This roasted turkey breast with garlic herb butter is a great alternative to making the traditional turkey! Because you can use boneless turkey breast instead of roasting the entire turkey. This post will provide easy instructions on how to roast a turkey breast.
Boneless Turkey Breast in Garlic Herb Butter
We traveled this Thanksgiving. Since it’s just three of us, we didn’t want to make the entire turkey. But we still wanted something like a boneless turkey breast recipe that was easy to deal with. This roasted rolled turkey breast was definitely a winner! I still can’t believe that we pulled it off in a hotel room while traveling! But I must admit it’s not any special cooking skills. It’s the turkey breast recipe – so easy and so tasty, you can make it on the go!
What is boneless turkey breast
Most of us can’t buy a fresh turkey breast and especially half of a breast. Most supermarkets sell turkey breasts solid frozen. Besides, producers inject turkeys with a brine solution and flavor enhancers. This presents a couple of issues:
- Storage of the massive throne turkey can be problematic. Do you really have all this available space in the freezer? I know I don’t.
- Thawing the entire turkey takes a lot of time. And you need to do it right to avoid bacteria built up. Did you know that accumulation of histamine on the meat can be dangerous? And how about the lack of freshness?
Instead, you can opt to buy either whole boneless turkey breast or butterflied turkey breast. I hope you can find the one with skin-on like I did. You will see how to roast a turkey breast in this recipe post.
How many servings per boneless turkey breast?
The number of servings will never be quite the same as to how much to buy. Because this is a boneless turkey breast, you will get a lot more meat for 3 pounds than from regular turkey breast. The assumption here is that a serving is 1/2 pound. And that is a nice good sized slice of turkey. This assumption leads to 6 servings of a turkey breast that is 3 pounds. By the way, this is the size most commonly found in the supermarkets. I also used 3 pound boneless turkey breast here.
But on the other hand, we all overeat turkey and want leftovers. If that’s the case and if you are like me, you will only it a bit of turkey meat. For example, I eat just enough turkey to leave room for other delicious thanksgiving foods. Then you can easily stretch a 3 pound boneless turkey breast to about 8 to 10 servings. Perfect!
How to thaw a turkey breast
If your boneless turkey breast came frozen, place unopened breast in cold tap water for 1 to 3 hours. Change water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey breast in the safe temperature of less than 40 degrees.
I never thaw the turkey breast at room temperature. It is not safe at all because it will lead to accumulation of histamine and bacteria. We don’t want that.
How to roll a turkey breast
- I used just one of the turkey halves in this recipe. And I didn’t butterfly it. I laid it with the underside of the turkey up. Then I rubbed the garlic herb butter all over the underside and under the skin.
- Next I used kitchen twine to tie around the turkey to keep it in. It also helps it cook more evenly.
Should I butterfly my turkey breast?
Butterflying will work too. You will cut into the thickest portion of the turkey breast, keeping the knife 1/2 inch above the cutting board and stopping 1/2 inch from the edge of the breast.
Then open it up like a book. Maybe even pound the turkey breast gently to get an even thickness. Next you will roll up the turkey breast before tying it up with kitchen twine.
What’s in the garlic butter herb mixture?
- I added herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme.
- Garlic and butter
What temperature to cook a boneless turkey breast?
I usually roast it at 375 degrees. However 350 degrees can work, but it will take a bit longer. It can also potentially dry boneless turkey breast.
List of non-food items you will need to make this roasted rolled turkey breast:
- First things first, you will need a skillet to cook garlic
- You will also need a roasting pan for roasting rolled boneless turkey of course!
- Then prepare some foil , even though it’ optional. I used it to prevents herbs from charring.
- You will use kitchen twine to tie the breast.
- And lemon zester!
- Finally, I used toothpicks to hold rolled boneless turkey in place. Even though they are optional, they held the turkey breast down really tight.
Can I use oil instead of butter on the skin of the turkey?
I prefer to use butter and most recipes do as well. However crisp skin hates moisture and unfortunately butter is 20% water. But oil has no water content. Yeah! So if you want an assuredly crispy skin, it’s a good idea to use oil and not butter.
Ways to use boneless turkey breast
- You can make this rolled turkey breast instead of a traditional full size bone in skin on turkey.
- I use it as lunch meat because it’s perfectly juicy and not dry at all, unlike the usual dry leftover turkey.
- Make boneless turkey breast for a weeknight dinner and prepare a gravy to dip the slices in. So yummy!
- Finally, you can serve this amazing rolled turkey breast for Christmas!
The beauty of this boneless turkey recipe is that you can make it two days ahead. And with no loss of flavor or moisture! Besides it will have a lot more flavor than the usual recipe for the entire bird.
What makes this rolled roasted turkey breast so flavorful
The ingredients that give this roasted rolled turkey breast such a great flavor include lemon zest, and crushed garlic and butter. Because they get rolled both into the turkey as well as rubbed on the outside. And of course herbs!
Herbs to flavor turkey breast
I used parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary. But be creative and use your own combination.
Tips on how to slice a boneless turkey breast
Once the turkey breast is roasted, we come to the fun part. Let’s slice it! Roasted turkey breast should be sliced pretty thinly for the best roasted rolled turkey experience. Carve slowly and steadily while increasing the pressure. This will ensure that every slice has a bit of skin since it’s just loaded with flavor. You don’t want anyone to miss out on it, do you?
How to reheat turkey breast if made ahead?
Let’s say you want to enjoy the day of eating the turkey and make it ahead the day before. Is it possible to do that and still have a nice fresh turkey?
The only way to reheat the turkey breast without drying it out is to slice it and reheat it with some liquid. Then you will add the slices onto a large baking dish, pour in about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and add some herb butter on top.
Wrap the dish tightly with foil, and reheat in the oven at 350 until the turkey is hot and the butter is melted, 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, transfer the turkey to a platter, and drizzle with some of the pan liquid.
Try it for yourself and see how easy it is to enjoy making this flavorful roasted turkey breast instead of the whole turkey!
Dishes that go well with the turkey breast:
How to roast a boneless turkey breast
Garlic Herb Butter
- 5 tbsp butter softened (divided)
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley) minced
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 lb turkey breast boneless, skin-on
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- parsley for garnish
- Garlic Herb Butter: Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium skillet, add 6 cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Move the garlic to the medium bowl and add remaining 4 tablespoons of softened butter, fresh herbs, fresh lemon zest and salt. Mix well.
- Preparing Rolled Turkey: Lay turkey breast, skin side down, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. Rub garlic herb butter from step 1 all over the underside of turkey and under the skin. Roll the turkey to form a tube and use toothpicks (or fingers:) to hold it tight in place. Using kitchen twine, tie it around the turkey to keep it from opening up during roasting. Rub the remaining herb butter on top of the roll.
- Roasting Rolled Turkey: Preheat oven to 375 F. Place in a roasting pan or a baking dish and bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees to 165 degrees, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes total. Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, remove twine, and cut crosswise into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick slices. Place slices on a platter, and garnish with parsley.
You may also like this Brown Sugar Dijon Pork Loin.
If you like to eat salads with your meat like we do, take a look at these fabulous salads:
Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and Apples or Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Pecans in Honey Dijon Vinaigrette