Bacon & Butter Brussel Sprouts with Roast Turkey

Traditional Christmas Turkey

A classic roast turkey recipe, simply stuffed with onion, carrots, celery, sage, and thyme and roasted to perfection. This turkey recipe is super easy, especially if you’re not up for making stuffing, it’s a no-fuss, fool-proof turkey. This Christmas we’re all about the sides, and these Brussel sprouts may just be your new favourite festive side! Butter and bacon make these Brussels moreish! PS: Save the juices! After the turkey is finished cooking there will be juice and browned cooked bits at the bottom of your roasting pan. You can reserve all of it for a delicious gravy.


Cooking Methods

  • Roasting



Prep Time

1 hour 15 minutes

Cooking Time

3 hours


Roast Turkey:

  • 1 Turkey, thawed (3kg)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • 3 sprigs sage, plus 15ml (1 Tbsp) chopped leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme, plus 15ml (1 Tbsp) chopped leaves
  • 180ml unsalted butter
  • 10ml (2 tsp) paprika

Bacon Brussel Sprouts

  • 200g Food Lover’s streaky bacon, diced
  • 30ml (2 Tbsp) butter, salted
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion, carrot, celery, sage and thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the turkey onto a rack set in a large roasting pan, tucking the wings under the body.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; whisk in the paprika and chopped sage and thyme. Allow the paprika butter to cool slightly, then brush mixture all over the turkey. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  3. While the turkey is roasting, make the Brussels sprouts by cooking the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Move onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. In same pan with bacon fat, melt the butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss bacon back into pan.
  4. After the turkey has roasted for 1 hour, baste with the pan juices. Continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 75°C - this will take about another two hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.


What can I make with leftover turkey?

How do I make turkey stuffing?

The stuffing and glaze can easily be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the festivities. If you’re looking for a stuffed turkey recipe, you should try this Christmas stuffing in an orange marmalade roast turkey recipe.

Can I put a turkey on the braai?

Yes, you can! Pete Goffe-Wood created a lekker braaied turkey recipe served with sweet mango and mango salsa and a potato porchetta salad. Yes, mango and turkey make a terrific pair!


Cherry Clafoutis