Roast turkey & cranberry wellington

Roast turkey & cranberry wellington

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs

A challenge

Serves 8

A festive twist on the classic British dish of beef wellington, rich with chestnuts and stuffing

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 1x2-2½ kg/4lb 8oz-5lb 8oz turkey breast, skin removed



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

  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 16-20 thin rashers rindless streaky bacon
  • 450g puff pastry, home-made or bought
  • flour, for dusting



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 1 egg, beaten



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

For the stuffing

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



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

  • knob of butter



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

  • 350g turkey trimmings (from breast)



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

  • 225g pork sausage, skinned
  • 2 eggs



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

  • 150g dried cranberry, chopped


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 150g unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumb

For the sauce

  • 25g butter, plus extra for the shallots



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

  • 50g shallot or onions, sliced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 tbsp honey



    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 400ml red wine (about ½ bottle)
  • 300ml water or chicken stock made with 1/8 stock cube
  • 1 heaped tsp plain flour


  1. Trim the turkey breast. Its natural shape does not suit the rolled and wrapped wellington. The thicker neck end can first be trimmed to establish a more cylindrical shape. Trimmings from 2kg/4lb 8oz breasts and upwards, will be enough for the 350g/12oz needed for stuffing. Once trimmed, tie the breast with a 2cm/1in gap between each loop of string, to give a rounded shape.

  2. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large frying pan or roasting tray. Season the turkey before pan frying until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and cool. The breast can now be refrigerated to firm up before removing the string.

  3. Make the stuffing: cook the onions in a knob of butter for a few minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Roughly chop the turkey trimmings before blitzing in a food processor until smooth. Add sausages and continue to blitz for 30-40 seconds until mixed in. Season and add the eggs. These can be blitzed into the meat for a further minute until the texture thickens.

  4. Spoon the stuffing into a large bowl. Mix in the onions and remaining stuffing ingredients along with extra seasoning, if desired. The stuffing can now be chilled while the bacon and pastry are prepared.

  5. The streaky bacon needs to be rolled thinner. This extends the length of the rashers helping them to wrap around the turkey and stuffing. The easiest method to follow is to lay 3-5 rashers between two sheets of cling film and press with a rolling pin as if rolling pastry. The rashers will easily thin and extend this way. Peel away the top layer of film and remove the rashers and put on a tray. Repeat until all rashers are pressed. Chill until needed.

  6. Roll the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle approximately 45 x 35cm/18 x 14in. The rashers of bacon can be laid on top of the pastry, leaving a 3-4cm/1½in border all round. Slightly overlap the rashers as they are laid on the pastry (you'll need about 14-15 rashers).

  7. Spread the cranberry stuffing over the bacon, first mixing it well if it is chilled and set. Keep back a few heaped tablespoons. Remove the string from the turkey and lay the breast lengthwise and presentation side down on top of the stuffing. The reserved stuffing can now be spread along the centre top of the turkey. Lift 4-5 rashers at a time and press them against the breast. Continue until all the rashers on both sides have been lifted and pressed. The remaining rashers can now be laid lengthwise along the top, covering the stuffing that was spread there.

  8. Bring one long side of the pastry up and over the turkey. Brush the other long side with beaten egg, along the 3-4cm/1½in border, then seal. Brush both ends with beaten egg and fold up to seal in all the ingredients. Turn the wellington so that the presentation side is up and put on a lightly oiled baking tray, or one covered with greased parchment. Chill.

  9. To cook the wellington: preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/170C in a fan assisted convection oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes maximum. After 45 minutes, brush the wellington with egg to help colour the pastry. For the most golden of finishes, brush again before the last 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 15-20 minutes before lifting carefully on to a carving board with two large fish slices.

  10. While the Wellington is baking the sauce can be made: melt a knob of butter in a pan, once bubbling add the shallots or onions and cook on a medium high heat until a rich deep golden colour. Add the honey and continue to cook for a few minutes until bubbling and almost caramelising. At this point add the red wine vinegar and red wine. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Add the water or stock and return to simmer. Mix the flour with 25g/1oz butter. Whisk into the sauce a little at a time until completely whisked in. Return the sauce to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking for a few minutes. Strain through a sieve and season. Slice the wellington and serve with noisette potatoes and buttered Brussels sprouts.

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Comments, questions and tips

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27th Jan, 2014
Made this with a left over turkey breast and followed recipe to the tee. It was delicious! The only deviation was that I cooked the butter and flour a little in a new pan for the sauce and then whisked in the reduced liquid. And it was beautiful. A big effort but well worth it.
19th Dec, 2012
We have this Wellington every christmas and everyone loves it. The leftovers are great for buffets too...if you manage to save any!!! The gravy is also fab as a cold sauce with the leftovers.
14th Sep, 2012
I'm planning on doing this for christmas. Wish Grodath had said why they've only given 1* as that's a low mark without any comment.
4th Sep, 2012
I remember seeing this on TV a few years ago, and so decided to make the soup from the programme and the turkey wellington. The ingredients were expensive to buy, the wellington was time-consuming to make and the result was very disappointing. I made it following the recipe to the letter, but instead we had a horrible Christmas dinner. The shallot and wine gravy was just like pouring sweet wine over the meat. I haven't trusted anything from Gary Rhodes since. So thanks, Gary, for ruining a Christmas for us.
16th Dec, 2011
Once I saw Gary preparing this dish on tv. Just great. Bought the magazine and since then it has been our Christmas classic diner. Everone loves it.!!!
27th Nov, 2011
this recipe has become our family choice for turkey at christmas. It's soo much better than a whole bird. The breast stays as moist as you could ever want and when cold, its perfect with all the pickles etc on boxing day! Prepare the day before and christmas dinner will only take an hour or so, so more time for the presents!
21st Dec, 2009
This is a fantastic recipe, everyone loves it. I even substitute quorn and make a vegetarian version which is also delish
13th Dec, 2007
try making the stuffing with a tin of chestnut puree instead of the turkey trimmings, it's delicious.
13th Dec, 2007
I made this kind of recipe with chicken before but with different stuffing and my family loves it, now upon seeing this recipe i gonna try it with turkey this time for Christmas. Looking forward to it... it looks so appetizing!
26th Nov, 2007
I made this recipe a few years ago when it first came out in the Good Food Magazine everyone loved it. It was a little fiddly to make but well worth the effort. I have been looking for this recipe for ages as I am currently living in Bermuda and would love to make it again. Thank you so much for giving me the chance. (Fantastic recipe Gary)


3rd Apr, 2015
I've made this recipe many times and it's perfect, so much so that I made two last time and froze one. I'm now defrosting it for Easter, is it safe to re-heat this or should I just slice it cold for the buffet
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Apr, 2015
Hi suemoss1, thanks for getting in touch, we're probably too late for you this time however if you do decide to make it again we would advise that you freeze the wellington before baking, defrost in the fridge and then cook once defrosted for best results. 
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