Make the juiciest brined boneless turkey breast! This simple recipe takes less time to cook than a whole turkey and is a great option for your holiday meal, especially if you are serving a smaller gathering.
Try our succulent and tender brined boneless turkey breast for your next feast! This easy-to-follow turkey breast recipe ensures a flavorful and moist turkey perfect for special occasions like Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas.
Learn how a simple brine can improve the taste and texture of your white meat, leaving your loved ones impressed and satisfied. Serve it with our Cheesy Smashed Potatoes.
🍁What is brining?
A cooking technique that involves soaking food, often meat or poultry, in a solution of saltwater along with other flavorings like herbs, spices, or sugar to enhance the moisture and flavor of the food being soaked.
The salt in the brine helps the meat absorb extra moisture, making it juicier when cooked. Additionally, the flavors from the brine can infuse into the meat, adding depth and taste.
When you're cooking turkey breast, brining is the best method. Unless you cook it in a lot of liquid, the turkey might end up dry without brining it. Brining takes away this problem entirely, making sure you get the juiciest and most delicious turkey.
🥘Why should you brine a boneless turkey breast?
- Enhances flavor: Brining infuses the boneless, skinless turkey breast with a blend of seasonings, herbs, and spices.
- Retaining moisture: This extra step allows the meat to absorb moisture, preventing it from drying during cooking and resulting in a juicier texture.
- Improves tenderness: Brining helps create a more tender and juicy turkey roast by breaking down proteins in the meat.
- No more dry meat: Boneless, skinless turkey breasts tend to dry out when cooked, but the brining process helps maintain moisture, ensuring delicious and moist results.
- Boneless turkey breast: I usually cook boneless turkey breast without the skin, but this recipe works just fine if you have a turkey breast with the skin on it, too.
- Whether it's fresh or frozen, both work well. If it's frozen, let it defrost in the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature before you start cooking. You'll want approximately 2-2 ½ lbs (1.2 kg) of boneless, skinless turkey breast for around four generous servings.
- You'll need some butter for rubbing the meat.
- Use your preferred poultry seasoning or dry rub, fine sea salt, and ground black pepper for seasoning. Try our Cajun Dry Rub for Wings, for instance.
- If using kosher salt, which is coarser, you will need a bit more of it (See Recipe Card).
- Brine ingredients: Hot tap water, fine sea salt or kosher salt, dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, red chili flakes, and apple juice to add sweetness and extra flavor. You can use fresh herbs if you like; add the sprigs to the pot of water.
🦃Make the turkey breast brine
Water, herbs, and salt.
Brining turkey breast.
- Salt solution: Dissolve salt in water. Place herbs in a tea bag.
- Prepare brining liquid: Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool and discard the tea bag and the bay leaves. Add apple juice.
- Brine turkey breast: Cover the boneless turkey breast with the liquid. Refrigerate for about 12 hours and bring the meat to room temperature before roasting.
👩🏻🍳How to roast a brined boneless turkey breast?
Dry well using paper towels. Rub it with the butter over the top.
Sprinkle the meat generously with the spices.
Place it in a roasting pan.
Roast for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).
- Let the boneless roast rest for 10-15 minutes before serving; during this time, the internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer (the Amazon link opens in a new tab) will reach 165°F (74 °C).
- Stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast to measure the temperature. Check out our article on Where to Put the Thermometer in a Turkey.
The best way to ensure the boneless turkey meat cooks just right without becoming too dry is by using an instant-read thermometer.
The cooking time is around 50 minutes, but it can change based on your oven and breast thickness. Begin checking the temperature after about 45 minutes.
Take the breast meat from the oven before it hits the safe internal temperature. As it rests, the inside temperature will go up to 165°F/74°C (recommended by USDA), making the breast juicy and really tasty.
Sure, but it will take longer to cook, so make sure you check the internal temperature.
Sure, you can use it for any other part of the turkey or chicken.
Typically, it's about 25 minutes per pound (450 g) at 325°F/160°C. Remove it just before it hits the safe internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. As it rests, the turkey breast will continue to cook a bit more and be perfectly done.
Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before use.
You can reheat slices in the oven, microwave, or pan.
You can also enjoy the leftovers cold in a sandwich, wrap, or salad.
- Sliced: Serve the sliced brined turkey breast as the main course alongside your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, dried cranberry sauce, or stuffing.
- Sandwiches: Use thinly cut slices to make delicious sandwiches or wraps with fresh greens, cranberry sauce, and a little mayo or mustard. Try our Turkey and Avocado Sandwich.
- Salads: Add chopped or shredded turkey breast to salads. It works well in green salads, pasta salads, or grain bowls. Make our Cranberry Chicken Salad using turkey.
- Soups or stews: Incorporate diced meat into hearty soups, stews, or casseroles.
- Appetizers like turkey sliders, mini sandwiches, or turkey-stuffed pastry bites for a delightful starter or party snack.
- Leftovers: Utilize leftover turkey breast in various ways, like making turkey orzo soup, turkey pot pie, enchiladas, quesadillas, or adding it to omelets. Check out our Thanksgiving Pasta Dishes to find more ways to incorporate the meat in other recipes.
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Brined Boneless Turkey Breast – So juicy!
- Large bowl or brining container
- Roasting tin
- 2.5 lbs boneless skinless turkey breast 1.2 kg, Note 1
- 2 ½ oz butter 70 g, Note 2
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning Note 3
Ingredients for the brine:
- 8 ½ cups water hot, 2 liter
- ¾ cup fine sea salt 220 g, Note 4
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- ½ tablespoon thyme
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups apple juice 1 liter
Make the brine:
- Salt solution: Pour the hot water (from the tap) into the pot. Add the salt and stir to dissolve.8 ½ cups water / 2 liter + ¾ cup fine sea salt / 225 g
- Fill the dried herbs and the chili flakes into a tea bag and close the bag with kitchen twine. If the bay leaves fit in the bag, you can also stick them in there; otherwise, place them in the pot.1 tablespoon rosemary + ½ tablespoon thyme + ½ tablespoon oregano + 2 bay leaves + ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Simmer brine: Add the tea bag to the water and bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the brine for 20 minutes.
- Cool: Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 – 30 minutes. Discard the tea bag and the bay leaves. Add apple juice to the brine.4 cups apple juice / 1 liter
Brine the turkey breast:
- Place the meat into a bowl. Cover the meat with the brine; the breast should be submerged in the liquid.2.5 lbs boneless skinless turkey breast / 2.2 kg
- Brine: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 12 hours. Remove the meat from the brine and bring it to room temperature before roasting (20-30 minutes).
Roast boneless turkey breast:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Dry the meat thoroughly using paper towels. Rub it with the butter over the top and sprinkle it with the spices.2 ½ oz butter + 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- Roast for 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer reaches 160°F (71°C) (Note 5).
- Let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before serving; during this time, the internal temperature will reach 165°F (74 °C).
- Meat: Boneless turkey breast with the skin on works, too. If using bone-in meat, you might need to increase the roasting time; ensure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature (165°F/74 °C).
- Butter: It's better to use unsalted butter since the meat already has salt from the brining process.
- Seasoning: Use your favorite poultry seasoning or dry rub, preferably one that doesn’t contain salt.
- Salt: I used fine sea salt. If using kosher salt, which is coarser, add 2 extra tablespoons.
- Cooking time: Typically, it takes about 25 minutes per pound (450 g) at 325°F/160°C. Remove the meat just before it hits the safe internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. As it rests, the turkey breast will continue to cook a bit more and be perfectly done.