by Olena

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

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Olena Osipov
5 from 10 votes

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Instant Pot Turkey Breast is super juicy, ready in under an hour, and is complete with gravy all in one pot. It’s perfect for saving time, money and it produces less waste when you’re feeding a smaller crowd!

Don’t have Instant Pot? Make my boneless turkey breast roast or roasted turkey breast. All are delicious, juicy, and easy as well!

Instant Pot Turkey Breast sliced and plated with cranberry garnish and herbs

Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast

Instant Pot turkey is the perfect alternative to cooking a whole turkey in a fraction of the time, whether you’re serving a smaller crowd for the holidays or enjoying Sunday dinner. The pressure cooker makes turkey moist, succulent and super flavourful in just 40 minutes!

Use fresh or frozen turkey, a handful of mouthwatering seasonings and not only does the pressure cooker do all the work, it also provides a way for you to make a rich gravy right in the pot! Finish it under the broiler for a nice crispy skin and even dark meat lovers won’t miss a thing!

Why Make Turkey Breast in the Instant Pot?

  • So easy: Plump turkey breast results with little effort. If hosting, a little less time in the kitchen and a little more time with your guests is always a good thing.
  • Delicious and juicy: Turkey, especially white meat is generally drier. Pressure cooking in the Instant Pot retains moisture resulting in meat that is juicy and tender.
  • Fast: A turkey dinner ready in 40 minutes. Who would have thought?! 
  • Saves space: Save oven room for your healthy sides – or maybe you don’t need to turn the oven on at all!
  • Small crowd: Only cook what you need for a smaller gathering- without worrying you will be eating leftover turkey for days on end! 
Turkey breast cooked in instant pot

Ingredients for Turkey in Instant Pot

  • Turkey: Fresh or frozen turkey breast. There are a few different types you can use bone-in or boneless turkey breast Instant Pot, see below for a detailed guide.
  • Oil: Used to coat the turkey to not only help it cook and stay moist but it also helps the spices and seasonings to stick to the bird.
  • Seasoning: Fresh grated garlic, smoked paprika, dried rosemary, and salt & pepper.
  • Cornstarch: Once your turkey is cooked, thicken up the juices to make a delicious gravy!
Turkey breast roast, rosemary, garlic clove, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

Types of Turkey Breast You Can Use

There are 3 types of turkey breast you can use. Choose any one for this Instant Pot turkey breast recipe!

  • Bone-in turkey breasts removed straight from a turkey. The ingredients photo above shows my 5 lb turkey breast I got at Costco. White meat is still attached to the bone for additional flavor.
  • Turkey breast meat in a mesh pouch. It is simply boneless meat rolled into a turkey tenderloin that is held together by a mesh. It can be sold in a plastic tray covered with plastic or in a box. Do not remove the mesh or twine when you cook boneless turkey breast Instant Pot.
  • Frozen turkey breast is an option, too. I have tested it and you just have to make sure to rinse meat to remove frost for the oil and spices to stick. Cooking time will be longer as will the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
sliced Instant Pot Turkey Breast on a platter garnished with cranberries and parsley

How to Make Instant Pot Turkey Breast Roast

  • Prep: Add 1 cup water and trivet to 6 quarts or 8 quart Instant Pot. Mesh roast can fit into a 3-quart pot. Trim the fat, rub the turkey breast with oil and sprinkle it with spices.
  • Add turkey: To the Instant Pot, place the turkey breast side up onto the trivet. Close the lid, and set the valve to the Sealing position.
  • Cooking: Cook on High pressure, then allow the pressure to come down on its own until the pin drops. This is called a natural release.

Cook time. For a fresh turkey breast you’ll cook it for 6 minutes per pound. If it’s frozen, you’ll cook it for 10 minutes per pound.

  • Broil: Remove the turkey onto a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until the skin is brown and crispy.
  • Make the gravy: Press Sauté, whisk in cold water and cornstarch (a slurry) right into the Instant Pot with the delicious cooking liquid infused with flavor from the drippings and cook until thickened.

How Long to Cook Turkey Breast in Instant Pot

Fresh – 6 minutes per lb with Natural Release (takes about 10-15 minutes):

  • 2 lbs = 12 mins
  • 3 lbs = 18 mins
  • 4 lbs = 24 mins
  • 5 lbs = 30 mins
  • 6 lbs = 36 mins
  • 7 lbs = 42 mins
  • 8 lbs = 50 mins

Frozen – 10 minutes per lb with Natural Release.

  • 2 lbs = 20 mins
  • 3 lbs = 30 mins
  • 4 lbs = 40 mins
  • 5 lbs = 50 mins
  • 6 lbs = 60 mins
  • 7 lbs = 70 mins
  • 8 lbs = 80 mins

Check for doneness. The most efficient way of knowing whether your breast is fully cooked is to use a thermometer. It should be at 165 degrees F when checking the thickest part of the breast.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Use chicken broth or turkey broth instead of water for even more flavor for the gravy and infused in the meat as well.
  • Switch up the seasoning from rosemary to thyme, tarragon, or sage, or a simple blend of Italian seasoning.
  • If you like a bit of smoky flavour to your turkey, try smoked paprika.
  • Poultry seasoning is another popular blend used around the holidays, especially for stuffing. Use it on the turkey breast too!
  • Vegetables: Before turning on the Instant Pot, add onions, celery, and carrots, to the liquid and remove just before making the gravy. So good!

Tips for Best Results

  • Roast and Instant Pot size: I fit a 5 lb roast into my 6 quart Instant Pot Lux but truthfully it could fit up to 7 lbs. If you have an 8-quart size, it can hold up to a 9 lb turkey breast or a whole mini turkey.
  • Don’t do quick release: The meat won’t be fully cooked.
  • Digital thermometer: Although we’re not cooking an entire turkey, and my instructions are pretty much foolproof, it’s never a bad idea to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature, just in case!
  • Pat dry: There’s no need to rinse your turkey breast before cooking, although I know some people will anyway. If you do, be sure to pat it dry before doing anything else.
  • Always sear after: I tried to sear turkey breast before cooking on Saute mode and prefer broiling after. Turkey skin comes out more roasted instead of poached.
  • Frozen turkey: Yes, it’s possible to cook Instant Pot frozen turkey. BUT, whenever possible thaw first. 

FAQs

Should I brine turkey breast?

You absolutely can if you want to but it’s not a must. The brine is meant to add flavor and moisture to the meat, but the Instant Pot does that all on its own. It’s up to you!

Can I use Instant Pot frozen turkey breast?

Definitely. Although, if there’s a choice between using frozen or thawed from frozen, I would recommend thawing it first, if you have the time. The seasoning will adhere better and the cooking time will be faster.

Can I make Instant Pot bone in turkey breast?

You bet! The Costco turkey breast as pictured has a bone that gives it great flavour and is just as easy to cook as any boneless turkey breast Instant Pot.

How do I keep turkey breast moist?

The Instant Pot captures the moisture by using steam to cook the breast under pressure. You want to make sure to do everything you can to maintain those results before serving! The first thing is to allow it to rest before slicing. Let the juices settle so they don’t run out leaving the turkey breast dry. For added assurance, you could use brine (although not necessary). Serving it with a luscious thick gravy is another surefire way to keep it nice and moist.

How do I defrost a turkey breast quickly?

Submerge it in cold water. Seems counterintuitive right? It works! Use this method to defrost any meat. Not necessarily because it’s faster than using warm water, but it is safer. Keep meat in cold water for up to 5 hours, changing the water as needed to keep it cold.

Is turkey tenderloin the same as boneless turkey breast?

Not exactly. The tenderloin is just a part of the whole breast. So, it’s skinless and boneless whereas the whole breast will contain the skin and the bone. Either one can be used in this recipe.

Could I cook this turkey breast in the slow cooker?

You bet. Season it the same way, and cook on low for 6 hours. You won’t get the same amount of liquid in the end, but that’s ok, you can make gravy on the side! Place it under the broiler to get a crispy golden finish.

Can I use this recipe for boneless turkey breast (rolled in the elastic mesh net)?

Yes, and there’s no need to remove the net to do it!

Servings Recommendations

Here are classics made healthy so you can enjoy the holidays and not feel “blah” the day after. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still need your stretchy pants! 😉

Alternately, browse through more than 50 healthy Thanksgiving recipes!

Making This Recipe in Advance

  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat in a pot with a lid. Add a splash of broth and drippings and simmer on low. It will create a bit of steam for moisture. Do not bake as it will dry out the meat.
  • Freezing: Cooked turkey leftovers freeze very well. Freeze cubed turkey meat in measured-out portions in glass containers for casseroles and salad. I freeze the carcass in a giant Ziploc bag for soups.

Leftover meat and bones? Make Instant Pot bone broth with carcass and turkey tetrazzini with leftover meat!

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Instant Pot Turkey Breast served with mashed potatoes and gravy
Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Instant Pot Turkey Breast is super juicy, ready in under an hour, and is complete with gravy all in one pot. It's perfect for saving time, money and it produces less waste when you're feeding a smaller crowd!
5 from 10 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup water and trivet to 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Mesh roast could fit into 3 quart.
  • Trim fat from the turkey if necessary. Mix smoked paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub turkey breast with oil, garlic and sprinkle with spices. You can do it in a bowl, on a platter or right inside Instant Pot if you pour 1 cup water after on the side w/o washing off spices.
  • Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual as per chart in the notes depending on the weight.
  • Let pressure release naturally (NPR), open the lid when float valve is down
  • Remove turkey onto baking sheet.
  • Broil turkey breast until skin is brown and crispy.
  • Now you can make gravy with the drippings right in Instant Pot. Press Saute and whisk 1/4 cup cold water with 3 tbsp cornstarch. Pour into bubbling drippings, whisk to combine.
  • Cook until gravy has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Press Cancel.
  • Slice turkey breast roast against the grain with sharp long knife. Serve hot with gravy and your favorite sides like mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash or mashed sweet potatoes.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days. Or freeze in portions for up to 3 months and use in sandwiches, salads, frittatas, casseroles and soups.

    Video

    Notes

    • How Long to Cook Turkey Breast in Instant Pot
    • Fresh – 6 minutes per lb with Natural Release (takes about 10-15 minutes):
      • 2 lbs = 12 mins
      • 3 lbs = 18 mins
      • 4 lbs = 24 mins
      • 5 lbs = 30 mins
      • 6 lbs = 36 mins
      • 7 lbs = 42 mins
      • 8 lbs = 50 mins
    • Frozen – 10 minutes per lb with Natural Release.
      • 2 lbs = 20 mins
      • 3 lbs = 30 mins
      • 4 lbs = 40 mins
      • 5 lbs = 50 mins
      • 6 lbs = 60 mins
      • 7 lbs = 70 mins
      • 8 lbs = 80 mins
    • Instant Pot size: I fit in 5 lbs roast into my 6 quart Instant Pot Lux and could fit in up to 7 lbs. 8 quart can hold even 8-9 lbs turkey breast or a whole mini turkey. Do not do Quick Release as meat might be not fully ready and come out dry.
    See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 601mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

    Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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    22 comments on “Instant Pot Turkey Breast

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    1. 5 stars
      Delicious! I have a suggestion, though. Perhaps you should include the very necessary 1-cup of water in the Ingredients section of the recipe. New Instant Pot users are apt to forget it.

    2. I am going to cook a small turkey breast in the instant pot for Thanksgiving according to your directions. I am confident my Turkey will turn out delicious ….but one question:
      Can I add two Turkey drumsticks along side or on top of the turkey in the instant pot?
      I would like to serve the drumsticks to someone who loves them. Not sure how it would work. Could you please advise ?

      1. Hi Marian. You sure can but make sure there is enough empty space for pressure to build up – depends what size is your pot and meat too. I would make sure Instant Pot comes to pressure when you do that, before walking away, just to be safe. Otherwise, should work.

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