Roasted Turkey Breast is so simple to make with this easy recipe. This turkey breast recipe will be your go-to for small-scale holiday dinners and special meals with your family.
Are you a fan of white meat turkey? Me too! Honestly though, I like both the white meat and the dark meat, but sometimes it’s just easier to roast a turkey breast rather than trussing, preparing and roasing a whole turkey.
If I’m in the mood for dark meat, I make this Roasted Turkey Legs recipe instead! Sometimes, If I’m only cooking for a few people, I make roasted turkey tenderloin. You have options when it comes to roasting turkey!
Whether you have a small guest list for Thanksgiving this year, or you’re just looking for a delicious roast turkey recipe to serve your family this weekend, you are going to love the moist, juicy, and delicious turkey that you get with this roasted turkey breast recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimal Ingredients – You don’t need anything fancy to make an oven roasted turkey breast. Gather up some herbs, butter, and garlic and you’re almost ready to cook.
- Versatile Recipe – You can use this method to make a bone-in turkey breast or a boneless turkey breast. Simply adjust the roasting time! I’ll tell you exactly how long to roast a turkey breast, no matter what size or type it is.
- Smaller Scale Turkey Dinner – Don’t stress about making too much food or dealing with turkey leftovers (although I do have a delicious turkey soup recipe and a turkey salad for that). Roasted turkey breast is just enough to serve 4-8 people, depending on the size.
- Great for Sandwiches – If you get a good deal on a turkey breast at the grocery store, roast it and use the meat for amazing turkey sandwiches throughout the week.
Roast Turkey Breast Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make this Roasted Turkey Breast:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Turkey Breast – You can use bone-in or boneless turkey breast here. The oven roasted turkey breast in the images here is six pounds, but they can be anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds.
- Garlic Herb Butter – We’re going to cover the turkey breast with softened butter that we’ve flavored with fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme, and minced garlic. The butter protects the meat from drying out, helps the skin to get beautifully crispy, and, if you follow this recipe, will flavor the meat as well.
How Much Turkey Breast Do You Need Per Person?
Plan to need ¾ pound per person when shopping for a bone-in turkey breast. Some folks might only eat a half pound, and others will eat more, so this is a good middle estimate.
How To Cook a Turkey Breast
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Prep the turkey breast by cutting off any excessively extra skin, and patting it dry with paper towels.
- Make Herb Butter: In a bowl, combine softened butter with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Mash with a fork or a small spatula until it’s well mixed.
- Coat the Turkey: Carefully loosen the skin from the breast with your fingers, being careful not to tear it. Add half of the butter mixture underneath the skin, and push it around so that it’s fairly evenly distributed. Then rub the remaining butter all over the outside of the turkey breast.
- Roast: Place the buttered turkey breast in a roasting pan, on a rack if you have one. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check on the turkey at this point. If it’s browning too much, cover it with a piece of foil. Continue to roast until the internal temperature is 160°F/71°C when checked with a kitchen thermometer.
- Rest: When the turkey breast is done, remove it from the oven, loosely cover it with foil, and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. As it rests, the temperature will naturally rise to the safe turkey cooking temperature of 165°F/174°C.
- Serve: Make the gravy using the instructions below if you’d like. Remove the meat from the bone and slice before serving.
Save the pan drippings! I’m going to show you how to make a delicious turkey gravy with them next.
How To Make Gravy From Turkey Breast Drippings
A rich gravy made from the turkey pan drippings is optional but so delicious! Enjoy it on the side with mashed potatoes, or drizzle it all over the meat.
- Collect the drippings: While the turkey is resting, make the gravy. Start by pouring the drippings from the pan into a measuring cup, then measure out 4 tablespoons to use in the gravy. Scrape the pan with a spatula to remove the brown bits and save them – that’s where all the flavor is!
- Melt Butter: Add two tablespoons of butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat.
- Add the Other Ingredients: Add the drippings and brown bits that you collected before. Then add flour and sautee for 30 seconds. Use a whisk to stir out any lumps. Add 2-3 cups of stock or broth, depending on how much gravy you want and how thick you want it to be.
- Thicken: Cook the gravy at a low boil until thickened. Remove from the heat and serve.
You’ll find the ingredient amounts and detailed instructions for making turkey gravy in the recipe card below.
- Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh, just use 1 teaspoon of each.
- Butter or Oil: You can choose to use either butter or olive oil when roasting a turkey breast. Both will help keep the meat moist, but I find softened butter easier to work with.
- To Season the Turkey Breast: I highly recommend getting the butter and herb mixture underneath the skin so that it seasons the meat, but try not to completely disconnect the skin from the meat while you’re doing it. A small, flexible silicone spatula makes this easier.
- Small Roasting Pan for Turkey: If you don’t have a small roasting pan, a 9×13-inch baking pan or lasagna pan can also be used. Here I’m using a stainless steel 14×11-inch roaster with a rack.
- Make gluten-free gravy: Skip the flour. Instead, cook the drippings and broth until boiling, then stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
- Make Stock: When you’re done with the turkey, use the bones to make a fresh, flavorful homemade turkey stock.
Keep leftover roast turkey breast in an airtight container in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
Turkey Breast Cooking Time
If you’re wondering how long to cook a turkey breast, I can help! First, you need to know the weight of your turkey. Check the label on the packaging, or use your kitchen scale to figure that out.
Bone-In Turkey Breast Cooking Time: Plan to roast a turkey breast with bones for 20 minutes per pound. So a 5-pound turkey breast will take 100 minutes, or 1 hour and 40 minutes. A larger 8 pound turkey breast will take closer to 160 minutes, or 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Boneless Turkey Breast Cooking Time: It takes a bit less time to cook a boneless turkey breast, but you should plan for about 16 minutes per pound. See this link for more detailed instructions for making a boneless roasted turkey breast.
What To Serve With Roasted Turkey Breast
If you’re roasting a turkey breast as an alternative to roasting a whole bird for a holiday, you should definitely check out our collection of thanksgiving recipes!
Some of my favorite sides to serve with turkey are:
- Buttery Herb Stuffing
- Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
- Pear Salad
- Asparagus Casserole
- Boursin Mashed Potatoes
- Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls
You can! In my experience the instant pot works well to cook smaller turkey breasts, since you’re limited in how much space you have. See my recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast if you want to do it that way.
Whenever you’re reheating roast turkey or chicken, the most important thing is to keep it from drying out. The best way to reheat leftover turkey breast is to put it in a baking dish with a little bit of broth or water, cover it with foil, and bake in a low oven (300°F/150°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
The gravy recipe here is delicious, but also completely optional.
This roasted turkey breast recipe is the only one you need this holiday season! Everyone is going to love having dinner at your house. Be sure to Pin and save it so that you’re ready to go on Thanksgiving.
- 4-8 lb turkey breast bone in or boneless
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened, or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Make the herb butter. In a bowl combine softened butter with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Mash it with a fork or just stir with a small spatula. Set aside.
- Prep the turkey by cutting off any extra skin if needed. Pat it dry with paper towels.
- Carefully loosen the skin with your fingers be careful not to tear it, then add half the butter underneath the skin and push it to even it out. Rub the remaining butter all over the turkey breast. Place on a roaster or on a baking pan, and roast for 45 minutes.
- Check on the turkey, if it’s browning too much then cover with a piece of foil. Continue to roast until the internal temp is 160°F/71°C. About 20 minutes per pound.
- When it’s done, remove from the oven, loosely tent with foil and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. The temp will continue to rise to 165°F/174°C.
- Carve, remove from bone and slice to serve.
For the Gravy:
- Remove the drippings from the pan the turkey breast was cooked in, and measure out 4 tablespoons. Scrape the pan with a spatula to remove the brown bits (all the flavor is there!)
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the brown bits and the 4 tablespoons of drippings. Add ¼ cup of flour, and saute for 30 seconds. Then add 2-3 cups of stock, water, milk, or a combination of those liquids, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and serve.
- Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh, just use 1 teaspoon of each.
- You can choose to use either butter or olive oil when roasting a turkey breast. Both will help keep the meat moist, but I find softened butter easier to work with.
- I highly recommend getting the butter and herb mixture underneath the skin so that it seasons the meat, but try not to completely disconnect the skin from the meat while you’re doing it.
- If you don’t have a small roasting pan, a 9×13-inch pan can also be used. Here I’m using a 14×11-inch roaster with a rack.
- Turkey Breast Roasting Time Per Pound: 20 minutes, or 16 minutes per pound for boneless turkey breast.
- To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen