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Holiday Recipes: Herb Roasted Turkey Breast « What We’re Eating – A Food & Recipe Blog
Juicy Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Holiday Recipes: Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Nom Nom Nom.. Must. Eat. Turkey.
Eater rating: 4.5 / 5  4.5

Every holiday feast needs a protein of some sort…unless, of course, you’re vegan or vegetarian – then I guess your stuck eating some sort of scary tofurkey! The pre-holiday feast that Nicole and I shared was no different. For our protein, we decided to forgo roasting the usual whole turkey since there were only four of us eating. Instead I decided to do an herb roasted turkey breast. In hindsight, more turkey could have been great for leftover recipes, like this one, but hey! This hommie doesn’t really have the ability to think that far into the future! 😉

The breast meat turned out so incredibly moist and flavorful. The next day I was seriously slapping myself for said foresight failures. If only there’d been more turkey I could have made a killer sandwich with some of Nicole’s kick ass super-fluffy sweet potato buttermilk rolls! Imagine how great that would have been with a schmear of the leftover rosemary-persimmon-cranberry sauce (recipe to come) and some melted brie! (Dude! I have just succeeded at making myself hungry!) Next time I would definitely double this recipe and do two turkey breasts. Why is it that we don’t eat more roasted turkey year round?

*In case anyone didn’t see yesterday’s post, this is part of a special Holiday series featuring recipes that Nicole, from Pinch My Salt, Tyler and I cooked and feasted on together! Here’s a list of all the dishes in the series so far:

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Prosciutto
Extra Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (your reading it! duh!)

A Roasted Turkey Recipe, by Amanda
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Herb Oil:
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp red chile flakes

1 bone-in turkey breast, about 3-5 lbs (just one of the breasts! not both!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add the ingredients for the herb oil into a small bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly.

In a different small bowl, add all of the ingredients for the rub. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Place the turkey breast on sheet or roasting pan. Using your fingers, gently work your way beneath the skin of the turkey to create an air pocket between the meat and the skin. Do not fully remove the skin.

Rub the herb oil into every crevice of the turkey breast, making sure to season liberally beneath the skin. (This is the only way to actually get the seasoning to the meat itself.) Next, use the spice rub to season the every inch of the turkey, again, making sure to get a liberal amount of seasoning beneath the skin.

Make sure the breast is skin-side up on the roasting pan, then place into a preheated 425 degree oven. Roast the turkey breast for 45-55 minutes at 425 until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees. Make sure that the thermometer does not touch any bones as this will skew the reading. Remove roasted turkey breast from oven and cover loosely. Allow breast to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

28 comments so far:

  1. kellypea says:

    I’m making some Cornish game hens tomorrow for a Thanksgiving warm up so I can get my not so traditional bug taken care of. This sounds perfect! Now…the hunt for what to stuff them with begins..I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. katrina says:

    Oh my – that looks incredible!

  3. Kristen says:

    Oh that looks so juicy! Yum!

  4. kellypea says:

    M’kay. I’m back. I used this recipe for 5 game hens and oh, my goodness. So lovely. Easy, too. I love it when herbs are stuffed under the skin but have never tried that AND a rub. Excellent. Will post it tomorrow — thanks for the recipe!

  5. trudy says:

    I have a 8 pound turkey breast, do I have to roast the turkey breast longer or wait till it reaches 170 degrees.

  6. Amanda says:

    trudy, you will definitely have to cook it longer… and until 170 degrees! (you can proabably take it out at 165 degrees and it will keep cooking for another 5 degrees out of the oven as it rests!) is it a boneless or bone-in breast? let me know and I will try to approximate how long you should cook it?

  7. Jill says:

    I have a 9 lb, boneless turkey breast. About how long do you think it will take to cook to 165 degrees? Also, I was thinking about oiling and rubbing the turkey the day before and letting it sit overnight in the fridge. I like lots of flavor. Any thoughts?

  8. Amanda says:

    jill, for a boneless turkey breast you will cook it until it reaches an internal temp of 165. that should take about 15-20 minutes per pound. so a total of 2 1/4 – 3 hours. Also, be sure to roast a whole boneless breast at 325 degrees! It would be perfectly fine for you to oil and rub the turkey a day ahead of time! Sounds like a perfect game plan! 🙂

  9. sharon says:

    i have a 9 and a half lb bone in turkey breast. for how long should i cook it and at what temp? thanks

  10. Amanda says:

    hi sharon – for a 9.5 lbs bone in turkey it should cook for 2hrs 23min to 3hrs 10 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want to ensure crispy skin start it at 450 for the first 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 350. Check the temp at 2hours and 20 minutes. remove the breast as soon as it reaches 165 degrees. then cover with foil and rest for at least 10 minutes. is turkey breast tied into a package or are teh breasts kind of separate? that would change the cook time!

  11. sharon says:

    thanks…i have separated the two breasts. how does that effect the time?

  12. Amanda says:

    no problem! if the breasts are separated and can be laid flat, rib-side down, in a single layer then you can cook it pretty much according to the recipe above! 425 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast (not touching the bones) reads 165 degrees. good luck and enjoy! 🙂

  13. diana says:

    how come the oven temp for boneless is 325 degrees and 425 for bone in breasts?

  14. Amanda says:

    diana, the recipe above is for a single turkey breast (not both turkey breasts that come on 1 bird). It isn’t as thick of a piece of meat so it can cook at a higher temperature with drying out before it’s cooked through. you rarely see a single boneless breast sold in the stores in the usa. most of the time it’s two breast tied together into a “roast”. this creates a really thick piece of meat. You can start out the oven at a high temp to ensure a brown skin (for the first 20 minutes or so) then drop the oven down to the lower temperature. that way the outer part of the turkey isn’t dried out by the time the inner part has reached 165 degrees. i hope that helps!

  15. Janet says:

    This is a terrific recipe – I’ve made it 3 times in the last few weeks! Always a hit.

  16. Your site rocks! Love the recipes and love the photos. Hearty and real and approachable. Am looking forward to following you. Cheers
    D 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    made this today, it was delish! used bone in, fresh garlic, and dried oregano. used pan juices with shallots, butter, flour and chicken broth for gravy. I also let turkey go to 170. this is the best turkey i’ve ever eaten- thanks for the recipe!

  18. Marilyn says:

    Hello. I was wondering. Did you use one breast that weighed 3-5 lbs.? Because I bought a turkey breast that’s from a young bird so both breasts weight about 3lbs. put together, can I just use them both at the same time as if I was using one like you did???

  19. fran says:

    I will be roasting a whole turkey breast (2 attached halves) with skin and bones about 10 lbs. I will either roast it standing up or I could flatten – which is the better way and how many minutes per pound? We will have 8 adults and 2 children and want lots of leftovers – so how big should the breast be? Do you get about 2 servings per pound of bone in breast?

    Lots of ???s – thanks

  20. Sharee says:

    I have a 9 lb turkey breast I have read what you said to cook it on 350 for about 2 and a half to 3 hours but I have it wrapped in aluminum foil should I unwrap it or is it ok to cook it this way? Also I want the skin to be crispy. HELP.

  21. Jane says:

    Great site, great recipe. I need help!

    I have two bone-in turkey breasts totaling 7 lbs.

    I want to achieve a crispy skin. How long do I bake this and at what temperature?

  22. Paula says:

    I’m a little late to the party here, but I made this today and it was hands down the best turkey breast I’ve EVER made. Thank you!!

  23. I have 2 turkey breasts that are about 6 lbs a piece. How long should I cook them? I usually just cook one so I’m confused! thanks

  24. take 2 says:

    Thanks for this turkey recipe! it is absolutely the best turkey i ever had. This is the only way i like to cook it anymore…!

  25. Jen says:

    Thanks for this recipe, because it is The Best. I made a traditional whole turkey recipe last year for Thanksgiving, and it was underwhelming. Too big, breasts were not moist or flavorful enough, skin not tasty or crispy enough. The bigger the bird, the more the risk of uneven cooking & flavor. Then for Xmas I tried this recipe, and it was so great that I kicked myself for never trying a breast-only recipe before! I said: I never need to make a whole turkey again! This is SO MUCH TASTIER! Moist, delicious, beautiful, not to mention FAST! It really came out more delicious than than any whole turkey recipe I’ve tried. I just looked this up again in preparation for this year’s Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  26. david vogel says:


    i was wondering if i could use this recipe on a whole turkey. i have made this recipe twice for my wife and i and it is simply the best turkey we have ever had. however this year i am having 9 people over so we have a 14/15 lbs bird. i want them to experience this flavor. any input would be greatly appreciated.

    happy thanksgiving!


  27. Allison says:

    We made this and your persimmon cranberry sauce today for Thanksgiving! Both were PERFECT!! Probably the best turkey I’ve ever had on Thanksgiving. Thanks you guys! Love your blog.


  28. Bob J says:

    This was the best Turkey I’ve ever ate! We didnt have the smoked Paparika so substituted a tsp. of liquid smoke in with the moist ingredients. Thiswas the first time that I can rember that the turkey was gone before the Ham. Thanks.