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How to cook turkey breast in the oven or crock pot: step-by-step guide

how to cook turkey breast in the oven (1)

Outlines how to cook turkey breast in the oven or crock pot, how long to cook turkey breast, and delicious easy recipes to try out.

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Turkey breast is not only suitable when you want to build muscle or reduce calories. The lean meat serves as the basis for a wide variety of dishes, for creamy casseroles as well as for aromatic roasts. And in modern days, it stands in on many tables for the Christmas meal instead of a whole roast turkey.

Turkey breast combines three advantages: the meat tastes mild, it is lean and also provides large pieces — Larger than any other part of the poultry. All of these properties make turkey breast ideal for a wide variety of recipes, and enable different combinations of spices, flavors, sauces and side dishes. Ripe tomatoes, creamy mushroom cream sauce or dark roast gravy with a bitter note – a lot goes well with turkey. 

Also in terms of preparation method. Since it is low in fat but high in protein, turkey meat is also suitable as a basis for some very healthy recipes. Especially since turkey breast recipes are considered low in calories. 

You can also serve dishes with delicious fillings with the poultry meat.  However, turkey meat tastes particularly good as sliced ​​meat or goulash. Whether diced or cut into fine strips, refined with wonderful mustard nuances or wonderfully aromatic spices, with rice or vegetables, or even as a spaghetti recipe, the restrained taste of the meat is delicious.

You can deep-fry turkey breast in a batter, braise it heartily, steam in a saucepan, boil or stew, fry it in a pan or bake it in the oven. If you want to eat side dishes such as vegetables with your turkey breast, you will get a special roasted aroma if you briefly sear the turkey meat before actually preparing it, remove it from the pan and then sweat the vegetables in the same pan. This way, the full taste remains in the dish.

How to cook turkey breast: Preparing the meat correctly

One small hurdle you can easily stumble over with turkey breast recipes is the cooking time and method. If cooked incorrectly, the meat tends to be dry, but you can quickly avert the danger with a few simple tricks: If you use the pan for turkey breast recipes, sear the meat on each side for just over two minutes. The same applies to turkey breast strip recipes: The time in the pan should be short and heat-intensive. This also has the advantage that the skin becomes nice and crispy.

 Cook a sauce as well, using the same pan and the meat stock with it, of course, but remove the turkey. Put them back in just before serving. This is how the sauce for the turkey breast dish absorbs the aroma and the meat remains juicy. Try turkey breast recipes for the oven, make sure that there is always enough liquid in the roaster. Or you can just put the meat back in the pan for the final touch.

How to cook turkey breast in the oven: classic mustard and honey style

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 lbs (600 g) roast turkey (skin-on)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp coarse-grained mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • colored pepper from the mill
  1. Wash the turkey breast and pat dry with kitchen paper. Salt vigorously on all sides.
  2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the turkey breast on the baking sheet with the skin side up, brush with the mustard, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with plenty of colored pepper.
  4. Cook in a preheated oven at 250°F (180 ° C) (convection 320°F / 160 ° C); gas: level 2–3) for approx. 35 minutes.
  5. The meat is done when a core temperature of 175°F (80 ° C) has been reached (measured with a roasting thermometer in the middle of the meat).
  6. Take out, let rest briefly and serve sliced.

How long to cook turkey breast in the oven

Cooking times will vary according to the weight of your turkey breast or joint — these times apply for whole turkeys as well — but as a guide it is a good idea to allow 20 minutes per 2.2 lbs (1kg), plus another 70 minutes if the breast is under 8.5 lbs (4Kg), or plus another 90 minutes if it is over 8.5 lbs (4Kg), at a cooking temperature of 350°F/190°C/Gas Mark 4.

How to cook turkey breast in a crock pot

  • Turkey breast
  • olive oil
  • chicken soup
  • Turkey rub (see recipe below) or spices of your choice
  • Flour to make sauce
  1. First, add some celery and onion stalks to the bottom of your slow cooker. If you don’t have any of these on hand, add a few different vegetables. Your purpose is not to eat, but to keep the turkey from resting on the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Then lather the breast with a little olive oil.
  3. Then add the turkey rub or spices of your choice and cover completely on both sides.
  4. Add the breast on top of the vegetables. Pour the vegetable stock into the crock pot.
  5. Cook for about 3 hours at high temperature or 6 hours at low temperature.
  6. Check the internal temperature of the meat… it should be 165 degrees. 

Turkey rub mixture

  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sage
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme

Turkey breast with sun-dried tomatoes

how to cook turkey breast in the oven (1)

ingredients for 4

2 lbs (1 kg) Turkey breast, whole
4 Onion
2 Garlic clove)
1 small jar Tomato (s), dried, in olive oil
some stems of Rosemary, thyme, sage
6.5 oz (200 ml) cream
salt and pepper
6.5 oz (200 ml) Broth or stock (approx.)

  1. Wash the turkey breast, dry it and rub the chopped herbs all over. Salt and pepper lightly.
  2. Drain the tomatoes and pour the oil into a roaster pan. Heat and sear the meat in it.
  3. Remove the meat and sauté the diced onions and the finely diced garlic in the remaining oil.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, braise briefly and pour in a little broth or stock. Put the meat back in the roaster and add a few sprigs of herbs.
  5. Cook in a closed roaster at 390°F (200 ° C) for approx. 45 minutes with the lid on, then for approx. 20 minutes without the lid. Turn occasionally. Baste every now and then, refill any evaporated liquid. You don’t necessarily need the whole lot of stock to baste with. But it is important to baste the meat so that it stays tender.
  6. Take out the meat, bring the remaining stock (without the herb stalks) to the boil with cream, season to taste, possibly thicken.
  7. Slice the roast and serve with the sauce and bread.
  8. Instead of fresh herbs, you can also use frozen herb mixtures or dried herbs from Provence.