Roasted boneless turkey breast turns out fabulously juicy and crispy-skinned when baked for a relatively short time at a high temperature.
Well-seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, and thyme, this easy 8-ingredient recipe yields impressive results.
No doubt, there's something festive about serving - and carving - an entire turkey at the table. But for intimate holiday gatherings, cooking just the breast is the ideal solution. It's the perfect size for four people.
Another advantage of making this roasted boneless turkey breast: When you cook the breast by itself it's easier to make sure it comes out juicy. When you roast the whole bird, despite your best intentions, the white meat often turns out too dry.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Avocado oil spray: This neutral-tasting oil is very suitable for high-heat cooking.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme.
- Boneless turkey breast: I typically use a halved breast, but on occasion, I roast a whole one, as shown in the photo below.
- Melted butter: Unsalted or salted - it doesn't make much of a difference, so use whatever you have on hand. I tend to use salted butter in this recipe.
- You can try different spice combinations. Onion powder is a nice addition. You can also try using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. I tried it and really liked the smoky flavor it added.
- Instead of butter, you can rub the meat with olive oil. However, make sure to use light olive oil which can withstand a high cooking temperature. You can also use avocado oil, but that's not as flavorful.
Boneless Turkey Breast Instructions
Making this recipe is truly easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- First, brush the turkey with melted butter and sprinkle it with spices. (Photos 1-3).
- Now, place it on a greased rack fitted into a rimmed baking sheet and spray it with oil. The extra layer of oil helps the spices stay moist.
- Bake the turkey initially for 20 minutes, to nicely brown the skin. Then, loosely cover the turkey with foil to prevent the top from scorching, and then continue roasting until it's cooked through. (Photos 4-5). The total cooking time will be 45-60 minutes.
- Let it rest, then slice it. (Photo 6).
It's really important to let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before slicing it. This prevents juices from escaping and helps ensure juiciness. If you cut into it right away, the juices will escape and you'll be left with dry meat.
Just like baked chicken breast, I find that the secret to crispy skin and juicy meat is cooking at a high temperature for a relatively short time.
This method ensures wonderfully crispy skin and juicy, succulent meat. When cooked at 450°F, the total cooking time for half a breast is 45 - 60 minutes.
Because of its size, you will need to loosely cover it with foil after about 20 minutes in the oven, then finish roasting it. The foil will keep the top from scorching.
If you'd like to roast a whole breast instead of half, you can use the same method of browning it in a very hot oven, then loosely covering it with foil and continuing to roast until done. But you'll need more time.
The last time I cooked a whole, 3 ½ lb. breast, I baked it for 1.5 hours. It took that long for an instant-read thermometer to register 160 degrees F.
It turned out fabulous, with crispy, savory skin and very juicy meat, the juiciest we’ve ever had actually. But it does require a longer time commitment than using breast halves.
The first secret is to roast it at a high temperature and for a relatively short time.
The second secret: Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices to settle and redistribute, ensuring juicy meat.
The leftovers keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Although the skin does lose its crispness.
I don't like to reheat the leftovers, as they tend to dry out. I usually make a platter of cold leftover turkey slices, alongside some Dijon mustard, fresh-cut veggies, and pickles.
Needless to say, if you eat bread (or would like to try this wonderful almond flour bread), you can use the leftovers to make tasty sandwiches!
Related Turkey Recipes
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Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast
- Avocado oil spray
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 boneless turkey breast half skin-on, about 2 pounds. If bought frozen, it needs to be fully thawed.
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Fit a rimmed roasting pan with a roasting rack and spray the rack with avocado oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and thyme.
- Place the turkey breast on a work surface such as a cutting board. Pat it dry with paper towels. Brush on both sides with the melted butter, then rub it on both sides with the spices.
- Place the turkey, skin side up, on the prepared roasting rack. Spray the top with avocado oil.
- Roast the turkey for 20 minutes. Loosely cover with foil to protect the top from scorching, then continue roasting until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, 25-40 more minutes. The total roasting time will be 45-60 minutes.
- Remove the turkey from the oven. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving it.