Roasted Turkey Breast

Roasted Turkey Breast made with butter, herbs, salt, and pepper has tender juicy meat and CRISPY skin, and roasts in only 90 minutes!

It’s officially turkey season, and we’ve got you covered to prepare for Thanksgiving! Just in case you need some FAST last minute turkey ideas, check out Spatchcock Turkey, Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs, and Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.

Roasted Turkey Breast in baking dish

ROASTED TURKEY BREAST

Roasted Turkey Breast is a great choice when you have to cook for the holidays, but don’t have much time to prep and roast a whole turkey. This is also a great last minute option if you didn’t buy a whole turkey in time to defrost it properly.

It’s Thanksgiving morning, are you in a panic? This turkey breast recipe is your saving grace! Plus if you serve it along side Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey Thighs your family won’t even miss the whole bird!

The holidays can get a little crazy for everyone, with family coming in and coordinating schedules, so use this recipe to save yourself some time.

Turkey breast is just as good as a whole turkey, but it’s ready in only 90 minutes. It’s also a great option if you need a little bit more to feed a crowd but don’t want to cook an entire second turkey. All you have to do is season some butter with herbs, salt, and pepper, then rub it under the skin, and get it in the oven.

The seasoned butter is a chef-approved restaurant trick that makes the meat incredibly juicy and flavorful, your guests will think you had it catered. Plus you get mostly white meat, which is better for making turkey sandwiches the next day like this Moist Maker!

Roasted Turkey Breast Collage

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO ROAST A TURKEY BREAST?

A turkey breast takes about an hour to 1 ½ hours to cook per 4 pounds of meat. So if you get an 8 pound turkey breast, your cooking time will be more like 3 hours. The most important thing is that you use a meat thermometer to check the innermost part of the turkey breast for food safety. It’s done when the temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Roasted Turkey Breast on plate with mashed potatoes

HOW MUCH TURKEY BREAST DO I NEED PER PERSON?

You want to make sure you have about ½ to ¾ pound of turkey breast per person, so a 4 pound breast will comfortably feed about 6-8 people. If you’re going to have a larger group, you’re looking at an 8 pound turkey breast, or just go for the whole turkey.

But most importantly, make sure you have enough for leftovers. Leftovers are basically mandatory on Thanksgiving, right?

THANKSGIVING MENU IDEAS TO SERVE WITH ROASTED TURKEY BREAST

Crispy Roasted Turkey Breast sliced in baking dish

TIPS FOR MAKING ROASTED TURKEY BREAST

  • You can use other other flavors or herbs like sage and lemon with the butter to add extra flavor, or season the turkey breast with spices like Cajun Roasted Turkey. It’s entirely a personal preference.
  • Roast your turkey breast skin-side-up, to give it a chance to get really crispy when it’s roasting.
  • You should have more than enough pan drippings for homemade gravy, too!
  • ALWAYS check your turkey with a meat thermometer to make sure it gets to 165 degrees for food safety. Another visual indicator is that the juices will start running clear when the turkey is done.
  • You don’t have to cover the turkey breast with tinfoil because it’s only going to take 90 minutes to roast, so the skin will be extra crispy by the time it’s done!

Also, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Oh and when you’re ready for leftovers, use this recipe: Leftover Turkey Casserole.

HOW TO STORE ROASTED TURKEY BREAST

  • Serve: If you have any leftover turkey, don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Slice the leftover turkey into small enough pieces to fit in a plastic food storage container. The juicy tender turkey will stay good for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: You could also freeze Roasted Turkey Breast for up to 3 months after cooking. Just be sure to let it cool to room temperature before carefully sealing it.

Roasted Turkey Breast on plate with mashed potatoes

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Roasted Turkey Breast

Roasted Turkey Breast made with butter, herbs, salt, and pepper has tender juicy meat and CRISPY skin, and roasts in only 90 minutes!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 10 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 turkey breast , 4-6 pound, patted dry

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set up oven so there is only the bottom rack. Add the turkey breast to a large roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels inside and out.
  • Mash the butter, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set 2-3 tablespoons aside for later.
  • Use the back of a spoon to lift the skin from the turkey breast and spread butter inside. Smooth the skin back down to spread the butter all over the breast. Be careful not to tear the skin as the butter will drip out when cooking.
  • Roast for 90 minutes, or until the innermost part of the breast is cooked to 165 degrees (this is vital for food safety). Top with remaining butter and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcal | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 785mg | Potassium: 248mg | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Keyword: roasted turkey breast

Roasted Turkey Breast Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Turkey Breast Roasted in the oven

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I’m trying out this recipe today and I love how simple it is! All the herbs I have in my garden and I L O V E it when that happens! Thank you !!

  2. I made it tonight almost exactly per recipe and it was delicious. It looked just like your picture, tasted amazing and was super moist and simple to make.

  3. Hi Sabrina, This recipe sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to use it for my (first-time) Christmas Day turkey breast! I have two questions: first, do you feel I should brine the turkey breast overnight; and second, is it necessary to use the rack that came with my new roasting pan? I am wondering why so many people say you MUST brine (when it seems like a real chore, in my opinion); and also why most roasting pans come with racks but most recipes don’t mention using a rack. Thanks very much! This recipe really seems so EASY and delicious ?

    1. I think brining is a personal choice. You don’t have to do it but it can deliver a juicier bird. And with using the rack, it allows for the bird to cook more evenly but since this is just a breast, you’re good either way. Hope this helps clear things up. Good luck!

  4. Hi Sabrina!
    Made this for the second Thanksgiving in a row..last year, my fiancee said it was the best turkey he ever had, this year my mother and brother said it was they best they ever had! Thank you! Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season!

    1. Yes! I did this year when I made a turkey breast for our Thanksgiving dinner. Fresh was sold out. Happy Holidays!

  5. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving as we didn’t need to cook a full turkey since were not having any extended family over due to the pandemic. It was a huge hit!
    My husband who is a ham guy on Thanksgiving really enjoyed it, and both my 3 year old and 7 year old asked for seconds. They all asked me to make the turkey this way from now on (even if we end up going to Grandma’s)! Thank you for the delicious and simple to prepare recipe. It was truly wonderful watching them all enjoy it so much!

    1. Thank you so much for the amazing review Katie! I am so glad the turkey was such a hit and you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner! Happy Holidays!

  6. I made this today and it was a huge hit! I will always lift the skin of turkey now and insert herb butter before roasting. It was so moist and flavorful! Great recipe THANKS!

  7. My kitchen smells amazing! I followed the recipe as written, but I did chop the herbs instead of smashing them; I wanted them a bit smaller and more uniform in size before mixing them with the salt, pepper, and butter. I placed some celery, carrots, and onions on the bottom of my roasting pan and set my Turkey breast on top to add some more aromatics.

    1. Yes. And the timing depends on if it is the whole turkey breast (2 pieces attached by bone) or half. If whole you’d need 2-2.5 hours, for a half it could be just an additional 15 minutes or so. I’d use a meat thermometer to be sure you don’t over or under-shoot it. Happy Thanksgiving!

    2. It takes quite a bit longer than the recipe says with the bone in. We discovered that out when making the meal on Christmas Day ?

  8. 1st time making turkey! What is your advice if you have other things to bake at the same time (for timing). Does it have to be the ONLY thing in the oven? I have stuffing and a white sauce bean casserole to bake as well. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

    1. Just expect it will take a bit longer, when sharing the heat with other items it will slow things down a bit. Maybe 15-25% longer.

  9. Hi Sabrina, I have 3 Bone In Turkey Breast (1.6#,2.5# & 2.8# each breast weight). So in total I have about 7 pounds of Turkey breast Bone In. Can you please tell me how long I should cook them together in 1 large roasting pan in my oven? Thank you sooo much!

    1. They’re all too different in thickness for 1 time to be an effective measure. The almost 3 pound will need 30 minutes more than the 1.5 pound one. Best thing i could say is move the thermometer. Once the first one comes out in probably 45-50 minutes give the other two another 15-20 minutes until they hit the right temperature. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Thank you for this easy & delicious recipe! This is my first time cooking a turkey breast and it worked so well! Makes my socially-distanced Thanksgiving so much easier ^_^ I used your turkey gravy recipe with a little bit of vegetable soup broth and it was perfect.

    1. Angelica, thank you so much for the kind words! I’m so glad the recipes helped make a happier Thanksgiving celebration! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. There is about 1/4 teaspoon salt per stick of butter. So I wouldn’t cut the salt all the way here. Still go for ~ 1 teaspoon. It is 4-6 pounds of meat you’re seasoning. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I didn’t need to with a smaller breast but with a bigger breast you may need to. I would watch it and if you see it getting too dark, cover it.

  11. I know that you have to wash the turkey breast inside and out, but do you need to salt the cavity of the turkey breast before cooking it ?. I will be putting melted butter, salt and pepper prior to baking it.

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