Bone-In Turkey Breast
Herb-roasted bone-in turkey breast is a great way to serve turkey on Thanksgiving to a smaller crowd. This bone-in turkey breast makes enough for 6 servings. It’s insanely juicy, flavorful, and easy to make!
Roasted bone-in turkey breast is perfect for a small intimate Thanksgiving gathering paired with our small-batch red skin mashed potatoes. A whole turkey breast makes enough for a small party of six.
It’s very easy to make too! There’s no basting, brining, or flipping of any sort.
Simply make an herb mixture with fresh herbs, lemon and lime juice, garlic, and spices. Rub the mixture over the turkey and roast until tender. In under 2 hours, you’ll have the juiciest and most flavorful turkey breast ever.
The ingredients for this roast turkey breast are simple and easy to get from your local grocery store.
- Lemon and lime juice – This gives the bird a bright, citrus flavor.
- Brown sugar – This caramelizes and gives you nice and crispy skin.
- Sage, thyme, and marjoram – Use fresh herbs for the best results in this recipe.
- Olive oil – Any neutral oil like avocado oil will also work.
- Dijon mustard – This helps balance the other flavors.
- Paprika – Be sure to use fresh paprika for the best flavor.
- Garlic – Use whole cloves or pre-chopped garlic.
- Kosher salt and black pepper – This classic seasoning combo is added for additional flavor.
- Bone-in, skin-on whole turkey breast – You’ll need about 7 pounds for this recipe.
- Chicken broth – This helps keep the turkey moist while cooking.
Preparing Bone-In Turkey Breast for Roasting
Why type of turkey breast to buy?
For this specific recipe, you’ll need six to seven-pound bone-in and skin-on turkey breast. Most supermarkets sell them this time of the year near whole turkeys.
How to thaw out a turkey breast.
Place unopened frozen turkey breast in a large bowl or tray in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, or until thawed. When thawed, keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook, for up to several days.
How to clean turkey breast.
Remove the turkey breast from the plastic package. Drain juices and dry the breast with paper towels. Let turkey breast sit at room temperature 30-40 minutes before roasting. Place a few sheets of paper towels under the breast to collect excess moisture.
How to Make Roasted Bone-In Turkey Breast
Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325F. Set aside a roasting pan with a rack.
- Make the herb mixture: To a bowl of a food processor, add lemon juice, lime juice, brown sugar, sage, thyme, marjoram, olive oil, mustard, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. Process until blended.
- Rub herb mixture over the turkey: Rub half of the herb mixture under the skin of the turkey breast and spread the rest over the skin.
- Add chicken broth: Place the turkey in a roasting pan and season the top with salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey: Roast the turkey for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer registers at 165F. Start checking for doneness around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- If the skin begins to brown too quickly, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover the breast with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
How to Make a Bone-In Turkey Breast in the Air Fryer
If you want to use your air fryer instead of the oven for your holiday meal, you absolutely can. The advantage of the air fryer is that it comes up to the correct temperature much more quickly than a conventional oven.
All you need to do is marinate the turkey breast, then place it in the air fryer and cook. Check the temperature often to ensure the turkey doesn’t overcook.
You may also want to rotate the turkey so that all sides are evenly cooked.
When it’s done cooking, place it on a cutting board and lightly cover it with aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before slicing into it to let the juices flow freely throughout.
- Allow turkey breast to come to room temperature before roasting. It allows the meat to roast more evenly.
- Invest in a thermometer! The best way to guarantee your turkey breast is not overcooked is with an instant-read thermometer. It’s the most accurate way to check for doneness.
- Only cover the breast with foil if the skin begins to brown too quickly. Otherwise, you want to roast the turkey breast uncovered.
- Rest the turkey breast before serving. Resting the turkey allows the juices to redistribute back through the meat.
You can make changes to this turkey breast recipe depending on what you like. Here are some options for you.
- Use a whole turkey or a whole chicken instead of a turkey breast. Remember to adjust the cooking time and the rest of the ingredients depending on the size of the bird.
- Try these other ways to cook the turkey; sous vide, grill, smoke, slow cook, or deep fry.
- Use a boneless turkey breast and reduce the cooking time.
- Try using whole grain or brown mustard instead of Dijon mustard if you’d like.
- If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, try using dried herbs instead.
Refrigerate: If you have leftover turkey, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat: When reheating turkey, use the microwave and keep the time short. The longer turkey is exposed to heat, the more it will dry out.
Freeze: You can freeze whole turkey breast in a large freezer bag to shred and eat on salads or to use in casseroles. You can also just save the bones to make turkey stock for soup later.
A good rule of thumb is to buy one pound of turkey for each person you’re serving. If you’re feeding a small family or group of six people, you should buy a bone-in turkey breast of about seven pounds.
At about seven pounds, the turkey needs to roast for about two hours. Be sure to check the temperature of the thickest part of the breast with an instant-read meat thermometer and remove it when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should be able to buy bone-in turkey breast from your local grocery store. If you can’t find one there, look at a local butcher’s shop, or you can order online.
- Turkey Cuban Sandwich
- Turkey Tortilla Soup
- Leftover Turkey Chili Recipe
- Crustless Pot Pie – use shredded cooked turkey.
If you love this turkey breast, try our Herb Roasted Chicken. It’s the easiest way to prepare a whole chicken!Print
Bone-In Turkey Breast
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Herb roasted turkey breast is a great way to serve turkey on Thanksgiving to a smaller crowd. This bone-in turkey breast makes enough for 6 servings.
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper, divided
- 1 thawed, bone-in, skin-on whole turkey breast, 6 1/2 – 7 pounds
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before roasting. Pat dry with few sheets of paper towels and allow to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- To a bowl of a food-processor add lemon juice, lime juice, brown sugar, sage, thyme, marjoram, olive oil, mustard, paprika, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Process until blended. It should resemble a slightly runny mixture/paste. You can also use a blender for this step.
- Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on some type of workable surface, such as a large platter or a large cutting board. You want something to catch the drippings. Gently lift the skin of the turkey breast by using your fingers and going in between the skin and the meat. Rub half of the herb mixture under the skin. Spread the remaining herb mixture evenly on the skin. Scoop up the drippings from the work surface and spread it on the turkey breast.
- Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the top of the breast and sides with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey breast for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. Start checking for doneness around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turkey breast is done when an instant-read thermometer registers at 165 degrees F. Check for doneness in several parts of the turkey breast. If the skin begins to brown too quickly, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil.
- Remove from the oven. Cover turkey breast with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
- See post for details on how to prep the turkey for roasting. Also tips and tricks on how to make the turkey breast juicy.
- Store leftover carved turkey breast in an airtight container for up to 4 days. See leftover turkey recipes for ideas.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 680
- Sugar: 8.7 g
- Sodium: 1323.9 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
- Protein: 118.2 g
- Cholesterol: 281.6 mg
Keywords: Thanksgiving, turkey breast, holiday
Originally published November 2020.