A roulade is an exciting dinner recipe that never disappoints. Turkey Roulade with Apple-Cranberry Stuffing and a Bacon Weave is perfect for holidays and entertaining!
Sometimes an occasion calls for a special dinner recipe. One that’s perfect for entertaining guest, for a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or just to elevate a regular dinner.
Turkey Roulade with Apple Cranberry Stuffing in a Bacon Weave is just that.
Usually my M.O. is to serve up easy recipes with big flavor.
There are times when a bit more time yields an end result that’s worth the extra time taken.
That is definitely the case with a roulade.
A roulade is a unique dish that won’t soon be forgotten and lets your diners know you care.
Don’t be afraid by the length of the recipe; I promise it’s worth it!
What is a Roulade?
A roulade (pronouned roo-lahd) is a dish that is cooked in the form of a roll. It can be savory or sweet.
A roulade is stuffed with something between the rolls too.
The exciting thing about a roulade, besides a great combination of flavors, is its appearance.
When the roll is cut, the slices are served. They create a wonderful visual of the roll.
What is Turkey Roulade?
A turkey roulade is a deboned, butterflied turkey breast, pounded to an even thickness; then lined with stuffing and rolled into round roll, usually tied with twine and roasted.
When the roulade is done, horizontal slices are taken with turkey and stuffing as one.
When it is cut, elegant and unexpected spiral slices are revealed.
They are so eye-catching on the plate and really combine two holiday meal favorites into one!
Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Adding Apple Cranberry Stuffing to this roulade recipe takes the flavors up a notch. Sweet, tart, comforting stuffing pair perfectly with the turkey.
Unlike regular stuffing recipes which are cooked on their own, the stuffing for the roulade is prepared and cooked with the turkey.
It allows the flavors to blend beautifully and shortens the overall meal preparation time.
Panko Crumbs: Gluten-Free and Gluten options
The stuffing may be made with either traditional wheat panko crumbs or gluten-free panko crumbs.
The absorbency of each may differ. Follow the instructions and Notes if you are making a gluten version with wheat panko crumbs.
Special Trick for Apple Cranberry Stuffing
This apple cranberry stuffing is made with dried cranberries.
The great thing about this is dried cranberries are available all year so this recipes can be made at any time!
The dried cranberries are soaked in heated orange juice!
This softens them for a plump tasty element in the stuffing. It also infuses orange flavor into the cranberries as they plump up.
Timesaving Tip for Apple Cranberry Stuffing
I use a mini chopper whenever I can.
To make preparation of apple cranberry stuffing even easier, use a mini chopper to chop the apple, celery and onion!
Taking the Roulade Up a Notch: Adding a Bacon Weave
I love using a bacon weave in grilling projects. Why use a bacon weave on this roulade?
- Creates an impressive lattice appearance for great presentation
- Infuses bacon flavor into the roulade
- Helps keep the lean turkey breast moister by sealing the roulade so the turkey isn’t directly exposed in cooking potentially drying it out
- And who doesn’t love bacon?!
How to Make a Bacon Weave
Strips of bacon are laid out horizontally with additional strips woven through, making a pork mat.
Both for flavor and appearance, I love to use it when I can.
This tutorial goes into more detail on how to make one: Everything you need to know about a Bacon Weave (including step-by-step photos)!
Chef’s Notes on Making the Turkey Roulade
This recipe is prepared in four main steps:
- starting with making the stuffing in a skillet,
- creating the bacon weave,
- stuffing the turkey breast, and
- rolling it all together to cook.
Preparing the Turkey Breast for the Roulade
I recommend having your butcher prepare the turkey breast.
The recipe requires a deboned and butterflied turkey breast meaning the bone is removed and the breast is cut so it can be rolled into one solid piece.
Meat counters at most stores have attendants who can do this for you.
Stores like Whole Foods have experienced staff in butchery and will know exactly what you need.
There is a video link in the instructions should you wish to debone and butterfly the turkey breast yourself.
How Long does it Take to Prepare the Roulade?
It takes approximately 30 minutes to make the stuffing, create the bacon weave and roll the turkey roulade together for cooking.
How Long Does the Roulade Cook?
The cooking time is low and slow requiring about 1 ½ hours plus 5 minutes to crisp up the bacon under the broiler.
Special Trick: No Tying of the Roulade
Normally a roulade is secured with kitchen twine before cooking.
Instead in this recipe foil and parchment paper are placed down first followed by the bacon weave.
The turkey roulade is assembled, placed on the bacon weave for final rolling.
The parchment paper and foil fully enclose the roulade and the foil ends are sealed to keep it in place while cooking without twine.
Supplies for Making this Roulade recipe
- Parchment Paper
- Heavy Foil
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Meat tenderizer or rolling pin
- Baking sheet
- Cooling rack that fits the baking sheet
- Kitchen Shears
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Turkey Roulade with Apple-Cranberry Stuffing in a Bacon Weave
Ingredients for Apple-Cranberry Stuffing:
- ¼ cup Orange Juice
- ½ cup Sweetened Dried Cranberries
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ½ medium Yellow Onion , peeled and finely chopped
- 1 ½ large Celery Stalks , finely chopped
- 1 large Garlic Clove , minced
- ½ large Granny Smith Apple , peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh Thyme leaves , diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh Sage leaves , diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian Parsley leaves , diced
- ½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs (I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Panko Crumbs)
- ¼-½ cup Chicken Broth* (see Notes below)
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
Ingredients for the Roulade:
- 1 full Turkey Breast , skinless, deboned and butterflied (6-8 pound breast before removing skin and bone; net weight of the skinless, boneless breast should be 1 ½ to 2 pounds)
- 1 package thick center-cut Smoked Bacon
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- Parchment paper
- Heavy duty Foil
Instructions for making the Apple-Cranberry Stuffing:
- Microwave the orange juice for 20 seconds on High (or until it is very warm). Combine the orange juice and dried cranberries in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, combine the olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted add the onion and celery and sauté until softened and onions are translucent (3-4 minutes).
- Add the garlic and apple; sauté and additional 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and pour the orange juice and cranberries into the skillet. Using a stir together scrapping any browned bits from the skillet into the mixture.
- Add the thyme, sage, parsley, panko crumbs, 1/2 cup chicken broth (if making it gluten-free), salt and pepper to the mixture and stir to fully combine. NOTE for those making this WITH gluten with actual panko crumbs: the absorbency of wheat panko crumbs and gluten-free panko crumbs may vary. If making this with wheat panko crumbs, start with ¼ cup chicken broth. The stuffing when combined should be wet, not soupy and not just moist. If after adding ¼ cup the mixture seems to need more moisture, add more broth 1 tablespoon at a time.
Instructions for making the stuffed Turkey Roulade and Bacon Weave:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Equip a baking sheet with an oven proof rack (for cooking or cooling baked goods).
- Place a piece of parchment paper (12 ½ inches by 16 inches; standard baking sheet size) on top of a larger piece of heavy duty foil. Construct a 6 slice by 6 slice Bacon Weave on the parchment paper.
- Cover the bacon weave with a large piece of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin roll the bacon mat so it is a uniform thickness, and all slices touch without any gaps. NOTE: Do not over roll as thin bacon can break. The mat will be much larger than before rolling it. Set aside to assemble the turkey roulade.
- Cover a hard work surface (counter top or large cutting board) with a piece of plastic wrap larger than the turkey breast and place the turkey breast on the plastic wrap.
- Using a flat meat tenderizer or a rolling pin, gently pound the turkey breast to a ½ inch thickness. NOTE: The uniform thickness allows consistent cooking of the roulade.
- Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon salt and ½ pepper evenly over the exposed side of the turkey breast.
- Spoon the stuffing onto the turkey breast and spread it evenly, leaving a ¾ inches (approximate) of the turkey breast exposed between the edge of the stuffing and edge of the turkey breast all around the stuffing.
- Starting on one of the long sides of the turkey breast, gently roll the breast over the stuffing until the stuffing is fully enclosed.
- Gently lift the rolled breast onto one edge of the bacon weave. Using the parchment paper underneath the bacon, roll the bacon and the turkey breast onto the bacon weave, being careful to not roll the parchment into the bacon covered turkey breast. NOTE: Should the bacon weave not fully cover the ends of the roulade, wrap an additional piece of bacon around each end, tucking the end of the roulade inside. Refer to photo below.
- Twist the ends of the parchment to seal the roulade. Wrap the foil underneath the parchment paper around the whole assembly and crimp the ends closed. It will look like a large sausage!
- Place the sealed roulade onto the prepared backing sheet and place it into the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes until the internal temperature (the inside middle of the roulade) registers 155 degrees F. Notes on taking the temperature: temperature can be taken by inserting an instant read thermometer through the foil and parchment; do not unwrap the roulade. Test in a few places for an accurate reading.
- When the roulade has reached in internal temperature of 155 degrees F, slit open the top foil and parchment being careful not to slice the bacon weave (kitchen scissors are great for this).
- Peel back the parchment and foil to full expose the roulade (it is not necessary to remove the roulade from the cooking rack to do this). Poke holes in the foil abound the base of the roulade to allow any rendered bacon fat to drip into the pan below.
- Leaving the roulade in the middle of the oven, turn the Broiler on High and allow the bacon to crisp up (it will be fully cooked at this point but will not have browned); approximately 5 minutes (refer to photo).
- Remove the roulade and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Cut 1/2 inch slices horizontally to serve.