Turducken Recipe

Turducken, partially sliced on a platter showing the duck and chicken layers

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs
Servings: 12 to 14 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1763 Calories
105g Fat
19g Carbs
175g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 14
Amount per serving
Calories 1763
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 105g 134%
Saturated Fat 33g 163%
Cholesterol 690mg 230%
Sodium 979mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 175g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 12mg 64%
Potassium 1586mg 34%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Turducken is a true showstopping main course for Thanksgiving dinner. The term "turducken" is a combination of the words "turkey," "duck," and "chicken," as the dish consists of a chicken stuffed inside a duck that's then stuffed inside a turkey. To make the stuffing and slicing easy, a turducken uses deboned poultry; to save time and effort, ask a butcher to do this for you. When sliced, each piece of turducken contains portions of all three birds with stuffing in between the layers.

Turducken combines the flavors of moist roast poultry and savory stuffing into one glorious dish. It is not difficult to make, but it is a little time-consuming, so plan on adequate preparation time. The end result is worth the effort.


  • 2 3/4 cups preparedbread stuffing, at room temperature, divided

  • 2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing, at room temperature, divided

  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 cloves garlic, quartered

  • 6 fresh sage leaves

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey, deboned

  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (such as Gravy Master, Kitchen Bouquet)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) duck, deboned

  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, deboned

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for turducken recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place 2 1/4 cups of the bread stuffing in a bowl. Place 1 1/2 cups of the cornbread stuffing in another bowl.

    Bread stuffing and cornbread stuffing in two separate bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of bread stuffing in a third bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup of the cornbread stuffing. Add the whole berry cranberry sauce and pecans and toss gently to combine. You should now have 3 separate bowls of stuffings.

    Bread stuffing, cornbread stuffing, and cranberry stuffing in three separate bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the butter, garlic, sage, and thyme until the herbs are finely chopped.

    Creamy butter and herb mixture in the bowl of a food processor

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Gently run your hand under the turkey skin to make sort of a pocket, but do not separate the skin completely from the meat. Distribute the herb butter mixture evenly under the skin.

    Herb butter mixture being inserted under the skin of the flattened deboned turkey

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Rub the skin with the browning sauce, then the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

    Turkey skin evenly rubbed with browning sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Flip the deboned turkey over so it is open and skin-side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread bread stuffing evenly over the turkey cavity.

    Bread stuffing spread over the meat side of the turkey

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Place the duck on top of the bread stuffing, skin-side down. Spread the cranberry nut stuffing on top of the open duck cavity.

    Flattened duck and cranberry stuffing placed on top of the turkey

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Top with the chicken, skin-side down. Spread cornbread stuffing on top of the open chicken cavity. Skewer the back of the chicken closed.

    Stuffed chicken, its back closed with skewers, placed on top of the duck and turkey

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Bring up the sides of the duck to cover the chicken. Skewer the back of the duck closed.

    Duck sealed around the chicken on top of the turkey

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  11. Repeat the process with the turkey.

    Turkey sealed around the duck and closed with skewers

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Carefully turn the turducken over so it is seam-side down and breast-side up. If possible, remove all skewers except the last one holding the turkey together.

    Turducken placed seam side down on a large cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  13. Place the turducken in a heavy roaster. Roast 3 to 4 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the very center of the chicken stuffing reaches 165 F. Baste once per hour with pan juices. If turducken begins to get too brown, tent loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been coated with vegetable spray.

    Browned turducken in a roasting pan with a rack

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  14. Let the turducken rest 30 minutes before carving. Slice the turducken across the breast to show off each layer.

    Turducken sliced on a platter showing the circular duck and chicken layers

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • Make sure the turkey, duck, and chicken are already deboned (save the bones for stock) before you begin to assemble the turducken.
  • Keep all of the poultry refrigerated until you are ready to use it and do not assemble the turducken until it's ready to go in the oven to avoid foodborne illness from contaminating the stuffing. Cook all of the birds completely to at least 165 F.

Who Invented Turducken?

The origins of turducken are unclear, but the New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme claimed he invented the dish in the 1970s. While the story has its skeptics, the turducken is a popular Thanksgiving main dish in modern Cajun cuisine.