Learn how to cook a bone-in turkey breast in the oven with this easy and juicy Roasted Turkey Breast recipe with flavorful Herb Butter and drizzled with pan juices!
Roast Turkey Breast
This roasted turkey breast recipe yields the most delicious, juicy meat and crispy skin, and is the perfect thanksgiving dinner to serve a smaller group or family.
Cooking an entire turkey can also be stressful during an already busy season (at least it was for me years ago). There are so many dishes to prep and cook for a holiday dinner, from cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie and everything in between. A whole turkey breast, well seasoned and roasted to golden brown perfection is definitely a great option and the best way to go.
Why You’ll Love This Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe
- Juicy and Tasty: This recipe yields tender, flavorful and juicy turkey breast.
- Great for Smaller Gatherings: If you are serving a smaller crowd you don’t need to make a whole bird! This juicy, savory turkey breast is the perfect size needed for 6 to 8 servings.
- Breast Meat Only: Great for people that prefers turkey’s white meat over dark meat.
- Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses common ingredients that can be found at most supermarkets or grocery stores.
Check the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and their exact amounts.
- Turkey Breast: This recipe uses a bone-in skin-on turkey breast which is a whole breast as it has both sides of the breast. A boneless turkey breast which contains only half breast can also be used but the cooking time will have to be adjusted.
- Butter: To make the seasoned butter, you can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Fresh Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage.
- Veggies: Onion, carrots, celery, fennel.
- Lemon Zest
- Broth: You can use turkey broth or chicken broth.
How To Roast a Turkey Breast?
This is just a quick overview on how to make this roasted turkey breast recipe. For specific instructions and times, please check the printable recipe card below.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. You will need a roasting pan with or without a rack.
- Mix Herb Butter in a small bowl.
- Season the turkey and smear half of the butter mixture under the skin. Spread the rest of the flavored butter all over the top of the turkey breast.
- Place the veggies and broth at the bottom of the pan. Place the seasoned turkey breast, skin side up over a rack or over the vegetables.
- Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Rest and serve.
Should a Turkey Breast Be Roasted Cover or Uncovered?
Turkey breast should be roasted uncovered until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
How Long Do I Cook a Turkey Breast in the Oven?
The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your turkey breast. Turkey needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when checked on the thickest part of the breast. As a general rule of thumb, calculate about 20 minutes per pound of turkey.
How Do You Keep a Turkey Breast From Drying Out in the Oven?
One of the best ways to keep turkey breast from drying out in the oven is to cook it with the skin on. The skin acts as a barrier and protects the lean meat keeping it moist. Smearing butter under the skin and roasting the breast at the right temperature (325 º to 375º F) are also important. Lastly, if your turkey breast is getting too dark too fast, tenting it with a piece of aluminum foil is a must.
Can I Make This Recipe with Oil Instead of Butter?
Yes you can. Instead of flavored butter, you can flavor the oil however, that changes the recipe completely! Mix 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the herbs, lemon zest and garlic. Allow the oil to sit for 1-3 hours before rubbing it on the turkey. I have not tested this recipe this way so let me know how it turns out (I’m sure it will be delicious).
Can I Make Homemade Gravy
Although you can serve the turkey with the collected pan juices, making gravy is definitely an option. Since the turkey was roasted on a bed of vegetables, both the turkey and the juices are incredibly flavorful.
Strain the cooking juices to separate them from the vegetables. In a small saucepan make a roux with equal amounts of butter and flour, whisk in the collected pan juices and some broth if necessary. Season to taste and serve drizzled over turkey slices.
Making Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Can I Make This Turkey Breast Recipe Ahead of Time?
You can mix the herb butter 2 days ahead. Season the turkey breast with the herb butter and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge 45 minutes before you are ready to oven roast the turkey breast.
How Long Do Turkey Leftovers Keep?
Turkey leftovers are one of the best things about Thanksgiving. Turkey breast leftovers can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Leftover turkey can be eaten cold or warm in salads or sandwiches (with cranberry and brie cheese!) and can be made into other delicious recipes like this Turkey Gumbo with Andouille Sausage or Turkey Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping.
How to Reheat Turkey Leftovers?
In a skillet, reheat slices of turkey covered, over low heat. Add a few tablespoons of broth if needed to moisten the meat.
In the microwave, reheat covered with plastic wrapped until heated through.
You can also reheat leftover turkey in a preheated 300ºF oven. Place turkey sliced in a baking dish, add a few tablespoons of broth or any of the leftover cooking juices, cover the dish with aluminum foil and heat until warm throughout.
Roasted Turkey Breast Chef’s Tips and Notes
- Although brining the turkey is not necessary for this recipe, you can brine the turkey overnight if preferred.
- You can season the turkey the night before roasting it. Keep the seasoned turkey breast covered in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 45 minutes before you are ready to roast it.
- To make the flavored butter, you can use the fresh herbs listed on the recipe card, just one type of herb or any combination of fresh herbs.
- Save the turkey drippings to make homemade gravy! The turkey is cooked on a bed of vegetables which makes both the turkey and the drippings more flavorful.
- If your roasting pan gets dry, add turkey or chicken broth.
- Cauliflower Gratin
- Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Blanched Green Beans
- Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
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Roasted Turkey Breast
- 6 ounces butter softened (1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional
- Sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
- Ground black pepper
- 6-7 pounds turkey breast bone-in, skin-on (fresh or fully thawed)
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into big chunks
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs cut into chunks
- 1 fennel bulb cut into thick slices (about 1/2 inch thick), optional
- 1/2 cup turkey or chicken broth or more if needed
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the oven rack one level below the center.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, herbs and lemon zest and season the mixture with some salt and ground black pepper.
- Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast with paper towels inside and out.
- Using the back of a regular spoon or with your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the meat. Be careful not to tear the skin so the flavored butter doesn’t sip out when roasting.
- Season the Turkey: Season the inside of the cavity with salt and ground black pepper. Smear about half of the herb butter underneath the skin, then smooth the skin back down and spread the remaining butter evenly over the skin. Season the turkey breast all over with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Place the onions, carrots, celery, fennel (if using) and broth in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the turkey breast comfortably. Place a rack over the veggies. If you don’t have a rack, simply place the turkey directly on top of the veggies.
- Place the turkey breast, skin side up on the roasting rack. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest parts of the breast. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil.
- Rest: When done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 – 15 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil. Slice and serve with pan juices.
- You can use a roasting pan or a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.
- Cooking times will vary depending on the size and weight of the turkey. Turkey needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit when checked with a meat thermometer.
- You can make this recipe with boneless turkey breast although the cooking time will need to be adjusted. A boneless turkey breast is usually half of the breast while a bone-in breast is a full breast.
- If the roasting pan gets dry you can add additional broth.