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  • Juicy Roasted Turkey Breast

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    This delicious roast turkey breast is perfect for your Thanksgiving meal. Super easy to make, and it comes out wonderfully juicy and flavored every single time. Be sure to grab this foolproof turkey breast recipe this year. It’s the best!

    roast turkey breast on a platter with rosemary and oranges

    My thoughts are now fully focused on our Thanksgiving meal this year. Rather than cooking a whole turkey, we have opted for this delicious roast turkey breast. It’s perfect if you are hosting a small intimate gathering for Thanksgiving this year. A half or a whole turkey breast is enough to feed 4 to 8 people with leftovers depending on the size. Generally, estimate about 1 lb per serving (this accounts for bone weight).

    It’s so much easier to deal with than a whole bird and it comes out perfectly cooked every single time.

    Seasoned with garlic and herb butter and rubbed in spices, every bite is so tasty!

    Serve it with your favorite sides like Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce and Garlic Roasted Potatoes.

    Why you will love this roast turkey breast recipe!

    • Make ahead: You can prep the turkey the day before so all you need to do is pop it in the oven on the day.
    • Perfect for a crowd: A 6lb turkey breast will easily feed 6 with leftovers. If your Thanksgiving is smaller this year, the recipe can easily be adapted for a smaller piece of turkey.
    • Perfectly cooked: There’s no dry turkey in sight with this recipe. Just follow the step by step instructions for the best roasted turkey breast you’ll ever make!

    Ingredients

    • Turkey breasts (half or whole breast, completely thawed out) – I used a 6 lb Whole turkey breasts
    • Onion
    • Celery
    • Carrots
    • Garlic cloves
    • Lemon
    • Fresh thyme sprigs
    • Chicken stock
    • Spice dry rub (paprika, garlic & onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil)
    • Garlic lemon compound butter (butter, garlic, lemon, fresh thyme & rosemary, salt, pepper)

    How to make a juicy roast turkey breast

    Prepare the turkey breast

    • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
    • Rinse with water and pat dry turkey breast with paper towels. Remember to take out the giblets.
    • Season inside of turkey cavity generously with salt and pepper.
    • Using the back of a spoon, carefully separate the skin from the turkey meat, moving downwards with the spoon’s back. Loosen the skin from both sides of the turkey breast. You can also just use your fingers to do this, but I find it easier with the spoon. Set aside.

    Make compound butter

    • Make compound butter by adding butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped herbs to a small bowl. Using a fork mash and mix until well combined.
    • Spread out 2/3 of the garlic lemon compound butter under the turkey’s skin using a spoon and using your hands to spread it evenly. Spread the rest of the compound butter over the top of the skin. Set aside.

    Season with spice rub

    • In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and fresh ground pepper; pour in olive oil and mix until well incorporated.
    • Slather the spice rub all over the turkey breast on the outside.
    mix spice rub ingredients
    Mix the spice rub ingredients

    Place vegetables and turkey in roasting pan

    • Add onion wedges, chopped celery and carrots, garlic, and fresh thyme sprigs to a roasting pan or large enough dish.
    • Place turkey breast on top, skin side up. If making ahead, stop here; cover turkey with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
    • Pour chicken stock into the pan.
    Turkey breast over vegetables in a roasting pan
    Roast turkey breast over vegetables in a roasting pan

    Bake turkey breast

    • Transfer to the oven and place on the middle-lower rack, don’t cover the turkey. Reduce oven heat to 325 F.
    • Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the size of the turkey breast (see turkey breast cooking time chart below), or until internal temperature reaches 155 F to in the thickest part of the meat. Let it rest before slicing and it will reach 165 F due to carryover cooking.
    • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. (If you want crispier skin, baste the turkey breast every 30 minutes. If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.) Remove from the oven & let stand for 20 minutes before cutting.

    How long does it take to roast turkey breast?

    A 6lb turkey breast will take around 2 hours to cook at 325F. If you are cooking a smaller breast, you should allow for 15 – 18 minutes per pound. The best way to check that your turkey is properly cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. It’s ready to come out of the oven when the turkey breast temperature registers 155F – 165F in the thickest part of the meat. Let it rest before slicing and it will reach 165 F due to carryover cooking. After resting, the minimum internal temperature should reach 165 F for safety.

    Cooking chart for oven roasted turkey breast

    This cooking chart will help you figure out how many minutes per pound you need for cooking a turkey breast in the oven.

    • 4 – 6 lbs – 1 to 1 3/4 hours
    • 6 – 8 lbs – 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours
    • 8 – 10 lbs – 2 to 3 hours
    • 10 – 12 lbs – 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours
    • 12 – 14 lbs – 3 to 4 1/4 hours
    • 14 – 16 lbs – 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 hours

    Generally, you need to allow for about 15 – 18 minutes per pound for cooking a turkey breast in the oven at 325 F. And you really need a good instant-read thermometer.

    oven roasted turkey breasts on a platter with rosemary and orange slices

    How far ahead can you prep the turkey?

    You can roast the turkey breast as soon as you’ve prepped it, but I like to get ahead of things and do the work the night before. You can keep the breast covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. On the day, you just need to pop it in the oven.

    How do you keep the turkey breast juicy?

    The best way to keep your turkey breast moist is to cook it low and slow at a temperature of 325F. We rub butter under the skin to add extra flavor and fat as well as adding stock to the roasting pan for extra moisture. These few things guarantee the juiciest turkey breast!

    close up shot of baked turkey breast on a plate

    Tips & Tricks for Perfect Turkey Breast

    • If using frozen turkey breast, allow time for it to thaw fully before seasoning. You need about 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator to thaw a whole turkey breast.
    • Patting the skin of the turkey removes any excess moisture and helps to get crispy skin.
    • If making ahead of time, take the turkey out of the fridge an hour before roasting it.
    • Roast the turkey breasts for about 15 – 18 minutes per pound of turkey. (see cooking time chart above)
    • Make sure you add herbs and butter under the skin to keep the meat juicy and flavorful.
    • Make sure the skin is well brushed with oil or with the oil spice rub from the recipe.
    • Baste the turkey breasts if you want a crispy skin, and use a baster.
    • If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.
    • Let the roast turkey breast rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
    perfectly roasted turkey breast for a family

    What to Make with Turkey Leftovers

    • Turkey Sweet Potato Frittata
    • Turkey and Rice Soup
    • Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas

    Sides to serve with your turkey

    roast turkey breast on a platter with rosemary and oranges
    5 from 7 votes
    Print Review Pin It!

    Roast Turkey Breast

    This delicious roast turkey breast is perfect for your Thanksgiving meal. Super easy to make, and it comes out wonderfully juicy and flavored every single time. Be sure to grab this foolproof turkey breast recipe this year. It's the best!
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 2 hours
    Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
    Servings 6 servings
    Calories 681kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    • 6 lb turkey breasts, half or whole breast, completely thawed out
    • 1 onion, cut into 4 wedges
    • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3 “ pieces
    • 2 carrots, cut in 2-3” pieces
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 lemon, quartered
    • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
    • 1/2 cup chicken stock

    Garlic Lemon Butter

    • ½ cup butter, 1 stick, softened
    • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
    • zest and juice from 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Spice Rub

    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
    • Wash turkey breast and pat it dry with paper towels. Remember to take out the giblets.
    • Season inside of turkey cavity generously with salt and pepper.
    • Using the back of a spoon, carefully separate the skin from the turkey meat, moving downwards with the spoon’s back. Loosen the skin from both sides of the turkey breast. You can also just use your fingers to do this, but I find it easier with the spoon. Set aside.
    • Make compound butter by adding butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped herbs to a small bowl. Using a fork mash and mix until well combined.
    • Spread out 2/3 of the garlic lemon compound butter under the turkey’s skin using a spoon and using your hands to spread it evenly. Spread the rest of the compound butter over the top of the skin. Set aside.
    • In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and fresh ground pepper; pour in olive oil and mix until well incorporated.
    • Slather the spice rub all over the turkey breast on the outside.
    • Add onion wedges, chopped celery and carrots, garlic, and fresh thyme sprigs to a small roasting pan or large enough baking dish or skillet.
    • Place turkey breast on top, skin side up. If making ahead, stop here; cover turkey with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
    • Pour chicken stock into the pan.
    • Transfer to the oven and place on the middle-lower rack, don’t cover the turkey. Reduce oven heat to 325˚F.
    • Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the size of the turkey breast (see turkey breast cooking time chart below,, or until internal temperature reaches 155˚F. About 15 to 18 minutes per pound. Use a instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness.(If you want crispier skin, baste the turkey breast every 30 minutes. If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.)
    • Remove from the oven & let stand for 20 – 30 minutes before cutting.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • If using frozen turkey breast, allow time for it to thaw fully before seasoning. You need about 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator to thaw a whole turkey breast.
    • Patting the skin of the turkey removes any excess moisture and helps to get crispy skin.
    • If making ahead of time, take the turkey out of the fridge an hour before roasting it.
    • Roast the turkey breasts for about 15 – 18 minutes per pound of turkey. (see cooking time chart above)
    • Make sure you add herbs and butter under the skin to keep the meat juicy and flavorful.
    • Make sure the skin is well brushed with oil or with the oil spice rub from the recipe.
    • Baste the turkey breasts if you want a crispy skin, and use a baster.
    • If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.
    • Let the roast turkey breast rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
    • Cooking time chart: 
    • 4 – 6 lbs – 1 to 1 3/4 hours
    • 6 – 8 lbs – 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours
    • 8 – 10 lbs – 2 to 3 hours
    • 10 – 12 lbs – 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours
    • 12 – 14 lbs – 3 to 4 1/4 hours
    • 14 – 16 lbs – 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 hours

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 100g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 2279mg | Potassium: 1295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4221IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 3mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    November 10, 2020

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    Comments

    Beth

    5 stars
    My family and I are going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try! Looks so delicious and full of flavor!

    Andrea Metlika

    5 stars
    What a gorgeous turkey breast. Looks so tender and juicy and love the spices on it.

    Angela

    5 stars
    I love the idea of downsizing this season. The garlic lemon butter and spice rub are amazing!

    Emily Liao

    5 stars
    This turkey was indeed so juicy and delicious! Will definitely be making again.

    Kate

    5 stars
    What a great recipe – with all those flavours packed into the turkey breasts they must taste incredible!

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