How To Cook Turkey Breast

How To Cook Turkey Breast

How To Cook Turkey Breast

Serves 4 or more

What You Need


  • 3 to 7 pounds thawed, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (1 half-breast or 1 whole turkey breast joined at the breast bone)
  • tablespoon unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Equipment
  • Roasting pan, oven-proof skillet, or other baking dish large enough to hold the whole breast
  • Roasting rack, or thick-cut vegetables to lift the breast off the pan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Transfer the roasting pan to a roasting pan. Transfer the turkey breast to a roasting rack set in a roasting pan, or place on top of vegetables in a skillet or other baking dish. Set aside while the oven heats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange a oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 450°F.
  3. Rub the turkey breast with butter and seasonings. Pat the skin of the turkey breast dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey breast all over with the butter or oil. If desired, loosen the skin and rub some butter into the meat under the skin as well. Season the breast all over with salt and pepper (with some under the skin, if desired). Rub the seasonings into the skin. If you're cooking a half-breast, pull the skin to cover the meat as much as possible.
  4. Lower the oven to 350°F and roast the turkey for 1 hour. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°F. Roast for 1 hour, then begin checking the temperature.
  5. Check the turkey's temperature. The turkey is done when it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast meat. Start checking after 1 hour of roasting and continue checking every 10 to 15 minutes until the breast is cooked through.
  6. Cover the turkey to prevent over-browning. If the skin over the breast meat begins to brown too darkly toward the end of cooking, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent scorching.
  7. Rest the turkey. When cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes; this gives the juices time to redistribute and the turkey time to firm up. (Pour the drippings and juices from the pan into a measuring cup for making gravy!)
  8. Carve the turkey. Transfer the turkey to a clean cutting board. Starting at the breast bone, carve the turkey. Continue carving, keeping your knife as close to the ribs as possible, until the whole breast is carved from the bone; some meat will still be left on the bone. Once no longer attached to the bone, slice the breast crosswise into slices.


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