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Marinated Turkey Breast

by victor

Sliced marinated turkey breast on a brown wooden cutting board.

I am completely in love with this roasted turkey breast recipe and I have no doubt that you will be too after you try it out.  It’s not your typical turkey breast . It’s roasted in a delicious marinade that adds great depth of flavor. If you are looking for an alternative to roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving, this recipe is a great option.

Turkey breast is easy to over-roast and make taste dry and chalky. To mitigate that, I used a similar technique to the one I used for making the slow baked chicken breast. The idea there is to roast the breast at a lower temperature with a small amount of liquid in the pan. Only instead of using chicken broth and butter I utilized my insanely popular killer chicken thigh marinade with a few tweaks, and it worked like a charm.

It’s recommended to marinate meat overnight or even for 24 hours for better flavor penetration. However, with this recipe you can go straight to roasting. I’ve tried both ways and both times turkey breast was very juicy, moist and ridiculously flavorful. Besides, those mouth watering pan juices will add a ton more flavor.

Looking for more great turkey breast recipes? Check these out:

Roasted Marinated Turkey Breast

Marinated Turkey Breast

5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted turkey, Thanksgiving, turkey breast
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Victor

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey breast (bone-in or boneless, skin-on, about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 3 rosemary twigs for garnish

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 8 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 rosemary twigs whole
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients together in a large bowl or a plastic Ziplock bag. Add the turkey breast and make sure that every part is covered with the marinade. If using a Ziplock bag, expel as much air as possible before sealing it. Marinate in a fridge for 12-24 hours. If marinating is not an option, roast the breast immediately and serve with those delicious pan juices - it will still be awesome.
  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Place the turkey breast into a deep baking dish and pour in the marinade. It's best to use a baking dish that is not too big otherwise too much liquid will evaporate. Bake uncovered on middle rack for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on size, until the internal temperature of the meat in the thickest part reaches 160F - the temperature will rise to 165F during resting (see Notes). Baste the top and the sides of the breast with pan juices about every 20 minutes - this will prevent the top from drying out and will help with browning.
  • If toward the end of baking the skin did not brown enough, turn on the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes. Do this before the internal temperature reaches 160F. I normally do it at about 150F internal. Monitor broiling process very closely as the skin can go from a nice deep-golden brown to charred pretty quickly.
  • Remove the turkey breast from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving. I find that it's best to transfer the breast to a serving platter immediately upon removing from the oven. If left to rest in the hot baking dish, the internal temperature will rise too much and meat will lose more moisture.
  • Carve the meat, place on a serving platter and garnish with fresh rosemary twigs. Serve with the pan juices (don't forget to discard the cooked rosemary twigs), they are out-of-this-world delicious.

Notes

I used to cook my chicken and turkey breasts to 165F and was quite happy with the results. After reading ThermoWorks' blog post on correct chicken cooking temperature (see link below) and doing some additional research, I changed my approach. I now cook lean breast meat to 155F and love the much improved results. 155F is the temperature at which I get the exact texture that I enjoy. You may choose to go a little lower or higher depending on preference, and that's absolutely fine. Note that if a turkey breast is pulled out of the oven at 155F the internal temperature will continue rising to about 165F.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 2583mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Links:
Thermal Tips: Simple Roasted Chicken—Cooking Chicken to the Correct Temperature

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Leave a Comment

 

33 comments

Sharon November 21, 2019 - 4:39 pm

I am excited to try this with all of the positive reviews, but wowzer- the sodium level is incredibly high. I may not even add the salt that’s on the ingredient list.

Reply
victor November 21, 2019 - 4:53 pm

I hear you, but most of that sodium is in the marinade, and only a small amount will make into meat. You can serve it without the pan juices, the sodium will be much lower.

Reply
Sharon November 21, 2019 - 6:03 pm

Thanks for that suggestion and the quick response! Have a great day 🙂

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victor November 21, 2019 - 6:47 pm

No problem at all. Have a great day too.

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kathleen k johnson November 6, 2019 - 3:08 pm

Can you cook this in a crock pot and take the lid off an half hour before taking it out. of the pot. Weill it brown?

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victor November 6, 2019 - 8:26 pm

I’ve made chicken breasts with this marinade in a crock pot. They won’t brown, unfortunately. If you want a good color on it, broil after cooking in the crock pot, or give it a quick sear before the slow cooking.

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Felix December 10, 2018 - 6:41 pm

I am impressed, I must say. I’ve tried many a turkey breast recipe and few I liked. This recipe is fantastic!

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Terry November 26, 2018 - 6:26 pm

I made this and it was fantastic! I will make this again, just a great recipe.

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victor November 26, 2018 - 8:22 pm

Thank you, Terry. Glad to hear that you liked it.

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Theresa Fitzpatrick December 5, 2019 - 7:03 pm

Hi you say use the pan juices but that would be full of fat from the olive oil and skin ?

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victor December 5, 2019 - 7:39 pm

You don’t have to, of course. You can also use breasts from young turkeys, they are smaller and have barely any skin fat.

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Krista Woodruff November 23, 2018 - 2:07 am

Served at our Thanksgiving dinner today and it was a huge hit. Tender and tasty turkey breasts that were beautiful and delicious! Love the rosemary touch! Thanks for making it so easy! A keeper for sure!

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Edra November 21, 2018 - 10:45 pm

Am I supposed to use the marinade sauce when baking? So, basically just put the whole dish in the oven like how I marinated? I marinated in a medium pan dish.

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victor November 21, 2018 - 11:02 pm

Yes, bake just like that, with the marinade in the pan. It will keep the meat moist and can be used later as a sauce to pour over the meat.

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Borkin November 20, 2018 - 9:07 am

Hello Victor,

Would like to marinate and roast turkey thighs this Holiday.

Do you recommend to cover them TIGHTLY with aluminum foil or without it? (Marinade is on the bottom of the baking dish.) What should be the oven temperature?

Thanks

Reply
victor November 20, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Roasted turkey thighs sounds like a great idea. This marinade works amazingly well on chicken and turkey. You can check out my marinated chicken thigh recipe post, everything will be very similar to turkey thighs.

As far as covering thighs tightly, it doesn’t matter. You want to make sure that the marinade covers the meat all over. I find that the ideal way is to put meat with the marinade inside a Ziploc bag, expel as much air as possible then close. This will ensure proper marination. If you want to go a simpler route and marinate inside the baking dish, it would be desirable to flip the meat a few times.

The temperature for the thighs should be 425-450F. I like 450F as it produces nice browning and very tender and moist meat. Chicken thighs cook for about 25-30 minutes. I would think turkey thighs would take about 10 minutes longer. I like thighs cooked to about 185F – 190F. Less than that and they taste under-cooked to me.

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Borkin November 20, 2018 - 3:47 pm

Victor,

The question is – should I cover thighs with aluminum foil LOOSE or TIGHT when roasting them on a rack in the baking dish and the marinade is on the bottom of the dish.

Then, at the end, the foil is taken off for the last 10-15 minutes to brown the skin.

“The devil is in the detail” 🙂

Thank you.

Reply
victor November 20, 2018 - 6:48 pm

Ah, that’s what you mean. I never cover so it did not occur to me that you were talking about covering while baking. Personally, I wouldn’t cover as I have to broil at the end due to lack of browning. Maybe it’s my oven. If you do cover, do it loosely to let steam out. You want to roast them after all, not steam.

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E. Snyder November 16, 2018 - 4:04 pm

How many does this serve?

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victor November 16, 2018 - 4:49 pm

I guess a 2-lb breast would be enough protein for 4 people, maybe even up to 6. A larger one will feed more.

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wisconsinporcupine November 13, 2018 - 1:29 pm

I’ve just discovered your site looking for injected turkey. Want to try that
on the big bird for the first time this Thanksgiving. I like how you make a
slurry with all the herbs, inject with butter and then add the herbs to the
skin of the bird for roasting. Would you change anything of your technique
to roast a whole turkey?

Reply
victor November 13, 2018 - 6:55 pm

I would keep everything the same, but I would spatchcock the turkey.

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wisconsinporcupine November 20, 2018 - 2:53 pm

Ha, I have spatchcocked chicken a few times, comes out
well, but looks like it has been run over by a truck!
I am going to use your recipe but keep the turkey proud on
the plate. Thanks for your advice.

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Olivia Martin September 27, 2018 - 11:11 am

I’ve made this a few times now and it does not disappoint! I actually made it for Easter and there were no leftovers because everyone went back 2 and 3 times to get more! It’s a delicious recipe and a great stretch from the normal roast bird. I also use chicken breasts and whole chickens sometimes too, and adjust the cooking times accordingly! Thanks for a great recipe!

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victor September 27, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Thank you for the feedback! I’ve tried this marinade, or a slight variation of it, on chicken thighs and chicken breasts and every time I loved the results. It’s a great and quite easy Thanksgiving recipe.

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Lucy Beliveau August 27, 2018 - 1:35 pm

All of your On the Menu recipes sound scrumptious but today, Roasted Marinated Turkey Breast gets my vote!! Turkey breasts are one of my favorite foods so, needless to say, Thanksgiving and Christmas offer me the best dinners ever! Without question, your gorgeous recipe for marinated turkey breast is going to be our Thanksging treat and, believe me, I can not wait!! However, now that I give this some real deep consideration, I realize it would be only wise of me to try the recipe first, before Thanksgiving! Good idea, huh?!

You know I love your blog! It’s beautiful, entertaining and oh, so full of helpful information! Thank you for your efforts! Lucy!

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victor August 29, 2018 - 8:59 am

You are very welcome, Lucy. I appreciate you taking time and writing a detailed feedback. I would definitely try this recipe before Thanksgiving, for many reasons, all good ones;).

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Maryse March 27, 2018 - 9:18 am

Made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious!! Served with sauteed dandelion greens, boiled potatoes, and cauliflower.

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victor March 27, 2018 - 9:33 am

Fantastic! Thanks for the feedback.

Reply
Cris November 21, 2017 - 7:33 pm

How big of a turkey breasts? or How many pounds of turkey breast?

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victor November 21, 2017 - 7:35 pm

The ones that I buy are about 2 – 2 1/2 lbs each (half-breast).

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Yvonne Ward November 8, 2017 - 11:01 pm

What kind of side dishes to go with this dish?

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victor November 9, 2017 - 6:01 am

My favorite side dishes for this type of meat would be mashed or baked potatoes. Rice (white, brown or wild) would be very good too. You would want to pair it with something that is not sweet, so yams or butternut squash for example would not be a great choice. Now that I think about it, I posted a smothered cabbage recipe recently, it would make a great side for this dish too.

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