Creamy Turkey Rolls with Basil Pesto

Creamy Turkey Rolls with Basil Pesto

This one of the items I made on the cooking show pilot we recently produced.  It is absolutely delicious!  I hope you don’t mind me bragging my ass off for a second or so…  this dish is crunchy, creamy and loaded with flavour, the way a good dish should be!

Of course, this recipe will work with any white fowl and likely with the right cut of pork.  I used normally turkey because chicken, quail, grouse and pheasant are smaller making it harder to roll up after you assemble the other ingredients.


  • Wild turkey or domestic turkey breast
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Green, red and yellow peppers and onion, julienned finely
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flour
  • 2 eggs for wash
  • Ground pistachio nuts (or almonds if you can’t get pistachios)

Basil Pesto

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or almonds if you can’t get pine nuts)
  • A BIG handful of fresh basil leaves (at least 2 cups, packed tightly) Can throw in the stocks also.
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • ½ cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender.  Mix well, but not too thick.  If it ends up a little thick, just add some more oil.  Too thin… add some basil, or cheese.  Again, you can do this by hand, if you’re like me – no blenders.

Turkey Rolls

Using a kitchen mallet, flatten out the turkey breasts.  Cover it with plastic to prevent making a mess!

Spread the softened cream cheese over the breasts.  Then add sautéed peppers and onions, fresh basil leaves, salt & pepper.

Set up a standard breading station of flour, egg wash and ground pistachio nuts.

Roll up turkey breasts, then dredge them in flour, egg wash and then of course, the pistachio nuts.  Fry ‘em up on medium high heat and keep turning until they’re browned on all sides.  Finish them in the oven at 350 F for about fifteen minutes or so.  Check for doneness.

When they’re done, remove them and let them rest for five minutes so it can tighten up a little bit.  If you cut it too soon, it’ll only fall apart.   Slice gently using a serrated knife so you don’t squash them.  If your chef knife is very sharp, use it.  Plate the pieces on their sides so you can see the different colours inside the roll.  Spread pesto along the side… serve with a simple pasta or rice.

“Pound ‘er down!”

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