Bacon and herbs wrapped turkey roll

This is the super recipe everybody will ask you for! Full of flavors, tender, but light and easy to make. It is usually part of the Sunday lunch; have the leftovers for your lunch break for the following day- either cold or warm: it will lighten up your working day.

I do love this recipe-succulent, easy, I do not have to do much: it almost cooks on its own. Bacon makes the quite lean turkey meat tender, and aromatics herbs give it plenty of flavors with little fats.

Choose the right ingredients for the perfect roll

First and most important: absolutely fresh turkey meat, from organic livestock without any hormones or antibiotics.

To make it the easiest, ask your butcher for a lean and quite dry part of the turkey: skinless breast, or skinless and boneless thighs best fit this recipe. It is very rich in high quality proteins, niancin, Vitamin B6, zinc, potassium, but also Vitamin B2 and phosphorus.

Then you need bacon which keeps the turkey tender and juicy- without it,  the meat will release its liquid and it could get too stringy.

Now take fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, and any other aromatic herbs to give it flavor. Do not miss salt and pepper. Do you like garlic? It fits this recipe perfectly.

I do not like to add vegetables such as celery or carrots because they make the meat too moist; moreover I never stuff it with egg frittata as the recipe would get too rich in calories. Just a little bacon is enough to keep the meat tender, and light.

What temperature do you roll turkey?

In this recipe we are going to roast turkey-the temperature is really meaningful. Temperatures lower than 150°C (302°F) don’t eliminate the pathogenic bacteria of the meat. So, monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer; insert it into the meat  and leave it throughout the roasting process. The safe temperature inside the meat must be over 77°C (170°F).

How long does a turkey roll take to cook?

Typically, the roll should be big to be eaten the following days as well, so it takes quite a long time to cook, unless you want to prepare one serving rolls (small rolls). You have to keep it under control, look after it during the cooking process.

That’s why it is usually served on Sundays: all the family have to enjoy this delicacy. You can’t prepare it during the week, but the leftovers may be part of your the working day lunch.

The cooking time depends on the dimensions of the piece of meat: usually 1 kg of turkey breast takes from 1 hour and 3/4 to 2 hours to cook; bigger pieces from 2 to 2 and half hours.

The cooking process is divided into two parts: the first one is very fast, the second slower. The former, which makes a succulent and crunchy crust on the outside, is called Maillard’s reaction-it creates the typical molecules of the roast meat. In the latter, the meat is cooked slowly and evenly.

Italian Turkey Roll with aromatics

If you don’t have the faintest idea about your Sunday lunch, why don’t you try turkey roll? It is flavorful, tempting, and all your guests will enjoy it! 
Cook it the day before, it will get even tastier. Then, if you have any leftover, you may prepare crispy cold turkey roll salad. 
A few ingredients, a lot of flavor: lean turkey breast, some bacon strips (bacon will keep the meat moist and tender) and thinly chopped aromatic herbs. 
A little piece of advice: cook it the day before, it will get even tastier. Then, if you have any leftover, you may prepare crispy cold turkey roll salad. 
I am not very good at rolling it up, but this one is very nice! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian turkey roll with aromatics, Turkey roll
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people


  • 1 kg

    Turkey breast in one piece 

  • 150 gr

    Bacon in thick strips

  • A mix of finely chopped rosemary, sage, thyme and 1 clove of garlic 

  • Extra virgin olive oil 

  • 1 glass

    Dry white wine

  • 2 twigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 gloves


  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Open the turkey breast as if you are butterflying it, flatten it out with a tenderizer, and season with salt and pepper; 
  • Spread the aromatic herbs and place the bacon on the flattened meat. Be generous with that, because it must hide the sweetish taste of the turkey; 
  • Roll it up and secure it with cook’s strings along the length; 
  • Take preferably long or oval skillet, with a thick bottom, so the heat can spread evenly without burning the meat. Heat two tbsp of olive oil with the rosemary twigs and the peeled and crushed garlic; 
  • When the oil is hot place the roll and brown it on all its sides; 
  • Simmer with white wine until reduced- leave a little wine so it can keep the meat moist; 
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cover with the lid; 
  • Simmer for about one hour and a quarter: the meat will remain tender and moist. Add little water at a time if it is needed. Be careful: if you add too much water at a time, you will boil the meat.
  • Serve the roll with a crispy green salad and some bread or smashed potatoes. The right serving is about 2-3 slices. 

What can you do with the leftovers?

Store cooked roll in the fridge for no more than 2 days. Slice the roll, season it with some drops of balsamic vinegar; combine it with a crispy green salad and 2 slices of wholesome bread: it will be your succulent lunch at work.

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