This easy Garlic Lemon Butter Roast Turkey Breast recipe makes FLAVORFUL, juicy, and finger-licking delicious Roast Turkey Breast! The breast is coated with a garlicky lemon juice plus a savory spice rub that results in the most perfectly tender turkey breast.
Looking for whole roasted turkey recipes? Try my recipe for Juicy Roast Turkey with Maple Gravy or this recipe for Rosemary Lemon Roasted Turkey.
HOW TO BRINE AND COOK A DELICIOUS ROAST TURKEY BREAST!
With this recipe, you can start saying GOODBYE to dry turkey meat, instantly. Roast turkey breast is an easy to way to enjoy turkey without having to prepare a whole bird. One whole turkey breast makes more than enough for a crowd of 6 to 8 people.
This roasted turkey breast is slathered with a delicious spice rub and a garlic lemon butter marinade to get the most perfect, succulent meat with a golden brown skin.
Let us not forget, though; the easiest and most certain way to a juicy turkey meat is via brining. Yes, the spices, and the butter, and the juice, and garlic add to the final taste, but without the brine, you will never get that truly juicy, never-dry, meat.
HOW TO PREP BONE-IN TURKEY BREAST FOR COOKING
- BRINE IT. Before we move on, please FIRST grab my recipe for HOW TO BRINE A TURKEY. That’s step #1 in the process, and remember that you’ll want to brine the turkey breast for at least 12 hours. Also, keep in mind that some turkey breasts are pre-brined – check for that information on the packaging. You don’t want to brine it twice because it will be way too salty and inedible. If you do not want to brine the turkey, just move to step #2. 😊
- When ready to cook, pat dry the turkey breast with paper towels.
- Next, melt butter; then whisk in lemon juice, minced garlic, and chopped fresh herbs. I use rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon, carefully separate the skin from the turkey meat, moving downwards with the spoon’s handle. Try not to tear it. You can do this by using your hands, too, but I find it easier to do it with the spoon.
- Slowly pour in the marinade inside the turkey’s skin and use your hands to massage it all around the meat. Set aside.
- Grab some paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil; stir together to create a paste. Slather the spice rub all over the turkey breast.
HOW TO ROAST A TURKEY BREAST
- Add a single layer of some celery, garlic, halved onions, and fresh thyme sprigs to a skillet or a small roasting pan. Turkey breasts are smaller so you don’t necessarily need a big roasting pan. Use an oven-safe 5-quart skillet like I did here, or a baking dish that will fit the entire breast, but won’t have too much open empty space around it.
- Set prepped turkey breast on top of the vegetables. If making ahead, stop here; cover turkey and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let turkey sit in room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.
- Pour a cup of chicken broth or wine in the pan.
- Roast uncovered for about 2.5 hours, or until internal temperature registers at 155˚F. Please use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness.
- If turkey starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
- Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes before carving.
- DON’T throw away those pan drippings; make my Turkey Gravy instead.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK A TURKEY BREAST
- For bone-in turkey breast it’s about 16 to 18 minutes per pound, or until the thickest part of the meat registers at 155°F. It’s very important to use a meat thermometer so to avoid overcooking. Turkey will continue to cook as it rests. Do not cut into it right away; let rest for at least 20 minutes.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER TURKEY
- 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 to ziploc freezer bags and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
LEFTOVER TURKEY RECIPES
- Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe with Orzo and Spinach
- Turkey Corn Chowder
- Turkey Tetrazzini with Fettuccine
- Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
Garlic Lemon Butter Roast Turkey Breast
- 8 pound whole bone-in skin on brined turkey breast, thawed <--- CLICK TO get the recipe for HOW TO BRINE A TURKEY
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- juice of 1 whole lemon
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 celery ribs, cut into about 3-inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (you can also use white wine)
- Preheat 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 separate the skin from the turkey meat, moving downwards with the spoon’s handle. Loosen the skin from both sides of 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 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 turkey with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.
- Pour chicken broth into the pan.
- Transfer to oven and reduce oven heat to 325˚F. Do not cover the turkey.
- Bake for 2 TO 2.5 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 155˚F. About 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 top of turkey breast starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of foil over the turkey breast and continue to roast.
- When done, remove from oven and let stand 20 to 30 minutes before cutting.
WW FREESTYLE POINTS: 11
NET CARBS: 5
- Use a completely thawed turkey breast.
- Use herbs of choice; I always like to use thyme and rosemary, but you can also add in some sage and parsley.
- If using the brine method, which I recommend 1000%, keep in mind that some frozen turkey breasts sold in supermarkets are already brined - check for this information on the packaging. Do not brine it twice.
- Do not forget to use your meat thermometer; it's the best and only way to ensure a completely cooked turkey. AND not overcooked, chewy, dry turkey. 😐
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.
39 comments on “Garlic Lemon Butter Roast Turkey Breast Recipe”
Loved it. Dear hubby and I celebrated alone this year so we had boneless turkey breast.Turned out great.
I’m very glad you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
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.
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.
That’s great to hear! I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
Can I use slow cooker for this recipe?
Yes, you can. Here is my recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Breast: https://diethood.com/juicy-slow-cooker-turkey-breast/
This is fantastic! My best turkey ever! Thank you for this recipe. :o)
That’s great to hear! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
I have a question can I still use a roast pan with this recipe? My fist time using a roast pan with vegetables in the button of the pan.
Yep, you can use a roasting pan even with the vegetables on the bottom of the pan.
Can this recipe be used for a whole turkey not just the turkey breast ?
Yes, absolutely! I would probably double up the spice rub ingredients and the butter ingredients if using a whole, large turkey.
Having a late thanksgiving! Can this recipe be used for a boneless turkey breast? Or modifications you suggest for boneless?
Boneless turkey breast will cook up much faster than bone-in, but the size of your boneless turkey breast will also determine cooking time.
For a 3-pound boneless turkey breast, you’ll need to cook it for around 1 hour and 15 minutes in a 375˚F preheated oven, or cook it until internal temperature of the breast reaches 165˚F. I hope this helps.
Thank you so much for this recipe and the thorough explanation. I made turkey breasts for the first time ever and they turned out just perfect thanks to you!!
Thank you so much for this recipe and the thorough explanation. I made turkey breasts for the first time ever and they turned out just perfect thanks to you!
I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
This was my first time brining a turkey and it was Fantastic! So unbelievably moist ! Everyone raved about it! Thank You!!!
That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
I just made this turkey and the recipe was easy and the turkey is soooo juicy! I actually don’t really care for turkey and only make it once a year- but with this recipe I may be making turkey more often. Seriously the best turkey recipe ever! Thanks so much for posting this!
That’s great to hear! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
WHY does the recipe say to preheat the oven to 425 when it is supposed to be cooked at 325???? When you are coming an entire Thanksgiving meal, you probably aren’t going to check the recipe temp over, just trust the preheat. I didn’t realize the LOW temp until I had already cooked it for a half hour. Hoping it doesn’t ruin our Turkey😡. I couldn’t find any logician reason to have the oven up that high when the Turkey is supposed to actually cook at 325.
The recipe, under Step 1, states to preheat at 425˚F, then, after sliding in the turkey, to turn the oven down to 325˚F; that’s under Step 11.
And, yes, there’s a logical reason for this method; the initial high heat crisps up the skin and drives out excess fat and water.
I’m sure your turkey will be fine, and you’ll just end up with crispier skin which is not a bad thing at all, in my opinion.
Trying it this year since I’m only cooking for two. What is the best pan to use? It looks like you used a cast iron skillet and used the veggies as a bed for the turkey breast, will that do? Or would a Dutch oven work too? I wanna get my first turkey done perfectly. 😊
Yes, I used a large cast iron skillet. It was either 12 or 14 inches. A Dutch oven will work, too, but I think the cast iron skillet is better, in my opinion. If using a Dutch oven, make sure it is at least 7-quarts.
I tried this recipe this past Thanksgiving. First time making turkey breast and it came out fantastic. A lot of great flavors and the meat was juicy. Thank you for sharing!
Thank YOU! I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Can you make this recipe with a skinless turkey breast?
Yes, skinless is OK to use. I would still add a bit of butter on it before rubbing in the spice mix.
Please remove me from your popups. Thanks!
I do not have any control over your popups because that is the doing of your own browser. At some point, you approved for your browser to send you notifications every time that a new post goes live on Diethood. The result of that is those popups. Next time that you receive one, just click on “Block” and that should take care of it.
This would make a delicious Sunday Roast!! Mouthwatering!
look so delicious. I’ll try to make it hope it will look like yours. Thanks for your post.
Such a delicious dinner! The turkey turned out perfectly moist too.
This is definitely the most flavorful turkey we’ve ever had! So moist and delicious!
This is one meal that’ll totally impress your guests! So fantastic!!
Not only did this turn out beautifully, but it was hands-down delicious too! Looking forward to serving this again on Thanksgiving!
Made this for the family and it was a hit! We all loved it!