Pancetta-wrapped turkey breast with herby lemon & pine nut stuffing

Pancetta-wrapped turkey breast with herby lemon & pine nut stuffing

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(19 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs


Serves 6-8, plus leftovers
No need for impressive carving skills with this easy-to-serve dish with creamy gravy

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen uncooked


  • kcal850
  • fat43.5g
  • saturates16.2g
  • carbs18.6g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre1g
  • protein96g
  • salt2.96g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 20 rashers pancetta (2 x 70g/2oz packs) or thinly sliced streaky bacon



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 3kg 6lbs 8oz butterflied turkey breast (see know-how below)



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

For the stuffing

  • 25g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 140g pack pancetta cubes or bacon lardons



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 50g pine nut
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 25g pack sage, leaves only, roughly chopped



    Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…

  • zest 2 lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 x 20g/1oz packs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 100g coarse white breadcrumb
  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

For the gravy

  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. First prepare the stuffing. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, then soften the onion without colouring for 10 mins. Tip into a bowl. Add the pancetta or bacon to the pan, fry for 5 mins until golden, then add the pine nuts, garlic, sage and lemon zest. Fry for 1 min more until fragrant and the pine nuts are starting to brown. Stir in the chopped parsley. Tip into the bowl with the onions, then bind with the crumbs, egg and seasoning.

  2. Butter and season a sheet of turkey foil or use 2 sheets of foil crimped together to make a sheet about 50 x 60cm. Lay five long pieces of string over the foil like rungs of a ladder, ready to tie the breast together. Arrange the pancetta or bacon in a lattice over the middle of the foil, on top of the string.

  3. Open out the butterflied breast, skin-side down, and slash each side several times. Cover with cling film and bash with a rolling pin until the meat is about 5cm thick all over. Trim the sides so that you have a roughly rectangular shape (but be careful not to cut the skin). Lift onto the pancetta, then fill any gaps with the trimmings. Season, then press the stuffing along the middle of the joint. Pull up the sides at one end, tucking in the short end, then tie the string tightly so that the stuffing is encased. Repeat with all the strings. Wrap up tightly in the foil, then turn the roll over so that the pancetta is on the top. Can be left in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  4. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Sit the joint in a roasting tin and roast for 40 mins per kg or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out very hot and the juices run clear. Unwrap for the last 10 mins of cooking.

  5. Lift the joint onto a board and leave to rest, covered, for at least 10 mins. For the gravy, heat the tin on the hob, then splash in the wine and any juices. Reduce by half, then add the stock and repeat. Pour in the cream and bubble to a slightly reduced sauce. Season to taste, then stir in the parsley.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
22nd Dec, 2016
Excellent recipe! I coudn`t get a big turkey breast so i did 2 smaller ones and it was a huge success at the christmas dinner with friends! One thing i did different was i marinated the meat in white wine, salt, pepper and lemons overnight and I didn`t make the gravy.The stuffing was delicious!! I admit it was a bit complicated to tie over the bacon but it was totally worth the trouble! Definitely will make again!
6th Apr, 2015
Great recipe, tasted lovely. Would recommend a bit more stuffing even if it does not all fit, it tastes just as great as a side, really impressed!!!
13th Jan, 2013
Was well received by my guests and have done it again and froze it for later. It was more difficult than I thought and needed more stuffing.
3rd Jan, 2013
Made this for Xmas dinner 2012. Very nice, lovely fresh stuffing and pine nuts added a nutty crunch. Didn't make the gravy as I used Jamie's turkey gravy recipe as usual. This turkey recipe will go into my Xmas folder to be made again!
20th Dec, 2012
Can't wait to try this for Christmas dinner in 5 days time! Really thankful for all the previous comments where folks suggest freezing it ready to cook on the day as my bird is vacu-packed with a use by date of 28th.... I just don't like the thought of poultry meat that old!!! ;-) Will rate when we've eaten it!
17th Dec, 2012
Made this a couple of years ago and thought I would do it again and this time have done more stuffing it was well received last time so hopefully will be this time serving it early February so it is now in the freezer
20th Oct, 2012
I made this for Christmas last year, but instead of the pine nut stuffing used the recipe for "cranberry & sausagemeat" stuffing (minus the chestnuts). It was delicious.
30th Dec, 2011
Had ordered a turkey crown about 2 months ago and when we went to collect it on Wednesday before Christmas, I was faced with turkey breasts. I was very disappointed and couldn't think what to do. I put turkey breast into the search engine and came up with this recipe. What a life-saver. It looked just like the picture and sliced perfectly. The taste was superb. Thank you
15th Dec, 2011
Can the stuffing be cooked separately. ?
3rd Oct, 2011
I made this for Sunday lunch this week. We were 15 so I did 2 joints - it was delicious and i got lots of positive comments. I think i will make a pie with the leftovers!


8th Nov, 2018
Has anyone ever tired this in a slow cooker? How well would it/did it work?
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?