This roasted turkey breast is coated in a savory garlic and herb butter, then baked to golden brown perfection. The perfect quick and easy option for a holiday meal or everyday dinner!
When I’m feeding a crowd for the holidays, I make a whole roasted turkey. When I’m entertaining a smaller group, I opt for a roasted turkey breast instead. This is the best turkey breast I’ve ever had, it’s tender, flavorful and juicy – no dry meat here!
I love a good roasted turkey, especially around the holidays. That being said, sometimes it’s just my family of 5 and we don’t want to cook up a whole huge turkey. This roasted turkey breast is the perfect option – it’s super flavorful, quick cooking, and festive for a holiday meal.
How do you cook a turkey breast?
This recipe starts with a seasoned butter which is made with an assortment of fresh minced herbs, garlic and seasonings. Everything gets mixed together and the butter is rubbed both on top of and underneath the skin of the turkey. The turkey then gets roasted, first at high heat to crisp the skin, then at a lower heat to cook everything thoroughly.
How long does it take to cook a turkey breast?
You can either use a whole or half turkey breast for this recipe. The recipe is written for a half breast, but if you use a whole breast, simply double the amount of herb butter and you’ll be ready to go. Typically a bone-in turkey breast takes about 20 minutes per pound to cook in the oven.
How do you know when the turkey is done?
Your turkey breast is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F. Be careful not to go too far about 165 degrees or you risk your meat being on the dry side. I use an oven safe thermometer probe that stays in the turkey as it cooks so I can continuously monitor the temperature. Also, the turkey will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven. You can pull your turkey out of the oven around 160 degrees F, then cover it with foil for 5-10 minutes or until it comes up to 165 degrees.
Roasted Turkey Breast Variations
If you’re not in the mood for garlic and herbs, try one of these other options to add some zest to your holiday meal!
- Mexican Turkey Breast: Mix the softened butter with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and lime zest.
- Cajun Turkey Breast: Mix the softened butter with Cajun seasoning.
- Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast: Wrap 6-8 strips of bacon around the turkey breast until completely covered. This works best if you remove the turkey skin first.
- Maple Turkey Breast: Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the butter mixture.
Turkey breast side dishes
I like to serve my roasted turkey breast with classic holiday side dishes. Of course no turkey dinner is complete without stuffing and potatoes, and you always need a veggie to round out the meal! Try some of my favorites listed below, your family is sure to love them.
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Candied Carrots
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
How much turkey per person?
The general rule of thumb is to cook one pound of turkey per person. If you want plenty of turkey for leftovers, aim for 1 1/2 – 2 pounds per person.
This roasted turkey breast is sure to be a huge hit with family and friends. It’s even great for an everyday dinner option on a chilly fall or winter night, comfort food at its finest!
Roasted Turkey Breast Video
Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic and Herbs
- 6 lb bone in turkey breast I use a half breast
- 5 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon sage leaves finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary leaves finely minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves finely minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- rosemary sprigs for garnish optional
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the butter, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Spread half of the butter underneath the skin of the turkey, and the other half of the butter on top of the turkey breast.
- Place the turkey in the baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until skin has just started to brown.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices.
- Check the temperature of the turkey by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The turkey can come out of the oven when the thermometer registers at least 160 degrees.
- Cover the turkey with foil and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until thermometer registers at least 165 degrees F.
- Garnish with rosemary and serve.
- If your turkey breast is larger or smaller than the size indicated in the recipe, you can adjust the cook time accordingly. Turkey breast cooks for approximately 20 minutes per pound.
- This recipe calls for a half turkey breast. If you use a full turkey breast, make double the herb butter mixture.
This post was originally published on October 29, 2018 and was updated on November 4, 2021 with new content.