Turkey Pastrami

Turkey Pastrami

Jesse A Wanskasmith / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 32 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
69 Calories
2g Fat
7g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 32
Amount per serving
Calories 69
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 2004mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 7g
Calcium 25mg 2%
*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.)

Turkey pastrami is a low-fat alternative to beef pastrami that tastes just as good. This method is easier than making your own beef pastrami. The difference between pastrami and corned beef is that pastrami is smoked. While beef pastrami starts with corned beef and you have to soak it to remove excess salt, you only need a raw turkey breast, a marinade, rub, and a smoker to make turkey pastrami.


  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (whole)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cloves (whole)
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 1/2 pounds turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon dry juniper berries
  • 1/4 cup black pepper (coarsely ground)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in the whole black peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, whole cloves, and garlic. Allow the mixture to cool.

  4. Place the turkey breast in a nonreactive container and pour the cooled mixture over it. Make sure that the turkey breast is completely covered. Cover the container and refrigerate for 48 hours.

  5. Prepare your smoker for a smoke at about 220 F/ 105 C for 2 1/2 hours.

  6. Combine the juniper berries and coarsely ground black pepper.

  7. Remove the turkey breast from the brine mixture and rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels.

  8. Cover the turkey breast with the juniper berry and black pepper rub. Make sure you press the rub into the surface of the turkey.

  9. Place the turkey breast in the smoker, skin-side down.

  10. Smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 F/ 75 C.

  11. Remove the turkey breast from the smoker and allow it to cool. The turkey pastrami will continue to gain flavor the longer you let it rest.

  12. Slice the turkey pastrami to enjoy for sandwiches or as an entree. Wrap any leftover turkey pastrami tightly and refrigerate it for up to a week.

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