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Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 10 minutes to 1 hour, 40 minutes
Ready in 1 hour, 30 minutes to 2 hours
Makes 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 boneless turkey breast (approximately 2 1/2 pounds) with skin on
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, thyme, rosemary, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon zest.
2. Gently loosen the skin on the turkey breast with your fingers. Rub the breast all over with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, including underneath the skin. Rub 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture underneath the skin, then rub the remaining mixture all over the breast.
3. Arrange the turkey breast neatly with your hands, tucking the edges under. You’re aiming for your “roast” to be as cylindrical as possible. Tie the breasts with a few loops of kitchen string, making sure to tie it once lengthwise to help keep it’s compact shape.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
5. Time to sear the turkey breast. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the turkey breast skin-side down. Sear, turning the turkey breast back and forth periodically to make sure the skin sears evenly, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then turn the turkey skin-side up and sear the bottom and sides of the breast until lightly brown, about 3 minutes.
6. Place the turkey skin-side up in a small shallow roasting pan or baking dish. Pour the chicken broth into the base of the pan.
7. Roast the turkey for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the size of your breast) until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160 and the juices run mostly clear with a little pink, basting at the 35, 55, and 1 hour 15 minute marks (if your turkey is still roasting at that point). This should take between 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the exact size of your breast, but I recommend checking the temperature after 55 minutes to benchmark your progress. (The internal temperature of the breast will continue to rise after you remove it from the oven, so be very careful not to overcook it!)
8. Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board. Tent it loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Remove the strings from the turkey breast and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Hack Yes!
Cooking a turkey breast versus the whole bird is perfect for a smaller Thanksgiving party. It requires a fraction of the cooking time and fits even in the smallest ovens. (It also leaves more space in the oven for side dishes!)
Recipe by Serena Wolf of