This oven roasted turkey breast with garlic, herbs, and spices is cooked to golden perfection
Every Thanksgiving I wonder why I don’t make turkey more often since it’s really quite simple, versatile, and packed with protein.
The answer: Roasting a whole turkey can be an all-day adventure. The solution: A smaller turkey breast that can be prepared and cooked in 90 minutes!
This recipe is ideal when you want to feed a smaller group, or need an additional turkey on Thanksgiving day (because let’s face it, everyone wants leftover turkey!).
Dark turkey meat takes longer to cook than white meat, so when you cook a whole turkey you can end up with dry white meat. Cooking just the breast takes away one of the big challenges of cooking a whole turkey. This recipe leaves you with perfectly moist and juicy white meat!Jump to Recipe
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Ingredients for easy Roast Turkey Breast:
- 4-6 pound Turkey Breast – We recommend a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast for maximum flavor (but boneless breasts will work too)
- Poultry Seasoning Mix – olive oil, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper
Simple Poultry Seasoning Mix:
This poultry seasoning rub has all the traditional herbs – sage, parsley, thyme, and rosemary – plus an added kick of flavor with the addition of salt, pepper, paprika, and chopped garlic. All of this is combined into a thick flavorful paste by adding olive oil. This herb-filled paste is then spread all over the bird.
The poultry rub creates a gorgeous color on the cooked turkey, due to the paprika. It’s also perfect for coating a roasting chicken or Cornish game hens, as well. We like to use a combo of fresh and dried herbs, but if needed, all dried herbs can be used.
How to roast a turkey breast in the oven:
The preparation for this recipe is easy because you simply rub the homemade herb-packed poultry paste on a 4-6 pound chicken breast and roast it in the oven. Here are the easy steps for success:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F
- Lightly grease a roasting pan or a roasting rack to put in the roasting pan
- Prepare the poultry seasoning mixture
- Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast. Place breast skin side up in the prepared pan
- Gently loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers and smear half of the seasoning paste directly on the meat
- Smear small pieces of butter inside the skin with the herb paste and then put a parsley sprig on each side of the breast under the skin (optional but looks pretty!)
- Spread the remaining paste evenly all over the outside of the skin
- Pour wine or broth in the bottom of the roasting pan
- Roast the turkey breast, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes per pound. The internal temperature should reach 160˚F when checked with an oven thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. The skin should be dark golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and tent the breast with foil for 15-minutes. The temperature will continue to rise while resting and the turkey is done when it reaches 165˚F
- If you are using a boneless turkey breast your cooking time will be quicker but it still needs to be cooked to 165˚F
- Carve both sides of the breast off of the bone and then slice into individual pieces
How do you keep a turkey breast moist?
There are a few easy ways in ensure your white meat stays moist when cooking:
- Add liquid to the pan – we like to use white wine or chicken/turkey stock. The liquid in the pan helps create steam while the turkey is cooking. It also creates a super flavorful broth that you can drizzle over the bird after you slice it or use as the base for a gravy
- Cook the breast on a roasting rack so the heat circulates and the moisture from the liquid in the pan surrounds the turkey
- Add a little butter under the skin in addition to the herb mixture
- Be careful not to overcook. Turkey should be cooked to 165˚F, but we recommend pulling the turkey out of the oven when the temperature is 160˚F, to be sure it doesn’t overcook. Tenting the roasted turkey for 15 minutes will guarantee the breast comes up to 165˚F and the juices have a chance to redistribute within the bird. Use an oven thermometer for best results.
How long to cook a boneless breast
If you cannot find a bone-in turkey breast then you can easily substitute with a skin-on boneless turkey breast.
The cooking method is exactly the same but keep in mind that boneless meat cooks quicker. A general rule of thumb is about 16 minutes per pound for boneless turkey, but again, check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast. Remove from the oven at 160˚F, tent, and let rest until the turkey breast is 165˚F.
Your Sommelier Suggestions
When serving poultry as the entree, like turkey, goose, or other poultry dishes, two wonderful wine selections are a medium-bodied Chardonnay or French White Burgundy.
Poultry also pairs well with a light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir. These wines will display an aromatic range of flavors with delicate floral notes that make a beautiful pairing with our turkey breast.
What to serve with turkey
Mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce are the quintessential holiday combo, but turkey is delicious year-round. Many vegetables, salads, and sides are a great match.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate
- Tricolore Salad with Oranges
- Baking Powder Biscuits with Flavored Compound Butter
- Peach Salad with Port Wine Vinaigrette
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- 9" x 13" roasting pan
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley leaves chopped + 2 sprigs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cloves minced garlic (more to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
- 4-6 pound turkey breast skin on, bone-in
- 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9"x13" roasting pan, or add a greased roasting rack at place in bottom of roasting pan
- Chop parsley and rosemary leaves. Reserve other 2 sprigs of parsley.
- In a small bowl add olive oil and all of the spices and herbs. Stir together to make a loose paste.
- Place turkey breast skin side up in the prepared roasting pan. Gently loosen the skin with your fingers and rub half of the paste on the turkey skin. Smear small pieces of butter inside the skin with the herb paste and then put a parsley sprig on each side of the breast under the skin.
- Rub the rest of the herb paste over the top of the skin.
- Pour wine or chicken broth into the pan
- Roast the turkey in the preheated oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes per pound. Turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Check the temperature in the thickest area of the breast.NOTE: All ovens cook differently so if the skin begins to brown too quickly then loosely tent with foil toward the end of the cooking time.
- Remove from the oven and tent loosely with aluminum foil while the turkey breast rest for 15-minutes. Don't skip this step as it allows the juices to redistribute in the turkey and reach it's final temperature of 165°F. The juices should run clear at this point.
- Place turkey on a cutting board, carve off each side of the breast and then slice to serve.
- Actual cooking time will vary based on size of turkey breast
- Boneless turkey breast can be prepared in the same way, but the cooking time required to reach 160˚F will be shorter
- Finished internal temperature should be 165˚F, so don’t skip the tented, resting time. Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate results.