This Herb Roasted Turkey Breast recipe is your shortcut to a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey! The meat is coated with an herb-infused butter that takes only 5 minutes to prep.
It’s cooked on a bed of sliced onions so you can easily whip up a batch of Onion Gravy, too!
The secret to a perfect Thanksgiving turkey isn’t hours of prep work, and this roast turkey recipe proves it!
It yields a moist, golden brown bird served that you can serve with all your favorite side dishes.
In fact, why not keep things easy? There are plenty of other quick-prep sides you might want to try this holiday season!
For instance, my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes only take about 30 minutes to make — including cook time!
You can also add simple dishes like Candied Yams, Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Delicata Squash, which only need 15 minutes to prep. (Just note, they’ll need some time to roast in the oven.)
And, you’ll love how this Herb Roasted Turkey Breast recipe sets the stage for some scrumptious Onion Gravy!
No need to complicate things with lots of extra ingredients or adding red or white wine into the bottom of the pan.
All you’ll need are the herbs, onions, and pan juices you already have from making the turkey, plus a bit of flour and chicken stock. Bon appétit!
Herb Turkey Breast Ingredients:
First, thin sliced onions are used to line your roasting pan or baking dish (the beginnings of your Onion Gravy!).
To season the turkey, a blend of softened unsalted butter, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper is used under and over the skin.
How To Roast A Turkey Breast:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and prepare the herb butter with softened butter and fresh herbs.
Place the turkey breast on a bed of sliced onions in a castiron skillet and loosen the skin of the turkey breast and use your hands to rub half of the butter mixture under the skin.
Then rub the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the turkey and roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the bird.
After roasting, allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the bird. Use the pan drippings to make gravy, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
History says the first colonists ate wild turkeys, which are also indigenous to North America. Think of it as a really long-standing tradition!
How to cook a turkey breast:
The cook time will be about 15 minutes per pound. It’s important to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
If you don’t have a meat probe thermometer, get one now!
How do I keep it moist?
Cooking it at 325°F, as opposed to a higher temperature, helps prevent it from drying out. Also, coating it in butter, both under the skin and on the outside, adds fat and juicy flavor.
You can also try brining the bird ahead of time with my Turkey Brine Recipe. It’s basically like marinating it in a spice-infused water bath for 12 to 24 hours before cooking.
If you don’t have a lot of time to brine, you could also use the injection marinade recipe I use in my Perfectly Roasted Turkey recipe.
Substitutions & Variations:
- Add lemon: For a zing of citrus, mix some lemon juice into the butter rub.
- Apply olive oil: If you’re still worried about your turkey drying as it cooks, lightly brush it with a bit of olive oil.
- Use your favorite herbs & spices: Feel free to use or swap out herbs and spices. Garlic and rosemary also taste delicious with poultry!
- Slow Cooker: If you’re serving an even smaller group, you can use a half turkey breast and make my Crockpot Turkey Breast recipe.
More Easy Thanksgiving Recipes:
- Orange Cranberry Sauce – This delicious recipe is almost as easy as opening a can (and so much tastier)!
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast – Perfect for intimate gatherings, the meat is cooked right in the Crock Pot.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars – Don’t forget dessert! These have all the decadence of pumpkin cheesecake but are way easier to make.
- Buttermilk Cornbread – Delicious with any comfort food meal and leftovers can be made into Southern Cornbread Dressing!
- Orange Braised Carrots – A simple way to dress up carrots with bright, citrusy flavors.
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Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel, set aside. Add the sliced onion for the gravy to the bottom of a 12-inch baking dish or cast-iron skillet, set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place the turkey breast, meat side up, on top of the onions. Carefully separate the skin from the turkey breast by running your hands under the skin. Place half of the butter mixture until the skin, spread it all over the meat. Coat the outside of the skin with the remaining butter.
- Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. This will take about 15 minutes per pound. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing to serve with the onion gravy.
- Patting the turkey down with paper towels is highly recommended. This not only helps the butter mixture to stick to the outside of the skin, but it will start to roast properly instead of steaming the skin.
- You can also use a spoon under the skin to help carefully separate it instead of using your hands.
- If you do not wish to make the onion gravy, you can omit the onions and either place the turkey breast directly into a baking dish, or lay it onto a roasting rack. Proceed with the recipe as listed.