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Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast

Serve this Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast as your Thanksgiving centerpiece or for any special event or holiday gathering. For those who don’t need a whole turkey, a delicious juicy turkey breast is a great option!

Close up of turkey drippings being poured over sliced turkey breast on a cutting board.

If you love the traditional turkey centerpiece during the holidays but don’t feel the need to cook a full turkey, I have just the recipe for you!

This easy garlic butter boneless turkey breast is loaded with delicious flavors and turns out perfectly tender and juicy.

I also love that cooking just the turkey breast results in an even bake, as it can be difficult to cook an entire turkey to perfection when various parts are done cooking before others.

Plus, if you are more interested in the white meat than the dark meat, there isn’t much of a need to cook a whole bird. If you love roasted turkey no matter the time of year, turkey breast is the ultimate solution to a delicious weeknight meal without having to cook a big turkey.

All you need is a few basic ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores and a roasting pan!

While I typically make my Garlic Butter Roast Turkey recipe to serve my huge family, I fully support making a smaller cut to serve a smaller crowd, especially if you aren’t looking for a lot of leftovers.

Gravy being poured on Garlic Butter Turkey Breast.

Let’s chat about the straightforward ingredients to make the best boneless turkey breast.

Ingredients for Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast:

Chicken Broth or White Wine: You will need one cup of liquid to go into the bottom of the roasting pan. I like using chicken broth, white wine, apple cider, or orange juice. This doesn’t have to be fancy!

Boneless Turkey Breast: Pick up a boneless turkey roast and be sure to thaw it completely before preparing this recipe.

While you can absolutely follow the garlic butter recipe in this post for a bone-in turkey breast as well, the cooking time will be different because bone-in meat requires more time to cook than a boneless turkey breast roast. 

Some boneless roasts come with netting and some don’t, but the cooking instructions are the same either way. 

Unsalted Butter: The true star of the show here, unsalted butter adds an infusion of flavor to the turkey breast so that the outside tastes positively delectable. You can also use ghee (clarified butter), avocado oil, or olive oil.

Fresh Garlic: Mince up some fresh garlic cloves to add fresh garlic flavor to the breast. You can also add garlic powder for extra garlic flavor.

Onion Powder, Paprika, and Sea Salt: A combination of onion powder, paprika, and sea salt comprises our seasoning blend that gets mixed in with the butter.

If you have other flavors you love, like black pepper, lemon pepper, Cajun seasoning, etc., feel free to add them in.

Sliced turkey breast on a cutting board.

Now that we have the simple ingredients list down, let’s discuss the best way to cook boneless turkey breast, starting with thawing the breast.

How to Thaw Turkey Breast:

There are two easy methods for thawing frozen turkey breast. If you have several days, thaw it in the refrigerator the slow way. If you’re under a time crunch, plug your kitchen sink with a drain plug, place the turkey breast (still wrapped in its packaging) in the sink, and cover it completely with cool water. 

The exact amount of time it takes to thaw a turkey breast depends on the size and weight of the turkey breast as well as just how frozen it is. For the best results, be sure to thaw the breast well in advance.

How to Cook Boneless Turkey Breast:

Gather your ingredients.

Ingredients for garlic butter turkey breast on a backdrop, ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth, white wine, apple cider, or water into the bottom of your roasting pan.

Remove the boneless turkey breast from its packaging and place it on a large plate or a cutting board. Use paper towels to pat off any excess moisture on top of the skin.

Raw turkey breast on a plate, ready to be lathered in garlic butter mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, onion powder, paprika, and sea salt until well-combined. Be sure to use softened butter rather than melted butter as the mixture will be easier to spread over the breast.

Rub the garlic butter mixture all over the outside of the turkey breast and place it on the roasting pan.

Raw turkey breast being smeared with garlic butter mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes per pound (50 minutes for a 2 pound roast, 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 3 pound roast, etc.), or until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Garlic butter turkey breast resting on a roasting pan, ready to go into the oven.

Be sure to have a meat thermometer on hand to check the internal temperature by inserting it into the thickest part of the breast. Avoid opening the oven door too frequently, as that will lengthen the amount of time it takes to cook.

Remove the turkey breast from the oven, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

This process allows the juices to distribute evenly throughout the breast, resulting in the most tender result.

Cooked turkey breast in a roasting pan.

If you’d like, you can spoon the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan over the turkey breast before covering it with foil and just before serving.

Gravy drizzling over the turkey breast.

Remember that turkey is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, but it will continue cooking as the meat rests. 

Slice the turkey breast into slices and serve with your choice of side dishes.

Tips for Making the Best Boneless Turkey Breast:

  • The exact roasting time depends on the temperature of the turkey breast going into the oven as well as its size. For instance, if it is at room temperature, it will take less time to cook than if the breast is still chilled from being in the refrigerator. The best way to ensure you’re getting perfect turkey breast is by using a digital thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature. 
  • If the turkey breast becomes too brown at any point during the roasting process, you can cover it with aluminum foil to protect the skin from getting too brown or burning.
  • Use seasonings you know you enjoy on poultry. You can mix Italian seasoning, chili powder, lemon zest, and orange zest into the garlic butter mixture, along with plenty of other options.

Store leftover turkey breast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

I like using leftover turkey to make Leftover Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables, Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Breakfast Casserole, and my Paleo Turkey Chowder.

Sliced roast turkey breast on a cutting board with side dishes in the background.

​No matter the time of year, this delicious turkey recipe always makes for an impressive meal for serving family and friends. You can whip up a quick gravy by using a gravy packet or make homemade gravy using the turkey drippings. 

What to Serve with Turkey Breast:

Looking for delicious Thanksgiving side dishes to pair with your roasted turkey breast? Here are my personal favorites.

Finished garlic butter turkey breast on a wood cutting board with side dishes to the side.

Enjoy this easy roast boneless turkey breast recipe with your loved ones!

Close up of turkey drippings being poured over sliced turkey breast on a cutting board.

Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast

This easy recipe for roasted turkey breast turns out perfectly tender and juicy with delicious flavor! Prepare it for your holiday gatherings, or whip it up for a lovely weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
4 to 6 People

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) boneless turkey breast , (skin on)
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened*
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt, **

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth, white wine, apple cider, or water into the bottom of your roasting pan.
  • Remove the boneless turkey breast from its packaging and place it on a large plate or a cutting board. Use paper towels to pat off any excess moisture.
  • In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, onion powder, paprika, and sea salt until well-combined.
  • Rub the garlic butter mixture all over the outside of the turkey breast and place it on the roasting pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes per pound (50 minutes for a 2 pound roast, 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 3 pound roast, etc.), or until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast to check the internal temperature.
  • Remove the turkey breast from the oven, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This process allows the juices to distribute evenly throughout the breast, resulting in the most tender result. The breast will continue cooking during this time, and should reach the FDA approved 165 degrees F for safe consumption. If you’d like, you can spoon the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan over the turkey breast before covering it with foil and just before serving.
  • Slice the turkey breast into slices and serve with your choice of side dishes.

Video

Notes

*For a 2-pound roast, use 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and for a 3-pound roast, use 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
**Reduce the amount of salt if you’re using regular iodized salt (table salt), which tastes saltier than sea salt. You can also reduce the amount of salt if you prefer your food with less salt.
Nutrition Facts are calculated based on a 3-pound boneless breast for 6 servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6)Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 45gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 81mgFiber: 4g
Course: Main Course, Turkey Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boneless turkey breast, garlic butter boneless turkey breast, garlic butter roast turkey breast, healthy dinner recipes, roasted turkey breast, thanksgiving turkey
Servings: 4 to 6 People
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Julia

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Recipe Rating




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Robert B

Friday 17th of November 2023

Can you use olive oil or mayonnaise instead of the unsalted butter?

Julia

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Hi Robert! Olive oil works great! I hope you enjoy the turkey. If you're able to marinate it ahead of time in a large zip lock bag, it will turn out even better!

JF

Monday 13th of November 2023

Have you used the drippings to make gravy? How much does this recipe produce?

Julia

Monday 13th of November 2023

Hi there! I don't get enough drippings to make gravy, unfortunately. That said, I bet if you baste the turkey towards the end of roasting, you could end up with enough drippings for gravy. If you go this route, you could double or triple my Turkey Injection recipe and use it as basting liquid: https://yipinpo.com/turkey-injection-recipe/ Just note that if you baste the turkey, it will take longer to cook :) Hope this helps!

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