Turkey Breast Roulade with Apple and Raisin Stuffing

The perfect main dish for a small Thanksgiving gathering, courtesy of Dr. Kristy Ainslie

Recipe by Kristy Ainslie | Published November 3, 2022

Our Rx Recipes series explores recipes provided by faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Just in time for Thanksgiving, we present a recipe for turkey breast roulade.

What you’ll need:
A roasting rack and pan
Cooking twine
Aluminum foil

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup raisins
1 (6 ounce) package low sodium stuffing mix (eg. Stove Top Stuffing)
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 apple – peeled, cored, and chopped
1 (6 pound) whole bone-in turkey breast with skin
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a rack into a roasting pan.
  2. Place the water, butter, and raisins into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the stuffing mix, cover, and let stand until the stuffing mixture absorbs the liquid, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir into stuffing 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning (half of the total amount for the recipe). Stir in the apple. Allow the stuffing mixture to cool completely.
  4. De-bone the turkey breast. You can do this yourself by finding online instructional videos or ask your local butcher to do it. Be sure to keep the skin and try to keep it in a single piece if possible. Once the breast has been de-boned, carefully remove the skin in one piece without tearing, and set it aside.*
  5. Lay out the breast with the inside facing up. Sprinkle the inside with salt, pepper, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning.
  6. Spread the stuffing mixture evenly over the inside of the breast meat piece, and firmly roll the stuffed breast into a compact roll. Spread the reserved turkey skin out, and place the stuffed roll in the middle of the skin. Pull and roll the skin over the stuffed meat, and tie the stuffed roll together with cooking twine.
  7. Place the roll onto the roasting rack with the seam side down. Place the rack and pan in the oven and roast until the skin is golden brown, the meat is no longer pink inside, and the temperature of the roll, measured at the thickest part, reads 170 degrees F (75 degrees C), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Allow the roast to stand covered with a tent of aluminum foil for at least 10 minutes before removing the twine. Slice and serve!

*If you do not have the skin to keep the meat moist, bread it in a mixture of half bread crumbs and half grated parmesan cheese, pan fry it and bake it until its 165 degrees F on the inside.

This recipe was provided by Kristy Ainslie, Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and Chair, Division Pharmacoengineering & Molecular Pharmaceutics and Professor, UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Ainslie joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2014 after previously working at the Ohio State University’s Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Her lab aims to develop new immune-modulatory therapies that treat and prevent infectious, and autoimmune diseases as well as cancer. The team’s focus is to not only release doses of medicine, but also develop therapies to skew the immune response of the body to act therapeutically.

Dr. Ainslie’s mother was a home economics teacher and taught her to cook and bake at a very young age. “It quickly became a passion of mine to cook for people,” she says, “During my graduate and post doc training I lived far away from my home in Michigan and often it would just be a small group of us for Thanksgiving. This recipe is great for a small group to celebrate Thanksgiving with or any other holiday! Now I cook meals like this with my two sons.”