Garlic Herb Bone-In Turkey Breast is marinated in a delicious marinade then roasted to juicy perfection in the oven. This easy oven-roasted turkey breast recipe turns out so flavorful with amazing tender texture for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
You’re looking at the internet’s most delicious turkey breast recipe!
A bone-in turkey breast gets marinated in simple ingredients like fresh garlic, soy sauce (or liquid aminos) and dried herbs, yielding big flavors through and through!
Marinating the breast gives the meat plenty of time to absorb flavors and allows the salt to work its tenderizing magic. The concept is similar to a wet brine. I recommend marinating it for 12 hours if possible, but a couple of hours will work too.
The end result of this simple recipe is delicious golden brown crispy skin and super tender meat.
Between the delicious marinade and cooking the breast to perfection for juicy meat, you’re bound to end up with the best turkey breast, creating a memorable meal.
If you prefer a garlic herb butter over taking the time to marinate the whole breast, you can follow the garlic butter recipe from my Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast.
Why Make Turkey Breast?:
If members of your family prefer white meat over dark meat, making the whole turkey breast and skipping the rest of the turkey meat is ideal.
In addition, serving a smaller group over the holidays necessitates less food. So if you don’t want a great deal of leftover turkey, this is the easiest way of lowering cook time and maximizing white meat deliciousness.
While turkey breast tends to have the reputation for being dry and lacking in flavor, quite the opposite is the case when cooking the breast meat individually.
Cooking a whole turkey such that all of the meat is both fully cooked and tender can be the biggest challenge.
Roasting the breast in isolation is not only much quicker than preparing a whole bird, but it is much easier to achieve a mouth-watering delicious result.
How Many People Does One Turkey Breast Serve:
Depending on how hungry your guests are, one 5 pound turkey breast should serve 4 to 6 people.
The general recommendation is to allot for one pound of turkey for each individual. While this sounds like a lot, keep in mind some weight will be lost during the cooking process and we also lost some meat to the bone.
If you’re hosting a lot of guests and preparing more than one main entree, this recipe is also a great way of enjoying Thanksgiving turkey without spending the time to cook the whole bird.
Regardless, this impressive main dish is guaranteed to receive rave reviews!
The ultimate key to success is using a meat thermometer to ensure you cook the breast to the right temperature (165 degrees Fahrenheit).
Do note that bone-in turkey breasts and boneless turkey breasts need vastly different bake times, so if you’re using the marinade in this recipe on a boneless breast, be sure to cook it according to its weight.
Ingredients for Bone-In Turkey Breast:
Bone-In Turkey: Pick up a bone-in turkey from the grocery store that is 4.5 to 5.5 pounds.
Most turkey breasts will fall into this weight range, but if you acquire one that is larger, you can always double the marinade recipe. Be sure to completely thaw the breast prior to starting this recipe!
Liquid Aminos, Tamari, or Soy Sauce: Adding rich, savory flavor to the otherwise neutral flavored breast meat, liquid aminos and soy sauce has high sodium content and lots of umami flavor.
Due to the saltiness, I don’t recommend adding more salt to the marinade unless you know you like your food very salty.
On the flipside, if you prefer less salty food, be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.
Fresh Garlic: Fresh cloves of garlic get minced up and added to the marinade. Garlic is the ultimate flavor maker!
You will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of minced garlic which is about 5 large cloves or 8 small cloves of garlic.
Italian Seasoning or Herbs de Provence: This simple dried herb blend brings a combination of herby flavors to the breast meat.
If you prefer using your own blend of dried herbs, like oregano, parsley, and rosemary, feel free to do so.
Avocado Oil: Because breast meat is so lean, adding a quality fat enhances the flavor. I like using avocado oil because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat), has neutral flavor, and is great for cooking at high temperatures because it has a high smoke point. Olive oil will work here too.
Black Pepper: You can adjust the amount of pepper to your personal taste. I add just a little to say it’s there.
Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, let’s make the best turkey breast!
How to Make Bone-In Turkey Breast:
Remove the turkey breast from its packaging and place it on a flat surface such as a large plate or cutting board.
Pat off any excess liquid with paper towels. Transfer the bone in turkey breast to a very large zip lock bag such as a jumbo 2.5-gallon zip lock bag.
Note: I couldn’t find huge zip lock bags at my grocery store, so I used my food storage vacuum sealer to create a pouch to marinate the turkey. I then sealed it after adding the marinade.
Combine the avocado oil (or olive oil), soy sauce (or liquid aminos), Italian seasoning, and fresh minced garlic in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
Pour the marinade into the large zip lock bag with the turkey breast. Seal it and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, ideally 8-12 hours.
When you’re ready to roast the turkey breast, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and move an oven rack to the shelf that’s second from the bottom (the goal is to give distance between the turkey skin and the top heating element).
Bring out your roasting pan and pour 1 cup of chicken broth, apple cider, water, or white wine into the bottom of it before placing the wire rack on top.
Remove turkey from the zip lock bag (or vacuum seal bag) and place turkey breast on the roasting rack. You can pour any marinade into the bottom of the roasting pan if you’d like.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes per pound, until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes uncovered then cover the turkey breast with aluminum foil and bake for the remainder of the time.
My 5.25-pound roast took 2 hours and 15 minutes to roast. I didn’t bring it to room temperature before roasting and transferred it straight from the refrigerator to the roasting pan, so it took closer to 25 minutes per pound.
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and wait for the numbers to stop moving to get an accurate read.
Allow the turkey breast to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
How to Cut a Turkey Breast:
Now that your turkey breast is perfectly cooked and ready to serve, you may be wondering how to carve a turkey breast.
I’ve got you.
First, place the cooked turkey breast skin side up on a cutting board. Identify the spine, which is in the center of the two breasts. Use a sharp knife to slice each breast off of the bone, trying to carve as close to the bone as possible in order to maximize the meat you get.
I recommend using a freshly sharpened carving knife for this because if you misjudge where the bone is, you can easily carve around it.
Once both breasts are removed from the bone, place them skin side up on the cutting board (if they aren’t already) and cut into 1-inch thick slices. This ensures every piece of breast meat gets a lovely layer of golden brown skin.
You can use the carving knife to extract more breast meat off of the bone once the two breasts are cut into slices.
Save the bone to make a small batch of Turkey Bone Broth or save it in a zip lock bag in the freezer until you have more bones to make a full batch of bone broth.
How Long To Cook a Bone-In Turkey Breast:
The general recommendation for cooking a bone-in turkey breast is 15 to 25 minutes per pound. Now may seem like a pretty large time range, and that’s because it is. But for a few good reasons.
First, the temperature of the breast going into the oven makes a big difference for how long it will take to cook.
Compare a breast that has been chilling in the refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees to one that has been brought to room temperature by sitting on the counter. This alone accounts for about a 30 degree difference.
Secondly, baking at sea level requires less time than baking at higher elevations, so keep your elevation in mind. I live at a higher elevation so my large roasts typically require some extra time.
Lastly, there’s no control for how often someone opens an oven door. This habit releases more heat than you would guess and lowers the oven temperature. Opening the oven door repeatedly can add on 30 minutes to one hour longer cooking time.
I recommend baking a standard 5-pound turkey breast covered with foil for one hour at 325 degrees, then removing the foil for the remainder of the roasting time and checking the temperature with a digital thermometer periodically.
For the best result, I always recommend using an instant read thermometer for an easy way of ensuring you end up with tender turkey breast.
The final cooking temperature of a turkey breast for food safety should be 165 degrees F, but you can often pull it out of the oven a little sooner as it will continue cooking while it rests.
Tips for Cooking the Best Turkey Breast:
Tip #1: Large roasts continue cooking after they are taken out of the oven, so you may consider pulling the breast out once it reaches 160 degrees F.
Tip #2: Be sure to thaw the breast completely before you marinate it and cook it. This ensures the breast cooks as evenly as possible.
For the best results, thaw the frozen turkey breast in the refrigerator for several days before you intend to prepare it.
This is the best way to end up with juicy turkey breast in combination with marinating and using an instant-read meat thermometer.
Tip #3: I have seen some recipes on the internet that recommend flipping the turkey part way through the baking process. If you’d like to try this method, start with the turkey breast skin side down, then flip it to skin side up 1 hour into roasting.
The thought process behind this is to get an even bake, but I’ve found roasts of all types do just fine without flipping.
Can I Make Gravy?:
I end up with very little pan juices, which makes homemade gravy a bit of an impossibility. If you’d like gravy, I would recommend making it from scratch using a gravy recipe you love, or buying a gravy packet.
For those of you who enjoy sausage gravy, I’m obsessed with my Dairy-Free Sausage Gravy recipe.
If you happen to end up with pan drippings at the bottom of the pan, feel free to use them to make gravy or spoon them over the meat when it has finished cooking.
How to Store Leftover Turkey:
Transfer any leftover breast meat to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Enjoy the leftovers in a sandwich the next day!
Serve turkey breast with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
For smaller gatherings, turkey breast is the perfect alternative to cooking an entire turkey.
Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes that I like to prepare every year during the holiday season.
Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
- Crock Pot Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Crock Pot Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Gluten-Free Cornbread
- Pear Apple Avocado Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Garlic Herb Roasted Vegetables
- Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
And that’s it! Everything you need to know about cooking the perfect bone-in turkey breast. Make this easy bone-in turkey breast recipe for your holiday meal or any time of year!
Garlic Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- 1 (4.5 to 5.5-pound) bone-in turkey breast
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp black pepper to taste
- Remove the turkey breast from its packaging and place it on a flat surface such as a large plate or cutting board. Pat off any excess liquid with paper towels. Transfer the bone in turkey breast to a very large zip lock bag such as a jumbo 2.5-gallon zip lock bag.
- Combine the avocado oil (or olive oil), soy sauce (or liquid aminos), Italian seasoning, and fresh minced garlic in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. If you have a small blender like a nutribullet or a Magic Bullet, you can blend the marinade ingredients (this is what I do).
- Pour the marinade into the large zip lock bag with the turkey breast. Seal it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
- When you’re ready to roast the turkey breast, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and move an oven rack to the shelf that’s second from the bottom (the goal is to give distance between the turkey skin and the top heating element). Bring out your roasting pan and pour 1 cup of chicken broth, apple cider, water, or white wine into the bottom of it before placing the wire rack on top.
- Remove turkey from the zip lock bag (or vacuum seal bag) and place turkey breast on the roasting rack. You can pour any marinade into the bottom of the roasting pan if you’d like.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes per pound, until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes uncovered then cover the turkey breast with aluminum foil and bake for the remainder of the time. My 5.25-pound roast took 2 hours and 15 minutes to roast. I didn’t bring it to room temperature before roasting and transferred it straight from the refrigerator to the roasting pan, so it took closer to 25 minutes per pound.
- Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and wait for the numbers to stop moving to get an accurate read.
- Allow the turkey breast to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
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