Roasted Turkey Breast

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I know that roasting an entire turkey can be a little bit intimidating! This recipe and step by step video for roasting a turkey breast is the perfect fix for those nerves and makes the entire Thanksgiving day way easier and completely delicious!

There are a few things about this recipe that I am completely obsessed with:

1. Last year was the first year we ever used a brine on the turkey on Thanksgiving and let me tell you – it makes a WORLD of difference! The turkey was perfectly moist and juicy and it was all because of the brine. Making a brine is easy, as you’ll see in the video, and you can add all sorts of different spices or citrus… orange peels are an excellent addition!

2. The fresh rosemary, thyme and garlic make the perfect marriage in seasonings. They really bring out the great flavor of the turkey and so seriously so so so delicious with the must-have gravy too!

Roasted Turkey Breast


  • 1 turkey breast, bone-in, about 5 to 7 pounds, skin on.
  • 16 cups ice cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, crushed
  • 2 tsp Sea salt


  1. Place turkey breast in a large zip lock bag; place in a large roasting pan or other large container (just in case the bag leaks). Add the salt and brown sugar to the bag, and then close the bag and seal. Place in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 325°.
  3. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Discard brine. Place on a rack, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Rub the turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, along all other herbs and garlic. Make sure to rub it over and under the skin. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, not touching bone. Roast at 325° for about 2 hours until turkey breast registers 165-170°.
  4. Serves 8 to 10.

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56 thoughts on “Roasted Turkey Breast

  1. Thank you for this! Many have suggested this as an alterative if there will be a smaller crowd. This will be a nice option for my own family to have on Thanksgiving since we’re not hosting but also pushing it back a few days so more family can join and to avoid the traffic. Thanks again!

  2. Gaby,

    Have you thought of cooking it sous vide (at 145-150 degrees, F) and then searing it real quick in peanut oil (basically frying the exterior) to get the crispy skin? You’d end up with a beautiful breast and you’d guarantee that it doesn’t overcook (I like my chicken and turkey breast meat cooked medium, so 145 is perfect for me).

  3. I have been hearing about brining for a while, but have never tried it. You show that it is ultra easy, so this year I am definitely doing it! I love the turkey breast idea as it is the only part of the turkey that I enjoy. This together with the stuffing you made promises to be a great meal. I am waiting for the dessert………..

  4. Thank you so much for giving us the pardon to not have to cook the whole bird. I have never brined a turkey (or anything) for that matter. You take the mystery & fear out of it. Must try this Thanksgiving as I am sure the flavor is superior! xo
    By the way, I just posted a salad that would accompany your turkey beautifully!

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  6. I brined for the first time three years ago and have never looked back. Like you, I’m only cooking the breast. No one in my house eats dark meat. It’s just a waste for us. Wonderful pictures! I stumbled her via TasteSpotting.

  7. I am going to make this tomorrow! My mom insists on doing Thanksgiving every year so my bf and I have a tradition to make an alternative Thanksgiving every year, I get to try some less traditional dishes and a breast is the perfect size for us, plus leftovers- thanks for the great tips, hope mine turns out as well as yours!!!

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  11. I’m in charge of Thanksigivng with my in-laws (we just lost my mother in law) so this seems perfect. I’m trying to make the day special but not be ‘over the top’. You mentioned that there is a must have gravy? Does the turkey breast produce enough drippings to make gravy? Do you have a recipie listed anywhere for how to make it?

    Thank you~

    • Hi Andrea!

      Yes – the turkey will produce enough drippings for Gravy! I don’t have a recipe listed anywhere on the site yet but all I do is remove the turkey breast from the pan, put the pan over medium high heat with the drippings. Add 3 tbsp of flour and whisk it into the drippings and then add turkey or chicken stock until it comes to a consistency that I like!! Hope you enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving :)

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  13. This looks so good. I am combining ideas from several sources (yours included) to make boneless skinless turkey breasts in the slow cooker today. So excited for supper tonight!

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  15. Just wanted to let you know that I made this today for Thanksgiving and the turkey was absolutely fantastic. So juicy and flavorful. I used half the amount of salt on the skin though and the skin was still pretty salty, but the meat was perfect.

  16. I always do a turkey breast for Thanksgiving – in fact, I have the butcher bone it, so that when it comes out of the oven all I have to do is slice and serve. I haven’t brined in the past but I am definitely going to try that next year. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions, Gaby. Love the video – you always look so confident on camera! How do you do it????

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  20. Hey Gaby,

    New to all things turkey and brining. I’m super excited to try your easy looking recipe for Christmas. Question though… What do you do with all that water?


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  23. I do hope it is a type o when you say 2tbsp sea salt I used less than that and it tasted like I was licking a salt block. Had to scrap it all off the turkey other than that the turkey breast was wonderful, very moist.

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  25. Hello from an American expat in Finland! Your recipe looks excellent and perfect for our smaller European ovens. Turkey breasts come pre-skinned here so I was wondering how you think this might affect this recipe. They are also pricy and I’m preparing for a large crowd so I can’t afford to mess it up! Thanks!

    • Hi Monique!

      I’ve never tried it without the skin so I’m not sure how it will affect the turkey. But I dont see why you can do it without the skin. I roast chicken breasts without the skin and they are great. I’d just be sure to add a healthy amount of butter or oil on top so the turkey stays moist while it’s roasting.

      • Thanks. It’s mostly the moisture I’m concerned about too since the skin does such an excellent job trapping the juices inside. I wonder if cooking it covered for the first hour would help with that at all…

  26. My turkey breast is a double one. Not sure I can brine it because I don’t have a big enought pan to do the brine in. Any suggestions?

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