Roast Turkey Breast Recipe

5 from 21 votes
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This garlic lemon butter Roast Turkey Breast recipe makes flavorful, juicy, and finger-licking delicious turkey! The breast is coated with garlicky lemon juice plus a savory spice rub that results in the most perfectly seasoned and tender turkey breast. 

If you’re looking for a whole roasted turkey recipe, try my recipe for Juicy Roast Turkey with Maple Gravy or this recipe for Rosemary Lemon Roasted Turkey

Serving turkey breast slices with oranges and green garnish.


With this recipe, you can start saying goodbye to dry turkey meat instantly. Roast turkey breast is an easy way to enjoy turkey without preparing a whole bird, and one whole turkey breast makes more than enough for a crowd of 6 to 8 people. This recipe is slathered with a delicious spice rub and a garlic lemon butter marinade to get the most perfect, succulent meat with golden brown skin.  

Ingredients For Roast Turkey Breast

  • For the Turkey: 8-pound whole bone-in skin on brined turkey breast, thawed
  • For the Garlic Lemon Butter: melted butter, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
  • For the Spice Rub: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • For the Roasting Pan: yellow onion, celery, garlic, fresh thyme, and chicken breast or white wine.

How To Cook Bone-In Turkey Breast

  1. Brine the turkey breast for 12 hours using my recipe for How to Brine a Turkey.
  2. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels before cooking.
  3. Mix melted butter with lemon juice, minced garlic, and chopped herbs.
  4. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to separate the skin from the meat without tearing it.
  5. Pour the marinade under the turkey’s skin and massage it around the meat.
  6. Combine the spices, herbs, and olive oil into a paste and apply it all over the turkey.
  7. In a skillet or small roasting pan, arrange a layer of celery, garlic, onions, and thyme and set the turkey breast on top. At this time, if prepping ahead, you can cover the pan and refrigerate the turkey for up to 24 hours, letting it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.
  8. Pour a cup of chicken broth or wine into the pan.
  9. Roast for about 2.5 hours at 425˚F, checking for doneness with a thermometer. If the turkey browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
  10. After removing it from the oven, let the turkey rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
  11. Don’t discard the drippings; use them to make Turkey Gravy.
Sliced turkey breast

Cooking Time For A Turkey Breast

  • For bone-in turkey breast, it’s 16 to 18 minutes per pound at 425˚F or until the thickest part of the meat registers at 155°F. It’s very important to use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking. Turkey will continue to cook as it rests. Please do not cut into it immediately; let it rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serving Suggestions

Serving a roast turkey breast offers the opportunity to pair it with my freezer mashed potatoes, this delicious apple stuffing, and my honey garlic butter roasted carrots. You could also serve it with cranberry sauce, of course, a side of my green goddess salad, and this Christmas sangria to wash it all down.

Plated slices of turkey breast with gravy.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • You can also freeze leftover turkey meat, but remove it from the bone, first, then transfer it to ziploc freezer bags and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Leftover Turkey Recipes

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5 from 21 votes

Roast Turkey Breast

This Roast Turkey Breast, flavored with a spice rub, butter, lemon, and garlic, is delicious and juicy.
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Brining Time: 1 day 12 hours
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours
Servings: 12 servings


For the Garlic Lemon Butter

  • 5 tablespoons butter,, melted
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 6 cloves garlic,, minced
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

For the Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Roasting Pan

  • 1 large yellow onion,, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 celery ribs,, cut into about 3-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic,, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth,, you can also use white wine
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  • Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  • Pat dry turkey breast with paper towels. If you didn't brine it and are just taking the turkey out, please remember to take out the giblets and make sure that the turkey breast is completely thawed out.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon, carefully and gently separate the skin from the turkey meat, moving downwards with the spoon’s handle. Loosen the skin from both sides of the turkey breast. You can also just use your fingers to do this, but I find it easier with the spoon. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter and whisk in the lemon juice, minced garlic, and chopped herbs.
  • Slowly pour the marinade inside the turkey’s skin and use your hands to massage it all around. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and fresh ground pepper; pour in olive oil and mix until well incorporated.
  • Slather the spice rub all over the turkey breast on the outside.
  • Add onion wedges, celery, garlic, and fresh thyme sprigs to a small roasting pan.
  • Top with turkey breast, skin side up. If making ahead, stop here; cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the pan.
  • Transfer to the oven and reduce oven heat to 325˚F. Do not cover the turkey.
  • Roast the turkey for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 155˚F. You want to cook the turkey breast for around 18 to 20 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  • If you want crispier skin, baste the turkey breast every 30 minutes.
  • If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.
  • When done, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Use a completely thawed turkey breast.
  • Use herbs of choice; I always like to use thyme and rosemary, but you can add some sage and parsley.
  • If using the brine method, which I recommend 1000%, remember that some frozen turkey breasts sold in supermarkets are already brined – check for this information on the packaging. Do not brine it twice.
  • If you want crispier skin, baste the turkey breast every 30 minutes while roasting.
  • If the top of the turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.
  • Do not forget to use your meat thermometer; it’s the best and only way to ensure a thoroughly cooked turkey. And not overcooked, chewy, dry turkey.


Calories: 452.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.06g | Protein: 60.5g | Fat: 22.33g | Saturated Fat: 8.36g | Cholesterol: 173.9mg | Sodium: 989.72mg | Potassium: 75.86mg | Fiber: 0.81g | Sugar: 0.83g | Vitamin A: 296.36IU | Vitamin C: 6.82mg | Calcium: 16.41mg | Iron: 0.35mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Keith says:

    This had the be the best tasting turkey I’ve ever had. I even made it a second time about 3 weeks later.
    Thanks so much!!!

  2. IngMarie says:

    Loved it. Dear hubby and I celebrated alone this year so we had boneless turkey breast.Turned out great.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I’m very glad you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  3. Stacey says:

    Will the drippings from this make a nice gravy? Of course, I’d take out the vegetables and add a roux. I’m really asking more about the flavor.

  4. Cathy says:

    Very flavorful, moist turkey recipe. I used the recipe on a small boneless turkey breast. Everyone enjoyed it. Our new go to. Goodbye huge fry turkeys. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great to hear! I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂