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

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

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.

Categories

Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.

  12. Hi–If I have a 10 lb boneless breast, I think I cook it for about 3 1/2 hours (check temp of course :)) How long should I cook it covered?

    Thank you!!

        1. I cook it uncovered the whole time, you can baste every 20-30 minutes if you’d like to be extra certain it stays moist. Happy Thanksgiving!

          1. My family needs to watch cholesterol and calories. Can I use olive oil instead of butter? If so, what would I do?

          2. Of course! Just mix everything up in a bowl and either brush it or pour in over and under the skin. It’s an easy swap. Enjoy!

  13. Sabrina:

    Im on my own this Thanksgiving, safely of course. How can I use your roasted turkey breast recipe for like a 2-3 lb boneless turkey bresat. How much turkey will I have after cooking.

    I was thinking I might have leftover turkey to make Turkey Tetrazinni. Can I freeze the loeftover turkey until I make a casserole with it?

    Do you have an easy recipe for a small amount of cranberry sauce.

    1. If you want to use a 2-3 pound turkey breast, I’d suggest checking it around 25-40 minutes with a meat thermometer for doneness. That size usually feeds around 2-4 people. Yes, you can freeze leftover turkey. I suggest slicing it first since it’ll help with defrosting later. Enjoy!

  14. This sounds delicious. I have never made a turkey and want to give your recipe a try. We have an 8-pound, bone-in turkey breast. My husband suggests cooking the turkey in an oven bag. Is this necessary?

  15. Question:
    My turkey breast is boneless and skinless. I bought it at a local meat market. I thought it was odd that it came that way, but… Would I cook this the same way? It is a 2 1/2 lb breast, which is plenty for two people.

  16. Thank you so much for the recipe. I have a few questions:
    1. When you set 2-3 tablespoons for the butter aside for later–is that the herb butter mixture for later or just the unsalted butter for later?
    2. If large boneless turkey (about 10 lbs)–
    Cook at 325 degrees for about 3 1/2 hours? (Check to see if 165 degrees of course :))
    3. Since about 10 lbs. — cover with a foil tent for most of the cooking time? How long should you cook it uncovered?
    Thanks so much!

    1. It’s the mixture you set aside. I usually just keep an eye on the bird and once it’s starting to turn brown, cover it with foil depending on how much longer it needs to cook. Hope this helps!

    1. I do! I pour the liquid left behind in the roasting pan into a measuring cup and remove as much of the fat (reserve two tablespoons) as I can. Add two tablespoons of the turkey fat into a sauce pan on medium high heat and combine with 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk and let cook on medium for a minute to cook out the raw flour taste. Add in the rest of the turkey broth and let it cook until thickened, approximately 3 – 5 minutes. Season to taste. Enjoy!

  17. Looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. If I am doubling the recipe with 2 breasts, how long do you recommend to cook for?

    1. I’ve not tried it but I would think it would be different. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked out. Thanks!

  18. When letting it rest is it covered or uncovered?
    Is there any benefit to using a turkey bag while cooking if you are using a boneless turkey breast?

    1. You can cover it loosely with foil while it’s resting. Personally, I don’t use the bags so I can’t really say if it matters or not. Enjoy!

    1. Yes 🙂 Look for it in the poultry section of your grocery store. Ask your butcher if you’re unable to locate it. Enjoy!

        1. For a 4-6 we cook for 90 minutes then rest, tented for 20. Is your 6-8 pounds one half of the turkey breast? As in not both breasts in the whole turkey? If so I would probably say 325 for 2 hours, but it would help to baste since it will be in there for so long. Make sure it has skin on it too for moisture. If it looks at all like it is drying out, tent will foil and keep basting until 165 degrees. Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Does this call for a bone-in or boneless turkey breast? With Safer at Home Thanksgiving approaching I’m afraid there will be a run on turkey. We already purchased a bone-in, but now I’m afraid we got the wrong thing… Thanks for your time.

  20. I am interested in trying this recipe for Roasted Turkey Breast. Do you use a rack in the roasting pan? Also, what dimensions of pan is needed?

    1. Did I misread the recipe?
      I have an almost 3lb turkey breast in a 325° oven. It’s been roasting for 80 minutes and is 125°
      It smells delicious and I will reply with another review once it’s done!

      1. I trusted my 5lb turkey breast at 350 degrees for 2 hours and it turned out perfectly. I thought 325 was too low

    2. This recipe is so easy and comes out amazing. The turkey is so juicy and tender. This is the only way I will make turkey breast from now on. My husband said this may be the best turkey he has ever had. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Absolutely delicious! Best turkey that I’ve ever had (not just made, but ever tasted). Didn’t have a roasting pan, so I used my largest cast iron skillet. Meat was tender, juicy, and delicious. Thanks for another great recipe, Sabrina!

  22. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. My seven year old grandson said “this is the best Chicken I’ve ever had”. Lol. Thank you again and Happy Holidays!

  23. This looks amazing!! Did you debone your turkey breast or did you buy it? I can’t find deboned turkey breast.

  24. This year I did an 8 lb turkey breast (with rib bones) for 4 adults, two small kids, and one toddler. I quartered an onion and cut two stalks of celery in half, and put them in the open part of the turkey, closing it with those little poultry “skewers.” I have potted herbs on the patio, and the sage, rosemary, and thyme were still good, so I cut 4-6 generous sprigs of each, rinsed them, and then stuffed them under the turkey skin with pats of real butter. Then I coated the outside liberally with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, thyme, rosemary, and a sprinkle of pepper. The turkey package said 325° and about 3.5 hours, so I started at 375, and it was done (180°) in about 2-2.5 hours. The fresh herb , onion and celery, butter and seasonings made the turkey and drippings (and hence the gravy) soooo good!

  25. Just want to say thank you for this recipe and tips! My fiancée said that this was the BEST Thanksgiving Turkey he has ever had! All your recipes are wonderful! Happy Holidays!

  26. I used this recipe for a small Thanksgiving dinner. Absolutely delicious. I was declared “the best cook ever”! Thanks for the great recipe!

  27. Amazingly moist and flavorful! I didn’t have all the spices separately so I used Italian seasoning and it was delicious!

  28. I know you said no need to cover when baking because you are only baking for 90 minutes but I am baking an 8 lb breast so it will take much longer. Should I cover for part of the baking time?

  29. Hello there. Last year I used a turkey roaster but I was not thrilled with the turkey. This year I have two bone-in turkey breasts, each a little over 6.5lbs. Each has its own roasting pan but will be cooked at same time. Using your 90mins for every 4lbs, that comes out to almost 5hrs. That’s if I did the math right! Since they will be in there for awhile, should they be covered with foil for part of the time?? Please advise: Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  30. Okay, just the two of us with a split 2lb rib in Turkey Breast.

    Your best estimate on cook time please?

    Happy Thanksgiving you in advance :)!

    Bill

    1. I would say 45-60 minutes, make sure you use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165 F internally. Let me know how it goes!

  31. I have never just the breast of the turkey because I usually have a Thanksgiving with more people. This year I am going to just be 5 people including myself, one of which is my 7 year old. So I definitely was looking to just do the turkey breast and found this wonderful looking recipe here. What I was wondering is do you need to, or can you/should you brine the turkey breast first? The past couple of years I’ve been brining my whole turkey and I didn’t know if I could or should do that when it comes to just making the turkey breast.

  32. I have 2 5-6 pound turkey breasts that I am roasting in my electric roaster. I was told 450 for 30 minutes then 325 for the remainder but how long should these take to cook in the one pan ? Do you treat the same as one ?

      1. I’m totally confused!?!?
        You say 1 1/2 hours for a 4 lbs breast and 3 hrs for an 8 lb breast. But your recipe says 8 lb breast 1 1/2 hours so which is it for an 8 lb breast 1 1/2 or 3 hrs? Thanks

      1. You’ll need to add about an extra 10-15 minutes of cook time with having two of them in the oven together. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

  33. I made my life easy by using melted butter poured over the breast and herbs sprinkled over with salt and pepper. It was moist and delicious. Mine was 8.76 pounds. Very yummy!!!!

    1. I am cooking a 7.5 pound turkey breast and also your spatchcock turkey. I noticed 2 different cooking Temps. What temp do you suggest and about how long since I’m cooking both in oven at same time.(different pans) the spatchcock turkey is about 16 lbs.

      1. I think you’re safe at 350 for both. Tent the chicken breast for the first 30 minutes, that’ll keep it moist and prevent too much browning on it, then remove and cook for another 30 before checking the temperature.

  34. Sabrina, my question is on your recipe for the 4-6 lb Turkey Breast. Can I use the same recipe for a 3 lb Turkey Breast? I am also Having Ham and Just needed a small Turkey Breast. Thanks for responding. Lauri

    1. The timing on it will be different so your best bet is to check the temperature on it with a probe thermometer. I would guess about 20 minutes less.

      1. I made a fresh turkey breast and didn’t realize it had a pop-up timer until I unwrapped it. I stuffed some onion, celery and celery leaves in the cavity and smeared soft butter all over the turkey, then salt and pepper and dried rosemary. I roasted it at 400° for 1 hour and when I checked on it, the timer had popped out! I figured that couldn’t be right so I tented it with foil as it was already nicely browned, turned the oven down to 325° and roasted one more hour. It was the most delicious, moist turkey I have ever eaten!

        1. That does sound absolutely amazing! Good thinking on leaving it in too, those pop up timers are notoriously off as they never go deep enough into the meat to be accurate.

  35. I have to make this turkey breast separate, my daughter can’t eat butter what can I use to substitute? and will it taste as good?

  36. Can’t wait to try this this weekend. Question: If I am cooking 2 turkey breast approx. same size, do I follow same directions for 1? How long should they cook?

    1. It’s going to take a bit longer to cook with both breasts in the oven. You want to make sure they reach temperature. I would add 10-15 minutes extra and check from there.

    1. I don’t have a particular brand, I just like to go with the natural brands and not pumped too much through with saline. Usually I get them from Sprouts or Whole Foods.

    1. You can but it’s not going to get that crispy skin and it’s not going to keep as much moisture in it. I would suggest putting bacon over it if you are going skinless.

    1. Yes but dried herbs have a much more concentrated flavor, so the general rule of thumb is to use a third of the amount of dried as you would fresh herbs. Enjoy!

  37. Trying this tonight. Our turkey is skinless so I’m covering it with bacon. Will let you know how it turns out.

      1. Is it possible to add cream of chicken soup in the pan, while cooking the turkey breast? I love the gravy of cream soups mixed with the meat juices that it creates.

        1. If you do, you might want to elevate the turkey breast on a cooking rack in the pan so it’s not sitting in the liquid. Enjoy!

    1. Did you bake the turkey breast in a convectional oven? As temperatures seem to cook a little faster using these methods.