Roast turkey with ricotta stuffing

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's roast turkey with ricotta stuffing and a side of green beans with hazelnuts.
Neil Perry's roast turkey with ricotta stuffing and a side of green beans with hazelnuts. Photo: William Meppem

A moist bird, perfect for a celebratory lunch or dinner.


Extra virgin olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

8 cloves garlic, crushed

50g spinach, trimmed

400g fresh ricotta, drained

2 tbsp chopped thyme

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

180g raisins, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained

150g unsalted butter, finely diced

2 eggs

sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

7.6kg whole turkey (medium to large)

mustard fruits, to serve


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

To make the stuffing, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water until just wilted, then drain and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach. Chop coarsely. Combine the onion mixture with the spinach, ricotta, herbs, raisins and butter in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Press the stuffing under the skin of the turkey on the breasts and legs, until it is firmly packed in. Rub the skin with plenty of olive oil and season the turkey inside and out.

Place the turkey in a large baking tray and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and cook the turkey for 4-5 hours or until cooked. (The best way to ensure the turkey is cooked through is with a meat thermometer. If the bird is larger, add 20-30 minutes for every 500g over 7.6kg. When cooked, the internal temperature of the breast should be 74°C and the legs 80°C.)

Reduce the oven temperature to 50°C, cover the turkey with foil and allow it to rest in the oven for about 20 minutes.

To serve, remove the drumsticks, thighs and wings at the second joint. Slice the breasts into 1-2cm-thick slices, being careful not to rip the skin. Serve on a platter with green beans and hazelnuts with burnt butter  and mustard fruits on the side.