Butternut Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberries and Pecans

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Turkey tenderloins stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans – this tastes like Thanksgiving, all wrapped up in one dish!

Turkey tenderloins stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans – this tastes like Thanksgiving, all wrapped up in one dish!Butternut Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberries and Pecans

Honestly, the photos don’t do this justice. I was having one of those days that I couldn’t take a decent photo, but the turkey – it’s amazing! And the leftovers were just as good the next day for lunch.

Some other turkey recipes I love are No Bean Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato and Turkey Pot Pie Soup.

Turkey tenderloins (the tender long strip of white meat hidden under the turkey breast) are very tender and excellent for weeknight cooking. Because it’s so lean, you want to be sure you don’t overcook it or the meat will be dry.

Butternut Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberries and Pecans – tastes like Thanksgiving all in one dish!

More Turkey Recipes:

Turkey tenderloins stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans – this tastes like Thanksgiving, all wrapped up in one dish!
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4.86 from 7 votes
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Butternut Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberries and Pecans

221 Cals 22 Protein 20 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Turkey tenderloins stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans – this tastes like Thanksgiving, all wrapped up in one dish!


  • 2 boneless turkey tenderloins, 1 lb total
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups 6 oz  diced butternut squash, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, replace with honey for Paleo, omit Whole30
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale
  • 3 sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 6 to 8 pieces cooking twine
  • cooking spray


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Add butternut squash, cranberries, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon water and cover; cook on low for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and add kale, salt, sage, and pepper, cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool and mix in pecans.
  • Cut a pocket into the sides of the tenderloins, careful not to cut all the way through at the ends. Season the inside and outside of the turkey with salt.
  • Stuff each turkey breast with about 3/4 cup of squash mixture.  Cut cooking twine long enough to tie each breast with 3 to 4 pieces of twine.  Cut off extra twine.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, lightly spray with cooking spray. Carefully sear each turkey breast on each side about 2 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon water into the skillet and cover tight with foil.  (Or transfer to a baking dish and cover tight with foil). Cook in the center of the oven 25 minutes.
  • Allow to sit 5 minutes before cutting off twine and slicing each turkey breast in 4 slices. Spoon any pan juices over the turkey and serve.


Serving: 2slices, Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 880mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: butternut stuffed turkey tenderloin, Leftover Turkey Recipes, stuffed turkey tenderloin, thanksgiving turkey recipe, whole 30 stuffed turkey

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  1. Excellent. I ended up cutting a larger turkey (boneless) in half, pounding it to be flatter and thinner so could stuff centre reasonably well before tying. I used butternut squash and extra from fresh one, roasted to make a squash soup. The au jus didn’t need anything more added post roasting ( I did add more water during the roasting period so I ended up with over a cup of drippings/added liquid).

  2. This was the perfect dish for our small, family of 4 thanksgiving dinner, where only 2.5 eat turkey! One daughter is a vegetarian and the other almost is, and only wanted a small portion of meat, so there was no way I was going to cook a large bird or even a large breast. I used a Shady Brook 1.5 pound tenderloin, spinach not kale and had to substitute walnuts for the pecans. I followed the rest of the recipe, making the “stuffing” the day before to save some time in the kitchen on thanksgiving. My husband exclaimed he never wants to eat “regular turkey” again and there is enough to make a couple of sandwiches! It truly is the most moist turkey I have ever had. This complemented all our traditional thanksgiving dishes and made this 2020 thanksgiving still special. Thanks Gina for another great, healthy and easy to follow recipe.

  3. What would you recommend instead of cranberries? I have a picky eater. Would dates be a good substitute? 

  4. This looks delicious! I’m so excited to make it for Friendsgiving! I just have to say…I think it’s screaming out for a pan sauce…

  5. Do you have to precook/parboil the squash or just peel it and dice it up?

  6. I made this for dinner tonight! I couldn’t find turkey tenderloins so instead I used ground turkey. I prepared the first part of the recipe as is. Instead of stuffing I just mixed it all with the raw ground turkey and baked it for 25 minutes in a 9×13. It was SO good! I made it with the garlic knots!! If Fall had a taste this would be it! 

  7. Can I use frozen cranberries? Should I thaw them first?

  8. I made this the other night and followed the recipe exactly. The turkey turned out perfectly cooked! The stuffing was good too, but I did think it was missing a little something (for my taste). I couldn’t really taste the sage – when you say 3 leaves, do you mean 3 of the individual tiny leaves? Or like three sprigs (with all their leaves)? I want to make this for Christmas dinner, so I might try adding some more traditional stuffing herbs – marjoram, thyme, etc. It is also quite beautiful on the plate. I’m planning to serve with garlic mashed potatoes and some balsamic Brussels sprouts w/pancetta.

  9. What if I don’t have string to tie it? 

  10. I have a smaller oven and I’m trying to figure out what to put where… can this be done entirely in the pan on the stovetop or in a convection toaster oven?

  11. Not sure if this is the place to leave a comment about your meal plans in general, but I just wanted to say I use them every week and I am in LOVE with them! Please keep it up! I’m a first time learning how to cook and how to eat real food in a healthy way person and this has changed my life! Thank you so much!

  12. I made this recipe last night and it was delicious!
    I had to use chicken vs. turkey, dried low sugar craisans, and added poultry seasoning. It was delish & looking forward to leftovers tonight.

  13. Could I put this in the crockpot?

    • The original version of this recipe was published in the skinnytaste cookbook Fast and Slow. It shows this being cooked in a crockpot with gravy.

  14. As a classically trained chef who finishes most French dishes with butter,(but who now cooks for two elderly, overweight relatives on weight watchers), I’m constantly looking for new recipes to curb points. I made this and altered it a bit and it was a hit. I love this site and keep up the great work you’ve done so far. Keep experimenting and cooking!
    Love To Cook Cook For love

  15. I would like to prepare this for Christmas eve and have 10 people for dinner. What might be the most efficient way to prepare this rather than individual turkeyloins? It sounds fantastic!

  16. Pingback: 5 Easy Turkey Recipes Under 450 Calories - Goodways Fitness

  17. Pingback: 5 Easy Turkey Recipes Under 450 Calories – Lifestyle Blog for the City of Doral | DORAL 360

  18. Pingback: 5 Easy Turkey Recipes Under 450 Calories | MyFitnessPal

  19. I made this tonight and served it over farro. Soooo delicious!  Great flavors. 

  20. This was absolutely AMAZING! I will definitely be making this again. My boo liked it so much he wants this to be a part of the normal rotation. 

  21. Can you use Turkey London Broil instead of Tenderloin?

  22. Could you use pork tenderloins?

  23. Getting the Thanksgiving cravings early. Gonna make this, this week. Looks delicious

  24. Thanks for another yummy dinner 🙂 I live in Australia and can’t get Turkey Tenderloins or fresh cranberries. I didn’t want to buy a whole turkey just for the tenderloins so I used Chicken breast and baked it for 20minutes at 180c. I also used frozen cranberries and it was delicious. It was juicy and tasty. I love that all your meals are healthy and yet so full of flavour! 

  25. I have made this two years in a row now for Christmas dinner. It’s SO good!! Thank you for this recipe! YUM

  26. I have made this two years in a row now for Christmas dinner. It’s SO good!! Thank you for this recipe! YUM

  27. Just made this tonight–OMG. Hubby and kids gobbled it up. He gave it an A+, said it tasted like restaurant food, and was easily in the top 10 of anything I have ever made. Absolutely delicious and making WW SOOOOO much easier. Keep the fabulous recipes coming! (And for those looking, I was able to find turkey tenderloin right at Target. It was the Jennie-O brand right next to the ground turkey. Not sure if all Target stores carry it–but that’s where ours had it.)

  28. Pingback: Turkey tenderloins stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans – this tastes like Thanksgiving, all wrapped up in one dish! | My Bariatric Lifestyle

  29. Wish there was a video on how to do it.

  30. I made this for our Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was just me and my husband so I didn’t want or need a massive amount of food. This, along with lightened up stuffing and roasted green beans, was a perfect Thanksgiving feast for two. My husband must have said “pretty tasty” a dozen times.

  31. I made this today for my parents. We all loved it! I used frozen cubed butternut squash and it worked great.

  32. Thanks for the recipe! I used it for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, and baked it with a Pork Tenderloin instead and it turned out great! I baked the extra butternut squash and cranberries as a side dish with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper too. Thanks Again!

  33. Planning on making this for thanksgiving tonight, as my 2 year old is sick so we had to change our plans. Is the sage absolutely necessary? I don’t have any on hand 

  34. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!! I’m going to try it with turkey cutlets..what do you think about baking time as these are a bit thinner than the tenderloins? Do you think it’s necessary do sear with the cutlets?


  35. This was amazing! I made this tonight along with the chicken sausage and herb stuffing & parmesan roasted green beans (early friendsgiving dinner!). I also wasn’t able to find turkey tenderloins, so I got some turkey breast chops (98% fat free!) and pounded them out so they’d fit the stuffing…it was absolutely scrumptious!

  36. Want to bring this to work for a potluck on turkey day…. Could I use a slow cooker to keep these hot at work until lunch time? Should I skip the baking step?

  37. I finally tried this and it was delicious! I am responsible for a side dish for our family’s Thankmas. Any suggestions on how to make the stuffing as a side dish?

  38. Can I use dry cranberries??? Looks amazing 

  39. I doubled the filling recipe and used it to stuff a butterflied pork loin. Absolutely delicious.

  40. Pingback: Maria's Mixing Bowl | BUTTERNUT STUFFED TURKEY TENDERLOIN

  41. I just bought your Fast and Slow cookbook and spotted this recipe. Thinking about making it for Thanksgiving with my husband this year, as it’ll be just us on the holiday, and this looks like a good stand in for a full Thanksgiving feast. He’s not a fan of squash though, silly man. Anyone ever tried this with sweet potatoes instead? Think it might work?

  42. Looks amazing, this is perfect for my sister and I to make for Thanksgiving!

  43. This looks so good!! I am curious on how to replace the maple or leave out for a whole30 run… tips? 

  44. This looks amazing, if we can’t have nuts is it still 4 points without them?? 

  45. Can you use pork tenderloin instead?

  46. I just made this tonight for dinner. I had cranberries and turkey tenderloins in the freezer. It was absolutely delicious. The tartness of the cranberries with the sweetness of the maple syrup was divine!!! I almost used craisins instead of the cranberries- don’t do it! They would be way to sweet. I did replace sage with parsley as sage is not my favorite. Will be making many times more????

  47. Pingback: 9 One-Dish Thanksgivings You Don’t Have the Guts to Make | Hospitality Times

  48. This is phenomenal. Absolutely amazing. I just made it for dinner but i used ground Turkey and made stuffed Turkey burgers. Took a little longer but deff worth the wait. I’m impressed and in love with all of your recipes! 

  49. I made this last year. This year we are taking on a whole turkey. However, the "stuffing" squash mix will be a side for us! I prep as you suggest and throw in the oven for a bit. Delicious! A big hit at our house!

  50. Hi Gina, I am making this for Thanksgiving this year. What sides would you recommend with this?

  51. I'm having trouble finding turkey tenderloin. Would it work to make this using two turkey cutlets (one on each side to form a pocket for the stuffing) instead?

  52. Are the tenderloins 1lb a piece or both of them equaling 1 lb?

  53. I made this tonight but with pork tenderloin – it was phenomenal!! An absolute favorite of mine. It just took a tad bit longer to cook 🙂

  54. What sauce is in the picture?

  55. if i used dried cranberries what stage would you include them, i assume they wouldnt need cooking for as long? also could you use cranberry sauce instead?

  56. Instead of searing can I just bake it longer?

  57. This was AWESOME. I used dried cranberries because I didn't have any fresh. My boyfriend (who is not a small man) said that it was one of the best meals that he has ever had. Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

    • when/what stage did you include the dried cranberries in the recipe as i assume they dont take as long as fresh to cook? and did use still use the maple syrup?

  58. We made this for a simple Thanksgiving dinner and it was amazing. So happy to say it's made the cut for our Christmas eve dinner as well. There is nothing "skimping" about the taste in this recipe!

  59. These look amazing I think i'm gong to have to try this out!


  60. looks great… this will be my lunch for today
    check this http://www.englishmuffinpizza.net/

  61. Thank Gina you for this great recipe! I made it tonight and was amazing and enjoyed by all.

  62. This is dinner tonight!!

  63. This looks really good, and my first thought is they would make nice-sized servings for a work potluck later this week. However, since we only have a crockpot and a microwave at work, I'm wondering…do you think I could sear these, refrigerate and bring to work, and put in a crockpot for the rest of the cook time? I COULD microwave them but that seems mean to do to such pretty food 😉

  64. Wow…this looks beautiful, the pictures are nice, no worry about that. I am thinking to substitute the cranberry with citrus, because it is not easy for me to get cranberry here. Anyway, also thinking to add some cheese, I love cheese and the cheese might able to hold all the ingredients too. 🙂

  65. I made this with pork chops instead and it came out AMAZING! Thank you so much for this great fall recioe!

  66. I made this tonight and my husband asked if I could make it every Sunday and then suggested that we have this dish instead of traditional turkey on Thanksgiving! This is a fabulous dish and fairly easy to make!

    I found turkey tenderloins at my Wegman's (near the whole fresh turkeys) and unfortunately the cuts were rather long and thin. I stuffed them and tied them (also found cooking twine at Wegman's) and they did hold together really well even though the stuffing was popping out!

    I used a cast iron skillet from start to finish for this dish. Thanks Skinnytaste!!

  67. Could sweet potatoes be used instead of the squash?

  68. Looks so good! It's only going to be three of us for Thanksgiving this year, so I may have to try this!

  69. I made this tonight and it was really delicious! I couldn't find turkey tenderloins, so I just used a boneless and skinless turkey breast and increased the time until I got the proper internal temp. I used walnuts because I had them in my pantry. I also put some stock and wine on the bottom of the pan and made a pan gravy with that at the end. I know I kind of changed the recipe a bit, but the stuffing is what makes this!

  70. How to I add this to the recipe box? I can't find the heart anywhere?

  71. would like to know time for baking if using chicken breast

  72. Just tried this for dinner and it was delicious! This will definitely be added to our personal recipes.

  73. How long would I need to bake this for using fresh chicken breast? Thanks!

  74. Yum! I love, love, love this! Can not wait to try. Thanks so much Gina 🙂


  75. These look great! Definitely going to try these out for Xmas 😀

    -Miss Sennnaa
    BLOG: http://miss-sennnaa.blogspot.com

  76. This is very good! I tried your other stuffed turkey tenderloin recipe, and didn't have figs, so I used dried cranberries, and it was wonderful…It made enough for 2 dinners for my husband and myself. Great both times….I get my turkey tenderloins from Trader Joe's. this is perfect for a simple thanksgiving! thanks for sharing! Sue

  77. I have the same question as 127ster – how can I make this as a stand alone stuffing. It would be a great side dish for the vegetarians in the family. Thank you.

  78. This is similiar to the stuffed turkey with butternut and figs which I tried and loved. I can't wait to try this one as well!

  79. If I don't want to use the turkey, but just want to make the stuffing, do I just continue cooking in the pan, or do I still need to cook in the oven? How long would I need to cook/bake it?

  80. Gina, this looks so good…and I love the points. It would work on a phase2 low carb diet, as well. Excellent!

  81. Looks great. I hope I can find turkey tenderloin in my stores.

  82. That stuffing! *eyes wide open* it looks amazing! And I am so glad you didn't use meat for it, sometimes a comforting veggie dish can be just as good to wrap the meat around. This looks delicious 😀 x

  83. Fresh Cranberries aren't available in my local grocery stores. What would you reccomend for a replacement? Dried Cranberries? Raisins?

  84. My husband and I both have jobs that don't always afford being home for the holidays. He will be out of town; I'll be home alone. This is a wonderful way to celebrate when cooking a whole turkey along with all the trimmings just isn't feasible. 🙂

  85. This looks so yummy! What a great simple way to incorporate so many fall flavors!

  86. Looks wonderful. Catherine

  87. I like having good food on hand for me & my 5-year old when my husband travels but hate cooking it just for us. So, similar to Kary's question – do you think it would work well if prepped it through searing and then FROZEN BEFORE baking? Please say yes…these sound yummy & I'd love to have a stash of these on hand 🙂

  88. My mom used to make turkey tenderloin for us ALL the time growing up, but I love the additions of fall flavors here 🙂

  89. I always have chicken breast in the freezer that's what I'll be using. 🙂

  90. Yum! This would be perfect for a more low-key Thanksgiving meal, yet still looks fancy.

  91. This looks soooo good! I love turkey but I have a pork tenderloin in the freezer…so I might actually make this stuffing to put in there. I bet it would still be delicious. PS: My husband and I are loving your cookbook! We just made the sriracha-glazed salmon the other night and he said it was "the best meal we've cooked in a long time." Yum.

  92. This is genius!! I need to try making this, it looks unreal. Thanks for sharing!


  93. This looks so yummy! Where do you get your turkey tenderloin? I haven't been able to find any at my local grocery stores.

  94. Yes, would be perfect!

  95. This looks great! Do you think it would work well if I prepped it through the searing and then refrigerated it before baking?

  96. LooIs yummy.