Oven roasted turkey breast is a classic main course for your next family meal or small holiday gathering. Bone-in turkey breast is easy to prepare in the oven and turns out flavorful and juicy.
Oven roasted turkey breast is the perfect main course for a small family gathering. No need to roast a whole turkey - roast a bone-in turkey breast instead!
Plus, roasting in the oven is easier than you think - no basting needed! This turkey turns out juicy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked through.
A half bone-in (single) turkey breast feeds three to four, and a whole turkey breast (two breasts) feeds six to eight. Both sizes work for this recipe! Simply choose the size to fit your meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
Bone-in turkey breast - For this recipe, you'll need a bone-in turkey breast. A half turkey breast (single breast) or a whole turkey breast (two breasts) will work for this recipe.
Unsalted butter - If you only have salted butter on hand, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by half. Butter can also be substituted with olive oil if desired.
Seasoning - Salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried sage. Thyme and sage can be substituted with Italian seasoning if you have it on hand.
Boneless or bone-in turkey breast
I highly recommend roasting a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast for best flavor. Turkey breast is very easy to remove from the bone after roasting, and the skin can be removed before serving. Both the bone and skin help keep your turkey juicy, moist, and flavorful.
If using a boneless turkey breast, the roasting time will be significantly reduced.
How long does it take to roast turkey breast?
A bone-in turkey breast will take between 20 to 23 minutes per pound to cook through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. (ex: a 3 pound bone-in turkey breast will take about 60 minutes to cook through)
I highly suggest using a meat thermometer for best accuracy. Ovens can run hotter or colder than the next oven, and relying on time alone can result in dry or undercooked meat.
How to prevent turkey from drying out
Turkey turns out dry when it is cooked too long in the oven. Here are a few tips for ensuring your turkey turns out juicy and flavorful!
- Use a meat thermometer and remove your turkey as soon as the temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
- Leave the skin on - it helps protect the meat from overcooking and keeps it juicy and flavorful.
- Use bone-in turkey - leaving your meat on the bone helps retain more moisture in the meat and also adds flavor!
- Make the recipe as directed with butter (or olive oil). These added fats not only add flavor but help keep your turkey juicy.
- Once your turkey has been removed from the oven, allow it to rest for ten minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute into the meat, so they don't come pouring out when you slice into your turkey. (here's a great article on this subject: Martha Stewart: Why you need to let meat rest after cooking)
What to serve with turkey breast
Whether for a family meal or holiday dinner, these classic sides always pair well with an oven roasted turkey breast:
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- Homemade gravy without drippings
- Green beans and onions
- Sweet potato casserole
- Cornbread dressing
- Kale apple slaw with poppy seed vinaigrette
- Dill scalloped potatoes
Have leftover turkey? Try a few of our reader favorite leftover recipes:
Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- 3 to 7 pound bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim any excess fat from turkey breast and pat dry with a paper towel. Place into a roasting pan or 9x13 pan lined with foil.
- In a bowl, add softened butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and sage. Mix to create a paste.
- Loosen the skin of the turkey breast and spread half of butter mixture underneath the skin in an even layer. Spread remaining butter mixture over the entire outside of the turkey breast.
- Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20-23 minutes per pound of turkey, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is reached. Place thermometer into the center of the thickest part of your turkey breast to test the temperature. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer for best accuracy.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- A half bone-in turkey breast (single breast) will feed 3 to 4 people. A whole bone-in turkey breast (two breasts) will feed up to eight. Both can be used in this recipe.
- If substituting with a boneless turkey breast, cooking times will be reduced.
- Butter can be substituted with olive oil. If using salted butter, reduce the salt listed by half.
- To prevent dry turkey - use a meat thermometer and remove from oven as soon as turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Leaving the bone in and skin on help keep your turkey juicy and retain moisture, and can be removed before serving. Do not slice into piping hot turkey. Resting allows the juices to redistribute into the meat.