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oven roasted turkey breast

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast


An easy oven-roasted turkey breast basted in classic herbs. Perfect for family dinner, or a holiday meal when you don’t need the whole bird!


  • 3-ish pound turkey breast


  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salt


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted or very soft
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 45 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 teaspoons lemon zest (more if desired- I usually do most of the lemon!)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 onions, cut into 34 thick slices, each
  • optional: very small potatoes, cut in half if larger than 1″


  1. For the brine: Combine water and salt in a large bowl or roasting pan (you’ll want something deep enough to submerge turkey in water). Place turkey breast in brine and let sit for at least 1 hour, and up to several hours.
  2. For the herb rub: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place onions in baking dish that fits your turkey breast.  Place turkey breast on top of onions. Gently separate skin from turkey breast without tearing it off (the handle end of a spatula or wooden spoon often works well.) Spread the butter-herb mixture all over the turkey, especially stuffing it under the skin and spreading it all around. If you have extra whole herbs, just place them around the turkey. If using *potatoes, drizzle them lightly with olive oil to coat and then place them surrounding the turkey. (*See note in note section)
  4. Place turkey in preheated oven for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 without opening oven door. Continue baking until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Baste turkey a couple of times toward the end of baking to achieve nice golden skin. (This means use a baster, or simply a spoon, so grab juices from the bottom of the pan and pour them over the top of the turkey.) Time will vary depending on size of turkey, generally a 3-ish pound breast will take 1-1.5 hours. Use a digital thermometer and remove turkey as soon as it reaches temperature so you don’t overcook.
  5. When done, remove pan from oven and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes to let juices redistribute. Carve meat off breast bone and then slice. Make sure to pick the meat off bones- it makes great sandwiches!  You may discard the onions if desired, or slice them up and serve with your meal.


  • If desired, drain off meat juices and make homemade gravy. You can also simply spoon the drippings over the carved meat. They are incredibly flavorful and make a great sauce on their own!
  • Serving Amount: I like to plan on about 1 pound per person when purchasing meat. That doesn’t mean that every person will eat an entire pound of meat! That’s usually enough to yield a generous serving for each person. For example, a 3 pound bone-in breast will easily serve 3 people, plus some left over for sandwiches. a 3 pound boneless breast will feed slightly more.
  • *If using potatoes, you’ll want to either microwave them for about 5 minutes before adding them to the pan, or cut in half or quarters, depending on the size, just to ensure they have enough cooking time.


  • Serving Size: 4