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Roast Turkey with Sage Pesto…

Cooking for one or two during the holidays can be challenging. But what do you do when you want that great turkey taste without roasting a whole bird?

Many grocery stores now offer a variety of individual cuts of turkey, such as legs, wings, thighs and breasts. In this recipe, a bone-in, skin-on, half turkey breast is filled with a flavorful sage pesto before going into the oven.

The pesto bastes the turkey as it roasts, flavoring the meat while keeping it moist and juicy. Served with our Coconut Bread Stuffing, a simple holiday table is easier than you think!

Roast Turkey with Sage Pesto

Roast Turkey with Sage Pesto

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 271 kcal

Author: Lisa Richards, CNC


Sage Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. hazelnuts
  • 3 Tbsp. oil, olive or coconut, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Roast Turkey

  • 1 bone in, skin on, half turkey breast (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil, olive or coconut, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


Sage Pesto

  1. Add sage leaves, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest and hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor.  

  2. Process until mixture forms a paste, then add oil and process until mixture is smooth.

  3. Season pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside.

Roast Turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (205 degrees C).

  2. Place the half turkey breast in a large oven proof baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. With your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the turkey breast and spread sage pesto under the skin. Drizzle oil over the turkey breast, season with salt and pepper.

  3. Roast the half turkey breast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the breast reaches 140 degrees (60 degrees C). That should take about 30 minutes. 

  4. Remove from pan, cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice turkey breast as needed, and drizzle with pan drippings if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Including some toasted hazelnuts will add a rich, earthy flavor.
  • Refrigerate any remaining pesto in an air tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • This recipe also works with other cuts of turkey such as thighs or drumsticks.

Looking for more gluten-free, sugar-free recipes? Our Ultimate Candida Diet program contains more than 50 delicious recipes, plus lots of valuable advice on which foods to eat and avoid. Find out more here.

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Last updated September 24, 2018 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND. ...

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