Learn how to cook a turkey breast to absolute perfection. This step-by-step guide will help you serve a quick, easy meal with the juiciest turkey!
Delicious, tender turkey meat is a holiday staple for many, but the traditional giant bird isn’t always the best option. If you’re serving a small number of people, don’t have a ton of time to cook a whole turkey, or don’t have an oven, the turkey breast can be perfect for you! Turkey breasts are sold both boneless or bone-in, skinless or skin-on, so you can choose what works best for you.
Turkey does not have to be complicated, either! If you’ve ever cooked a chicken breast, you can cook a turkey breast. It’s extremely low-maintenance! You don’t even have to baste it — It’s smothered with an amazing garlic herb butter to keep the meat extremely juicy (I used a similar method for my Instant Pot Whole Chicken… Delicious!).
While you can roast it like a traditional turkey, you can also cook it in a slow cooker. This turns this into a hands-off recipe that anyone can master! This recipe is easy enough to be in the everyday menu rotation but also delicious enough to impress during the holidays! Learn how to cook a turkey breast for a quick, easy, delicious, healthy meal!
Turkey Breast Recipe
- Turkey breast — Can be boneless or bone-in, skinless or skin-on, about 4-7 pounds
- Salted butter and minced garlic
- Fresh herbs — Sage, thyme, rosemary
- Spices — Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and orange zest
How much turkey breast per person?
If your turkey breast is boneless, plan on 1/2 pound per person. For a bone-in turkey breast, reserve 3/4 pound per person. If you’re working with a whole turkey, you’ll want 1-1 1/2 pounds for each person at your table. When in doubt, get a little more than you need — Extras can always be frozen, so you won’t have to worry about waste!
How to Roast a Turkey Breast
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start by mixing together your softened butter, garlic, fresh herbs, spices, and orange zest in a small bowl, then set it aside. Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel, and (if the breast is skinless) rub the herb butter all over the turkey. If the breast is skin-on, carefully separate the skin from the turkey. Don’t pull the skin off, just lift it up and rub part of the herb butter underneath the skin. This helps make sure that it stays extremely juicy and flavorful!
Rub the remaining mixture over the top of the turkey breast, then place in a lightly greased baking dish or roasting pan. Top with more fresh herbs if desired, then bake for 20 minutes per pound. When it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it’s ready! Allow to sit 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note: Basting the turkey isn’t necessary because of the herb butter, but you’re welcome to do that if you prefer! Try to only do this twice during cooking as it reduces the temperature in the oven and increases the cooking time.
How to Cook a Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker
Start by mixing together your softened butter, garlic, fresh herbs, spices, and orange zest in a small bowl, then set it aside. Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel, and (if your turkey breast is skinless) rub the garlic butter all over the breast. If your turkey is skin-on, carefully separate the skin from the turkey. Don’t pull the skin off, just lift it and rub part of the herb butter underneath the skin. This helps make sure that it stays extremely juicy and flavorful!
Rub the remaining mixture over the top of the turkey breast, then place in a slow cooker. Pour 3/4 cup chicken broth into the slow cooker BUT do not pour over the turkey (this would rinse off the herb butter). Cook the turkey on low for 6 hours for a 4-5 pound turkey breast or 8 hours for a 6-8 pound turkey breast. Check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before serving.
Can you cook turkey ahead of time?
Yes, turkey breast can be cooked ahead of time! It can be refrigerated or frozen while raw or cooked, whole or sliced. I recommend leaving the turkey breast whole so that it stays juicier after reheating.
How to store and reheat turkey breast
Allow the turkey breast to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. To freeze, double or triple wrap in plastic wrap, then store in a freezer bag with all the air sucked out. It will last 6+ months, but the sooner you eat it, the better the texture will be.
To reheat, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight if frozen. Place in a baking dish with a little chicken broth, turkey drippings, or water, then cover tightly with foil. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes per pound. You could reheat using other methods, but this is the easiest way to not dry out the meat.
What to serve with turkey breast?
When serving turkey breast for the holidays, I love serving with low-carb dishes like Keto Cranberry Sauce (3 ways!), Easy Keto Sausage Stuffing, and Cheesy Roasted Asparagus. If you’re not concerned about the carbs, it’s fantastic with Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Pecans, Easy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potato and White Cheddar Corn Muffins.
Juicy, tender turkey breasts are not only delicious for the holidays! Turkey breast meat is a great healthy protein to work into your weekly menus. Serve it with Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Bacon Wrapped Green Beans, and Air Fryer Green Beans.
What to make with leftover turkey
Leftover turkey is SO easy to use! For lunch, consider making a Keto Turkey Club Sandwich. Add the meat to Easy Keto Pinwheels, Turkey Lettuce Wraps, or a Greek Turkey Wrap! For a dinner, use it in place of tuna in this Cheesy Keto Tuna Zoodle Casserole. It’d be great in this Cauliflower Fried Rice or on top of this White Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
More holiday recipes:
- Keto Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
- Cranberry Apple Kale Salad
- Green Bean Almondine
- Loaded Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Casserole
Want more low-carb options? Check out this list of the BEST Keto Thanksgiving Recipes!
More “How To” Recipes:
- How to Cook a Thick-Cut Pork Chop Perfectly
- How to Smoke a Boston Butt
- How to Cook Pork Sirloin Roast
- How to Make the Perfect Cheese Grits
- 4-7 pound turkey breast (boneless or bone in)
- 5 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon each fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon each paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper
- Combine the softened butter with the garlic, fresh, finely chopped herbs, zest and spices. Set aside.
- Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel. Carefully seperate the skin from the turkey and rub part of the herb butter under the skin. Rub the remaining mixture over the top of the turkey breast.
Oven Roasted Turkey
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the seasoned turkey breast in a lightly greased baking dish or roasting pan.
- Top with fresh herbs if desired. Bake the turkey breast 20 minutes per pound or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Basting is an optional step. Because the butter is spread under the skin the turkey stays nice and moist. If you wish to baste the turkey breast do this only twice during cooking, as it will add additional cooking time to the turkey.
Crock Pot Turkey Breast
- Prepare the turkey has directed above and place in a slow cooker. Add 3/4 cup chicken broth to the slow cooker. Do not pour directly on the turkey or you will rinse off the butter mixture.
- Cook the turkey breast on low 6 hours for a 4-5 pound turkey breast. Cook for 8 hours for a 6-8 pound turkey breast. Check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Nutrition Information:Yield: Depends on the size of the breast Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 16.7gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 172mgCarbohydrates: 0.7gNet Carbohydrates: 0.5gFiber: 0.2gProtein: 33.3g