Walnut and Sage Pesto Turkey Breast

This Thanksgiving, roast two or more turkey breast halves. Theyre readily available, easy to prepare, and perfect for a small gathering.

Walnut and Sage Pesto Turkey Breast
Photo: Tina Rupp
Prep Time:
25 mins
Roast Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 2 3 pound fresh or frozen bone-in turkey breast halves

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 2 7 ounce container refrigerated basil pesto or 10-oz. jar purchased pesto

  • cup finely chopped fresh sage

  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 recipe Onion-Thyme Gravy (optional)

Onion-Thyme Gravy

  • 2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 3 shallots (about 2/3 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme crushed)

  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Thaw turkey, if frozen. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large shallow roasting pan and rack with cooking spray. Place turkey breast halves, bone side down, on rack in prepared pan. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl combine pesto, sage, walnuts, salt, and pepper; mix well. Reserve half the pesto mixture to pass with turkey. Cover; chill until serving time.

  3. Starting at the breast bone, slip your fingers between skin and meat to loosen skin, leaving skin attached at top. Rub about two-thirds of the remaining pesto mixture under the skin over the breast meat. Rub remaining pesto mixture over the skin of each breast halve. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into thickest part of turkey breast, without touching bone. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours longer or until thermometer registers 170 degrees F., juices run clear, and turkey is no longer pink. Cover with foil the last 30 to 45 minutes, if necessary to prevent overbrowning. Let stand, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining pesto mixture and the Onion-Thyme Gravy. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Onion-Thyme Gravy

  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots and fresh or dried thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned. Stir in flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir until mixture comes to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 9 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in salt and pepper. Makes 2-1/4 cups or nine 1/4 cup servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

519 Calories
27g Fat
6g Carbs
61g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 519
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 171mg 57%
Sodium 419mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Protein 61g
Calcium 40.4mg 3%
Iron 2.9mg 16%
Potassium 514mg 11%
Folate, total 16.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.7mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.9mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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