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How to Cook Bone-in Turkey Breasts in the Oven

It sucks to have Thanksgiving scaled down because of the one reason or the other, and a scaled-down Thanksgiving means you would not be getting the full turkey on the dinner table. If you crave turkey for Thanksgiving, you can still get that delicious turkey dinner without breaking the bank; you can even feed a larger crowd with more pieces of turkey breasts.

The method of cooking turkey in the oven is arguably the best way of cooking turkey; just like the main thing, turkey breasts can also be cooked in the oven. In this article, I have made a complete guideline for cooking bone-in turkey breasts in the oven, and I’ve also included an easy recipe for bone-in turkey breasts in case you are short on inspiration.

Turkey Breasts Nutrition Facts

How To Cook Bone-In Turkey Breasts In The Oven

Tips to Cook Bone-in Turkey Breasts in the Oven

Below are some helpful tips for cooking bone-in turkey breasts in the oven :

Make a brine – this step is completely optional, but if you want a much juicier and more flavorful turkey breast, you should consider leaving the breast submerged in a brine for at least 12 hours. To make a simple brine, combine a gallon of water with 12 sprigs of thyme, 1 cup of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, 2 lemons (chopped), 4 cloves of garlic, and 2 bay leaves; allow this combo to come to a boil, and allow to cool in the refrigerator before soaking your turkey breast in it for 12 hours or more.

Wash turkey breasts – after soaking your turkey breasts overnight in a brine, take them out 20 minutes before you want to use them and give them a good wash to get rid of that salty liquid on them. Wash both inside and outside thoroughly.

Dry out the meat –  after washing, pat dry with paper towels. You should ensure your turkey breasts are completely dry to avoid them steaming or burning in the oven. You can also use a fan or blow-dryer if the paper towel isn’t doing the job.

Preheat the oven – waiting for your oven to heat up may be time-consuming, and this is not what you want when cooking turkey breasts. Set the oven to preheat to a temperature of 375°F. Preheating the oven will significantly reduce the time required to cook turkey breasts.

Do not use fresh herbs – most recipes would call for fresh herbs, but when it comes to roasting something in the oven for a long time, it is advisable to use dry and ground herbs as fresh herbs may lose their bright flavors in the oven. To get the seasoning to stick to the turkey, simply drizzle some olive oil all over the turkey breast.

Season underneath the skin – to make your turkey breasts more flavorful, you should also get the seasonings underneath the skin. Some people may even prefer to take out the skin while cooking, but if you prefer the skin on, just make sure you season both the skin and underneath the skin. Simply slide your fingers underneath the skin and wiggle through to create room for the seasonings.

Sear turkey breasts in a pan – when we cook a turkey in the oven, it usually takes such time; however, with the breasts alone, it requires a shorter time, and this reduced timeframe would not give room for the skin to get completely brown. To fix this, simply place the turkey breasts skin-side-down in hot oil for a couple of minutes until the skin becomes brown and crispy, take it out, and place the bird skin-side-up in your baking pan.

Do not place turkey directly on the roasting pan – how you place the breasts in the oven affects how they come out. So to ensure the bird gets cooked evenly, you should suspend it on a rack in your baking pan. You can also use some slices of lemon as suspension for the meat; this would impact some additional flavors to your meat.

Use a meat thermometer – one pound of turkey breast usually take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Well, this is true for most cases, but to ensure your bird is not under or overcooked, you should be using a meat thermometer. Simply take out the meat after 15 minutes and stick the thermometer in a couple of places on the bird to determine the internal temperature; a well-done turkey breast should be 160° internal.

Allow turkey breasts to rest – after pulling your turkey breasts out of the oven, don’t dive in just yet because the turkey needs to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. What resting does is that it allows the juices to redistribute all across the bird, so when you cut into it, you would be getting a slice of juicy meat.

Carve out the bone – removing the bone from the turkey breasts is not at all difficult; simply use a sharp knife to slice thinly across the bone-In section of the breasts, and you will be left with a boneless, deliciously cooked turkey breast.

Cooking Time for Bone-in Turkey Breasts

Cooking Procedure Cooking Time
Searing turkey breasts in a pan 5 to 7 minutes
Cooking turkey breasts in the oven 20 minutes per pound
Resting turkey breasts 15 minutes
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How To Cook Bone-In Turkey Breasts In The Oven(1)

Bone-in turkey breast (2  servings)

  • Author: Bobby




  1. Start by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of paprika, dried rosemary, dried oregano, and salt. Also, add 1 teaspoon of each dried thyme, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Mix everything to form a thick paste, and season your meat thoroughly with this mixture.
  3. Place your turkey in a roasting pan and put the pan inside the oven for the turkey to cook.
  4. Let the bird cook for 40 minutes in the oven, pull it out, and measure the temperature with the help of a thermometer.
  5. When it is up to 160° internal, cover the meat loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Carve out the bone from the turkey breast and cut the breast into thin slices
  7. Transfer to serving dishes and enjoy

This delicious turkey breast recipe is incredibly easy, and you can serve some russet potatoes alongside it for a wonderful experience. If you want other recipe ideas, kindly check out this video recipe.