Are you trying to decide how much turkey breast per person to buy and cook? We got it all figured out for you! You just have to follow a very simple math.

This post is part of our How-to turkey breast series. If you need more help, here are 15 best side dishes for turkey breast and how long to thaw a turkey breast.

A plate with sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green beans. Cranberry sauce in a bowl.

Know Your Guests List

As you may probably know by now, not everyone eats the same amount of food. Good thing, leftover turkey soup is yummy!

  • How many adults: Find out how many adults you are feeding. To be safe, it’s better to have more food than not enough, so concentrate on the amount of adults you are feeding. You can always freeze turkey breast leftovers.
  • Not all adult appetites are created equal: Even adults’ appetites differ, between their ages and just people, in general. We are talking about an average middle-aged adult here. But if you know a person who is “always hungry” and is coming over for Thanksgiving dinner, multiply recommended amount 1.5-2 times.
  • How many kids and their ages: Generally, kids eat less than adults. Again, a baby will eat less than a toddler, and a school aged child will consume more than a baby or a toddler. I suggest to buy half the recommended amount for a small child. I would also treat anyone over age 6 as “an adult” for turkey dinner calculation purposes.

Bone In Turkey Breast vs. Boneless Turkey Breast

How much turkey to buy depends whether you go with a boneless turkey breast or bone-in turkey breast.

Bone-in turkey breast: It is also known as a turkey crown where two large breasts are still attached to the bone, with wings removed. Bone contributes to the weight of the breast and doesn’t do much in terms of flavor.

Boneless turkey breast: It comes most of the time in a netting and can be found in a meat department or frozen section of your grocery store. It is my favorite turkey breast to cook because it is easy to come by in grocery stores. Plus much easier to slice than the bone-in breast.

How Much Turkey Breast per Person to Buy?

Bone-in turkey breast: General rule of thumb is to buy 3/4 lb of uncooked bone in turkey breast meat per person. The reason we go with uncooked meat is so you can easily calculate how much fresh meat to buy.

Here is a handy chart for a quick reference:

  • 4 people – 3 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 6 people – 4.5 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 8 people – 6 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 10 people – 7.5 lbs of uncooked turkey breast

Boneless turkey breast: Plan to purchase 1/2 lb per person or an average adult of uncooked boneless turkey breast. Let’s do some math for example. For 4 people, multiply 0.5 lb times 4, you need to purchase 2 pounds.

Here is a handy chart for a quick reference:

  • 4 people – 2 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 6 people – 3 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 8 people – 4 lbs of uncooked turkey breast
  • 10 people – 5 lbs of uncooked turkey breast

Methods to Prepare

So, you got your white meat, how do you cook it and make it juicy too?! Don’t worry, we are all about juicy turkey here.

There are many methods to make a turkey breast besides oven roasting. Here are a few of our favorite recipes, including some baked in the oven:


  • It’s better to buy more: There is nothing worse than not having enough main at a holiday table. So, if not sure how many people are showing up, always add a few extra pounds. You can always freeze leftovers or use them in a variety of recipes.
  • If you love leftovers the next day: Double the amount. I recommend to purchase 1 lb of boneless turkey breast and 1.5 lbs of bone-in turkey breast per person.
  • Remember it’s a seasonal item: Just in case you are trying to buy turkey not in October, November or December, you might have a hard time finding it. Then look into a freezer section of your grocery store. Quite often they are stocked with Butterball and Jenni O brands. Or buy fresh and freeze for later.
  • Add extra for very hungry people: I would add half a pound for someone you know who loves to eat. Again, it’s better to have more food on the table than not enough. Plus you can always send someone home with leftovers.
  • Count kids as adults: Unless it’s a baby or a toddler, I would count any child over age of 6 or so as an adult when it comes to calculating how much turkey breast per person to buy.

Delicious Recipes for Leftover Turkey

That’s it. Happy turkey breast shopping and eating!

5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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