Roast Turkey Breast with Sage and Rosemary

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 120 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

When you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, roasting a turkey breast is a timesaving substitute for a holiday dinner or other special gathering. Best of all, it’s much easier to cook a breast to perfection, since you don’t have to worry about it drying out while the thighs finish cooking. And spreading plenty of softened butter and fresh herbs under the skin before popping the breast in the oven ensures flavorful results every time.


  • 1 bone-in whole turkey breast, about 5 lb. (2.5 kg)
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. of the butter, the sage and rosemary until combined. Gently slip your fingers under the skin of the turkey breast and loosen it all over, being careful not to tear it. Using your fingers, spread the butter mixture evenly under the skin onto the meat. Rub the remaining 1 Tbs. butter evenly on the outside of the turkey breast. Season the breast all over with the salt and pepper.

Place the breast, skin side up, on a rack in a small roasting pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part away from the bone registers 165°F (74°C), 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or about 20 minutes per pound. If the top of the breast is getting too brown, tent loosely with aluminum foil. 

Remove the turkey breast from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for about 15 minutes.

Carve the turkey into slices, transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Recipe courtesy of Joshua McFadden, executive chef and owner of Ava Gene’s and founding partner of Tusk restaurant, Portland, OR

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