Don’t wait for special occasion to serve turkey

Rolled turkey roast served with bacon and sausage stuffing can be served as a family meal and for lunches.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Turkey is the traditional fare served at festive meals and special occasions. But it can be much more than that.

Turkey sausages, rolled boneless roasts, luncheon meat, thighs and drumsticks, ground turkey and turkey luncheon meat offer small meal serving options.

Boneless, skinless turkey breast and ground turkey are extra lean and an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12 and niacin.

Dark turkey meat is lean and contains zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.

It can easily be adapted to most of your favourite recipes and substituted for chicken, pork or beef. Leftover turkey can be incorporated into additional meals such as sandwiches, wraps, stir fries, salads and jambalaya.

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One of our favourites is a rolled turkey roast. It is available with both white and dark meat, just white breast meat or as a pre-stuffed turkey breast roast. The stuffing in the pre-stuffed roast is often highly seasoned and salty so I prefer to cook the roast and make my own stuffing.

Cranberry glazed rolled turkey roast

  • 3 lb. boneless turkey breast or boneless white and dark meat rolled roast 1.5 kg.
  • 1/2 c. cranberry jelly 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. oil 15 mL
  • 1 c. chicken stock 250 mL
  • 24 oz. baby potatoes 340 g
  • 1 sweet potato, chunked to about the size of the baby potatoes

Always cook turkey from frozen. Remove plastic wrap but do not remove the netting.

Place turkey in a roasting pan with chicken stock, cover and place in a preheated 350 F (180 C) oven. Roast one hour, add the sweet potatoes and baby potatoes to the roaster. Cover again and cook an additional hour.
Mix cranberry jelly and oil together. Remove foil and spread the cranberry glaze over the roast. Using a meat thermometer, cook to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C) for an additional 30 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove netting and carve turkey. Serves six to eight.

Bacon sausage stuffing

This recipe has been enjoyed by Nadine Mundy’s family for a half century, beginning in Thunder Bay, Ont., with her grandmother. Mundy’s mother brought it with her to Calgary and Nadine now makes it at home in Saskatoon.

  • 1 lb. bacon 375 g
  • 1 lb. pure pork sausage meat or 375 g turkey sausages 500g
  • 2 c. yellow onion, chopped 500 mL
  • 3 c. celery, chopped 750 mL
  • 6 c. fine bread crumbs 400 g or 450 g bread cubes, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed 2 mL
  • 1 tsp. sage 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme 2 mL
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley 15 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper 2 mL
  • 4 – 5 tbsp. bacon drippings 60–75 mL
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. chicken broth – optional 60–125 mL
  • 1/2 c. dried or fresh cranberries 125 mL

Chop the bacon into small pieces, slice the sausage meat while partially frozen, cut into chunks, then brown the bacon and sausage in a frying pan until cooked.
Remove the meat to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Pour the bacon drippings into a cup and reserve. Add two tablespoons (30 mL) bacon drippings to pan, add the onion and celery, stir and cook until tender, add meat to pan, then add the bread crumbs. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle herbs and pepper over the crumbs, mix with the crumbs, then the vegetables and meat. Add additional bacon drippings and chicken broth as needed to slightly moisten the crumbs.
Cool slightly and stuff turkey. Serves 16.

Oven cooked stuffing

Place the stuffing in a greased casserole and bake covered at 350 F (180 C) for one hour, stir and add more broth as needed. Cover and cook an additional half hour.

Slow cooker stuffing

Lightly grease slow cooker, then pack the stuffing mixture lightly into the slow cooker, cover and set on high for one hour. Turn setting to low and cook for another half hour or until hot. Stir lightly as needed. If a more moist dressing is desired, add drippings from the roast turkey or chicken broth. – Adapted from Nadine Mundy’s recipe.

Tuscan turkey meatball soup

This is a flavourful, hearty soup. The meatball recipe also works well with pasta sauce.

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey 500 g
  • 1/4 c. oyster sauce 60 mL
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. crushed soda crackers or bread crumbs 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped or 1/2 tsp. 2 mL dried dill 60 mL
  • 2 c. water 500 mL
  • 2 tsp. oil 10 mL
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika 5 mL
  • 3 c. turkey or chicken stock 750 mL
  • 2 c. tomato sauce 500 mL
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste 30 mL
  • 1 c. dried egg noodle pasta 250 mL
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese 60 mL
  • garnish with chopped Italian parsley, optional

In a bowl, combine turkey, oyster sauce, garlic, crumbs and dill. Mix gently with a spatula. Form into meatballs using a small, oiled melon baller. Bring water to a boil in a fry pan, then add meatballs and simmer until no longer pink in the centre.
In soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, carrot, sweet potato, pepper, oregano and paprika for about five minutes or until softened.
Add stock, tomato sauce and paste and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and egg noodles and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through and pasta is tender but firm.
Sprinkle each bowl with cheese and garnish with parsley if desired. – Serves six. Adapted from Turkey Farmers of Canada.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact:

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