This slow cooker turkey breast is coated in a seasoned herb butter, then placed in the crock pot to cook to tender perfection. It’s the perfect way to free up oven space for your big holiday meal, and the turkey comes out perfect every time!

I love to make this slow cooker turkey, it’s a fuss free way to have a delicious and elegant main course. I serve my crock pot turkey with some of our favorite side dishes like Thanksgiving stuffing, Instant Pot cranberry sauce, cranberry Jello salad and bacon brussels sprouts. Don’t forget the pecan pie bars and pumpkin meringue pie for dessert!

A slow cooker turkey breast on a serving platter with fresh herbs.

Can you believe that such a browned and succulent turkey breast can come from a slow cooker? It’s true, and it couldn’t be any easier to make. Plus there are plenty of drippings which make the best turkey gravy. It’s a great Thanksgiving recipe for serving a smaller crowd. My roasted Cornish hen recipe also makes an amazing main course option for when you don’t want to cook a whole turkey. Need more menu inspiration? Don’t miss my list of 30 Thanksgiving appetizer recipes!

If you have turkey leftovers, try my favorite leftover turkey recipes such as turkey tetrazzini, turkey salad and turkey noodle soup.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Ingredients

To make juicy slow cooker turkey breast you will need a thawed turkey breast, butter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, an onion and herbs. For the gravy you will need butter, flour and a cup of turkey broth or chicken broth.

Butter and seasonings in a mixing bowl.

How Do You Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast?

Start your slow cooker turkey breast recipe by mixing butter with a blend of herbs and spices in a small bowl. Rub the butter mixture on top of, and underneath the skin of your thawed turkey breast. Place onion slices at the bottom of you crock pot. The turkey breast then goes into the crock pot on the onion slices. It cooks a few hours until it’s tender and flavorful. Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet and broil it for 5 minutes to brown the outside. While the turkey broils, in a pan whisk together melted butter and flour. Add the strained juices from the slow cooker and a little broth. In a few minutes you have gravy for your turkey. Take the turkey out of the oven, add gravy and enjoy!

Poultry coated in seasoned butter.

Tips For The Perfect Turkey

  • Love crispy skin? Me too. After the turkey comes out of the slow cooker, broil it for a few minutes to get the skin crispy and golden brown.
  • I highly recommend using a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast as it will be much less likely to get dry.
  • Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to spread the butter mixture evenly over the turkey. Make sure your butter is very soft to make it easier to spread. You can also let your turkey breast sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before you start seasoning.
  • I’ve used a half breast here, but you can use a whole breast if you’re serving more people. Simply double the amount of the seasoned butter and proceed with the recipe. You will also need to increase the cook time.
  • The onion slices serve as a rack to elevate the turkey breast. That way the breast doesn’t sit in a bunch of liquid and it gets infused with flavor.

Quick Tip

You’ll need a larger oval slow cooker to cook a turkey breast. A standard round slow cooker will not be large enough.

Cooked meat inside a crock pot.

Recipe FAQs

How much turkey per person?

You’ll want to count on buying one pound of turkey breast per person. If you want more leftovers, try to aim for 1 1/2-2 pounds per person.

How long does it take to cook turkey in a slow cooker?

A standard sized turkey breast will need to cook for approximately 6 hours on low heat. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F. If you’re using a larger or smaller turkey breast, be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Is cooking a turkey breast in a slow cooker safe?

Cooking a turkey breast in a slow cooker is safe as long as you cook a thawed turkey breast. You need to cook your turkey long enough to reach 165 degrees F in the thickest part. Also, make sure your slow cooker works correctly.

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Sliced slow cooker turkey breast served with stuffing and green beans.

Flavor Variations

This recipe makes delicious and juicy turkey breast; however, you can change the recipe to suit your taste.

  • Seasoning: Try changing up your flavors by mixing a spice blend with your butter like fajita seasoning, Cajun seasoning or Jamaican jerk seasoning.
  • Herbs: Try adding some minced dried rosemary, thyme or sage to your butter mixture.
  • Chicken: If you want to make a whole chicken in your crock pot, try this slow cooker whole chicken recipe.
  • Vegetables: If you want a whole meal try adding some veggies to the crock pot. You could add 1 inch carrot pieces, 1 inch celery pieces or halved small potatoes to the crock pot.

Once you try making turkey in a slow cooker, you won’t want to go back to the oven roasted method!

More Sides You’ll Enjoy

Slow Cooker 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.

4.93 from 56 votes

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

AuthorSara Welch
A slow cooker turkey breast on a serving platter with fresh herbs.
This slow cooker turkey breast is coated in a seasoned herb butter, then placed in the crock pot to cook to tender perfection. It’s the perfect way to free up oven space for your big holiday meal, and the turkey comes out perfect every time!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

For the turkey

  • 6 lb bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion peeled and cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • fresh herbs for garnish optional
  • cooking spray

For the gravy

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth

Instructions 

  • Place the 4 tablespoons of butter, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir until combined.
  • Loosen the skin of the turkey. Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and spread half all over the top of the turkey.
  • Coat a large oval slow cooker with cooking spray and line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion slices.
  • Place the turkey breast on top of the onion slices. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F.
  • Transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet. Preheat the broiler.
  • Broil the turkey for 4-5 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy.
  • Pour the liquid from the slow cooker through a strainer; discard the solids.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
  • Cook the flour and butter mixture for 1 minute.
  • Pour 1 cup of strained drippings and 1 cup of chicken broth in the pan.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes or until just thickened, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Slice the turkey and serve with the gravy. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Notes

  1. You’ll need a larger oval slow cooker to cook a turkey breast. A standard round slow cooker will not be large enough.
  2. Love crispy skin? Me too. After the turkey comes out of the slow cooker, it gets broiled for a few minutes to get the skin crispy and golden brown.
  3. I highly recommend using a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast as it will be much less likely to get dry.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 90g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 260mg | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 1091mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

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Comments

  1. hi! Just put my turkey breast in the slow cooker and keeping my fingers crossed. How in the heck did you get your butter mixture to stay on the turkey? I had the hardest time getting OFF my skin and on to the turkey! Never did this before and felt like I didn’t know how to cook!!!! LOL! Please tell me your secret. It smells and looks delicious; hope it is!

          1. I did add chicken broth, about 3/4 cup because I want it to all be mixed in when I go to make my gravy. Remember, a breast does not give off as much juice as a whole turkey with the thighs, etc.

      1. I had no problem putting the butter/seasonings under the skin, nor on top of it. It looks really nice and it’s cooked for almost 2 hours. However, I have mine on high for right now and then will cut down to low.

    1. 5 stars
      I made w/ boneless skinless 2lb turkey breast and adjusted some measurements for ingredients and cooked for 5 hrs. This turned out better than expected, my turkey was moist and husband seriously couldn’t stop talking about how good dinner was tonight. It didn’t look browned or get crispy in broiler since it had no skin but still was delicious!

  2. What size crock pot should be used for a 7lb
    Turkey breast bone in. My concern it may be to high. Any suggestion how to fit the breast in. Thank tou

  3. I just found out that I will be cooking my frozen 7 pound turkey breast for tomorrow. I have it soaking in hot water now and pray that as long as I can remove the gravy packet, I can start the cooking process in my slow cooker. Would this work?? HELP and thanks

    1. Yes it should be fine, you’ll likely need to add more cooking time if you’re starting with a partially thawed breast.

    2. You should not thaw it in hot water. Thaw in cold water. I put mine in to thaw about 5 PM and let it soak all night. Perfect at 9 AM the next morning.

  4. I’d like to make this for the two of us this thanksgiving (this Thursday), I have a bone in breast that is 6 pounds My first question is, is it ok that the breast sticks out of the top? I can cover it completely with the lid so there is no forcing, just worried about the actual cooking time. Hope you can help because this sounds easy and looks delicious. Also another question, how can you tell if it’s single or double breast and is a full breast a lot more time? Thanks in advance 😀

    1. As long as the lid is on securely, it’s totally fine. A single breast looks like a large chicken breast, like is pictured in these photos. A double breast is a different shape, it’s two of the single breasts put together. Think about what a turkey would look like if you removed its wings and legs, that’s a double breast!

    1. It’s when you turn the oven on so that only the top heating element is cooking the food at a high temperature, typically 450-500 degrees F.

  5. 5 stars
    Hello – how many pounds do you consider a ‘standard’ sized turkey breast — 6 lbs? Also, have you made this using a boneless turkey breast? Thank you!

    1. Yes, it’s 6 pounds. I have not made this with a boneless breast but I believe a fair amount of my readers have with good success!

    1. I haven’t tried it, I’m not sure if it would work because the turkey breast releases a fair amount of liquid as it cooks.

  6. 5 stars
    I Love a turkey breast in the crock pot. I do one similar to this, But I also add carrots & celery to the bottom of my crock pot. I use a stick of butter (melt in microwave) add Nature Seasoning and brush all over the turkey even under the skin. Then I add a pack of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Cook on low for 8-10hrs. DELICIOUS AND SOOOOO MOIST!!!! But I will have to try this combination. I like trying different spices and herbs on mine. 🙂 Thanks for the great recipes you post.

    1. Hi Joann,

      I am going to try and do what you did with the carrots, celery and onion soup mix. Did you add any water or broth to the crock pot before you started cooking it?

      Thanks for your recommendations.

      Pam

      1. Hi Pamela, Yes I did add just a little water. But not much cause the turkey and veggies will release some moisture and you don’t want it to over flow, LOL. I’m thinking just enough to cover bottom of your crock pot. Hope that helps. E-mail if I can help anymore (wyantjoann@yahoo.com). Thanks and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Have a wonderful and blessed day.

    1. It should cook for the same time, I’d recommend placing them side by side in a larger oval slow cooker rather than stacking them on top of each other.

  7. I have to say I was skeptical but I liked the idea of all the spices. I wanted something unlike Thanksgiving turkey. Well this recipe certainly different. It was absolutely delicious. I wanted to eat the gravy on everything. I will be making this again and I think I’ll try it on chicken breast and dark meat. There was broth leftover after taking out what I needed for the gravy. I froze it. I’m sure I’ll want more gravy for something.