Best Ever Turkey Breast Recipe (Instant Pot)


Total Time: 40 minutes

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This Instant Pot Turkey Breast is ultra-juicy and tender with the best crispy, seasoned outside! The very best way to cook a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, special occasions, Sunday dinner, or any holiday menu!

For more amazing Thanksgiving recipes, head on over to my posts for Slow Cooker Glazed Ham, Thanksgiving stuffing, Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Baked Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

cooked turkey in pressure cooker pot

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for so many reasons. Of course, because of the food, and the family and friends, but also because it kicks off all of the holiday season festivities and I’m so giddy for the holidays. 

But, practically speaking, Thanksgiving is also a holiday full of planning and organization and trying to figure out how to get all of the food ready at the same time with limited kitchen space. I have the solution for that: cooking turkey in an Instant Pot. That’s right! It’s fast, it’s delicious, it’s juicy, it’s moist, and it’ll make you a believer in mixing up your cooking methods to make the most of your Thanksgiving meal. 

cooked turkey breast on serving platter

Here’s How You Make It

Cooking the Turkey

four steps of preparing turkey breast recipe
  1. First, set the Instant Pot/pressure cooker to SEAR. Then, rub the turkey breast all over with oil and drizzle a little extra into bottom of the pot. 
  2. Next, stir together the seasonings (Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika) and sprinkle them all over the turkey and gently rub it in with your fingertips.
  3. Now, transfer the turkey to the pot and sear for 4-5 minutes, rotating as needed to brown all sides.
  4. Add 2 cups water to the pot, being careful to pour into the side of the pot and not on the turkey so you don’t rinse off its seasonings. 
  5. Place the lid onto the Instant pot and lock it into position. Turn the vent valve to the SEALED position and set pot to PRESSURE COOK on HIGH or MANUAL for 30 minutes (see note, below).
  6. Once the cook time is up, do a quick release by turning the valve to RELEASE to let the steam out immediately (I like to take the pot outside so the steam is released outside instead of in my kitchen). While the pot is releasing pressure, preheat your oven to BROIL.
  7. When the float valve of the Instant Pot drops, take the lid off and use two forks to transfer the turkey to a small sheet pan or roasting dish. (Be sure to use two forks and not tongs as the tongs tend to scrape off that delicious seasoning we already seared onto the turkey!)
  8. Don’t throw the liquid out, instead add about a 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pot to the roasting dish and transfer the dish to the oven. Put the turkey in to broil for 3-5 minutes or until the outside of the turkey is crisp (being careful to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn).
  9. Once it’s done broiling, use two forks again to transfer turkey to a cutting board, and squeeze orange juice all over the turkey. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving it as this is the key to keeping your turkey super juicy on the inside!
four steps of preparing instant pot turkey breast

Make the Turkey Gravy

  1. To make the gravy (I start this while the turkey is resting), set the pressure cooker to SOUP
  2. In a small dish, whisk together the corn starch and water to make a slurry. Once the liquid in the pot comes to a rapid boil, stir in the corn starch slurry, and watch as it thickens. 
  3. Turn the pot off, season the gravy generously with salt and pepper, and serve over your sliced turkey. Enjoy!

Why This Recipe Works

Time saving – In all my years of cooking turkeys on Thanksgiving, I have never found a quicker way to cook a turkey that still resulted in a juicy, moist, easy quick turkey breast as this one in an Instant Pot is. 

Delicious – I’m sure you’re skeptical – I was too! In fact, before I cooked a turkey breast in an Instant Pot for Thanksgiving, I did two trial runs on random weekday nights to make sure it was worthy of a Thanksgiving meal – and it was perfection both times! 

Great for any time – Okay so we’re focusing on Thanksgiving here but honestly this turkey breast roast is great for any meal. Or, make it on Sundays for the week to slice up for sandwiches or easy dinner dishes. 

Easy clean up – One pot that’s all you have to clean up for this recipe. If you line your baking sheet with foil, then you just pull that off, throw it away, and viola – nothing to clean there either! 

cooked turkey breast on platter with rosemary

How to Cook Turkey in a Crock Pot

Cooking turkey in a Crock Pot is very similar to cooking it in an Instant Pot. 

  1. Sear the turkey breast in a skillet on the stovetop before putting in the slow cooker. 
  2. Then, oil the turkey breast and rub down with the spices listed in the ingredients section. 
  3. Put the turkey in the slow cooker on top of a quartered onion, some whole, peeled carrots, and a few smashed cloves of garlic (all optional). 
  4. Set the slow cooker to cook for 2 hours on high or 4 on low.  
  5. Take the turkey breast out of the slow cooker using the two forks method and put on a baking sheet lined with foil. 
  6. Broil the turkey briefly to crisp up the skin (again, optional)
  7. Finally, make gravy on the stovetop with the leftover juices – yum! 

Expert Tips

  • The cooking time for this Thanksgiving turkey recipe in an Instant Pot is for a 5-pound turkey breast. For each additional pound of turkey, you’ll want to add 2 minutes to your cooking time. 
  • The key to getting a juicy, moist, turkey breast is letting it rest for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the broiler. This locks al the juices in. If you cut right into it right out of the oven, you’ll have a super dry turkey. I promise, letting it rest is best. 
  • Store the turkey breast in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to five months. 
overhead view of sliced turkey breast on platter with oranges and rosemary

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Did you make this holiday turkey recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!

cooked turkey in pressure cooker pot

Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe

This Instant Pot Turkey Breast is ultra-juicy and tender with the best crispy, seasoned outside! The very best way to cook a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, special occasions, Sunday dinner, or any holiday menu!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

0 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Corn Starch Slurry for Gravy

Instructions

  • Set pressure cooker to SEAR. Rub turkey breast all over with oil, and drizzle a little extra into the pot.

  • Stir together seasonings (Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika). Sprinkle all over turkey and gently rub in with your finger tips.

  • Transfer the turkey to the pot and sear for 4-5 minutes, rotating as needed to brown all sides.

  • Add 2 cups water to the pot (do not pour over the turkey, pour to the side so you don’t wash off the seasonings!).

  • Place the lid on the pot and lock into position. Turn the vent valve to the SEALED position. Set pot to PRESSURE COOK on HIGH or MANUAL for 30 minutes (see note).

  • Once the cook time is up, do a quick release by turning the valve to RELEASE to let the steam out immediately (I like to take the pot outside so the steam is released outside instead of in my kitchen). While the pot is releasing pressure, preheat your oven to BROIL.

  • Once the float valve drops, remove the lid and use two forks to transfer the turkey to a small sheet pan or roasting dish. (Be sure to use two forks and not tongs as the tongs tend to scrape off that delicious seasoning we already seared onto the turkey!).

  • Add about a 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pot to the roasting dish and transfer the dish to the oven. Broil for 3-5 minutes until the outside of the turkey is crisp (but watch closely so it doesn’t burn).

  • Using two forks again, transfer turkey to a cutting board, squeeze orange juice over the turkey, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving (this is key to keeping your turkey super juicy on the inside!).

Make the Turkey Gravy

  • To make the gravy (you can do this while the turkey is resting!) set your pressure cooker to SOUP. Whisk together corn starch and water for the corn starch slurry. Once the liquid in the pot comes to a rapid boil, stir in the corn starch slurry and watch as it thickens. Turn the pot off, season generously with salt and pepper, and serve over your sliced turkey. Enjoy!

Notes

Cook time: the cook time is 30 minutes for a 5-pound turkey breast. Add 2 minutes for each additional pound. 
Let it rest!: I can’t stress enough how important it is to let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. If you cut into the turkey right after it finishes cooking, all of the juices leave the turkey and the meat becomes dried out. Trust me, let it rest! This gives the turkey time to lock in all those juices for the best, most flavorful and moist (sorry) turkey of your life. 
Slow Cooker: To make this in the slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker, sear the turkey in a skillet on the stovetop before transferring to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Proceed with broil step as written and transfer liquid to a sauce pan on the stovetop for the gravy preparation.

Nutrition

Calories: 417 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 82 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 204 mg, Sodium: 1177 mg, Potassium: 934 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 269 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 64 mg, Iron: 3 mg



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