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 something like roasted cornish hen or roasted turkey breast instead. This is the best turkey breast I’ve ever had, it’s tender, flavorful and juicy – no dry meat here! Don’t forget the Instant Pot cranberry sauce on the side!

Garlic and herb roasted turkey breast in a baking dish with a rosemary garnish.

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. For other variations on this dish, be sure to check out my smoked turkey breast and Instant Pot turkey breast recipes.

A turkey breast and bowls of butter, garlic and herbs.

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.

Butter, garlic, herbs and seasonings in a mixing bowl.

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.

A turkey breast coated with garlic and herb butter.

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.

A roasted turkey breast in a baking dish.

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.

Sliced roasted turkey breast served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

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! If you have leftover turkey, use it in my turkey tetrazzini for another great meal.

Roasted Turkey Breast Video

5 from 51 votes

Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic and Herbs

AuthorSara Welch
Garlic and herb roasted turkey breast in a baking dish with a rosemary garnish.
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!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 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.


Calories: 399kcal | Protein: 88g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 245mg | Sodium: 506mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2.6mg

This post was originally published on October 29, 2018 and was updated on November 4, 2021 with new content.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I follow this recipe to a T yesterday and the turkey was very dry. It was the worst turkey I have a cooked and I have been cooking for 40 years

  2. 5 stars
    Made this turkey breast last night. Absolutely delicious! Juicy and tender. A meat thermometer is a must! Took it out right at 165, let it rest for about 15 minutes. Perfection, and so easy…

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I used two boneless Butterball turkey breasts about 3 pounds each and cooked them together in my heavy cast iron roasting pan and doubled the recipe. Total cook time was about 90ish minutes. This is a keeper, for sure!

  4. Hello, if I am brining the turkey (I’m using your recipe for that), should I cut down on the amount of salt called for in this recipe? Thank you

  5. Bonless? Will this work eith a bonless 4.75 lbs turkey breast? If it will HOW LONG TO COOK& IS MIDDLE THE SAME 165°?

  6. Could you cook this in the crockpot instead? I stumbled across your recipe for a crockpot turkey breast which sounds delicious but for Thanksgiving prefer the assortment of fresh herbs in this recipe.

    1. Is it two separate half breasts or one whole breast? The cook time may not change much if there’s room for air to circulate between the breasts so use the largest pan you have. I also highly recommend using a meat thermometer.