Crockpot Turkey Breast is the easiest way to cook turkey! This foolproof slow cooker method frees up oven space and yields tender, juicy turkey breast. Perfect for a holiday feast yet it’s simple enough for a weeknight dinner (plus leftovers make the best sandwiches).
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Here’s a simplified version of holiday turkey, no oven required. You just need a decent size slow cooker (6 to 7 quart) and to plan a bit of extra time for that low and slow cooking.
It’s a no fuss method that yields a deliciously seasoned, butter infused turkey breast, plus plenty of drippings for turkey gravy to pour atop. It’s final result of tender juicy turkey made with less hassle may have you turning to this method year over year.
This is also a great option if your family only likes the white meat of turkey, no need to even start with and waste the dark meat. No turkey thighs here.
Pair this turkey breast with some other simple sides to round out the holiday meal such as buttery slow cooker mashed potatoes, quick sauteed green beans, tender 1-hour dinner rolls, and finish with the easiest 5-ingredient pumpkin pie.
A simplified feast with classic, comforting, homestyle flavor.
Crock Pot Turkey Breast Recipe Ingredients
- Bone-in turkey breast: This recipe uses whole bone in turkey breast, not a single boneless. Thaw in fridge beforehand if frozen.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter will be fine here.
- Dried thyme and rosemary: These are classic herbs for pairing with turkey that enhance its flavor.
- Garlic powder and fresh: I like to use dried powder for the turkey for even seasoning that’s not so bold and 1 clove in the broth for the drippings.
- Salt and black pepper: It’s hard to give an amount of salt to use as each brand of turkey infuses with various amounts of salt solution (they are usually pre-brined). Use a decent amount but just remember you can always season with more later rather than adding too much at the beginning that can’t be removed.
- Paprika: This is optional but adds a bit of color so the crockpot turkey doesn’t look pale.
- Onion, carrot and celery: These veggies are used to season the drippings which makes for a more flavorful gravy.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: The turkey cooks with this to season it a bit and it also is needed for the gravy.
How Much Turkey Breast to Plan Per Person
- For bone-in turkey breast plan on 3/4 pound per person.
- With other recipes if using a whole turkey plan on 1 pound per person, or if using boneless turkey breast 1/2 pound per person.
- The weights are different because of the additional weights of bones and cartilage between whole, bone-in breast, and boneless breast turkey portions.
How Long to Thaw a Frozen Turkey Breast
- If using a frozen turkey breast for this recipe don’t forget to thaw the turkey breast completely beforehand. It should not be cooked frozen.
- For a 6 to 7 lb bone-in turkey it will take about 2 fulls days of thawing in the refrigerator. Cook within 4 days of thawing.
- To thaw faster place in cold tap water (fully submerged) and thaw for 3 to 5 hours, while changing water every 30 minutes to keep turkey cold.
How to Cook Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker
- 1. Make seasoned butter: In a small mixing bowl mix together butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.
- 2. Prep turkey: Separate the skin from the turkey breast (enter near the neck) using the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to tear through the opposite end so the butter doesn’t run out.
- 3. Rub butter over turkey: Rub butter under the skin and spread out by rubbing over the top of the skin.
- 4. Add veggies and broth: Place onions, carrots and celery in slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth.
- 5. Set turkey breast in crockpot: Place turkey breast over veggies (use the veggies to help prop it up and also to keep it from touching the sides of the slow cooker).
- 6. Sprinkle over paprika and season with salt and pepper.
- 7. Cook through: Cover and cook on low heat just until center of thickest portion registers 160 degrees on an instant read food thermometer.
How Long to Cook Turkey Breast in Crock Pot
- A whole 6 to 7 lb bone-in turkey breast will take about 5 to 6 hours on low heat.
- Optional broil: If desired you can broil the turkey breast on a baking sheet for about 2 – 3 minutes for a golden brown skin.
- Rest it: Let slow cooker turkey breast rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving.
How to Make Gravy with Drippings from Slow Cooker
- 1. Drain the broth through a fine strainer into a liquid measuring cup. There should be about 2 1/2 cups. Skim off 2 Tbsp of the fat from the top and add to a saucepan (don’t add any liquid or it will clump the gravy). Then add more chicken broth as needed to equal 3 cups in liquid measuring cup.
- 2. In a medium saucepan melt butter with the fat over medium heat. Add flour and whisk and cook 1 to 2 minutes. While whisking pour in turkey broth/chicken broth mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 3. Cook and whisk until thickened. Serve turkey gravy over sliced turkey.
Helpful Tips for Slow Cooking Turkey Breast
- Use bone-in turkey breast for more flavor. This will make more flavorful meat and gravy.
- Cook just to the proper temp of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (resting at room temp it will continue to rise 5 more to degrees to food safe temp).
- Slow cooker brands vary. Every slow cooker cooks different (Crockpot brand tends to cook hot and fast), so keep this in mind when estimating time for the turkey to cook.
- Rest turkey before carving. Letting the meat rest off heat for 10 minutes will help the juices evenly redistribute so this ensures that more of the juices stay in the meat rather than ending up on the carving board leaving you with dry turkey.
More Crockpot Thanksgiving Recipes to Try
- Crockpot Ham
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Crockpot Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
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Crockpot Turkey Breast
- 6 lb bone-in turkey breast (whole with two breasts), thaw completely beforehand if frozen*
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, halved and peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large celery rib, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- In a small mixing bowl mix together 1/4 cup butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.
- Separate the skin from the turkey breast (enter near the neck) using the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to tear through the opposite end so the butter doesn't run out.
- Rub butter under the skin and spread out by rubbing over the top of the skin.
- Place onions, carrots, celery, and garlic clove in slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth. Place turkey breast over (use the veggies to help prop it up and also to keep it from touching the sides of the slow cooker).
- Sprinkle over paprika and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low heat just until center of thickest portion registers 160 degrees on an instant read food thermometer, about 5 to 6 hours. If desired you can broil on a baking sheet for about 2 - 3 minutes for a golden brown skin.
- Let turkey breast rest 10 minutes before carving.
- Drain the broth through a fine strainer into a liquid measuring cup. There should be about 2 1/2 cups. Skim off 2 Tbsp of the fat from the top and add to a saucepan (don't add any liquid or it will clump the gravy). Then add more chicken broth as needed to equal 3 cups in liquid measuring cup.
- Meanwhile in a medium saucepan melt 1/4 cup butter with the fat over medium heat. Add flour and whisk and cook 1 to 2 minutes. While whisking pour in turkey broth/chicken broth mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook and whisk until thickened. Serve over sliced turkey.