After Trying Ina Garten's Thanksgiving Turkey, Fans Say "There's No Reason to Have Turkey Any Other Way"
Let's be honest: as soon as the first leaf changes color, we're ready to start planning our Thanksgiving menus. And if you're not having a vegetarian holiday, there's always one dish that's the centerpiece of a classic Thanksgiving meal: the turkey.
We take Thanksgiving turkey pretty seriously—these are just a few of our favorite recipes—but we're always willing to try out a new recipe, especially if it's a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. Ina's Tuscan Turkey Roulade puts a fresh spin on the Thanksgiving classic. Her recipe stuffs a butterflied turkey breast with onion, fennel, garlic, prosciutto and fresh herbs for a truly gorgeous entrée that Garten says is easy enough to serve year-round.
The recipe starts with sautéing a large yellow onion with olive oil, fennel seeds and garlic. Garten takes the onion mixture off the heat and allows it to cool before stirring in chopped fresh sage and rosemary. With the filling mostly done, Garten lays out her 5-pound butterflied boneless turkey breast on a cutting board, skin-side down. She sprinkles the cut side of the turkey with four tablespoons of grated unsalted butter, which keeps the dish moist in the oven. Then she layers on her onion mixture and tops the whole thing with a thin layer of prosciutto slices—yum!
Starting from one long end, Garten rolls up the turkey like a jelly roll, so the filling is in a tight spiral all the way through. One of the most important parts of preparing turkey is securing it with kitchen twine, Garten said when she made the roulade on a 2019 episode of Cook Like a Pro.
"The tighter you tie it, the more evenly it's going to cook," Garten said on the show. "So really give it a nice yank when you're tying it." She added a little sage leaf under each twine knot for an extra-delicious piece of decoration.
The turkey bakes in a roasting pan over a bath of white wine and water, which keeps the turkey moist and adds a little oomph to the pan sauce. The turkey roasts for an hour and 45 minutes at 350℉, then rests for 15 minutes—but Ina advises that you not take it out of the oven until its internal temperature reads 150 degrees.
The recipe only takes 30 minutes of prep time to pull together, and unlike recipes that call for a whole bird, this one doesn't require any difficult carving. Plus, you can even prepare the roulade and refrigerate it overnight—a strategy Garten herself said she uses to avoid any Thanksgiving Day stress. Others who've tried the recipe love the overnight method as well.
"I made it the day before to let the flavors marry and it was delicious and easy on Thanksgiving day," one reviewer wrote. "I don't know if I'll ever make a bird again!"
The main pieces of kitchen equipment you'll need for this recipe are kitchen twine (buy it: $6, Williams Sonoma), a meat thermometer (buy it: $105, Williams Sonoma) and a sturdy roasting pan. The good news is, we know exactly which roasting pan Ina's a fan of, and reviewers say it's well worth the price. The All-Clad Stainless-Steel Roasting Pan with Rack (buy it: $160 or $180, Williams Sonoma) comes in both a small and large size, so you can buy a roaster that will work just right for you.
No matter which turkey recipe you decide to prepare for the holidays this year, one thing is certain: you can't go wrong with an Ina Garten classic.