This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn a commission. Read my disclosure page here.

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

Email Me This Recipe

Enter your email and we'll send the recipe directly to you!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Delicious Meets Healthy.

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 6 votes

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

Email Me This Recipe

Enter your email and we’ll send the recipe directly to you!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Delicious Meets Healthy.

Ingredients  

Garlic Lemon Butter

Spice Rub

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.

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
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Neli Howard

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Neli Howard and the food blogger behind Delicious Meets Healthy. I started Delicious Meets Healthy in 2014 while working in public accounting. While everything I did at work was very analytical and detail oriented, I have enjoyed cooking because I get to use my creativity and experiment with flavors and textures of different foods.

5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

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.

5 Comments

  1. 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!