How to Cook a Butterball Turkey Breast

Roasted Butterball turkey breast.

Need some guidance on how to cook a Butterball turkey breast for the upcoming Thanksgiving? You’re in the right place.

Turkey breast can anchor a delicious and robust dinner experience. Plus, it’s way easier to prepare than a whole turkey. Read on for an easy overview for preparing a juicy, savory turkey breast that’ll wow even the pickiest of dinner guests.

Why roast a Butterball turkey breast?

It’s easy.

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Cooking a Butterball turkey breast is a great way to enjoy all the flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey without the hassle of a whole bird. Not only is turkey breast easier and faster to prepare than a full turkey, it’s also easier to carve and serve — especially if you opt for a boneless cut.

Roasted turkey breast can serve a crowd.

One large Butterball turkey breast can serve up to 10 people. That’s a complete main course for a crowd in one pan.

Follow these guidelines for choosing the right size turkey breast for your guest list:

  • Boneless turkey breast: Plan for 3/4 lb turkey breast per person. That equates to 7.5 lbs for 10 people.
  • Bone-in turkey breast: Plan for 1 1/4 lb per person, or 12.5 lbs for 10 people.

Turkey breast welcomes flavors.

Sliced, roasted turkey breast on plate to represent how to cook a Butterball turkey breast.

You can season a Butterball turkey breast with a wide array of spices and seasonings. You can create a delicious turkey dry rub from rosemary, thyme, poultry seasoning, garlic, sage, onion powder, or various combination of these. You can also use vegetables and aromatics like onions, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, and shallots.

Turkey breast is healthy.

Turkey breast is an excellent source of lean protein. One 3-ounce serving of turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat. Turkey breast is also a good source of niacin, phosphorus, and zinc.

Turkey breast roasting tips

  • Try brining your turkey. Brining is a good first step, before you cook turkey. It takes some planning (you have to start the day before), but the finished turkey will be juicier and more flavorful. See brining instructions below.
  • Use a meat thermometer rather than minutes per pound rules. Your turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F or 74°C. A meat thermometer is the best way to verify this. Insert it from the front, parallel to the bone, in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Cook skin side up. If you roast your turkey breast skin side down, you won’t achieve a beautiful and flavorful crispy skin. This obviously doesn’t matter if you are preparing a skinless turkey breast. 

Roasted turkey breast FAQs

Can you cook a turkey breast in the crockpot (or slow cooker)?

Yes, you can make slow cooker turkey breast. Here’s how: Grease the inside of your slow cooker, place the seasoned turkey breast inside with the skin side up. Pour water or chicken broth over the top. Cook the turkey breast on low for 6-8 hours or until the turkey is cooked through.

Can you cook a turkey breast in an air fryer?

Yes, you can roast a turkey breast in an air fryer. The cook time will vary depending on the size of the turkey breast, but it should take between 30 and 40 minutes. Baste the turkey breast with butter or oil before cooking to help it brown evenly.

Can you cook a Butterball turkey breast on the grill?

Yes, you can cook a Butterball turkey breast on the grill. The cooking time will be 1 to 1.5 hours or more, depending on the size of your bird.

How do you roast a turkey breast in an oven bag?

Yes, you can roast a turkey breast in an oven bag — this can make a delicious and juicy oven-roasted turkey breast. The process is mostly the same, only you put the whole breast in the bag, and then the bag in your roasting pan. Follow any instructions on your oven bag.

How do I cook a precooked turkey breast?

I have a post dedicated to answering that question! See how to cook a precooked turkey breast.

Do you have to thaw turkey breast before cooking?

Thawing the turkey will help it cook evenly and prevent it from drying out. You can thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or in cold water. If you’re short on time, you can also cook the turkey breast from frozen.

How long does it take a thaw a frozen turkey breast?

A frozen turkey breast can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to thaw, depending on its size. If you’re short on time, thaw a turkey breast by submerging it in a cold water bath.  the turkey breast in a cold water bath and let it thaw that way. Do this safely by keeping the turkey in its original packaging and changing the water every 30 minutes. The process should take 30 minutes per pound.

What to serve with roasted turkey breast? 

Popular side dish choices for a baked turkey breast are turkey gravy, mashed or roasted potatoes, cranberries, and stuffing.

How to make turkey gravy from pan drippings?

You can whip up a quick turkey gravy from the drippings left in your roasting pan plus chicken broth, flour, salt, and pepper.

Start by skimming some of the fat off the drippings. If you have about 1/4 cup drippings, sprinkle 1/4 cup flour into the roasting pan and whisk until you’ve made a smooth paste. Place the pan over the flame and cook it for a few minutes. Pour the broth slowly into the paste and keep whisking to prevent clumps. The mixture should gradually thicken. Let it simmer until it gets to the right consistency. Then season with salt and pepper. 

How do you keep a boneless turkey roast from drying out? 

Turkey breast is a naturally lean meat, so it’s prone to drying out — especially if you’re working with a boneless skinless turkey. Brining helps retain moisture, as does using an oven bag for roasting. 

Should a turkey roast be cooked covered or uncovered?

You can roast turkey breast uncovered or covered! Uncovered is the most reliable method, as it allows the skin to brown and hold in moisture. If the skin starts getting too brown, you can tent it with foil. 

What temperature should I cook a boneless turkey breast to? 

Cook the turkey breast meat until it reaches 165°F or 74°C. Then let the turkey breast rest for 10 to 15 minutes so you don’t lose the juices when you start carving. 

How should I safely store my leftover turkey? 

To store leftover turkey safely, first plan on packaging it up and placing it in the refrigerator within two hours of serving. It’s usually easiest to divide it up into smaller portions — you can store some in the refrigerator and some in the freezer.

Make sure you have each portion in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. 

Properly wrapped cooked turkey breast will last in the freezer for up to 6 months. Always thaw it in the refrigerator (not on your counter). 

Butterball turkey breast recipe card

How to roast a Butterball turkey in the oven.

Enjoy this great recipe for Thanksgiving or any other occasion you want to celebrate. 

Optional: Brine the turkey overnight

Here’s a simple brine recipe. Mix 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar into 1 gallon of water. Stir until dissolved. You can add other seasonings if you’d like.

Pour the brine into a food-safe plastic bag. Put the turkey in the brine. Set the bag inside a large bowl and put the whole thing in your refrigerator for 10 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) for a boneless turkey breast or 400°F (204°C) for a bone-in turkey breast. Position a rack near the bottom of your oven.

Prep turkey breast

Take the Butterball turkey breast out of the bag (or brine) and drain the juices. Pat the skin dry with paper towels. Place turkey breast on your baking pan with the skin side up.

Season turkey breast

Combine your selected seasonings with softened butter in a bowl. Gently slide your hands under the skin and loosen it carefully. Spread a few tablespoons of the mixture under the skin. Take care not to tear the skin. Once that’s done, rub a tablespoon of the mixture over the whole turkey breast.

Add vegetables

Add your selected vegetables to the remaining butter mixture and toss till they’re fully coated. Then, spread the buttered vegetables around the turkey breast. Now it’s ready to cook.

Bake!

The cooking instructions here are easy. Simply pop your the tray in the oven and cook that Butterball turkey for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Check the temperature — you want it to be 165°F or 74°C. If it isn’t done, return to oven and check again in 10 minutes. Once the target temperature is reached, remove the pan from the oven, place the turkey breast on a carving board, and let it rest for 15 minutes. 

You can broil the vegetables for a few minutes while your turkey is resting for extra flavor and texture.

Yield: 10 servings

Oven-Roasted Butterball Turkey Breast

Roasted Butterball turkey breast.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • One Butterball boneless turkey breast, 7.5 lbs, thawed
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • One pound red potatoes, small and halved
  • One pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • Two medium onions, quartered
  • Four tablespoons sage, dried and minced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Let the oven heat to 350F. And while you wait, take the turkey breast out of the bag. Drain the breast, dry with paper towels, place it on the baking pan-skin-side-up.
  2. Mix the sage, garlic, pepper, and salt with butter in a bowl. Then, make a pocket under the turkey skin and spread about two tablespoons inside it. Take care, so the skin doesn’t tear off. Next, rub a tablespoon of the butter mixture on the turkey breast.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, and potatoes into the remaining butter mixture and toss. Then, arrange the vegetables around the breast in the pan.
  4. Roast in the oven for about two hours and 30 minutes. Check the doneness of the breast with a meat thermometer at its thickest part. You want the internal temperature to reach 170F.
  5. Transfer the turkey breast to a board on the counter, set the oven to broil, and stir the pan juice with the vegetables. Let the baking pan sit about 6 to 8 inches away from the heating element.
  6. Broil the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they’re lightly brown. Halfway through the cooking process, stir the vegetables with the pan juice. Once it’s ready, serve along with the turkey breast.
  7. For more directions on how to cook Butterball turkey breast, watch this video recipe.

Notes

If you have a bone-in turkey breast, raise the oven temperature to 400F. Cooking time should be about the same, though the recipe probably serves 6 people instead of 10.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 609Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 284mgSodium: 512mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 104g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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