Harissa Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

For an exciting change to the main event of Thanksgiving, try my Harissa-Roasted Turkey Breast. Full of flavor, with a crispy, crackling skin, it would pair perfectly with the Carrot-Cranberry Chutney.  This recipe from my book, Soul of a New Cuisine, saves space in the oven with a stovetop stuffing while the turkey roasts.

Prep Details

Servings: 6-8



3/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground caraway

1 cup mild chili powder

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped mint


1/4 cup olive oil, divided

2 tbsp lightly crushed almonds

1/2 loaf white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cinnamon sticks

3 garlic cloves, cut in half

3 shallots, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 quinces, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tbsp Harissa

2 tsp chopped thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup raisins

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Roasted Turkey Breast

One 6-pound bone-in turkey breast(skin on)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped


To Make the Harissa:
1. Heat the oil in a small saute plan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and saute until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the caraway, chili powder, coriander, salt, and mint and stir to combine. Let cool.

To Make the Stuffing:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and bread cubes and saute for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Add the parsnips and cinnamon sticks and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, shallots, quinces, and harissa and saute until the garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, orange juice, and honey, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the thyme, salt, raisins, and almonds and bread cubes and stir until well combined. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Harissa-Roasted Turkey:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle on all sides with salt and pepper. Stuff the garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, and onion into the neck cavity, and seal it closed with a wooden skewer or toothpick. Generously rub the Harissa over and under the skin.

2. Place the turkey breast skin side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and cover with foil. Roast, basting occasionally with the juices that accumulate in the bottom of the pan, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest pasrt of the breast reads 160 degrees F and the juices run clear, about 1 1/2 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cooking remove he foil to brown the skin. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

3. Serve with the stuffing.