How to Stuff Turkey With Citrus Fruit: A Healthy Twist on Stuffing

Some prefer apples, but citrus fruit is one of the best to stuff turkey with because its juicy and fresh.
Image Credit: Lilechka75/iStock/GettyImages

If you're tired of eating the same old Thanksgiving turkey stuffing every year, change things up by stuffing your bird with fruit, such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Citrus fruit is the best fruit to stuff a turkey with for a moist, delicately flavored result.


You'll save calories and fat by not using traditional stuffing, which is typically loaded with butter that soaks into the meat. On the other hand, fresh citrus fruit creates a porous area inside the cavity and provides moisture that steams and seasons the meat.

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Finally, you'll want to add the right aromatics when you're using fruit to stuff turkey, as herbs and spices will leave you with fresh, flavorful meat.


For a fresh, vibrant flavor, stuff turkey with citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, and limes. The juices from the fruit impart flavor and add moisture to the bird.

How to Stuff Turkey With Fruit

Things You'll Need

  • Citrus fruit, such as oranges, lemons, and limes

  • Turkey

  • Paper towels

  • Sharp knife

  • Cutting board

  • Fresh herbs

  • Cooking string

To stuff turkey with citrus fruit, you'll first need to cut the fruit on a clean cutting board with a sharp chef's knife. Then, follow these instructions:

  1. Rinse the inside and outside of the turkey with cold water. Pat the surfaces dry with a paper towel.
  2. Wash the outside of an orange, lemon, and lime with water. Cut the citrus into quarter-sized wedges with a sharp knife and cutting board.
  3. Rinse three or four sprigs of fresh herbs with water. Herbs that complement turkey are rosemary, thyme or marjoram.
  4. Stuff the orange, lemon, and lime wedges into the turkey cavity with your hands, and then stuff in the herbs. Any unused citrus wedges can be used as a garnish on the turkey platter.
  5. Tie the legs together with some cooking string to keep moisture and heat inside the turkey for steaming the citrus.
  6. Cook the turkey in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven until the internal temperature in the thigh and breast is 165 F or higher.
  7. Leave the citrus in the turkey as it cools for additional moisture. Discard the citrus when done carving.



Cut an onion and a garlic clove into wedges and insert them into the turkey cavity with the citrus wedges for additional flavor. Wash your hands before and after handling a raw turkey.

Other Tips for Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

To ensure your Thanksgiving turkey comes out moist, using fresh citrus fruits that release their juices during roasting will help. You can also:

  • Stuff your turkey with an apple, which will help moisten the turkey.
  • Brine your turkey before roasting it.
  • Baste the turkey in its juices as it is cooking.
  • Rub the inside cavity of the turkey with herb butter before roasting.


With all of these pointers for making flavorful turkey, you'll be excited to use all your thanksgiving leftovers for days to come.




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