This Roasted Turkey Porchetta is a simple yet sophisticated turkey breast rolled with fresh chopped herbs, perfect for Thanksgiving.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Turkey Farmers of Canada. All images and opinions expressed are solely my own.
This year, Thanksgiving will look a little different. And that's OK. Typically, we celebrate with my parents when they're in town -- but it will be just our immediate family this time around.
In past years when we lived in Edmonton, Thanksgiving would not be complete without a deep fried turkey and all the fixings.
However, since it will just be the four of us, I wanted to do a smaller, simple, straightforward turkey recipe.
And simple doesn't mean it lacks flavour.
Case in point: my Roasted Turkey Porchetta.
I really love this Roasted Turkey Porchetta because it is juicy, herbaceous and flavourful, yet it has that crispy skin and is relatively lean.
What is a porchetta?
This recipe is inspired by an Italian porchetta. Traditionally, a porchetta is a savoury boneless pork roast, stuffed with herbs, and has a crisp exterior.
Choosing the right cut of turkey
My version of Roasted Turkey Porchetta features a boneless turkey breast with the skin still attached.
Due to turkey being a lean protein, it's best to choose turkey breast with the skin on for this recipe. The skin crisps up in the oven and helps to trap in the juices from the meat.
Ingredients you'll need
- turkey breast: choose boneless and skin-on
- fresh herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary -- chopped. Fresh is recommended, as it will impart the best flavour to the meat
- garlic: crushed and finely minced
- fennel seeds: if you don't have it, you can omit
- red pepper flakes: omit if you don't like spicy
- panko breadcrumbs: adds a little body to the herb filling
- lemon zest: adds some bright flavour
- salt & black pepper: fine sea salt and cracked black pepper will work great
- vegetable oil: used for pan-searing the turkey roast
Prepare the herb filling
Chop the fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).
Mince the garlic.
Crush the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle.
Place the herbs, garlic, crushed fennel seeds and red pepper flakes into a bowl.
Add in the panko breadcrumbs and lemon zest, give it a stir and set aside.
How to prepare the turkey porchetta
Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a sturdy surface.
Place the turkey breast skin-side down and place another large piece of plastic wrap over top.
Use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat until it's about ½" in thickness.
Season the surface of the turkey with about 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
Sprinkle the herb filling over top of the turkey.
Tightly roll up the turkey and use butcher's twine to tie and secure the meat in 1" increments.
Season the exterior with the remaining ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
Wrap the turkey up in aluminum foil or parchment paper and transfer it onto a baking/roasting tray. Place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
Searing & roasting
Remove the turkey from the fridge at least 20-30 minutes prior to roasting.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Unwrap the turkey.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil.
Sear the turkey roast, about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Place into the roasting pan and roast the turkey porchetta for 35-50 minutes at 400°F, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers at least 165°F.
Remove the turkey porchetta and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Simple & sophisticated
This Roasted Turkey Porchetta is a great way to impress your family with a delicious roast.
It's tender, juicy and full of flavour. I personally enjoy the mixture of herbs with the savoury meat.
I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving with close family!
Other turkey recipes
For more ways to enjoy turkey, check out these recipes (which would be great as appetizers):
Turkey & Cheese Puff Pastry Roll Ups
Let me know if you try out this Roasted Turkey Porchetta recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Roasted Turkey Porchetta
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- ¼ C fresh sage chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds crushed
- ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes crushed
- ¼ C panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 lb turkey breast boneless, skin on
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Prepare the herb filling:
- Chop the sage, thyme, and rosemary.
- Mince the garlic.
- Crush the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle.
- Place the herbs, garlic, crushed fennel seeds and red pepper flakes into a bowl.
- Add in the panko breadcrumbs and lemon zest, give it a stir and set aside.
Prepare the turkey breast:
- Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a sturdy surface.
- Place the turkey breast skin-side down and add another large piece of plastic wrap over top.
- Use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat evenly until it’s about ½″ in thickness throughout. Remove the plastic wrap.
- Season the surface of the turkey with about 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Massage the salt and pepper into the meat.
- Sprinkle the herb filling over top of the meat.
- Tightly roll up the turkey and use butcher’s twine to tie and secure the meat in 1″ increments.
- Season the exterior with the remaining ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Wrap the turkey up in aluminum foil or parchment paper and transfer it onto a baking/roasting tray. Place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
Sear and roast the turkey porchetta:
- Remove the turkey from the fridge at least 20-30 minutes prior to roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C.
- Unwrap the turkey.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet and add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
- Sear the turkey roast on each side, about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Place the seared turkey back onto the roasting tray and roast the turkey porchetta for 35-50 minutes at 400°F/204°C, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers at least 165°F/74°C.
- Remove the turkey porchetta and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for the ultimate Thanksgiving meal.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
David @ Spiced
What a cool idea to make porchetta using turkey! I love the way it's stuffed with fresh herbs, and I know this would be an awesome main course for a smaller Thanksgiving celebration. I agree that the holidays are going to be different this year. That's ok, though. There have been some silver linings along the way this year, and discovering fun new recipes (like this turkey porchetta!) has been one of them. Thanks for sharing, my friend!
Thanks David, definitely Thanksgiving this year will be different, but we can still enjoy good homecooked food!
Our Thanksgiving gathering is small this year too. It’s only the two of us but we love turkey. A full turkey is just way too much food for us, so this recipe is perfect! Also, Michelle, your presentation is lovely. Just looking at your photos is getting me excited for Thanksgiving!
Thank so much Leanne! Yes, a full turkey would be a lot for 2 people! But this is a great way to feed a smaller crowd, yet retain that festive feel 🙂
That sounds absolutely delicious! I love porchetta so much so this is great!
Thanks Christie! It's perfect for smaller feasting 🙂
Michelle, this looks stunning. Loved the golden color on turkey and your presentation is amazing.
Thanks so much Rahul!
Easy to follow recipe for a small family of four during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Did a trial run for the recipe before Thanksgiving and work out well. Bravo!
Amazing, glad to hear it! 🙂
Look so perfect for this Christmas celebration. Might use pork instead of turkey due to limited supply of turkey.