Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast Recipe with Herb Butter

This boneless turkey breast roast recipe originated because in my early days of culinary exploration, the idea of cooking large pieces of meat was so intimidating. During my first year of marriage, I remember wanting to cook a delicious feast for my new family. I had all of the sides down, but the thought of cooking a large bird seemed so overwhelming. Perhaps I had seen Christmas Vacation one too many times, but the thought of sitting down to dinner with my family and cutting into a partially raw or severely overcooked bird filled my heart with anxiety. As I was talking with my sweet mother-in-law about this, she suggested that rather than go for the whole bird my first-year hosting, I try just the turkey breast.

With 3-5 pounds meat in the average boneless turkey breast roast, there would be plenty of meat for everyone and not as much guess work regarding the doneness of the turkey. After trying this juicy turkey breast, cooking only the turkey breast became my new favorite turkey recipe.   My favorite way to serve this turkey breast over the holidays is with my sweet potato casserole and shaved Brussel sprouts.

The cooking time is not nearly as long as a full bird, which means I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to start cooking. It is so much easier to ensure that the boneless turkey breast roast is evenly cooked, and it comes out tender and juicy every single time. As Thanksgiving has evolved over the years, we usually end up out of town with family. However, I always make this boneless turkey breast roast and a few of my favorite sides so we can have all of our favorite leftovers when we return. The end result of this boneless turkey breast roast turkey recipe is a perfectly cooked juicy turkey breast.

Why Cook Just the Turkey Breast

Once November wraps up, most of us tuck away thoughts of roasting turkey along with the holiday decorations. However, just because the big elaborate holiday dinners for a crowd are over doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy delicious roasted turkey on a smaller scale year-round. If cooking an entire turkey seems intimidating or maybe you just have a smaller gathering this year, be sure to give this boneless turkey breast recipe a try. It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. This is a great main course option not just for Thanksgiving, but Christmas, Easter or any gathering with friends.  It’s also nice to vary protein served at weeknight family dinners, and this is a great option.  This boneless turkey roast recipe offers a simpler and less daunting great option focused just on the white meat.

To me, the best way to get all the familiar delicious flavors of roasted turkey any night of the year without leftovers crowding my fridge is this easy roasted bone-in turkey breast. It delivers on the tasty turkey and crispy skin everyone craves without having to wrestle a large bird in and out of the oven. With a smaller cut designed just to feed a smaller crowd or small holiday meal, you get best results every time without having to worry about perfectly cooking a big turkey.

How to Cook Turkey Breast

Prep – Allow the roast turkey breast to set out to room temperature and then pat dry with paper towels. Grease a roasting pan and layer the peeled and cut vegetables. Make the herb butter mixture by creaming the butter, salt and pepper and add in the herbs last. With your hands, rub butter all over the roast turkey breast. Start by putting it under the turkey skin, then on top of the skin, then all over the bird including the under side.

Roast – Roast the whole roast turkey breast for approximately 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. An instant-read thermometer is suggested. The cook time is less time than a whole turkey. Once the roast turkey breast reaches the proper internal temperature, remove it from the oven and allow the turkey to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving so the turkey breast rests and the juices can settle.

Using a Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer is highly recommended when roasting a turkey breast to ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature and prevent overcooking. To accurately measure the temperature of a roast turkey breast, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, taking care not to touch any bones. The thermometer should not be placed directly into the cavity or near the surface of the meat. Push the thermometer into the center of the thickest portion of the breast to get an accurate reading. A whole roast turkey breast should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before removing it from the oven. Allow the roast turkey breast to rest for 15-20 minutes once it reaches 165 degrees F.  During this resting time, the internal temperature will continue rising 5-10 degrees to reach the ideal serving temperature. Using a meat thermometer to accurately determine doneness prevents overcooking and ensures the roast turkey breast turns out perfectly juicy and tender.

Making a Pan Sauce

After removing the roasted turkey breast from the pan, make sure to reserve the tasty brown bits and caramelized drippings left behind. These flavorful turkey juices are the base for a simple, delicious pan sauce. First, use a wooden spoon to loosen the flavorful turkey drippings stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour the drippings and scrapings into a saucepan, taking care to leave behind any excess fat. Place the pan with turkey drippings over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of chicken or turkey broth and 1/4 cup white wine to the drippings, scraping up any leftover browned bits in the pan. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil then whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter until glossy and smooth. Season the smooth turkey pan sauce with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Serve the easy, delicious turkey pan sauce over sliced turkey breast for added moisture and flavor.

Simple Ingredients

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simple ingredients and method. With just some onion, carrot, celery, fresh herbs, butter, seasoning and, of course, the star turkey breast, you end up with a beautiful roast full of savory flavor in under 2 hours. No elaborate prep or fancy techniques required. Compared to a whole bird, focusing your effort on just the boneless turkey roast means achieving tender, juicy meat the entire family will love without the work of navigating the cavity and slower-cooking dark meat.

If the leftovers from your holiday turkey feast are dwindling but you still find yourself craving more turkey flavor, try out this easy roasted turkey breast. It delivers on the deliciousness of roasted turkey in a convenient package designed for a smaller group.

What You Need to Make Turkey Breast

  • Turkey Breast – A boneless, skinless turkey breast can be easily found at most grocery stores in the poultry section.
  • Unsalted Butter, Softened – If dairy is an issue, olive oil can be substituted.
  • Sea salt – While the recipe calls for sea salt, kosher salt or Himalayan salt work as well.
  • Lemon – You only need the zest for this recipe. For a fun variation, orange zest would be fabulous too.
  • Garlic Cloves – Mince these by using a sharp knife or a garlic mincer. Fresh garlic adds so much flavor! Garlic powder is not recommended as a substitution here. Due to the simple ingredients list, fresh really is best.
  • Fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage – Fresh herbs are highly recommended, but you could use dried if needed. You can mix up the ratios of the herbs to your liking.
  • Onions, Carrots, Celery – These vegetables create their own rack for the turkey breast, allowing for even heat circulation and thorough, even cooking.
Boneless turkey breast in roasting pan

Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast Recipe with Herb Butter

Sarah Erickson
This roasted turkey breast recipe is perfect for a smaller gathering, or for nights when you are wanting to mix up the protein offering at dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary minced
  • 1 tsp fresh sage minced.
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 5 carrot sticks peeled
  • 2 celery sticks


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Allow turkey to come to room temp by resting on the counter for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a 9×13 greased baking dish, arrange onions, carrot sticks and celery.
  • Make herb butter: Cream softened butter with salt and pepper. Mix in herbs.
  • Using hands, rub butter all over the turkey. Start by putting it under the turkey skin, then over the skin, then all over the bird including the under side.
  • Roast turkey for approximately 15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. A meat thermometer is suggested.
  • Rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Small bowl
  • Sharp knife 
  • Cutting board 
  • Instant-read meat thermometer
Keyword dinner, main dish, oven roasted, thanksgiving, Turkey breast

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