That guilty pleasure that everyone is secretly excited about when ordering takeout. This should not…
Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast Tenderloin
You had me at BACON! Sharing my Thanksgiving trend for those who want to keep the turkey simple but show stopping!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with downsizing a traditionally large family feast with your favorite flavors and only a few of your favorite people. For the last 9 years of living in Florida, I never attempted to make an oversized turkey and excessive sides for that late November holiday. I also never missed the abundance of food when I knew my intimate dinner’s flavors were on point.
If anything I tried to avoid the holiday if possible, but then again, there was still something comforting and nostalgic about turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing. At last I had an opportunity to recreate Thanksgiving the way I wanted too. It’s always nice having to feel overwhelmed with heavy, calorie-rich leftovers. I also recognized that back in the day, reheating leftovers on black Friday was always a treat so I wanted to relive it in a lighter way.
When it came to the turkey at dinner, it was always safe. My dad would make it, and I can’t imagine the responsibility that comes with owning the turkey and the timing. For me – I work a full time job and usually I’m only cooking for two to four people around Thanksgiving so I wasn’t willing to attempt a full sized bird once moving to Florida. When I learned about turkey tenderloin I felt like I finally found the leanest part of the turkey and probably the easiest part to make. For about 8 years now I’ve made only turkey tenderloins and breasts and they have all turned out (knock on wood).
I am not a huge fan of all Thanksgiving foods…not all are created equal. Plus, I’m super biased to the way my family and our family friends made dishes. I don’t really know another way, and I’m ok with that. I had to trust my own instincts, a challenge I was willing to take. I believe this recipe takes the cake with only one word…bacon. It’s sweet, salty and incredibly moist. In less than an hour you have a great Turkey centerpiece that is super lean – even with the bacon!
***Keep in mind – I made a lot of turkey in this recipe. One, for leftovers. Two, it’s fairly inexpensive. And three, I wanted to make enough to make it a statement piece…the centerpiece as it should be.
- 4 (12 oz.) package turkey tenderloin breasts (preferably applewood smoked flavored)
- 1 ½ pounds center cut bacon
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon rosemary finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon thyme finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Mix together vinegar, honey, syrup, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- On a clean cutting board, lay out and slightly overlay bacon strips. Prepare blankets for 5-7 pieces for each breast. Lay the tenderloin on top of the bacon blanket, close to the ends of the bacon, and roll all bacon around the tenderloin.
- Oil or spray down two casserole dishes. Place tenderloins in the dish, seam side down. There should be at least 1-2 inches of space between the tenderloins (which is why it is best to prepare more than one baking sheet or dish).
- Using a basting brush, coat the bacon wrapped turkey with the vinegar-honey glaze. Make sure all sides and edges are coated as well. If there is left over, that’s ok.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and add the rest of the glaze. Use the juices/marinade at the bottom of the casserole dishes and also baste and glaze the tenderloins.
- Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The last 2-3 minutes, place oven to broil and place both baking dishes under the broiler. WATCH CLOSELY! Turn off the broiler and set back to the original heat of 400° when testing the internal temperature.
- Before removing the turkey from the oven, use a meat thermometer and see that the internal temperature is 160-165. Usually the turkey continues to cook for a few minutes once removed from the oven which is why it can be removed right before 165. The safe consumption temperature is 165 internally.
- Lay the bacon slices out long ways and slightly overlap the pieces to resemble a blanket.
- Place the tenderloin, top breast (smooth side) down towards the ends of the bacon pieces.
- Roll and make sure that most of the tenderloin is covered and place in the baking dish with the loose ends down, underneath the turkey.
- Another method would be setting the breast in the middle of the bacon blanket and crisscross the bacon, side to side.