Get ready for this holiday season and try making my family recipe for whole boneless turkey roast to serve for Christmas dinner! With my special homemade Mexican turkey stuffing and secret butter turkey rub, you will have your friends and family raving about your delicious turkey dinner.
By now, you have probably seen many recipes for cooking a whole turkey, but we are just getting started and preparing for the upcoming Christmas holiday (and maybe even Thanksgiving for those of you who live in America), which traditionally is celebrated in a big way in México and most Spanish-speaking countries.
So, if you want to try something a bit different this year, this is our family recipe for whole Boneless Turkey Roast!
Mexican History Behind The Turkey
Before we start, let me share with you a story that perhaps some Mexican people already know.
The “turkey” we all are familiar with is originally known in Spanish as “Guajolote” or “Pavo”, a word derived from the náhuatl “Huexolotl”.
This large, beautiful bird was often the main meal in festivities prepared in honor of the Aztec Emperors. When the Spaniards first came to America, they were fascinated with this large bird and sent them to Europe, where they quickly became popular and served in different ways in royal palaces for monarchs and the upper class.
Most of us are familiar with the traditional turkey cooked for Thanksgiving, but now you know that bird has been a part of our culinary history much longer than most of us have imagined.
How Turkey Is Cooked Differently In Different Parts Of Mexico
In the hot and humid southern states of Tabasco, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, they have a special way of cooking the turkey.
It is called “Pavo a la Galantina”(Galantine Turkey) which is deboning the whole turkey and stuffing it with ground meat, raisins, and almonds and then poached.
Besides being cooked for Christmas, it is also sold as cold meat throughout the year to make sandwiches or to serve as hors-d'oeuvres.
Why This Boneless Turkey Recipe Is So Special To Me
Since my husband’s family has strong roots in the South of México, I guess that’s where they learned to cook the boneless turkey. Ever since we've been married, we always cook the bird boneless but bake it instead of poaching it.
This Boneless Turkey is stuffed with a savory filling, and with the bones take out, it can be served in slices. It makes carving effortless and you waste no meat at all. You can enjoy the leftovers in sandwiches the next day.
Anyways, everyone that has tried the turkey this way has raved about its flavor, aroma, and distinctive way of cooking it!
Most of all, I truly hope all of you will create great memories for your family this holiday season. The one I remember the most is my dear aunt “Tia Nono” when she came home one Christmas to cook a huge turkey. Our kitchen was so small that she had to prepare the turkey in the laundry room on the roof of the apartment building where we lived!
Let's just say- it was an eventful Christmas.
Do you have a funny memory or story about cooking your turkey? I'd love to know. Share it with me in the comments!
Boneless Turkey Roast Recipe
Okay, now onto this turkey recipe. Besides needing the obvious (one large young turkey), here is a list of ingredients you will need...
For the turkey stuffing (relleno para el pavo):
- Ground beef
- Ground pork
- Smoked bacon slices
- Thick baked ham slices
- Red bell pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Celery stalks
- White wine
- Sweet sherry wine
- Bread crumbs
For the turkey rub:
- Melted butter or vegetable oil
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
Supplies Needed To Make A Homemade Turkey
To really make a delicious boneless turkey, here are a few supplies you will need to pull this recipe off...
- A defrosted Turkey, make sure is completely thawed (tail clipped optional)
- Sharp boning knife
- Cutting board
- Large needle
- Sewing thread
- Paper towels (lots of paper towels.)
How To Make A Boneless Turkey Roast: Step By Step Tutorial
To make things easier for you, I am going to breakdown the directions to this recipe into sections.
Make The Mexican Turkey Stuffing
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients listed above in a large bowl and set aside to use when the turkey is ready to be stuffed.
How To Debone A Whole Turkey
- Remove the giblet and neck of the turkey.
- Using a sharp boning knife, make a single, straight cut on the backbone of the turkey. We will remove the breast, back, and part of the tight bones.
- Next, use your boning knife to carve the right side of the turkey’s ribcage. However, make sure not to cut through the backside of the breast skin.
- Cut the thigh joints carving between the bones and the turkey meat.
- Keep cutting around the ribcage and cut the wings joints. Do not remove the wing bones as they will give shape to the turkey and for presentation. These pictures show you the process in a few steps. Be careful not to cut the skin.
- Find the upper thigh joint where it connects to the turkey breast with the other hand and press forward with your thumb on the joint while pulling toward you by the bottom of the leg. The joint will break.
- Cut through any connecting cartilage, taking care not to cut the skin.
- Carve turkey meat from the top side of the thigh flat bone and remove the bone.
- Leave the lower leg for the shape and presentation of the turkey.
- Repeat the process with the left side.
- Carefully remove the whole breast and back of the turkey. (I like to save these bones to make a homemade broth later on. I sometimes make Pozole with the leftover turkey legs and the broth) or Turkey Flautas.
Stuff The Boneless Turkey
- Once you have removed the ribcage, generously season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper and any herbs or spices you may like to add.
- Now, you can proceed to stuff the turkey cavity with the ground beef stuffing you previously made.
Seal The Skin
- After you have finished stuffing the turkey, pull the skin together over stuffing.
- Close the incision using a cotton thread and a large cooking needle. This should take another 5 minutes to sew the turkey.
Prep The Stuffed Turkey In The Pan
- Place the turkey seam side down with the breast up in your baking tray.
- Coat with butter or oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Tie the legs together with string or cooking twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
Cook The Boneless Turkey Roast And Enjoy!
- Roast the turkey in a preheated oven for 2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh.
- Remove the turkey from the pan, lay it on a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil.
- Let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
What To Serve With Boneless Turkey Roast
My favorite way to serve this boneless turkey roast recipe is with some of my favorite American Thanksgiving side dishes:
Sometimes, I like to eat it just by itself. Either way, it’s just delicious!
More Holiday Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for boneless turkey, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Ponche Navideño Mexicano
- Pollo Al Horno (Oven-Roasted Chicken)
- Mexican Egg Nog Recipe
- Day Of The Dead Bread
- Chocolate Tamales
I hope you make this recipe for boneless turkey roast! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Boneless Turkey Roast
- 1 large young turkey (at least 14 lbs, or 7 Kgs).
For the stuffing:
- 1 Lb. ground beef
- 1 Lb. ground pork
- 6 slices smoked bacon finely diced
- ½ cup baked ham thick sliced and then diced
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup of onion finely chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper optional
- ⅓ cup olives chopped
- 4 cloves garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks finely chopped
- ½ cup of almonds peeled and chopped peeled and chopped
- ½ cup of prunes chopped, previously soaked in water for ½ hr. and rinsed
- ⅓ cup raisins previously soaked in water for ½ hr. and rinsed
- ½ cup of white wine
- ½ cup of sweet sherry wine
- ½ cup fresh or dry bread crumbs
For the outside of the turkey:
- 2 Tablespoon of melted butter or vegetable oil for rubbing the turkey
- Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season the turkey
You will need:
- A thawed turkey tail clipped (optional), rinsed and patted dry.
- A sharp boning knife
- cutting board
- Large needle and sewing thread
- paper towels lots of paper towels.
Instructions for the stuffing:
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to use when the turkey is ready to be stuffed.
- Remove the giblet and neck of the turkey. Using a sharp boning knife, make a single, straight cut on the backbone of the turkey. We will remove the breast, back and part of the tight bones.
- Next, use your boning knife to carve the right side of the turkey’s ribcage. However, take care not to cut through the backside of the breast skin. This process may take up to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the turkey and your carving skills.
- Cut the thigh joints carving between the bones and the turkey meat. Keep cutting around the ribcage and cut the wings joints. Do not remove the wing bones as they will give shape to the turkey and for presentation. Be always careful not to cut the skin.
- Find the upper thigh joint where it connects to the turkey breast with the other hand and press forward with your thumb on the joint while pulling toward you by the bottom of the leg.
- The joint will break. Cut through any connecting cartilage, taking care not to cut the skin.
- Carve turkey meat from the top side of the thigh flat bone and remove bone. Leave lower leg for shape and presentation of the turkey. Repeat the process with the left side. And carefully remove the whole breast and back of the turkey, save for a broth. I make Pozole with the leftover turkey legs and the broth.
- Once you have removed the ribcage, generously season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper and any herbs or spices you may like to add. Now, you can proceed to stuff the turkey cavity with the meat previously mixed with all the ingredients.
- Pull skin together over stuffing. Close the incision using a cotton thread and a large cooking needle. This should take another 5 minutes to sew the turkey. Place the turkey seam side down with the breast up in your baking tray. Coat with butter or oil, season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey. Roast the turkey in a 350F preheated oven for 2 hrs. or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.