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