Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
Are you having a smaller Thanksgiving celebration this year? Perhaps you enjoy a good sheet pan turkey meal any time of the year. This Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner serves four and is ready in 90 minutes!
Did I hear someone say hallelujah?
How to Cook Turkey Breast
It can be daunting to cook a whole turkey, especially for a once-a-year holiday dinner. The fear is real: no one wants to screw it up. Well, friend, there is good news.
You do not have to cook a whole turkey.
Frozen turkey breast is widely available, easy to roast, and takes less time than a whole turkey. It gives you all the special holiday meal vibes without the pressure. And without days and days of leftovers.
To prepare a turkey breast, you will want to
- thaw it. Most turkey breast comes frozen, so factor in one or two days of thaw time in your fridge.
- rub it. Use whatever dry rub seasoning you like. I like to keep it simple with some olive oil and seasoned salt.
- roast it. Cook it anywhere from 350 to 375F for around 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 155 to 160F. I know, most websites say the internal temp needs to be 165F. However, I have found that it is overcooked and dried out at that temp because the turkey continues to cook with the temp rising 5 to 10 degrees once out of the oven. So I pull it between 155 and 160F and it is juicy and perfect!
- rest it. Allow the turkey to rest before slicing. Ten to fifteen minutes for a turkey breast is enough time for the juices to redistribute.
- slice it. The best way to slice the turkey breast is skin-side up. Cut crosswise against the grain with a long sharp knife. Unless you like very thick slices, cut the breast into one-half-inch slices.
Sheet Pan Meals
I am a sucker for a sheet pan meal. The entree and sides are done at the same time and there is only one pan to clean. What is not to love about this?
However, timing is everything with sheet pan meals. Some ingredients take more time to cook than others. So, it is helpful to have a plan of what gets put on the sheet pan and when.
In this recipe, the items that take the longest are the turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes and they are all done around the same time (add that to the things to be thankful for). The green beans get thrown on at the last minute because they cook quickly.
- Buy your frozen turkey breast as close to 2 pounds as you can get so that everything is done at the same time. However, be aware that the printed package weight on turkey breast portions may not just be the turkey! The Butterball frozen turkey breast that I bought listed it as 3 pounds. When I unwrapped it, I weighed the breast and discovered it was right at 2 pounds. The other 1 pound? It was a congealed packet of gravy.
- Any dressing trapped under the turkey will turn out soft and mildly soggy. If you are into that (I certainly don’t mind it), leave the dressing in an even layer and place the turkey on top. If not, make a well in the center of the dressing to clear a space for the turkey to sit directly on the sheet pan so that all the dressing gets toasty.
- The best way to get evenly thin slices of sweet potato? Use a mandoline (you knew I would say this, didn’t you?). Slices cook quicker than chunks and are done at the same time as the turkey.
Many thanks to Tasting Table for the one-pan Thanksgiving dinner in one-hour recipe.
- 1 pound sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 lb boneless turkey breast with skin, thawed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
- Fresh thyme sprigs, optional
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- ¼ cup mini marshmallows
- 12 ounces green beans, trimmed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C and set the rack to the middle position. Grease a rimmed 18x13-inch sheet pan with a light slick of olive oil.
- Dump the bread cubes, onion, celery, cranberries, parsley, and sage into a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Tip in the broth, egg, and melted butter. Stir with a large spoon to mix the dry and wet ingredients. Pour the stuffing mixture onto the prepared sheet pan into an even layer. It should take up about two-thirds of the space. Decide whether or not you want to make a well for the turkey (read Lessons Learned in the post above).
- Set the turkey breast on the dressing. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoned salt. Add some fresh thyme, if desired.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with the melted butter and pour out onto the open one-third of the sheet pan. Don’t use the marshmallows yet!
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. In the meantime, toss the green beans with the olive oil and garlic. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and scooch the sweet potatoes over to make room for the green beans. The potatoes and green beans each should take up an equal amount of space on the pan. Leave the turkey and dressing alone.
- Put the pan back into the oven and roast for 20 more minutes. Test the turkey with a meat thermometer and pull the pan from the oven when it reads 155F/68C to 160F/71C.
- Once out of the oven, throw the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes and loosely cover everything with a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10-ish minutes before slicing the turkey.
Keywords: sheet pan thanksgiving turkey dinner