Roast Stuffed Turkey Thigh Rolls

Serves 6 to 8

For a new take on a gluten-free Thanksgiving turkey, look no further than than this unique entree. These mini turkey roasts become unbelievably tender and tasty and are so easy to carve. Packaged speck, which is lightly smoked German-style prosciutto, or regular Italian prosciutto work best here as the slices are large and uniform.


  • 2 fresh turkey thighs (about 1½ pounds each), with bone and skin,
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (3 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup (1 ounce) frozen loose-pack chopped spinach
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (1 ounce) bread crumbs, made from slightly dried-out gluten-free sandwich bread
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 thin slices speck or prosciutto (about 6 ounces), such as Trader Joe’s
  • String
  • Olive oil spray


Have your butcher bone the thighs. Otherwise simply lay them skin-side down on a cutting board and locate the bone with your fingers. Cut along the bone and scrape around it to separate it and the small piece of joint from the meat. Cover the boned thighs with plastic wrap and pound to make them as flat as possible.

Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and oregano and sauté until soft but not browned, 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until thawed, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly.

Beat the egg in a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, a generous grinding of pepper and the spinach mixture. Spread half down the center area of each turkey thigh. Bring the sides together to enclose the stuffing. If they won’t stay in place, remove the stuffing temporarily and pound some more to make the meat thinner.

Lay 3 slices of speck on a work surface, slightly overlapping. Add another slice at each end, at right angles to the first three, half resting on top and half extending outwards, to form a cross. Center a turkey roll on top. Enclose the ends with the “flaps” of speck, which will stick in place, and then bring up the side flaps to form a snug roll.

Tie at 1-inch intervals with string. Repeat with the other turkey thigh. Enclose each roll in a 12 x 15-inch sheet of foil, leaving as much airspace as possible inside the package. Either bake immediately or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, let come to room temperature before roasting.

Heat the oven to 350° F. Place the foil packages on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Open the foil and spray the tops of the rolls with olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170° to 175°. Let stand for 20 minutes or more to firm up, which makes cutting neat slices much easier. Carve and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s tip:  Don’t discard the good juices that collect in the bottom of the foil packages.  Pour into a fat separator and use as a clear gravy.

Nutrition Analysis: 380 cal, 23 g fat, 185 mg chol, 950 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 42 g protein.

Recipes © copyright 2015 by Jacqueline Mallorca.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Gluten-Free Living Food Editor Jacqueline Mallorca has written titles including The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.