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Turkey porchetta with sprout and chestnut pesto recipe

Turkey porchetta with sprout and chestnut pesto recipe

1 rating

This stunning centrepiece is totally worth the extra effort. Stuffed with a flavoursome pesto, wrapped in bacon and glazed with maple syrup, this is a perfect push-the-boat-out recipe for your Christmas lunch. There are seven steps, but follow our tried-and-tested method for stress-free success. See method

  • Serves 8
  • Takes 1 hr 40 mins, plus resting
  • 409 calories / serving
  • Freezable


  • 70g cooked whole chestnuts (from a 180g pack)
  • 140g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 30g pack flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 20g pack rosemary, leaves picked
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 halved
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 70g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 100g ciabatta, blended to fine breadcrumbs
  • 1.1kg basted turkey joint
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 240g pack Tesco Finest chestnut smoked streaky bacon

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    20g 28%
  • Saturates

    6g 31%
  • Sugars

    6g 7%
  • Salt

    1.8g 30%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 15.1g Protein 41.9g Fibre 2.3g


  1. Put the chestnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the sprouts, parsley, rosemary, garlic and lemon juice; blend to finely chop. Add the oil and blend to a smooth, thick paste, scraping down the bowl of the blender as needed, then add the Parmesan and pulse to combine. Transfer to a mixing bowl, season well and stir through the breadcrumbs.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Drain any excess juices from the turkey breast joint and lay on a chopping board, skin-side down. Open out the joint to reveal the centre, then cut into the thickest part of the meat with a sharp knife to butterfly.
  3. Spread the pesto stuffing over the smaller turkey pieces, then reassemble, pulling the top butterflied piece over and around the smaller pieces and ensuring there are as few gaps as possible. Carefully turn the joint over, so the skin is on top and the main seams are underneath.
  4. Put 2 tbsp maple syrup in a bowl and season; brush all over the turkey joint. Starting in the centre and working outwards wrap the joint with bacon, overlapping each rasher by about 1cm.
  5. Tie the turkey with 6-7 pieces of kitchen string, evenly spaced along the joint. Lift into a baking dish and add the lemon halves, cut-side down. Cover loosely with foil, then roast on the lowest shelf of the oven for 40 mins, basting once or twice with the juices. If you want to freeze your porchetta, wrap the joint in a double layer of clingfilm after tying your turkey with string. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight, up to 24 hours in the fridge. Allow to rest outside the fridge for 30 mins before continuing with step 5.
  6. Remove the foil and string from the turkey joint. Brush the bacon with the remaining maple syrup and turn the lemon halves cut-side up. Return to the oven, uncovered, and roast for another 30 mins.
  7. After this time, the turkey should reach 65-70°C on a meat thermometer and the juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the joint. If it’s not ready, return to the oven for 10 mins before checking again. Remove the lemons and set aside to cool; cover the joint loosely with foil and leave to rest for 20 mins. After resting, the internal temperature should be 70-75°C. Transfer to a platter with the charred lemons alongside for squeezing over the dish at the table.

Tip: Use any finely grated hard cheese instead of Parmesan – try Grana Padano or pecorino. Swap the ciabatta for any fresh breadcrumbs.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Turkey recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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