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Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner

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Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner is the perfect solution to having a fabulous turkey dinner without the mess and hassle of the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Maybe you are a small family or are single and can’t go home for Thanksgiving… or you are having just a few close friends to your home for a celebration.  This Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner gives you all the sides and trimmings in just one pan!

Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner - Full Overhead ViewElegant One Pan Turkey Dinner - Full Overhead View

The reason I call this an “elegant” one pan dinner, is because it looks beautiful in the pan after it cooks and looks gorgeous both in the pan and also when moved to serving dishes.  It is an elegant solution to avoid using multiple pans and casseroles to create a festive dinner.

Minimal Prep and Clean-Up!

For this dinner you will need one large baking/roasting pan, one extra large mixing bowl, one large mixing bowl, one small sauce pan, and one 10″ skillet. Clean up is easy, because everything but the roasting pan can be washed and put away while the dinner roasts.

The key to being able to roast everything in one pan is a roasting rack you make out of aluminum foil.  I’ve been making these disposable racks for years.  A serpentine shape is great for large roast and whole poultry and the coil shape is exceptional for smaller cuts of meat, especially a whole turkey breast.

All you need is about 4 feet of heavy duty aluminum foil to make this disposable rack. Just shape and roll the foil into a long 2″ thick rope and coil it. This keeps the turkey breast up out of the pan, so that it browns nicely on its sides.

Food & Wine, my favorite source for great food ideas, has an excellent tutorial on how to make this particular aluminum foil rack.

A Roasting Rack Made From Aluminum Foil

Everything is Hot at the Same Time!

Years ago I was visiting a friend and he spontaneously said he would make dinner and invited me to stay.  I asked if he would like some help and he replied that he knew how to make everything but “always had trouble getting everything hot at once”. I had been cooking for at least 10 years at the time and had never thought of that as being an issue.  Over the years I have learned that time management in the kitchen is one of the most challenging things in being a successful host. 

In this recipe time management is a breeze.  In general the directions are divided into two parts. Part 1 is preparing the dressing and the turkey breast and putting the turkey to roast for about two-third’s of the total roasting time. Part 2 is when you add all of the side dishes and baste the turkey before returning the pan to the oven for the final hour or so.

A Timetable Helps Me Have a Stress Free Day

A timetable really helps me feel in control and stress free when I entertain. So, I thought you might find it helpful to follow the timetable I created for my dinner which I will be serving at 2:30 PM.  If you are planning to watch football on Thanksgiving, this timetable can easily be shifted 2 hours earlier to have you sitting and enjoying dinner at 12:30 PM.

To make the big day go easier, I like to do what I can in the days prior or the evening before the big day. For this dinner you can dry out the bread cubes for the dressing the night before and just leave them in the oven overnight.  I also like to set the formal table on the previous night. 

So, for anyone who would like to have a little help with the timing of this dinner here is my timetable. The actual prep time is only 1 Hour and 15 Minutes.  The rest of the time is waiting for the dinner to cook:

Time needed: 5 hours.

Basic Timetable for Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner

  1. Night Before

    Set Formal Dining Table and Dry Out Bread Cubes

  2. 9:30 AM – Begin Part 1 of Recipe

    Remove turkey breast from refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature before roasting it. Take French style green beans from freezer to thaw. Chop Celery and Onion. Remove leaves of fresh thyme from stems. Preheat oven. Make dressing. Prepare pan and prep turkey breast.

  3. 10:45 AM – Put Turkey Breast in Oven.

    Roast for 2 Hours.

  4. 10:45 AM to 12:45 PM – Two Hours of Free Time

    Time for a break to do what you want!  Also, this is a great time to do a clean-up of the kitchen to make it an easier clean up later.

  5. 12:45 PM – Begin Part 2 of Recipe

    Take turkey breast out of oven. Remove aluminum tent and add dressing, green beans with dried cranberries, and apples and pears to pan. Fold tent foil in half and use it to cover the dressing and green beans. Baste turkey breast. Return dinner to oven.

  6. 1:10 PM – 1 Hour of Free Time

    Have a nice glass of wine or cup of good cheer!

  7. 2:10 PM – Take Turkey Dinner out of the Oven

    Allow Turkey to Rest for 15 minutes before carving for maximum juiciness. Transfer side dishes to decorative bowls and platters.  This dinner is so beautiful you also can leave the side dishes in the roasting pan for serving buffet style. Once the turkey is carved, it can be plated and placed on top of the coiled aluminum roasting rack.

  8. 2:30 PM – Dinner is Served!

    Relax, celebrate, and enjoy your time with your guests!

Elegant Turkey Dinner in One Pan Includes Baked Apples and Pears

With this beautiful dinner, all you really need to complete the menu is coffee and dessert!

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5 from 2 votes

Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner

Encharted Cook | Jan Nunes
Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner is the perfect solution to having a fabulous turkey dinner without the mess and hassle of the traditional thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you are a small family or are single and can’t go home for Thanksgiving… or you are having just a few close friends to your home for a celebration. This Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner gives you all the sides and trimmings in just one pan!
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Resting TIme15 mins
Total Time4 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
(Tap or Hover to Scale Servings)

Ingredients

  • 8 Pound Whole Turkey Breast

Dressing:

  • 14 Ounce Loaf of White Bread, Cut into ½” Cubes.
  • ¼ Cup Salted Butter
  • 2 Cups Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 2 Cups Finely Chopped Green Celery
  • 2 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning, Recommended Brand is Bell’s Seasoning
  • 3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Divided
  • ¾ Teaspoon Salt

Basting Sauce for Turkey:

  • ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • ½ Teaspoon Sweet Paprika

Vegetable Side:

  • 30 Ounces French Style Green Beans, Frozen
  • 1 Cup Dried and Sweetened Cranberries

Fruit Side:

  • 5 Small Apples
  • 4 Small Pears, Nearly Ripe

Instructions

Part 1

  • Begin 5 hours before desired serving time.
  • Remove turkey breast from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. While turkey is coming to temperature, make the dressing and prepare the roasting pan.

Dressing:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Place bread cubes in large roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Bread cubes should be dried out and very slightly toasted. This step can be made up to 5 days ahead and the bread cubes stored in an airtight container until ready to use.
    Cubed Bread for Dressing
  • Put dried and toasted bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl.
  • As bread cubes were drying out, finely chop the onion and celery. In a 10” skillet melt ¼ cup of salted butter over medium low heat. Add finely chopped onion and celery and sauté until onion is transparent. Add poultry seasoning and cook 1 to 2 minutes more to bloom the seasoning.
  • Pour cooked and seasoned onion and celery over the dried bread cubes. Mix well with a large spoon.
    Seasoned Onion and Celery Ready to be Mixed
  • Pour 2 ½ cups chicken broth over bread cube mixture, ½ cup at a time. Stir and toss cubes to moisten them between broth additions. You will have ½ cup of chicken broth that should be reserved, if needed later.
  • Add salt ¼ teaspoon at a time to dressing, gently tossing dressing mix after each addition. Maximum salt listed is ¾ teaspoon, but taste and adjust as needed. 

Turkey Breast:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C.
  • Roll and shape a 4-foot long piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a thick rope and coil it to create a rack for the turkey breast. Place coiled rack at one end of a large 15” x 13” roasting pan.
    A Roasting Rack Made From Aluminum Foil
  • Remove turkey breast from packaging. Rinse turkey with cold water inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Center turkey on the coiled foil rack and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast without touching a bone. Tent roasting pan with aluminum foil and roast turkey for 2 Hours. As turkey breast roasts, prepare the basting sauce and vegetables. This is also a good time to set the table, if you have not already done so.
    Resting the Turkey Breast on the Aluminum Rack

Basting Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan melt ¼ cup unsalted butter over low heat. Add fresh thyme leaves and paprika. Stir well and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
    Butter, Paprika, and Fresh Thyme Basting Sauce

Vegetable:

  • Place thawed French style green beans in a large bowl. Add dried cranberries and mix well.
    Green Beans with Dried Cranberries Ready to be Mixed

Part 2:

  • Remove turkey breast from oven. Carefully remove the foil tent and set aside. Using a pastry brush, baste the turkey breast with the butter sauce.
  • Spoon dressing around and in front of turkey breast. Mound dressing slightly in front of the turkey breast to create a division for the vegetable. Spoon green beans with cranberries in remaining portion of the pan. Place apples and pears around the turkey on top of the dressing.
  • Fold the foil tent and use it to cover the vegetables and dressing.
  • Return roasting pan to the oven and bake until the turkey breast registers 165°F/74°C, about 60 to 75 minutes. Have a nice glass of wine or a cup of good cheer, while you wait for the dinner to finish cooking.
  • Remove dinner from oven. To keep maximum juices in the turkey breast, allow it to rest 15 minutes before carving.
  • Serve in the pan buffet syle or transfer to pretty serving dishes. 
    Entire Roasted Turkey Dinner in One Pan Includes Side Dishes

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 1226kcal | Carbohydrates: 106g | Protein: 143g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 367mg | Sodium: 2006mg | Potassium: 2436mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 2060IU | Vitamin C: 38.3mg | Calcium: 389mg | Iron: 8.9mg
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.
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Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner is the perfect solution to having a fabulous turkey dinner without the mess and hassle of the traditional thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you are a small family or are single and can’t go home for Thanksgiving… or you are having just a few close friends to your home for a celebration.  This Elegant One Pan Turkey Dinner gives you all the sides and trimmings in just one pan!

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