. This ensures the juices redistribute, keeping the meat moist.
Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing
- 1 3-pound skinless boneless turkey breast
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ pound Italian sausage - casings removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup chicken broth - plus more as needed
- 1 (6-ounce) box herb stuffing mix - I use Pepperidge Farm brand
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the stuffing
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into crumbles. Push it to one side of the skillet.
- In the same skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the onions and celery for about 5 minutes. Incorporate the cooked sausage with the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the stuffing mix, along with about 1 cup of broth. Gradually stir in the broth until moist. If needed, add more broth.
Butterfly the turkey
- Lay the turkey breast flat on a cutting board and carefully slice it in half horizontally, keeping the knife parallel to the board. Cut the breast open, stopping about ¾ inch before reaching the other end. Open the turkey breast like a "book."
- Place plastic wrap on top and, using a meat mallet, pound it to about a ½ inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper (about ¼ teaspoon each).
- Spread the prepared stuffing over the flattened turkey breast, leaving about a ⅓ inch border around the edges. Depending on how large the turkey breast is, you may not need all the stuffing.
- Carefully roll the turkey tightly, starting from the longer end. Make sure it’s snug. Tie it with kitchen twine at intervals until tightly secured. Transfer to a baking pan.
Rub with butter and cook
- In a bowl, mix the softened butter with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Slather the prepared turkey all over with half of the butter. Reserve the rest of the butter for later).
- Cook in the preheated oven for about 55 to 60 minutes. During the last 20 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and drizzle the remaining melted butter (melt the butter in the microwave oven for a few seconds) over the turkey.
- The turkey is done with a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 degrees F.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes. Remove the kitchen twine, slice, and serve. Enjoy!
- Turkey breast: Look for “boneless turkey breast roast” or something similar. They are usually about 3 pounds. Make sure it’s boneless because deboning it can be tedious.
- Don’t overcook to prevent the meat from drying out. Cook time depends on the size, but generally, a 3-pound turkey breast should take about 45 to 55 minutes.
- Make ahead: Assemble the day before as directed (wait for the stuffing to cool down completely first). Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next day, remove and discard the wrap, and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes so it’s not so cold. Cook in the oven as directed, adding an extra few minutes if needed, until it reaches 165 degrees F in the center.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in containers for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Favorite add-ins: Bacon, apples, nuts, mushrooms.