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 and homemade dinner rolls 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 any holiday meal like Christmas or Thanksgiving.

For other variations on this dish, be sure to check out my smoked turkey breast and Instant Pot turkey breast recipes. If you have any leftovers, check out my favorite leftover turkey recipes like turkey casserole, turkey pasta carbonara, turkey tetrazzini and turkey salad.

Roasted Turkey Breast Ingredients

To make roasted turkey breast you will need a turkey breast, butter, garlic, sage leaves, rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, parsley, kosher salt, black pepper and herbs for a garnish.

Ingredients including bowls of butter, garlic and herbs.

How Do You Cook A Turkey Breast?

To make this roasted turkey breast recipe, first make seasoned butter by mixing minced herbs, garlic and seasonings into softened butter in a small bowl. Rub the butter on the turkey breast coating the whole breast. Place your turkey in a baking dish or roasting pan. Roast the turkey at high heat to crisp the skin, then lower the heat to cook everything thoroughly. Baste the turkey occasionally with pan drippings. When the roast reaches the correct internal temperature, remove it. Let it rest, then serve the turkey breast.

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

Tips For The Perfect Turkey

  • You can use a fresh or frozen turkey for this recipe. Just make sure to thaw the turkey before roasting it.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F before serving the meat.
  • You can use a half turkey breast or a whole turkey breast for this recipe. However, a whole turkey breast will take longer to cook. You will want to double the butter mixture to coat a whole breast.
  • 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.
  • Garnish the roasted turkey breast with fresh herbs or even small fruit for a beautiful presentation.
  • Bring out the best in your bird with turkey gravy!

Quick Tip

Rub the butter mixture on top of the turkey skin and under the turkey skin.

A turkey breast coated with garlic and herb butter.

Recipe FAQs

How long does it take to cook a turkey breast?

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.

How much turkey per person?

The general rule of thumb is to cook one pound of roasted turkey breast per person. If you want plenty of turkey for leftovers, aim for 1 1/2 – 2 pounds per person.

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A roasted turkey breast in a baking dish.

Flavor Variations

If you’re not in the mood for garlic and herbs, try one of these other options to add some flavor to your roasted turkey breast!

  • Mexican: Mix the softened butter with my taco seasoning which includes chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and oregano.
  • Cajun: Mix the softened butter with Cajun seasoning.
  • Bacon Wrapped: Wrap 6-8 strips of bacon around the turkey breast until completely covered. This works best if you remove the turkey skin first.
  • Maple: Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the butter mixture.
Sliced roasted turkey breast served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

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!

Turkey Breast Side Dishes

Roasted Turkey Breast Video

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 121 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!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. Rub the butter mixture on top of the turkey skin and under the turkey skin.
  2. You can use a fresh or frozen turkey for this recipe. Just make sure to thaw the turkey before roasting it.
  3. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F before serving the meat.

Nutrition

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

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Comments

  1. I used this recipe for Christmas this year and it turned out absolutely perfect! So tender and flavourful, thanks so much, this will be my go to:)

    1. I roast it directly in a pan but a rack would also be fine. I’ve never tried wrapping it in a bag so I can’t say for sure!

  2. Do I need to brine the turkey breast before using this recipe? Also I have a roasting pan with the grated in it I was planning to use – will this work as it is different from what’s shown in the photos. Lastly are there any steps someone cooking a turkey breast for the first time might miss prior to #1? Will there be stuff inside the turkey i I need to get out?

    1. You do not need to brine the turkey unless you want to, if you decide to brine you can use a half batch of my brine recipe: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/turkey-brine-recipe/
      A roasting pan with a grate is fine. If you’re using a half breast like shown in the photo there won’t be anything to take out of the turkey. If it’s a full double turkey breast then it’s possible there could be a giblet bag inside.

  3. 5 stars
    Ok I haven’t made this yet but I’m planning to. If I cook two separate breasts at the same time, how do I figure out cooking time? Thanks.

    1. If you use a large enough pan where the air can circulate between the breasts the cooking time change should be minimal, the best gauge is to put a thermometer in one of the breasts so you know exactly when it’s done.

  4. i have been making turkey breasts using your recipe for a while now. the only place i find a t breast is at trader joes. even at 2 1/2 lbs it always takes longer than 20min. per lb.i do start it at 450 as recommended &i have an oven themomater& also one to check for doneness so i know the oven is correct. the turkey is >Empire brand & absolutely delish! wish more stores sold them. i always roast them on a rack so the temp circulates better.

  5. Great recipe! I do something similar but always make this the day before Thanksgiving so the herbs and garlic have time to permeate the butter. Then I let it sit out so it has time to soften before I cook the turkey. Tip: If you make extra herb butter, you can use some on your rolls (as long as you don’t contaminate it while putting it on the turkey) or add some to your gravy. That’s another bonus, this helps make a great gravy base with the turkey drippings!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is AMAZING! I used it for my 10lb. turkey breast for Thanksgiving. The cook time was right on. The garlic butter was phenomenal! You made me look good!! Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this! I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! It will be my go-to in the future. I used a very large (9.5 lb) bone-in turkey breast. It was so much easier to manage than an entire turkey, but “looked the part.” Nobody in my family missed the dark meat or giblets. It was more than enough to feed 9 adults. Even though it was so big, I didn’t have to double the butter recipe. This is a very easy recipe, but I made it even easier by using dried herbs instead of fresh (I did use real garlic), and it was still delicious! I just used 1/3 of the amount of herbs called for.

  8. Made this recipe for the first time with a whole turkey breast. Delicious flavor but had a very hard time getting the butter rub to adhere to the turkey skin on the outside. Tried patting the skin to dry a bit but no luck.
    Finally managed to get blobs to stay on long enough to get it in the oven! Any suggestions? 😀

    1. The butter should be very soft and you just want to spread it as quickly as possible since it will harden when it touches the cold turkey!

  9. Hi, I’m just wondering, would it be OK to cook the under side first to crisp it up then cook the top to crisp the top to crisp it up or is that just not necessary?
    Thanks in advance, I’m having my small Thanksgiving today….
    Bobbi

  10. 5 stars
    Made it just as written…My Family loved it!!! Moist and savory turkey breast !! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!!

  11. 5 stars
    I have used this recipe for the las several thanksgivings and it is always a hit! We only like the breast so this is perfect for our little family! I am trying your loaded potato recipe this year…. Happy thanksgiving! karla

  12. Just to clarify… if I have a turkey breast that is 5 pounds, I should use this recipe as written – with 5 tablespoons of butter, etc. Is that right? Thanks so much!

    1. Cook it uncovered, if you feel like the top is getting overly browned towards the end of the cooking time you could then cover it with foil!

  13. Do you recommend fresh r dried herbs for this? I have fresh rosemary and sage but dried parsley and thyme not sure if that would work

  14. 5 stars
    I love not having to roast a whole turkey for thanksgiving. The breast always ends up dry in an effort to get that dark meat cooked. This method is much better and results in a juicier breast. Great recipe!