Lemon, Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-18 copyDo you prefer white meat over dark meat on a turkey? I know in my family, everyone has their own personal favorites – some like the dark meat, some only like breast meat and there are others who like the wings. There are several reasons why you should prepare a turkey breast. 1. If you prefer the white meat to the dark. 2. If you have a small gathering for Thanksgiving or another dinner when you don’t want to make a 15-pound bird. 3. If you have a really large gathering and having more meat would be a good idea, but you don’t want to make 2 birds. Roasting a turkey breast is much easier and takes less time than roasting a whole turkey.

I used a lemon, garlic and herb butter to rub all over the turkey to give it lots of flavor. The butter seeped into the turkey as it roasted and made it really juicy. Even the leftover turkey was really tender and packed with flavor. I used a boneless turkey breast, but you can also use a bone-in turkey breast and it will work just as well. I think the boneless option looks a little neater, since it’s tied up like a roast, and it’s a bit easier to serve since you won’t have to cut the bone off. The lemon, garlic, and the assortment of fresh herbs really penetrated into all of the meat, since I marinated it overnight and the flavors complement each other really well. I would suggest making this for any other holiday when you’re having company and any day of the week for your family, not just on Thanksgiving. 

Ingredients:

1 boneless turkey breast (about 3 lbs)

4-6 Tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

4-6 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 Tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.

1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

salt, ground black pepper

Instructions: Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-17 copySeason the turkey breast with salt and ground black pepper on all sides. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-12 copyMeanwhile, melt 1/2 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook the minced garlic in it for about a minutes, just until it becomes fragrant and starts to turn lightly golden. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-16 copyPut the garlic into a medium bowl and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the minced fresh herbs. Mix to combine. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-15 copy Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-14 copy Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-13 copyRub the garlic herb butter all over the underside of the turkey and under the skin. Depending on the size of the turkey breast you are using, you might have some butter left over. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-11 copy Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-9 copyUse kitchen twine to tie around the turkey to keep it in a neater package and so that it cooks more evenly. Rub the remaining herb butter mixture on top of the turkey breast. For best results, leave the turkey to marinate overnight, but you can also roast it immediately. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-7 copyPreheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan and cook until the turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. A 3 lb boneless turkey breast will take approximately 1 hour to roast. Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-5 copyAllow the turkey to rest for about 10 minutes before removing the kitchen twine and slicing it to serve.Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1 copy *You can also butterfly the turkey, by cutting 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. Open it like a book. Pound the turkey breast gently to get an even thickness. You will then roll up the turkey breast before tieing it up with kitchen twine. *You can also use a bone-in turkey breast for this recipe. Season the turkey breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub the lemon herb butter under the skin and on top of the skin. You will not need to use kitchen twine for the bone in turkey. Continue with the rest of the recipe as directed.Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast-1-18 copy

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Lemon, Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 boneless turkey breast (about 3 lbs)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt, ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Season the turkey breast with salt and ground black pepper on all sides.
  2. Meanwhile, melt ½ Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook the minced garlic in it for about a minutes, just until it becomes fragrant and starts to turn lightly golden.
  3. Put the garlic into a medium bowl and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the minced fresh herbs. Mix to combine.
  4. Rub the garlic herb butter all over the underside of the turkey and under the skin. Use kitchen twine to tie around the turkey to keep it in a neater package and so that it cooks more evenly. Rub the remaining herb butter mixture on top of the turkey breast. For best results, leave the turkey to marinate overnight, but you can also roast it immediately.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan and cook until the turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
  6. A 3 lbs boneless turkey breast will take approximately 1 hour to roast.
  7. Allow the turkey to rest for about 10 minutes before removing the kitchen twine and slicing it to serve.
  8. *You can also butterfly the turkey, by cutting into the thickest portion of the turkey breast, keeping the knife ½ inch above the cutting board and stopping ½ inch from the edge of the breast. Open it like a book. Pound the turkey breast gently to get an even thickness. You will then roll up the turkey breast before tieing it up with kitchen twine.
  9. *You can also use a bone-in turkey breast for this recipe. Season the turkey breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub the lemon herb butter under the skin and on top of the skin. You will not need to use kitchen twine for the bone in turkey. Continue with the rest of the recipe as directed.

13 Comments

    • olgak7

      Since the turkey breast is being marinated overnight, the garlic is a lot harsher than if you were to cook it right away. I think the flavor of the garlic becomes much better when it’s cooked first and in turn, the turkey tastes much better. If you prefer, you don’t have to cook it, Nelya. In my opinion, it tastes better this way. I’ve tried it both ways.

  • Alesya

    I really want to try making the turkey breast this year rather then the whole turkey. The recipe is very easy to understand so thank you for that. I do have a question about the marinade you used.

        • olgak7

          I’m not sure what you mean, Alesya. Everything is described in the recipe.
          I seasoned it on all sides with salt and pepper, then made a lemon, garlic and herb butter that I rubbed the turkey all over with. The salt, pepper and all the seasonings, herbs and lemon are what the turkey is marinating in. I hope that clarifies it. I didn’t do anything that I didn’t talk wbout in the recipe.

          • Alesya

            I thought you meant that you marinated it over night like a traditional turkey. I am so sorry for that. When I think of marinade I think of leaving the meat for a while to soak in all the flavors.

          • Alesya

            Oh my goodness. I just went back and reared the recipe. I can’t believe I missed a whole sentence of the directions. Guess that’s what happens when you multi task. I do apologize

  • Darya

    Made this today for our small Thanksgiving dinner. Used 6 lbs bone in breast (that was the only option in my local store). Made sure it “marinated” in butter overnight. Followed the recipe for the butter rub (used the same herbs Olga recommended, also put one rosemary twine and small piece of lemon into the bone cavity, figured it wouldn’t hurt). Roasted for roughly 2 hours, but had to cover the top in foil after about 1 hour, the browning was pretty fast. It came out excellent – the flavor is great, the meat is soft and juicy, probably the best turkey I had in a while. And I made it! 🙂

  • Carol Ann

    I had wanted to roast a turkey breast for easter, but was unable to obtain it so had to buy a small turkey.
    Thank you for your recipe, Olga. I will be using it in the future. It looks positively scrumptious!

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