Creamy lemon, pancetta & rosemary turkey

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
For a perfectly moist and succulent turkey, follow Emma Lewis’s tips for a creamy mascarpone stuffing

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:3 hrs 45 mins
  • Serves 10
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 618
  • fat 31g
  • saturates 13g
  • carbs 3g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 80g
  • salt 1.17g


  • 4½ -5kg oven-ready turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
  • 25g pack each rosemary and thyme
  • 2 lemons, finely zested
  • 80g pack sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 150g pot mascarpone
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 100ml white wine
  • 600ml turkey or chicken stock


Emma says...
When you carve into the breast you get a lovely layer of mascarpone mix, which subtly flavours the meat and keeps the breast moist.Tip
If the turkey is on the dry side, keep on carving, then take the slices back to the kitchen and drizzle with a little hot chicken stock. If it's underdone, cut into the joints and pop it back in the oven.


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Wash the turkey and pat dry. Strip the leaves from half the rosemary and thyme stalks and finely chop. In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, chopped herbs, pancetta and mascarpone. Season well.

  2. Halve the zested lemons and stuff into the cavity, along with the remaining herb sprigs. Use your hand to loosen the skin lying over the breast of the turkey, to create a pocket. Push the mascarpone mixture under the breast skin to create a thick, even layer.

  3. Put the onion slices into a large, flameproof roasting tin, place the turkey on top and cover loosely with foil. Cook for 3-3¾ hrs, until the juices of the bird run clear. Baste every 30 mins and uncover for the last 30 mins if needed, to brown the bird. When cooked, take the turkey from the oven, remove from the tin and leave to rest on a platter, covered loosely with foil, for 30 mins.

  4. To make the gravy, pour away any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard the onion slices. Set the tin over a medium heat, then sprinkle over the flour. Stir through and cook for 2 mins. Slowly whisk in the wine and stock. Bring to a boil, scraping the bits from the bottom, then simmer over a low heat for 15 mins. Serve the gravy with the turkey.

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