Glazed turkey – a 3 ingredient hack that will take your bird to the next level

This glazed turkey recipe will up your turkey game with just three ingredients...

Waitrose Glazed turkey
(Image credit: Waitrose)

Glazed turkey is one of the most delicious recipes out there for the Holidays. We love glazed most things but, if you're looking to give the main event of your Thanksgiving dinner that extra touch of sophistication, something that takes it from 'mmm tasty' to 'give me your recipe, please!', well, a glazed turkey will do just that. 

And, it's not just any glaze, it's a maple butter glaze that adds a sweet, rich, tasty layer to your bird. Given how much incredible flavor this adds you your turkey, it's a super easy addition, that even a novice could get this right.

We are so aware that knowing exactly how to cook turkey is somewhat of an art, but here we talk you through how to prepare and cook the glazed turkey from a-b. Plus, we've included how to make gorgeous pancetta parcels for it to comfortably sit on also. So not only will this taste incredible, but it will look darn beautiful too. The pancetta stuffing parcels would actually make a great entrée for your Thanksgiving menu or even for your Christmas dinner... What's more, you could even use this glaze on ham or another meat of choice. One for every cook's recipe Holiday recipe repertoire, right? 

So if you want to try something a bit different to your traditional Thanksgiving turkey keep on scrolling...

Maple butter glazed turkey with pancetta parcels recipe

This glazed turkey is super moist but we have a great turkey brine recipe also if you want to triple ensure juicy results!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours

Serves: 8-10


For the turkey maple butter glaze: 

  • 75g butter
  • 100g maple syrup
  • 100ml chicken stock 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste (optional)

For the turkey rub:

  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp garlic granules 

For the turkey:

  • 6kg free range whole turkey with giblets 
  • 2 sticks celery, washed
  • 2 carrots, washed and halved lengthways
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and washed
  • 1 head garlic, cloves bashed and loosened in their skins
  • 4 bay leaves

For the pancetta stuffing parcels:

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large stick celery, washed and roughly chopped
  • 200g pack white breadcrumbs
  • 454g British pork sausagemeat
  • 25g pack parsley, roughly chopped
  • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
  • 400g Italian sliced pancetta
  • 20g pack sage, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


1. Mix the turkey rub ingredients together in a small bowl and then remove the giblets from inside the turkey. Then, being careful not to split it, lift the skin away from the breast top of the legs, and smother the flesh with the rub, concentrating on the breast. Once you have used all of the rub, tuck the skin back and place uncovered in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. It’s important that it doesn’t come into contact with or drip on anything else in the fridge. 

2. Remove the bird from the fridge and allow it to adjust to room temperature, this should take about 30 minutes. While you are waiting, start to prepare the stuffing parcels by mixing the onion, garlic and celery in the bowl of a food processor until very fine and add in the breadcrumbs, sausagemeat, parsley and nutmeg. Keep pulsing until the mixture comes together, then divide into 28 and roll into balls with damp hands. Take each stuffing ball and wrap it in a slice of pancetta, then turn it and add a sage leaf. Finally wrap the other side with another slice of pancetta to make up a present shape. Once you have done them all, place them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush with olive oil, cover and set aside in the fridge until needed. 

3. Preheat the oven to 140ºC, gas mark 1, then layer the celery, carrot, leek, garlic and bay leaves in a large roasting tray. Place the turkey on the bed on top of them, breast-side down and cook for 2 hours.

4. Next, make the maple butter glaze by putting all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and boiling for 8-10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until glossy, thickened and reduced by half. 

5. Remove the turkey from the oven after two hours and turn the heat down to 120ºC, gas mark 1/2. Flip the turkey breast-side up and brush a layer of the glaze over the top of the bird, then roast for a further 2 hours. To keep it moist, brush periodically with more glaze, until thoroughly cooked, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Once it is cooked through, remove and place on a platter to rest 30 minutes and brush over the remaining maple butter glaze. 

6. Now the oven is empty, turn the oven up to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and put the stuffing parcels in the now empty oven for 30-35 minutes until golden, piping hot and thoroughly cooked through. To finish off, carefully pour all the juices from the bottom of the turkey tin into a medium saucepan and boil for 10 minutes until reduced by half to make gravy (adding extra water or stock if needed) and season to taste, then serve the rested, glazed turkey with the stuffing parcels and hot gravy.  

Recipe supplied by Waitrose – for more festive foodie ideas head over to their inspiring recipes section.