Oven-Roasted Bone In Turkey Breast is tender, juicy without the brine, with crispy skin and so easy! It is a perfect alternative for smaller Thanksgiving gatherings or Christmas dinner.
If you have a breast without the bone, here is how to cook boneless turkey breast or try your hand at turkey wrapped in bacon.
Table of contents
As a person with a small family I have deep appreciation for all turkey parts! Whether it’s turkey drumsticks, Instant Pot turkey breast or air fryer turkey breast, these recipes truly come in handy for smaller groups like mine.
And bonus is you don’t have to deal with enormous amount of turkey leftovers the next day. When you are so tired from cooking it the day before. Makes no sense.
This recipe is cooking your turkey breast until it’s tender with a crispy, flavorful skin. It’s a fuss free main with just as impressive presentation as a whole bird!
Plus, it cooks much faster than a large turkey!
What is a Turkey Breast with a Bone?
Bone in turkey breast, also called a turkey crown, is the body of the turkey with the legs and wings removed. The only part left is the white meat attached to the bone.
It’s perfect for those that prefer white meat over dark meat!
Some other advantages of cooking bone in turkey breast include not worrying about the white meat drying out before the dark meat is done and you can easily fit it into your oven or a standard roasting pan!
Ingredients and Notes
Here are simple ingredients you need to make a juicy, flavor packed whole turkey breast recipe.
- Bone in turkey breast: Skin on, fresh or frozen turkey breast that has been fully thawed. Here is a quick tutorial how to defrost a turkey breast.
- Butter: Melted for easy rubbing. It will solidify once it touches cold turkey skin, and that’s fine. You can also use olive oil instead but butter is just a classic.
- Garlic cloves: I love to add freshly grated garlic to anything because I am Ukrainian. And because I personally think it goes so well with a turkey breast.
- Seasonings: I prefer fresh rosemary for more flavor and easier mincing but you can also use dried rosemary. Smoked paprika is optional but it adds nice smoky flavor! Then salt and black pepper. You can also use this rub for a turkey breast.
- Broth or water: It helps to keep the oven environment moist while turkey cooks, and ensures juicy meat by the end. Turkey broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth or water are all good options.
How to Cook Turkey Breast with Bone In
Want to know how to roast bone in turkey breast in the oven without drying it out? The best way is baking it at an optimal temperature to achieve juicy and flavorful breast meat!
You always want to start with preheating your oven first before prepping the turkey. In this case, oven temperature should be 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
I also recommend to bring a turkey crown to room temperature for half an hour, so it cooks evenly.
Then place a roasting rack on a large rimmed baking sheet or into a pan. Now let’s season our meat.
- Combine herb butter rub: In a small bowl, add melted butter, garlic, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Prep the turkey breast: Place turkey breast on a large plate, cutting board or baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towels until completely dry. This step is super important to make sure butter mixture sticks to turkey skin.
- Season it: Using your hands or a brush, rub turkey breast with seasoned butter all around. Make sure to rub the breast meat, in the crevices and under the skin of the turkey breast whenever possible.
- Roast the turkey crown and let rest: Place turkey breast skin side up on previously prepared wire rack in baking sheet and pour broth into bottom of the pan. Roast turkey breast uncovered for 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 155 – 160 degrees F when checked with meat thermometer. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
How Long to Cook Bone In Turkey Breast?
Are you wondering how long to cook a turkey breast per pound? The general rule of thumb is cook time of 20 minutes per each pound of turkey.
To work out the math for example, a 5 lbs turkey breast would be 100 minutes, or 1 hour and 40 minutes.
In other words the simple equation to remember is: turkey weight (lbs.) x 20 minutes.
Here is a table of cooking times for quick reference:
- 3 lbs turkey breast: 60 minutes or 1 hour
- 4 lbs turkey breast: 80 minutes or 1 hour 20 minutes
- 5 lbs turkey breast: 100 minutes or 1 hour 40 minutes
- 6 lbs turkey breast: 120 minutes or 2 hours
- 7 lbs turkey breast: 140 minutes or 2 hours 20 minutes
- 8 lbs turkey breast: 160 minutes or 2 hours 40 minutes
- 9 lbs turkey breast: 180 minutes or 3 hours
- 10 lbs turkey breast: 200 minutes or 3 hours 20 minutes
And so forth! Food is the best type of math, do you agree?!
The most important thing to remember is that the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast has to reach 155 – 160 degrees F when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer.
As per USDA guidelines, turkey meat is a safe to eat when it is cooked to 165 F. Don’t worry, though! As the turkey rests tented under foil, it will continue to cook and your internal temperature will safely reach 165 degrees F optimal temp.
Expert Roasting Tips
- Skin-on turkey breast: Even if you want to remove the skin off of the turkey breasts after, it’s best to cook with the skin on to help lock in the juices and flavor. Plus that golden brown skin, it’s so eye pleasing!
- Instant-read thermometer: Will give you an accurate temperature of your turkey. Don’t ruin the day with an overcooked or undercooked bird.
- Don’t skip the 15 minute rest: During this time, the residual heat will bring it to the correct internal temperature. It will also allow the juices to redistribute for moist and juicy turkey breast.
- Baking dish with rack: Either a sheet pan or roasting pan with a rack is preferred. This means your turkey sits slightly higher than the sides of the pan allowing air to circulate for crispy skin. If your turkey sits lower, it will steam.
- Room temperature turkey: Remove your bird from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you put it in the oven. A cold turkey straight from the refrigerator will cook unevenly.
Another bonus of not cooking an entire turkey is that you can have fun with it! A smaller bone in turkey breast is easier to season however you want with less seasonings or fear to do it wrong.
Have fun with it. Here are a few of our ideas:
- Mixed herb option: Instead of using just one herb, you can use a combination of fresh herbs you like. Try my dry rub for turkey, it has brown sugar and a perfect blend of savory spices.
- Cajun turkey breast: Combine the melted butter with Cajun seasoning.
- Smoky maple glazed: Add 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup to the seasoned butter used in this recipe. For mustard maple-glazed turkey, add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, too.
- Bacon wrapped: Wrap 12-14 strips of bacon around the turkey breast until it is completely covered. I do so with my bacon wrapped boneless turkey breast and kids eyes always light up!
What to Serve with It?
There are so many delicious sides for turkey breast to choose from. All of them are also perfect for small gatherings because leftovers freeze well.
The best roasted turkey breast needs the best sides!
Bone in turkey breast roast pairs well with classic holiday sides like this healthier green bean casserole or healthy sweet potato casserole
A more modern holiday meal approach would be to serve it with air fryer brussels sprouts.
And are you worried about the gravy since we don’t have pan drippings? Don’t fret. Use my delicious healthy gravy recipe that needs no pan juices but rather stock and butter.
How to Use Leftovers
Leftover turkey is perfect for making sandwiches the next day! Another option is to make a delicious leftover turkey quesadillas or leftover turkey and rice soup. So comforting after a full day of eating the day before.
Unfortunately not. What you can do though is spread vegetables like celery, carrots and onions on the bottom of the pan to add more flavor. Or you can prepare my delicious cauliflower stuffing recipe on a side.
No. Roasting bone-in turkey breast uncovered ensures crispy skin. And that broth at the bottom of the pan takes care of juicy meat.
Not with this method. Basting turkey requires lots of oven door opening, which means disturbing the temperature multiple times and leads to everything needing longer to cook.
Remove cooked turkey breast from the oven when it reaches 155-160 degrees F. Then while you rest it, it will reach safe temperature for consumption of 165 F.
General rule of thumb is to purchase 1/2 lbs of turkey meat per person. So choose the turkey breast size based on the number of guests plus extra for delicious leftovers.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Hope you enjoy all of this delicious food as much as we do!
Browse all my favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes!
Roasted Bone In Turkey Breast Recipe
- 5 lbs turkey breast bone in and skin on
- 2 tablespoon salted butter melted
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or dried rosemary finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups broth or water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in a large rimmed baking sheet. You can also use a roasting pan.
- In a small bowl, add melted butter, garlic, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place turkey breast on a large plate and pat dry with paper towels. Using hands or brush, rub turkey breast with seasoned butter all around. Make sure to rub the meat part, in the crevices and under the skin whenever possible.
- Place turkey breast side up on previously prepared baking sheet and pour broth on a side.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature in the deepest part of meat reaches 150 – 155 degrees F when checked with thermometer. Actual time will depend on the size of your turkey breast.
- Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. This is when turkey breast will reach 165 degrees F.
- Slice against the grain using a sharp knife and serve.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Sliced in portions for up to 3 months.
- Roast breast with skin on to keep it moist. It acts as a barrier and insulator for dry poultry. You can always remove it after.
- Broth at the bottom of the pan is to keep oven moist while baking meat.
In the FAQ’s section you say, “I’ve found that the perfect method is using both. I first cover it, to lock in all the moisture. Then, remove the foil/parchment paper so the turkey skin becomes wonderfully crispy.” Yet in the recipe walk through and the recipe listed at the bottom you say, “Bake uncovered for 20 minutes on a bottom rack. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 70-80 minutes more..” This feels like a contradiction in the order of covered vs uncovered oven time.
Are you suggesting in the FAQ that when the turkey approaches the end of cooking and you’re ready to begin checking the temperature, you can leave the cover off again? Or did the FAQ answer about covered vs uncovered come from another post that involved basting?
Hi Nicole. Recipe card is correct info “Bake uncovered for 20 minutes on a bottom rack. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 70-80 minutes more or until internal temperature in the deepest part of meat reaches 150 – 155 degrees F when checked with thermometer. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.”. Sorry about the confusion – I will fix that!
I can’t use..any other ideals for seasoning.
Can’t use which ingredient? Check the post for the section titled optional add-in’s and variations, there are quite a few suggestions for seasonings.
I used your recipe to cook a boneless, skin on turkey breast last night. It was perfect. It was only 3 lbs so I modified using the time instructions you provided in a previous post (it would be good if you included that in the notes, so it comes up when the recipe is printed). I don’t use butter, so I substituted with vegan butter, and that seemed to work fine, but the skin didn’t brown up, so I broiled for a few minutes at the end to brown up the skin.
Thanks for sharing Lisa!
I need to adjust recipe to a 2.5 lb bobe in turkey breast. Advice
As per recipe – For bone-in turkey breast, cook for 18 minutes per lb at 450 degrees F. For boneless turkey breast, I estimate 12 minutes per pound at 450 degrees F.