This Herbed, Roasted Turkey Breast is the perfect dish for a Sunday family dinner or a small Thanksgiving! My kids love Thanksgiving and they often ask for ‘Thanksgiving food’ which makes me happy because I know they like my cooking:). But on the other hand, I can’t just whip a whole Thanksgiving feast as a regular dinner. So that’s when I do a mini-Turkey dinner:)
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What Size Turkey Breast?
Often I get asked on what size turkey breast to get. They come in different sizes, often anywhere from 2 to 8 lbs, sometimes even more. Size will depends on purpose and how many people you are trying to feed.
Reasons we purchase turkey breast: small holiday get together, really big get together where 1 turkey is not enough so we supplement with a turkey breast and just a regular Sunday dinner.
Rule of thumb for my family is that about 3 lbs of turkey breast is enough for 4 people.
How To Roast Turkey Breast?
In my native country, you can buy a whole turkey but for as long as I lived there I don’t remember seeing just turkey breast in the markets. I was surprised to see it sold here in Florida right next to the frozen turkeys.
Roasting a Turkey Breast is very similar to roasting a regular turkey, however it’s a lot less time consuming and requires less space in the kitchen.
- Thaw Turkey Breast. You can use one of these methods:
- Thaw in the refrigerator over night. I usually let a 3 lbs turkey breast thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- For a faster thawing, place turkey breast (still packaged) in a bowl of cold water. Change water every 30 minutes or so. Turkey breast can vary in size from 2-8 lbs or so timing to thaw will depend on the size.
- Season – Season with butter and herbs or olive oil and herbs. Make sure to season under the skin as well as over.
- Roast – roasting time depends on size of turkey breast. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. Inner parts have to reach about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The turkey breast shown in pictures for this recipe was about 3 lbs and took 1 hr and 45 minutes to roast.
Tips & Notes
See below some of my tips for this recipe:
- It helps to have all 3 herbs: Rosemary, Thyme and Sage but if you’re missing one, it’s ok.
- I love using coarse Mediterranean sea salt because it adds so much flavor to turkey breast. However, you can use any salt of your choice.
- This recipe includes shallots, lemons and apples. If you don’t have shallots, use regular onions. Also, you can replace fresh lemons with lemon juice.
- Use the lower rack in the oven to roast the turkey breast.
- Recipe requires both chicken stock and dry white wine. However, if you don’t want to add wine or don’t have any on hand, just increase the chicken stock to make up for the wine.
Turkey breast I bought came in a package than inside it was netted. I only removed the net when I was ready to season the turkey.
At the bottom of this article I’ve listed several of my favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving. One of the times I served this turkey breast for a family dinner I served it as shown below.
Herbed Roasted Turkey Breast
- baking tray
- 1 turkey breast the one pictured is about 3 lbs but size can vary
- 2 lemons
- 1 apple
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 rosemary twigs
- 3 shallots
- 5 sage leaves
- 4 thyme twigs
- 2 tbsps olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp coarse Mediterranean salt
- Thaw the turkey either overnight in the refrigerator or in a pot with cold water, change water every half an hour. Keep it in original packaging while you thaw. Once turkey is thawed, remove packaging and the net that surrounds it. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Use a mortar & pestle to smash garlic cloves with salt. Chop rosemary, sage and thyme leaves and add them to the mix. Smash them all together to create a coarse paste. Use your hand to rub the turkey breast over the skin and under the skin with the herbed garlic paste. Then get a brush and apply the oliver oil also over the and under the skin.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chop the apple, peel and clean the core. Place the pieces on the baking tray. Then peel and chop the shallots too and add them to tray as well.
- Add the seasoned turkey over the apple and onions. Squeeze lemons and pour lemon juice over turkey. Then slowly add the chicken stock and wine. Add more rosemary, sage and thyme to will around the tray for more aroma and some added flavor. Bake until turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For the 3 lbs turkey shown in pictures, it took me 1 hr 45 minutes to roast to perfection.
- Once roasted, let turkey breast rest covered for a bit (usually I let rest for half an hour) before slicing it. Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy:)
- If using dry herbs instead of fresh, keep in mind that they are stronger in flavor, so use less.
- I baked a sweet potato in the oven while the turkey breast was getting roasted. I just baked it whole next to the turkey baking tray. Removed when I could pierce with a fork and let rest until cool. Then peeled and sliced it to decorate around the turkey breast platter.
- Note – if getting a bigger turkey breast, roasting time might take longer.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Feel free to contact me with questions in comments or tag me in social media with pictures of your final product. If you roast your own turkey or turkey breast, feel free to share the way you do it, I’m always open to trying new methods for myself as well:)
More Thanksgiving Recipes:
We love Thanksgiving and all the side dishes and traditional foods that go with it. I love hosting and having family over. Here are some of the recipes we use:
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sweet Potato Phyllo Bites
- Beets, Sweet Potato Salad
- Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
- Rosemary Cornbread
- Cheese Cornbread Muffins