Delicate and moist Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin is my kind of turkey Thanksgiving twist. Mushroom, apple, pine nuts, garlic and mozzarella filling is beautifully soft and juicy. With a few threads of melting mozzarella here and there it complements the texture of turkey and it is firm enough to hold its shape when the tenderloin is sliced. This dish takes 15 really minutes to prepare and when cooked it can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Nice stuffing tends to make a plain food a bit more special and this calls for celebration. It’s like with that Cream Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms I shared a while ago. On this occasion it is mushrooms and toasted pine nuts stuffing what turns a humble turkey tenderloin into a fun, alternative and a yummy Thanksgiving dish to share with family and friends.
Stuffed turkey tenderloin tastes great served hot and cold
After it’s cooked you slice it into, let’s say, 1 inch in thickness pieces, put a toothpick through each of them (widthwise) and here you have a lovely little buffet style dish. It can also be served as a main meal with just a bit of cranberry sauce, as you would with any respectable turkey dish.
I wish turkeys were a bit smaller! Unless you have a big family, there is always so much left over and I bet that the enthusiasm to have a turkey 3rd day in a row is definitely gone. That’s why I think that the stuffed turkey tenderloin is a nice way to go about following the tradition, and not wasting food.
Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin cooking notes:
- Stick to my recommended cooking time – be careful about the time the tenderloin is in the oven for and what cooking function you set. It shouldn’t take more than 27 minutes at 375F in the standard top/bottom heated oven, but if you use the convection oven I’d cut 7 min off the cooking time OR drop the oven temperature to 350F. These small adjustments make a difference in keeping the tenderloin moist.
- 2 turkey tenderloins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup (100g) Portobello mushrooms - finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbs toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp juicy apples - chopped to pine nuts size
- 2 tsp rubbed sage
- ½ tsp fresh thyme - chopped
- 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs and more if needed
- ¼ cup (30g) mozzarella - grated
- Preheat oven to 375F, but if you are cooking in a convection oven drop the temp. to 350F!
- In a pan gently toast pine nuts for about 2 minutes, until they start turning golden brown. Remove from the pan and place them in a dry bowl.
- In the same pan gently fry garlic and mushrooms together for about 2 minutes - coat them in the butter rather than cook through and brown (when you see that mushrooms start to release the juice remove the pan from the heat immediately). When done, transfer the garlic buttered mushrooms to the bowl with pine nuts.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except for the turkey tenderloins) and mix well. This filling should not be runny or too wet, so add a bit more breadcrumbs if necessary.
- If your tenderloins are small, you can pound them down between plastic wrap to about ½ inch thickness, but if they are roughly the size the palm of your hand, cut them open to create a pocket for the filling.
- Season the inside of the pockets with salt & pepper; fill each pocket (or fold the pounded tenderloin over the filling placed inside) with the filling and pin the edges together with toothpicks. Don’t worry if some of the filling sticks out a bit or you can’t do a perfect job.
- Coat one side of 2 pieces of an aluminum foil with a bit of oil. Place each tenderloin on a separate piece (on the oiled side) and wrap it in the foil. The toothpicks might make holes in the foil, but this is not important .
- Place your wrapped tenderloins on a baking tray and in the oven. Bake for 27-30 min, or until the tenderloin inside temperature reaches 160F.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
For more interesting Thanksgiving recipes have a peek at my Thanksgiving board on Pinterest!