How to cook turkey breast

We have lots of useful guides to help you become a pro when it comes to cooking Christmas turkey. From how to defrost a turkey to how to baste a turkey and we even have some helpful ideas on what to do with your leftover turkey.
For more inspiration, see our turkey breast recipes, plus ways to use leftover turkey.

We also have great helpful guides for creating the best Christmas dinner menus depending on the number of guests you need to feed. Check out our Christmas menu for two and Christmas menu for six as a good starting point, then check out more of our Christmas menu ideas.

How long to cook turkey breast

When it comes to oven temperatures and timings, roast turkey breast has the same requirements as a whole roast turkey. So, at a temperature of 190C/170C fan/gas 5, you’ll need to cook it for 40 mins per kilo, plus an additional 20 mins.

How to cook turkey breast

You needn’t give up your favourite flavourings or skip the brining process, if that’s how you like it.

Alternatively, you could wrap the turkey breast in pastry to make a wellington or cook it in a slow cooker – see our best turkey breast recipes for more ideas.

A turkey breast is also a useful way of bumping up the meat on Christmas Day without resorting to buying an enormous turkey, because there’s nothing that can go to waste. It makes better leftovers for sandwiches, too. In fact, because it’s a lean, low-fat, cheaper cut of meat, it’s becoming popular all year round, not just for Christmas.

Turkey breast is readily available in strips for stir-frying, steaks and fillets for pan-frying and grilling, and in cubes for casseroles and as mince for bolognese and meatballs. See our recipes using turkey mince and turkey steak.

Roast turkey breast recipe

Serves 4

1 large turkey breast or 1 double breast, tied into a joint
1 large onion, thickly sliced
1 carrot, cut into 4 horizontal slices
20g butter, at room temperature

  1. Take the turkey breast out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for an hour. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put a rack inside a baking tray with the onion and carrot underneath, or arrange the vegetables in a large ovenproof frying pan.
  2. Weigh the turkey breast and calculate 40 mins per kilo plus an additional 20 mins.
  3. Rub the butter over the skin and season well. Put the turkey breast on the rack or rest it on top of the veg. Pour in enough water to cover the veg, then cover the whole tray or pan with a tent of foil.
  4. Roast for the allotted time, taking the foil off 20 mins before the end to brown the skin. Test with the point of a knife and see if the juices run clear. If you have a thermometer, it should read 65-70C. If the joint isn’t cooked through, roast for another 10 mins.
  5. Leave the turkey to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins – it will keep cooking, so the final internal temperature will rise to 70C or just above that. Don’t skip this step, or the juices will all flow out as you carve.
  6. Use the strained veg and liquid in the bottom of the tray along with the resting juices in this gravy.

More turkey breast recipes for inspiration:

Stuffed turkey breast with garlic & cheese
Pancetta-wrapped turkey breast with lemon & herbs
Roast turkey breast wrapped in bacon
Slow cooker turkey breasts
Turkey, brie and cranberry Wellington

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