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Turkey with maple butter, walnut-cranberry stuffing and juniper gravy recipe

Turkey with maple butter, walnut-cranberry stuffing and juniper gravy recipe

1 rating

A festive walnut and cranberry stuffing, sweet maple butter and a bacon lattice topping makes this Christmas Day classic roast turkey recipe the perfect centrepiece for your celebrations. See method

  • Serves 8 (with leftovers)
  • 30 mins to prepare and 3 hrs 40 mins to cook
  • 809 calories / serving


  • 1 5kg turkey
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • ½ x 240g pack smoked streaky bacon
  • pinch of chopped sage, to garnish
  • pinch of chopped thyme, to garnish

For the stuffing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 500g sausagemeat
  • 100g frozen cranberries, defrosted
  • 75g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 30g pack parsley, chopped

For the gravy

  • 250ml white wine
  • 12 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 200g frozen cranberries, defrosted
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 500ml chicken stock

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    37g 52%
  • Saturates

    13g 63%
  • Sugars

    7g 7%
  • Salt

    2.2g 37%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 26.4g Protein 88.6g Fibre 3.2g


  1. First make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 7-8 mins until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Set aside in a large bowl until cool, then mix in the other stuffing ingredients. Season; chill.
  2. Remove the turkey from the fridge 30 mins before cooking. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. In a bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Stir in the maple syrup, 1 tbsp at a time, then add the thyme. Season.
  3. Put the turkey in a large roasting dish. Make a gap between the skin and meat at the neck by gently pushing your fingers under the skin. Rub half the maple butter over the breast under the skin.
  4. Use one-third of the stuffing to fill the neck cavity, then pull the skin over and secure with a cocktail stick. Rub half the remaining maple butter over the bird and season well. Roast, uncovered, for 30 mins. Roll the remaining stuffing into 16 balls, put on a lined baking tray and chill in the fridge.
  5. After 30 mins, remove the turkey and reduce the heat to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Brush over the remaining butter, cover with foil and roast for 1½ hrs.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven and discard the foil. Criss-cross the bacon rashers across the turkey in a lattice. Return to the oven for 45 mins-1 hr until the bacon is crisp and the turkey is cooked through, and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest parts of the breast and legs. After the first 20 mins, add the stuffing balls to the bottom shelf of the oven.
  7. When cooked through, remove the turkey from the dish (reserving the juices). Place on a platter, lay 2 clean tea towels on top and rest for 30 mins.
  8. Meanwhile, increase the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Move the stuffing balls to the top shelf for 20-30 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. Pour the turkey juices into a bowl or jug; leave for 2 mins so the fat rises to the top then lay kitchen paper on top to soak up and remove the fat.
  10. Transfer the juices to a saucepan, add the white wine and berries, then simmer for 5-6 mins. Lightly crush the cranberries into the gravy. Add the corn our paste and stock to the pan and continue to simmer for 10-15 mins to reduce and thicken. Serve alongside the turkey, with the stuffing balls. Garnish with sage and thyme, if using.

Tip: You can make the stuffing the day before and keep it overnight in the fridge.

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