Learning how to cook turkey breast isn't rocket science. This classic staple for holidays and get-togethers is a tender white meat that cooks easily in an oven. The trick is knowing how long to cook turkey breast; it can dry out easily.

By Zoe Zuidema
You'll still roast these turkey breasts in the oven, but thanks to the sweet and spicy barbecue rub, it'll taste just like a BBQ smoked turkey.

Knowing how long to cook turkey breast is key to making a perfect main dish. Our simple tutorial will help you master the essentials and provide correct turkey cooking times along with our favorite turkey breast recipes.

Get the recipe for BBQ Spice-Rubbed Turkey Breast.

Tips for Cooking Turkey

When pounding meat, be sure tokeep the thickness even.

Storing and Thawing Turkey Keep raw turkey in its original package in the refrigerator. Cook within 2 days of purchase. For longer storage, freeze turkey for up to 2 months. Before freezing, wrap turkey in foil for the freshest result. 

Avoid thawing turkey at room temperature. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 9 hours or microwave on the defrost setting only.

Is It Done? A thermometer is the most accurate method of checking if your turkey is done. You should not determine its doneness by color of the meat.

Thanksgiving 101


1/4 cup softened butter

1 clove minced garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs, such as thyme and garlic

Salt and cracked black pepper

1 turkey breast, about 3 pounds

Step 1: Prep

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove turkey breast from bag to pat dry and remove skin. Place breast on a flat, lightly greased roasting rack in a 2-inch-deep pan. For the best appearance, brush lightly with vegetable or cooking oil.


Step 2: Season

Mix together butter, garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush half the butter mixture over turkey breast. Reserve the remaining butter mixture and loosely cover turkey with foil.

Step 3: Cook

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the breast. (The thermometer should not touch bone.) Roast for 45 minutes.

Remove and baste with remaining butter mixture. Return to oven to roast for 45 to 60 more minutes or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.

Remove from oven and allow turkey to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

More Turkey Breast Recipes

Dress up your bone-in breasts with a hazelnut crust and plate with oranges, kumquats, and bay leaves. Your whole table will think that absolutely nothing is missing.
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