Learn how to roast a turkey breast that is juicy and full of flavor. This is an easy turkey recipe that is great for a small dinner. You get delicious roast turkey without cooking a whole one, so it’s faster, easier, and just as delicious.
There have been years when it’s just our family of three celebrating Thanksgiving, and the idea of roasting a big turkey just doesn’t make sense. We can’t eat all of it, so cooking a smaller roast turkey breast is a great solution. It doesn’t take as long to cook, and there’s less waste.
So instead of a big whole turkey, we buy a turkey breast, which usually weighs around three to four pounds. The cooking process is the same, and you still get juicy, delicious roast turkey – just less of it! It’s perfect for a small holiday dinner.
The recipe I’m sharing is simple to prepare, but it’s full of flavor. The turkey is rubbed with a delicious garlic-herb olive oil rub that turns the skin golden and crispy while it roasts. It also adds a ton of flavor to the meat.
- Boneless turkey breast
- Minced garlic
- Chopped fresh rosemary
- Chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
How to Make the Rub
This roast turkey breast recipe for the oven is very simple! All you do is make the rub, prepare the turkey breast, and it’s ready to go into the oven.
Combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, paprika, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Rub it all over the turkey breast in an even layer.
How Long to Roast a Turkey Breast
For a three to four-pound turkey breast, you will need to roast it for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours at 325°F.
Keep in mind that this is an estimate. Every oven is different, and if yours runs hotter or colder, you may need to adjust the time.
The easiest way to know when your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165°F. I recommend checking several spots to ensure it’s cooked all the way through.
Tips for Making the Best Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
Safely Thaw Turkey: If you buy a frozen turkey breast, be sure to thaw it before roasting. For one that is three to four pounds, it will take at least 24 hours. Thaw it in the refrigerator and not at room temperature, which can cause bacteria to grow.
Use a Thermometer: I’ve already mentioned it, but it’s worth mentioning again: use a thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. There is nothing worse than slicing into a turkey that is raw in the middle! Remember the magic number: 165°F at the thickest part of the turkey.
Keep the Oven Door Closed: Resist opening the oven a lot while the turkey is roasting. Every time you do, it just adds to the cooking time since the heat will escape.
Rest It Before Slicing: Allow the turkey breast to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before you slice it. This will allow the juices to redistribute back into the meat instead of spilling out onto the cutting board.
Properly Store the Leftovers: If you have leftover roast turkey breast, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for three to four days. Cooking a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey is perfect for a small dinner party, holiday dinner, or any time you’re craving turkey! You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to make it – it’s delicious any time of year.
Other Dinners You'll Enjoy
Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe
- 1 boneless turkey breast 3 to 4 pounds
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice squeezed
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, brown sugar, paprika and lemon juice. Once combined spread the paste over the entire turkey breast
- Pre-heat over to 325° and place turkey breast skin side up on a rack in your roasting pan.
- Cook the turkey breast for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Using an instant read meat thermometer make sure the internal temperature is at 165° and the skin should be golden brown. You should check several areas on the turkey breast. When you remove the turkey breast from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve!
This really is the perfect recipe if you don’t need to cook a whole turkey this year! Roasted Turkey Breast is fast, easy and delicious. We hope you love it!
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.