Fig & Balsamic Glazed Turkey with Fig & Sausage Stuffing

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on email

Make this delicious fig and balsamic glazed turkey with fig stuffing for your Thanksgiving meal. Trust me when I say this recipe will not disappoint!

Pouring glaze over a turkey.

Why I Love This Recipe

This is a recipe that I reserve for Thanksgiving only. I've been making this same recipe for several years and my entire family loves it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Though we eat turkey multiple times throughout the year, this is the recipe I reserve specifically for Thanksgiving day so it's still special and we all look forward to it.

This recipe is also special because for many years we've made it from turkeys and pork sausage we've raised on our farm. The only thing missing would be fresh figs, but they're not in season when it's Thanksgiving, so dried figs will do.

Prep Ahead

There are a lot of steps for this recipe that can be done ahead of time.

  • Soak Figs – Because we're using dried figs, we'll want to reconstitute them with some water and sweeten it up with a bit of honey. You'll then reserve that liquid to create the balsamic fig glaze.
  • Bake Cornbread – Day-old cornbread is really great because it dries out just a bit and soaks up all the delicious flavors of the broth and other stuffing ingredients.
  • Cook Sausage – To save a few minutes on Thanksgiving day, go ahead and cook the sausage ahead of time. It's not necessary, but I'd recommend saving some of the grease to add back into the stuffing because it adds such great flavor.
  • Slice Bread – Stale bread works best for stuffing. The drier the better because it'll soak up all the delicious flavors. If you don't have time to let your bread sit out and get stale, you can always pop it into the oven

If you're going to be stuffing your turkey, it's very important the meat inside the stuffing is cooked completely before stuffing the bird. This is why stuffing gets a bad wrap because the meat doesn't always cook fully inside the turkey, then when you pull it out, you serve undercooked meat.

The other reason this stuffing is incredible is that it's made with a combination of cornbread and sourdough bread. I like to bake the cornbread the day before.

Scooping stuffing from a turkey.

Sausage & Fig Stuffing Recipe

Now I'm a typical southern cook and don't use a lot of measurements. You'll often hear me say things like “a pinch of this” or “a handful of that.” Because of this, the recipe below is pretty close to what I follow, except different kitchens on different days will act uniquely, so I also go by look and feel.

I recommend signing up for a free 7-day trial of Abundance+ and watching episode 3 of Wilder Still to see how I make this recipe because so much of it is about it looking and feeling “just right.”

(This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence’s Fig-Glazed Turkey)

Ingredients for fig and sausage stuffing on a kitchen counter.

Ingredients for Stuffing

  • Dried figs, chopped. – you'll want to chop your figs before soaking them, this will also help speed up the process of reconstituting them.
  • Local honey – we add honey to the figs because we're going to reserve the soaking liquid to make our balsamic glaze. So that added honey is needed.
  • Lemon juice – this helps break down and soften the figs just a bit, plus adds a nice acidity to the final glaze.
  • Warm water – warm water works best for soaking figs.
  • Oil or butter – you may need some additional oil or butter when cooking the onions. Cook your sausage first, then add more oil to the pan if there aren't enough drippings from the sausage.
  • Sweet onions, chopped – sausage and onions make this stuffing so delicious.
  • Rosemary, chopped (or 2 Tbs. dried) – if you're lucky, you may still have some fresh rosemary from the garden! But dried rosemary works just fine, too.
  • Sausage – we used our homegrown sausage, but pretty much any sausage will work. Choose a spicy or sweet variety according to your preference.
  • Cornbread – make this the day ahead to save yourself some leg work!
  • Stale crusty bread – I love sourdough here. If you don’t have time to let it stale, dry it on a sheet in the oven.
  • Heavy cream – the added fat from the cream makes this stuffing incredible!
  • Eggs – to hold it all together.
  • Chicken stock – homemade broth will be full of flavor, but use what you have!

A woman measuring balsamic vinegar and adding to a pot.

Ingredients for Turkey & Glaze

  • Turkey – This recipe calls for a 14-16 lb turkey. If you're cooking a turkey that's much larger or smaller, feel free to adjust this recipe accordingly.
  • Butter (for the turkey) – the key to a moist turkey is getting butter in between the turkey skin and turkey breast. You may need more or less butter, depending on the size of your bird.
  • Salt & Pepper – you want to liberally salt and pepper your turkey. The flavors will penetrate the skin as well as drip down into your pan drippings, adding incredible flavor for the glaze.
  • Balsamic vinegar – it's the star of the show for this recipe!
  • Butter (for the glaze) – butter makes the glaze so velvety and smooth.

Directions

A woman adding honey to a bowl of soaked figs.

Put the chopped figs in a bowl with the honey and lemon juice and cover with warm water.
This can be done up to the night before but should be at least 10 minutes before.

Cooked turkey and stuffing.

Brown the sausage and remove it from the pan. Retain the grease in the pan and add a bit of oil or
butter if needed. Saute the onions in this grease/oil until soft.

Preheat the Oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix crumbled cornbread, roughly torn dried bread, eggs, onions, sausage,
and rosemary. Add the cream and chicken stock until you’ve reached a wet but not soupy
consistency. You want the stuffing to hold its shape when squeezed.

Drain the figs, reserving the liquid they soaked in. Add the figs to the stuffing.

A woman measuring balsamic vinegar and adding to a pot.

Put the liquid from hydrating the figs in a pan on low heat on the stovetop. Add the balsamic
and simmer on low until reduced by half (this takes a while).

A woman buttering a turkey.

Work the softened butter under the skin of the turkey. Work slowly so as not to tear the skin.

Salt and pepper the skin of the turkey liberally and stuff it with stuffing. Don’t pack it in too
tightly, but don’t leave any gaping empty spaces, as either can cause uneven cooking.

Putting a turkey in a roasting pan into the oven.

Put turkey in oven. A 14 lb. turkey should take around 3 hours to cook. ALWAYS use a meat
thermometer when cooking turkey and cook until it registers 165°F in the breast.

While the turkey cooks, keep an eye on your glaze reducing on the stove. Once it is reduced
by half, add a stick of butter. 30 minutes before the turkey is done, pour the glazed over the
skin of the turkey.

A spoon pouring balsamic glaze over a turkey.

When the turkey reaches temperature, glaze it again with the pan drippings. Let the turkey
rest for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting so the juices can redistribute.

Pull stuffing out and put in a serving bowl. Pour some pan drippings over top. Carve the bird
and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below, then snap a photo and tag me on social media @roots_and_refuge so I can see how beautiful your turkeys turned out!

Pouring glaze over a turkey.

Fig & Balsamic Glazed Turkey with Fig Stuffing

Make this delicious fig and balsamic glazed turkey with fig stuffing for your Thanksgiving meal. Trust me when I say this recipe will not disappoint!
4.60 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Balsamic Glazed Turkey, Fig & Sausage Stuffing, Turkey
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 1086kcal

Ingredients

For Soaking the Figs

  • 2 cups dried figs chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups warm water

For the Stuffing

  • 2 whole sweet onions chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons rosemary fresh or dried, chopped
  • 1 pound sausage spicy or sweet
  • 5 cups cornbread about 1 loaf
  • 4 slices bread I like stale crusty sourdough
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 stick butter

For the Turkey

  • 16 pound turkey
  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 2 Tablespoons salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Put the chopped figs in a bowl with the honey and lemon juice and cover with warm water. This can be done up to the night before but should be at least 10 minutes before.
  • Brown the sausage and remove it from the pan. Retain the grease in the pan and add a bit of oil or butter if needed. Saute the onions in this grease/oil until soft.
  • Preheat the Oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, mix crumbled cornbread, roughly torn dried bread, eggs, onions, sausage, and rosemary. Add the cream and chicken stock until you’ve reached a wet but not soupy consistency. You want the stuffing to hold its shape when squeezed.
  • Drain the figs, reserving the liquid they soaked in. Add the figs to the stuffing.
  • Put the liquid from hydrating the figs in a pan on low heat on the stovetop. Add the balsamic and simmer on low until reduced by half (this takes a while).
  • Work the softened butter under the skin of the turkey. Work slowly so as not to tear the skin.
  • Salt and pepper the skin of the turkey liberally and stuff it with stuffing. Don’t pack it in too tightly, but don’t leave any gaping empty spaces, as either can cause uneven cooking.
  • Put turkey in oven. A 14 lb. turkey should take around 3 hours to cook. ALWAYS use a meat thermometer when cooking turkey and cook until it registers 165°F in the breast.
  • While the turkey cooks, keep an eye on your glaze reducing on the stove. Once it is reduced by half, add a stick of butter. 30 minutes before the turkey is done, pour the glazed over the skin of the turkey.
  • When the turkey reaches temperature, glaze it again with the pan drippings. Let the turkey rest for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting so the juices can redistribute.
  • Pull stuffing out and put in a serving bowl. Pour some pan drippings over top. Carve the bird and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 1086kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 114g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 415mg | Sodium: 2184mg | Potassium: 1423mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 864IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 6mg
I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

Top Posts

R&R on Teachable

Looking to get started Homesteading? Check out our courses!

Subscribe Now

Never miss an update from us! 

Plus...something special

coming next week!

15585

Watch Jess & Miah's "Wilder Still" Series

Close

USE CODE  "JESS10" FOR 10% OFF - EXPIRES 3/4/2022

​​Plus premium content, designed specifically for your homesteading needs.