For a delightful Thanksgiving turkey dinner, consider serving a Boneless Turkey Breast Roast that is succulent and easy to prepare. This savory roasted turkey breast is moist, juicy, tender and hassle free to prepare compared to a whole turkey.
This Boneless Turkey Breast Roast is flavored with aromatic fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and spices.
Make the day of your celebration stress-free and feast your eyes and taste buds with this delicious roasted turkey breast and scrumptious side dishes like turkey dressing, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted baby potatoes or creamy dill potato salad. There are endless sides you can serve with your turkey.
What turkey to get – boneless or whole bird
This is really a matter of preference. Boneless turkey breast or a full sized turkey are both succulent as long as it is cooked properly. A full sized bird is much trickier and longer to cook and more preparation is required than a boneless turkey breast.
During last year’s gathering, many people opted for smaller turkey or boneless breast. Some people who have been preparing a whole bird realized that it is much easier to prepare a boneless turkey breast.
They swear that on their next big gathering, they will consider making the boneless one. It is less hassle to prepare especially on a busy holiday yet as moist, tender, juicy and delicious just like the massive turkey.
You can get fresh boneless turkey breast or oven roasted turkey breast. I used an oven roasted turkey breast (fully cooked) warmed for 60 minutes. If you use a fresh boneless turkey breast, cooking time will be double.
Advantage of boneless turkey breast
- It will require less storage area in your freezer or refrigerator.
- Because of it’s size compared to a full-sized bird, a day or two is all you need to thaw it.
- During your celebration, your oven is working double time and a boneless turkey breast takes up less oven space compared to a huge turkey. Also another plus, you can easily fit a boneless turkey breast in your slow cooker, instant pot or air fryer.
- With boneless turkey breast, it roast quicker and it is easier to tell if it is cooked through. Roasting a big bird takes longer to cook. The thigh and legs take longer to cook than other parts and you could end up with a dry meat if you are not familiar cooking a whole turkey. Sometimes, it is not cooked all the way through.
- It is easier to put away leftovers. The only caveat, if you like making turkey stock then it is not possible since it is boneless.
How much turkey serving per person
For a boneless turkey breast, ½ pound is the recommended serving size per person while a full sized turkey is 1 ½ pounds. It may sound a lot but it’s not considering that it has bones and some areas are not as tender and moist like the breast.
Also, if you are serving many sides and other meat, a ½ pound turkey is good enough. Side dishes will surely take away the worry of under serving your guest.
Another thing to consider, do you want leftovers or would you like your guest to bring home some with them then get a bigger turkey breast.
How to carve boneless turkey breast
Carving boneless turkey breast compared to a whole turkey will require less effort and time. A full sized turkey is trickier to carve than a boneless turkey breast.
All you need is a sharp carving knife or serrated knife. Either use a big fork or your hand to hold the turkey breast while cutting the meat.
You can slice it in a carving board but I prefer to do it in the serving platter to catch all the delicious juices plus I don’t have to transfer when sliced. Do whichever is easier for you.
You can slice it thin or thick and my preference is ½ inch thick.
Fresh rosemary, thyme, sage – This roasted turkey recipe is flavored with fresh herbs and nothing beats that. You can substitute with dried herbs which is more potent than fresh. 1 tablespoon of fresh herb equals 1 teaspoon dried herb.
Butter – substitute with oil. Note: It is easier to apply the herb mixture with oil.
Smoked paprika – A regular paprika can be used but I prefer the smokiness and stronger flavor of smoked paprika.
How to make roasted boneless turkey breast
Note: I used an OVEN ROASTED BONELESS SKINLESS TURKEY BREAST. It is fully cooked, all you need to do is warm it. You can use FRESH BONELESS SKINLESS TURKEY BREAST but cooking time will be longer.
- I got a 4 pound boneless turkey breast, thawed for 2 days in the refrigerator then removed from the fridge to come to room temperature for an hour.
Note: For food safety, it is NOT recommended leaving a raw turkey in room temperature for over 2 hours.
2. Combine (herb mixture) rosemary, thyme and sage in a small bowl. In another smaller container, combine (seasoning mixture) garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Note: IF YOU ARE MAKING THE GRAVY, reserve ½ teaspoon herb mixture and ¼ teaspoon seasoning mixture. Set aside.
3. Melt butter in the microwave for 10 seconds and 5 seconds increment until melted.
Tip: Cover container with saran wrap with a little opening. You don’t want butter exploding all over your microwave.
4. Place turkey in a roasting pan, cast iron or Dutch oven. Brush turkey with butter. Sprinkle half of seasonings all over turkey then PAT (not rub) herb mixture then sprinkle the remaining seasonings.
Note: After brushing with butter, apply the seasonings and herbs on the underside of the turkey then do the top.
You will have leftover butter that you can use with the herb mixture or add to gravy.
Tips: If you have a hard time applying the herb mixture on the turkey, add some melted butter to the herb mixture before putting it on the turkey. Or use oil instead of butter.
Also, it is EASIER to apply the herb mixture if you PAT IT WITH ONE HAND ONTO THE TURKEY instead of rubbing. If you rub it, it will just fall off.
5. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F and roast according to the instructions on the package. It is baked for 15 minutes per pound and this 4 pound fully cooked turkey breast was baked for 60 minutes.
6. Cover the roasting pan with heavy duty foil for 40 minutes then remove cover and continue baking for 20 minutes. Save the foil.
7. Remove turkey from oven then cover it with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
8. Transfer turkey to a platter and make gravy, if desired. If not making gravy, make sure to transfer pan juices in a container, drizzle some over turkey slices.
Note: Pan juices might be salty to your taste, so don’t drizzle a lot.
Frequently asked questions
Can I serve this boneless turkey breast without gravy?
Yes, gravy is not required. It is fully seasoned and the drippings or pan juices is enough to drizzle in your turkey for more flavor.
Can I make gravy from drippings?
Yes, you can, although it will require low sodium turkey or chicken stock and other ingredients.
Can I buy turkey in advance?
Yes, you can and freeze it, then thaw overnight or longer in the refrigerator.
Can I thaw turkey in room temperature?
Yes and no.
A frozen turkey should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or a few days depending on it’s size. This 4 pound boneless turkey breast was thawed in the fridge for 2 days.
When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator and leave in room temperature for 1 hour to fully thaw.
For food safety, the FDA does not recommend leaving turkey for over 2 hours in room temperature.
Why leave turkey in room temperature for an hour?
After thawing in the refrigerator, let turkey set in room temperature for an hour to fully thaw, the most is 2 hours. If your bird is cold inside, it will take longer to cook and unevenly.
The exterior of bird will dry out by the time the interior is cook through.
Can I cook turkey in an oven bag?
Yes, you can. Instead of putting foil over the bird, a turkey bag is convenient to have. It keeps turkey moist, juicy and tender with less clean up.
It will turn the exterior brown and all the delicious drippings are inside the bag as well.
Do I need a thermometer to roast a turkey?
Yes and no.
Yes, a digital meat thermometer will ensure the turkey is cooked through. It is inserted in the center at thickest part of the turkey breast and internal temperature should read 165 degrees F. Temperature might reach up to 170 degrees F when resting for 10 minutes.
No. When you buy an oven roasted boneless turkey breast, it comes with cooking instructions on the packaging and sometimes it doesn’t mention what the internal temperature should be instead they provide the warming or cooking time. Follow their cooking instructions.
One thing to note, oven can vary slightly in temperature. Also, stop opening the oven lid while baking.
Where to store leftover turkey?
Store leftover turkey in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator otherwise store in the freezer up to 2 months.
How to store leftover turkey in the freezer?
To keep it moist and tender, vacuum sealers food saver is the best option otherwise wrap it in a heavy duty foil then place it in a zip lock bag and store up to 2 months in the freezer. It is best to slice and store in portions.
How to reheat turkey?
This turkey recipe is good even when cold. If stored in the freezer, thaw turkey overnight in the refrigerator. Eat as is or warm in the oven or microwave. Let it sit in room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Heat turkey in the oven at 300 degrees F covered with foil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until warm.
If using the microwave, cover plate with damp paper towel and warm for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. A damp paper towel will keep moisture in.
Try other delicious turkey recipes
Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
Turkey Breast Ingredients
- 4 pounds oven roasted boneless skinless turkey breast fully cooked
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 1 long rosemary sprig discard stem and mince leaves
- 3 ½ tablespoons net weight 0.5 oz fresh thyme, remove leaves and discard stem
- 1 tablespoon or 4 big fresh sage leaves minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt Note: this is a fully cooked seasoned turkey breast and it doesn’t need a lot of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups turkey broth or chicken stock low sodium
- ½ teaspoon rosemary, thyme, sage mixture (reserved from turkey ingredients above)
- ¼ teaspoon seasoning mixture (reserved from turkey ingredients above)
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
- any leftover herbs and butter optional
- If frozen, thaw fully cooked turkey breast in the refrigerator overnight or 2 days, then let it come to room temperature for an hour.
- Note: I am using a 4 POUND FULLY COOKED OVEN ROASTED BONELESS SKINLESS TURKEY BREAST Members Mark from Sam’s Club. The packaging comes with warming instructions. Follow the warming instructions provided by the manufacturer. The only tweak I did, I removed the cover for 20 minutes while baking. This was baked for 15 minutes per pound so 4 pounds times 15 minutes = 60 minutes or 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place turkey in a roasting pan. Note: If using cast iron, brush it with 1 tablespoon oil before putting the turkey.
- Seasoning mixture - Combine garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. If making the gravy, reserve ¼ teaspoon.
- Herb mixture – Combine rosemary, thyme and sage in another small bowl. If making the gravy, reserve ½ teaspoon. Note: Some herb mixture will fall off on the pan.
- Brush turkey breast with melted butter. Note: There will be leftover butter that you can combine with herb mixture or add to gravy.
- Apply seasonings then herb mixture on the underside of turkey. Place turkey on roasting pan (not on top of rack).
- Sprinkle half of the remaining seasonings on top and side of turkey breast then with your hand, PAT (don’t rub) the remaining herb mixture onto the turkey then sprinkle the remaining seasoning. Note: Don’t put the seasonings all at once, it will be harder to apply the herbs. If you have a hard time applying the herbs, add the remaining melted butter with it.
- Cover roasting pan with heavy duty foil. Bake for 40 minutes covered then remove cover and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Don’t discard foil.
- Remove turkey from oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter . Use a sharp knife to carve turkey. Slice it thin or thick depending on your preference. I usually do ½ inch thick.
- If not making gravy, drizzle some drippings on the turkey slices.The drippings might be salty to your taste so don’t drizzle a lot.
Make Turkey Gravy
- Transfer drippings and scrape out all the brown bits from roasting pan to a sauce pan. If you used a cast iron or Dutch oven, no need to transfer to a sauce pan.
- Add chicken or turkey stock, white wine, reserved seasonings and herbs to sauce pan and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Note: I have 1 long rosemary sprig leftover which I added to broth.
- Meanwhile, make cornstarch slurry. In a small container, add cornstarch and dilute it with 2 tablespoons of simmering broth.
- Stir broth mixture constantly while pouring cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until broth thickens.
- Transfer to sauce dish.
- If cooking RAW or FRESH BONELESS TURKEY BREAST, use a digital meat thermometer and internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F before removing from oven. Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. It will continue cooking and internal temperature will reach around 170 degrees F. Thermometer is inserted at the center of the thickest area of turkey breast.
- It is NOT recommended to leave raw turkey in room temperature for over 2 hours.
- Store leftover turkey in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator otherwise store in the freezer up to 2 months in a vacuumed food saver (best option) or wrap it in a heavy duty foil then place it in a zip lock bag. It is best to slice and store in portions.
- Reheating leftover turkey - This turkey recipe is good even when cold. If stored in the freezer, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Eat as is or warm in the oven or microwave. Let it sit in room temperature for about 10 minutes. Heat turkey in the oven at 300 degrees F covered with foil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until warm. If using the microwave, cover plate with damp paper towel and warm for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. A damp paper towel will keep moisture in.
- For more tips and frequently asked questions, refer to the post above.
- For turkey food safety, click the link for FDA, USDA and CDC.
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