Grilled Boneless Turkey Breast

Roasted turkey breast recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Resting Time: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
367 Calories
9g Fat
0g Carbs
68g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 367
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 192mg 64%
Sodium 322mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 68g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 566mg 12%
*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.)

You don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy turkey breast for dinner. Grilling a turkey breast on an outdoor charcoal or gas grill is a nice change from the usual grilled chicken.

This grill-roasted turkey breast may be simple with only four ingredients—turkey, butter, salt and pepper—but it's full of flavor. The secret is to keep the grilling temperature low enough to allow the inside of the breast to get cooked before the surface dries out. 

Especially on a charcoal grill where the temperature cannot be controlled as easily as on a gas grill, the only accurate way to determine whether the turkey has reached the safe temperature of 165 F is to insert an instant read thermometer in the thickest part. 

Just like you do when roasting turkey in the oven, let the breast rest for 20 minutes before carving it. Even if you don’t plant to make a gravy with the drippings, it is a good idea to collect the drippings, as they will come in handy for the leftovers. 

Since the turkey breast is only lightly seasoned, it can be combined with many different flavors and side dishes from various cuisines. In the summer, serve it with a French ratatouille made with sun-kissed tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and bell peppers, or an Italian caponata. Of course, the grilled turkey breast goes well with any side dishes that you would serve with a Thanksgiving turkey. 

A great way to use leftovers is for turkey sandwiches, just like you would use turkey from the deli counter. Another delicious way to serve cold sliced turkey is with tuna caper sauce, a variation of the classic Italian vitello tonnato made with veal. 

Leftover turkey can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. To prevent the turkey from drying out, store it with the drippings.



  • 2 to 3 pounds turkey breast (string-trussed)

  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the grill.

    Ingredients for roasted turkey breast
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Cut butter into 8 quarter-inch wide slivers measuring an inch long. Push any extra butter into the folds created when the breast is wrapped. Salt and pepper all over.

    Cut butter
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Make 8 half-inch slits in the top skin of the turkey breasts and slip butter into slits.

    Butter on turkey
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Cook for 5 minutes at high heat, then adjust grill to medium heat. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 165 F/74 C, about 25 minutes.

    Cook on heat
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Remove and let cool 20 minutes before carving. If you need drippings for gravy, set a drip pan on bars or bricks under the rack, and remove it after the first 30 minutes or else it will burn off.

    Remove and let cool
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Serve and enjoy.

    Cut turkey breast
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

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