Last week, I received a shipment of turkey related items from and Shadybrook Farms.  In the package was a frozen turkey breast.  I wanted to roast it to show the ins and outs of roasting a turkey.  So I picked up a couple of sides and some fresh herbs.  It was a small breast so I called a couple of friends to come over and try my pre-Thanksgiving feast.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Turkey Breast

The boneless turkey roasted to perfection. It was juicy and delicious.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

  • 1 Turkey Breast – Bone-in or Boneless
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/4 tsp dry sage
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Make sure to thaw your turkey breast.  It takes between 24-36 hours to thaw it completely.  Make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator and not out on the counter.  Next, remove it from the packaging and rinse it. Make sure to remove any giblets or gravy packets.

Shadybrook Farms Boneless Turkey Breast
Shadybrook Farms Boneless Turkey Breast

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To begin with, I did not read the package very well.  I thought I had a bone-in turkey breast.  So, I remove it from the netting to watch it fall apart.  Oops.  I spent the next 5 minutes trying to get it back in the netting.  Basically, a boneless turkey breast is a collection of pieces of meat from the turkey breast that are placed in a netting to hold their form.  Then they cover it in a piece of turkey skin to give you a way to keep the meat from drying out.  Plus, it allows you to have some crispy skin.  Tip – If you have a boneless turkey breast, don’t remove it from the netting.

Next, chop the garlic and herbs.  Place the garlic and herbs in a small bowl with the olive oil.  Mix the olive oil around until you have a nice paste.

Herb and Garlic Paste
Herb and Garlic Paste

Place the turkey breast on a cutting board and season with the paste mixture.  If you have a bone-in turkey breast, make sure to loosen the skin and place half of the paste mixture under the skin.  Then, cover the outside of the skin with the mixture.  If you have a boneless turkey breast, try to coat the entire turkey breast with the mixture.  You can also open the netting and slide some of the mixture into the turkey breast.  Since it is a collection of breast cuts, it is easy to insert some of the mixture into the meat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place the turkey into a roasting pan.  Since the breast is smaller than a whole turkey, I decided not to use a full size roasting pan.  Instead I used a dutch oven.  As long as your pan has high edges, you should be fine.  Since my dutch oven does not have a rack, I fashioned one out of carrots and celery.  Basically, I cut the carrots and celery in half lengthwise.  This will give you a flat surface to place against the bottom of the pan.

Vegetable turkey rack
Vegetable turkey rack

Place the turkey directly onto the carrots and celery.  Then, add 1/2 cup of white wine to the bottom of the pan.

Place the turkey breast onto the vegetable cooking rack
Place the turkey breast onto the vegetable cooking rack

Place in the oven and cook for 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours.  Cook until the internal temperature of the breast is 165 degrees.  I use a probe thermometer that is inserted at the beginning of the cooking process.  You set it to the correct temperature and then walk away.  It will beep when the turkey hits the correct temperature.  Basically, it gives you fool proof cooking.  Just place the probe into the breast, making sure it does not touch the bone.  Then place the turkey in the oven.  The cord is flexible so that it can be used through the seal of the oven door.  Place the computer part next to the oven.  Set it to 165 and wait for it to beep.

I highly recommend the Chef Alarm from Thermoworks.  It is high quality and is reliable every single time.

If you don’t have a probe thermometer, make sure to check the meat temperature with a hand-held thermometer. Thermometers are the easiest way to make sure a turkey is done.  I highly recommend the Thermapen from Thermoworks.  If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I suggest the Thermapop from Thermoworks.  All reliable and awesome products that I use constantly.

Make sure to check during cooking to see if the skin is browning too much.  If it appears as if the skin is starting to darken too much, cover it with some aluminum foil.  That will stop it from over-browning.

When the turkey breast is ready, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes covered with aluminum foil.  The turkey needs to rest before cutting.  This will give you the juiciest bird possible.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Turkey Breast

Slice the breast and serve with any number of traditional sides.

The boneless turkey breast was awesome.  Since I could insert the paste mixture directly into the meat, the bird was flavorful all the way through.  Further, the bird was juicy and tender.  I would definitely pick one of these up in the future.  It is pure meat, no waste and extremely tasty.
Whole turkey tips:  If you are going to do a whole turkey, triple the herbs, garlic and olive oil.  Also, add an hour to an hour and a half to the cooking time.  Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check for done-ness.    With a whole turkey you may have some browning issues and will most likely have to use an aluminum foil tent to prevent the turkey from over-browning.  Have a great Turkey Day!!!

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. Rex, great write up and you listed some very helpful pointers. I loved the ingenuity of your raised rack, functional and probably added something to the end result.

    Taylor does make some very good products. I have one of their pen thermometers that is almost as good as a Thermapen for 1/4th the cost of a Thermapen.

    • Thanks Chris. The vegetable rack totally added to the pan gravy. Plus it was easier to clean than a traditional roasting rack. I am a big fan of the Taylor meat thermometer. I have a ton of them lying around. I think a probe thermometer is the best choice for turkeys. Then you don’t have to open the oven and check, plus it allows you to entertain without always looking at the clock.

  2. Good pointers, especially in the use of a probe thermometer. It always amazes me how many people just want to ‘guesstimate’ by weight and time.

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