Roast Turkey Breast

Roast Turkey Breast

The Spruce 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
448 Calories
9g Fat
1g Carbs
86g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 448
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 235mg 78%
Sodium 342mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 86g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 727mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Roasted turkey breast is a great alternative to roasting a whole turkey. A four- to five-pound turkey breast will feed six to eight people, it's a cinch to carve, and it's perfect for the holidays for smaller gatherings. In addition, any leftovers can be used for making sandwiches the next day.

You can roast a turkey breast in about an hour as compared with up to five hours for a whole turkey. Another bonus: With no dark meat to worry about, you can roast a turkey breast at a higher temperature than you would a whole turkey, so the skin gets nice and crispy while the meat remains moist and juicy. For this reason, be sure to get a skin-on breast rather than a skinless one.

If you want to cook a bone-in turkey breast, that would be a half-breast; i.e., a single breast. For boneless, you could do a half or a full (double) breast. Either way, ask your butcher to roll and tie the boneless breast so that it cooks evenly.

Finally, a whole turkey breast is a wonderful candidate for brining. Feel free to baste the breast as well. The pan drippings and stock from basting will help with making turkey gravy.

Serve some mashed potatoes along with this turkey, gravy, and your favorite veggies for a delicious meal.


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"This recipe was a cinch to make and the results were perfect—crispy skin outside and juicy meat inside. When basting, I took care to brush the stock on slowly, so less would drip off and splatter. I would also recommend brining the breast to get more flavor into the meat." —Danielle Centoni

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) turkey breast, skin on

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, or turkey stock, for basting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Roast turkey breast recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan.

    Turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan
     The Spruce
  3. Brush turkey with the melted butter, then season generously with kosher salt and black pepper.

    Turkey with the melted butter, salt, and pepper
    The Spruce
  4. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting twice with stock—once after about 15 minutes and again about 15 minutes later (see note below).

    Roast and baste turkey breast
     The Spruce
  5. When the thermometer reads 155 F, remove the turkey from the oven.

    Roast turkey breast recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Cover loosely with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes (or when the thermometer reads 120 F) before carving and serving. Enjoy.

    Roast turkey breast recipe
    The Spruce 

Turkey Breast Cooking Tips

  • The target temperature for white meat turkey is 160 F, but we recommend taking out the turkey at 155 F. It'll hit 160 F as it rests.
  • For best results, use a meat thermometer like this one, which has a probe that you insert into the meat before roasting, and leave it there. Set it for 155 F, and it will beep when it's time to take it out.
  • And don't remove the thermometer probe, but rather, leave it in while the breast rests. When the temperature reads 160 F (which will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 minutes), it's ready to slice. 

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store leftover turkey in the refrigerator for three to four days in an airtight container.
  • If you're not quite ready for another meal of turkey, place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to three months.