Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

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5 from 5 votes
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Delicious turkey breast recipe makes tender, juicy roast turkey with golden, crispy skin! Just minutes to prep with a few ingredients, or make ahead! Roast turkey breast comes out perfectly every time in less time than roasting a whole turkey! 

If you feed a small group for Thanksgiving and may not need an entire roast turkey or want an even quicker option for the holiday or Sunday supper, this turkey breast is perfect! Prep it in just minutes with a few simple ingredients. You’ll love my cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, make-ahead turkey gravy, sweet potato casserole, and even more Thanksgiving recipes.

Photo of a roast turkey breast with a crispy, golden skin made is cooked in a cast iron skillet.

I love the delicious, juicy, tender goodness of my full-size Roast Turkey! My recipe makes such a scrumptious, beautiful, and golden turkey for Thanksgiving; I heard from readers that while they loved my delicious turkey, it was sometimes more food than they needed for their smaller families.

That’s where this Roast Turkey Breast is a delicious solution! It’s a tasty holiday favorite and easy enough for a weeknight meal. And look at that beautiful skin! You will love it, especially how tender and juicy it is when you taste it.

Photo of turkey breast sliced on a cutting board.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy. Roast turkey breast is simple to prepare and cook and easy to slice and serve. 
  • Quick. Turkey breast cooks more quickly than a whole turkey!
  • Delicious. It has crispy skin and tender, juicy, moist meat with tons of flavor!
  • Simple recipe. My recipe uses only four ingredients: turkey, butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Right-sized. It is the perfect size to serve a smaller group or a weeknight family meal.

How Many Pounds of Turkey Breast Per Person? 

A good rule of thumb is to plan based on the following:

  • 1/2 pound of turkey for boneless turkey breast
  • 3/4 pound if using a bone-in, plan for 3/4 pound of turkey breast

If you want leftovers, you may want to increase the amount per person or the number of servings to account for the amount of leftover turkey you would like. Great in Turkey Salad and more!

My recipe is for a 4 to 5-pound boneless turkey breast and will provide 8 to 10 servings.

How to Make the Best Roast Turkey Breast

Quicker and easier than cooking a whole turkey, this turkey breast is roasted in a skillet using just four ingredients and takes only minutes to prep for roasting! This recipe does not need special cooking equipment or roasting pans and is easy to make!

Ingredients

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

You’ll need four ingredients for this crispy, juicy roasted turkey breast:

  • turkey breast – boneless with the skin on
  • butter – salted butter, melted
  • salt and pepper

Optional ingredients: Recipe Variations are given later in this post. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let your turkey thaw completely in the refrigerator if it is frozen. Pat it completely dry with paper towels.

  1. Preheat oven. When ready to roast, preheat your oven to 450ºF.
  2. Prep turkey. Arrange your turkey breast in a medium (12-inch) skillet, brush the turkey all over with melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  3. Roast. Place the skillet in your preheated oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (at the thickest part of the breast when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer). This takes about 45 minutes to an hour for the 4 to 5-pound turkey breast in this recipe.
  4. Rest before slicing. Then, remove the skillet from the oven and tent it with foil for about 15 minutes to allow the meat to rest.
  5. Slice and serve. When ready to serve, transfer the breast to a cutting board and slice.
Photo of turkey with crispy skin in a cast iron skillet.

Why Do I Roast Turkey Breast in a Skillet?

I love to use a skillet for this recipe:

  1. Holds temperature well.
  2. Yields a crispy-skinned, tender, moist, and juicy turkey breast!
  3. Results in delicious, savory juices (pan drippings) to make turkey gravy!

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the recipe according to the recipe instructions.
  • Allow it to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Serve cold or rewarm and serve.

Storage Tips

To store. Place the completely cooled turkey leftovers into an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve cold or reheat and serve.

To freeze. Place completely cooled turkey into an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to serve. Then serve cold or reheat and serve.

Recipe Variations

Garlic Butter Roasted Turkey Breast

Use two cloves of minced garlic and mix with four tablespoons of softened butter (don’t use melted butter), salt, and pepper. Spread the butter mixture on the breast and bake as directed. 

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Use one tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, one tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme, four tablespoons of softened butter (leave out the melted butter), salt, and pepper. Spread the butter mixture on the turkey and bake as directed.

Photo of sliced turkey with brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I cook my turkey breast covered or uncovered?

Roast the turkey breast uncovered and only tent with foil after removing it from the oven for about 15 minutes.

Do I need to brine this turkey breast before cooking?

No, there’s no brining needed for this recipe! It’s simple and delicious with just a few ingredients and easy steps!

More Recipes Delicious with Turkey Breast

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Pie

Roasted Brussel Sprouts 

Giblet Gravy

Pecan Pie

Fall Salad

Apple Pie

Look at my Make-Ahead Thanksgiving tips to make your Thanksgiving meal ahead of time and enjoy a relaxing day with family and friends!

Here’s my Roasted Turkey Breast recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe – This delicious turkey breast recipe makes tender, juicy roast turkey with golden, crispy skin! Just minutes to prep with a few ingredients, or make ahead! Roast turkey breast comes out perfectly every time in less time than roasting a whole turkey! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) turkey breast, with skin on
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Prep the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Prep the turkey breast. Place the turkey breast onto a 12-inch skillet. Brush the turkey all over with the melted butter and then sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.
  • Roast the turkey breast. Roast the turkey until the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches 165ºF when tested with an instant read thermometer, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Rest before slicing. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
  • Slice and serve. Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board to slice before serving.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions

Prepare the recipe according to the recipe instructions.
Allow it to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve cold or rewarm and serve.

Storage Tips

To store. Place the completely cooled turkey leftovers into an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve cold or reheat and serve.
To freeze. Place completely cooled turkey into an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to serve. Then serve cold or reheat and serve.

Roast Turkey Breast Flavor Variations:

Garlic Butter Roasted Turkey Breast
Use two cloves of minced garlic and mix with four tablespoons of softened butter (leave out the melted butter), salt, and pepper. Spread the butter mixture on the breast and bake as directed. 
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Use one tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, one tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme, four tablespoons of softened butter (leave out the melted butter), salt, and pepper. Spread the butter mixture on the turkey and bake as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.03mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe - Making a Roasted Turkey Breast recipe is simpler and takes less time than roasting an entire turkey! Perfect for serving smaller groups for the holidays or even on a weekend! // addapinch.com

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

5 from 5 votes

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Recipe Review




49 Comments

  1. Mary Beth says:

    I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving this year, but I’ve got to have mashed potatoes and gravy with it. Does roasting just the breast produce any pan drippings for for gravy?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Mary Beth,
      The roasted breast does produce some pan drippings, but not at the same amount of a whole turkey. I like to have some of my homemade chicken stock on hand just in case it doesn’t produce enough for my gravy. I hope you enjoy it! xo

  2. Andrina Mathew says:

    5 stars
    Hi Eileen,
    Yummiest I roasted it exactly. I hope that you enjoy it – it’s delicious! Thanks!

  3. barbara says:

    How would I adjust the roasting time for an eight pound breast? 
    thanks

  4. Molly Polczinski says:

    Hi. Can i use a glass baking dish if i don’t have a cast iron skillet?

  5. Carol says:

    This is a dumb question I’m sure  😱 but when you say skillet I think of something that you use on the cooktop. Do you mean a Pyrex that you use in the oven? Sorry! 

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Carol,
      Not at all – there are no dumb questions. 🙂
      I use my cast iron skillet that can be used on the cooktop or in the oven. Hope you enjoy this! Thanks!

  6. Eileen says:

    Did you brown turkey breast in skillet or did it brown like your picture showed from just cooking it?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Eileen,
      I roasted it exactly like in the recipe. I hope that you enjoy it – it’s delicious! Thanks!

  7. Jojo says:

    Can I make this ahead and freeze. Will it still be moist. Reheat in slow cooker for day of?? Any suggestions?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Jojo!
      Yes you can make it ahead and freeze up to 3 months. Just make sure to wrap in freezer wrap and so place in airtight container. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator then reheat. Hope you enjoy it! xo

  8. Maggie Brown says:

    So every year now, for Thanksgiving, I cook a boneless breast and two turkey legs- but the timing always throws me for a loop. Last year I massively underestimated the time required. I’ve realized it might be because my butcher rolls and ties the breast together. It is denser than a whole turkey and seems to need more like 3 hours of roasting (you can see how assuming it would be 1 hour and having it really be 3 might be a problem for the whole meal plan ;). Anyway, is your recipe for the whole breast just lumped together? I am wondering if I should untie this thing to make it cook a bit faster. I love the sound of your approach, by the way: simple yet moist and delicious. Would love to hear your thoughts but probably too late for your insights before tomorrow!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Maggie,
      I use – like in the recipe – a 4 to 5 pound turkey breast. The turkey breast I use is not tied. I’m not sure of the size turkey breast you’ve been using, but I hope this helps.
      Thanks so much!

  9. Norma Reynoldson says:

    I an going to try it early next month for our early Christmas lunch at a Retirement Home – 150 people – thanks so much.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I hope you enjoy this, Norma! I make these often and they are so delicious! It will be great to take to a Christmas potluck luncheon! Thanks!

  10. kate says:

    5 stars
    WOW! Made this tonight and everybody, including my three very picky eaters of kids, cleaned the turkey off their plate! Perfect Sunday dinner! Thanks so much!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      So glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks! xo