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A Modern (and Light)Thanksgiving: Turkey Breast with Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

11/23/15 9:10 AM / by Malta Development Malta Development

What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving turkey? Do gravy and cranberry sauce come to mind? What about leftover turkey soup and sandwiches? Most families can’t polish off an entire turkey in one sitting. These turkey breasts are lighter fare than a whole turkey, and you can make them ahead to save time during meal day.

Much of the Thanksgiving tradition includes time-consuming prep work and eating more than you can handle. However, if you're going for moderation and time-efficiency this year, why not try a make-ahead turkey breast with vanilla sweet potatoes? It includes everything you'd want from a Thanksgiving dinner minus the hassle. Follow this recipe to spend time with family, friends and football, not the food.
Here's how to get started:

Serves: 6


  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots (2 inches thick)
  • Half a cup of sliced celery (1 inch thick)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 quartered tomatoes
  • 1 quartered onion
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 skinned whole turkey breast (6 lbs)

Preparation: Put everything but the turkey in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the turkey breast, return to a boil; reduce heat. Let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the turkey reaches 170 degrees. Carefully remove the turkey, cover it, and refrigerate. Strain the stock through a colander discarding all solids and return stock to the pot. Reduce heat and continue to simmer stock for about 1 1/2 hours or until it's reduced to 2 quarts. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Skim solidified fat from surface of stock if necessary.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.


  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Preparation: Rub turkey breast with oil. Sprinkle it with all the herbs and spices. Wrap the turkey in heavy-duty plastic wrap (yes, plastic wrap) and foil to retain moisture while reheating. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until thoroughly heated.


  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 16 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) of stale bread, cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Preparation: Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in bread cubes and the rest of the ingredients. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of turkey stock. Place in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake simultaneously with turkey at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 55 minutes.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour

Preparation: Prepare the gravy while the turkey and stuffing cook. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and reduce heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Gradually add 5 1/2 cups of turkey stock, whisking until blended. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3 cups (about 2 hours).

Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup of low or reduced fat milk
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Preparation: Arrange them in a circle over a paper towel in the microwave. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until tender. Let stand for 5 minutes. Peel and mash. Combine with milk and remaining ingredients. Place in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and microwave on medium for 7 minutes.

Uncover turkey; remove turkey breast halves from bone. Slice turkey, and serve with stuffing, gravy, and vanilla sweet potatoes.

Nutritional Information: calories 945, calories from fat 24%, fat 25.7 g, monofat 7.8 g, polyfat 2.3 g, protein 64.9 g, carbohydrate 110.5 g, fiber 8 g, cholesterol 197 mg, iron 7.9 mg, sodium 1262 mg, calcium 254 mg.

Recipe adapted from MyRecipes. Image adapted from the kitchen.


Topics: holidays, Holidays, Recipes, recipes

Malta Development

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