Juicy Bone-In Turkey Breast

This recipe for a a juicy bone-in turkey breast couldn’t be simpler. It’s so flavorful, and best of all, no brining is required!

bone-in turkey breast on a platter of herbs with lemon halves, sitting on a table with stuffing and mashed sweet potatoes.

Whether it’s a smaller gathering or a Thanksgiving with white-turkey-meat-lovers, there are some great reasons to choose this Juicy Bone-In Turkey Breast for the big day.

First, it’s easier to cook than a whole turkey. Since you don’t have to wait for the dark meat to cook, you can pull the turkey breast out at just the right temperature so it’s nice and juicy.

It also serves fewer people, so a turkey breast is great for smaller gatherings, or if you don’t want tons of leftovers.

Last year for Thanksgiving, I made an Olive Oil and Herb Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast. And it was delicious. But it requires brining, and since my fridge was already at capacity, I didn’t want to deal with that this year.

So I changed a few things to create this incredibly juicy Bone-In Turkey Breast with Lemon and Herbs. First, I used a bone-in turkey breast instead of boneless. While it’s a little more work to carve, the flavor that the bones provide more than makes up for spending a few more minutes carving.

Next, I chose a butter/lemon zest/herb rub for this recipe. The butter makes for an extra crispy skin (YUM).

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bone-in turkey breast with golden crispy skin, on a bed of herbs with a pomegranate cut open on the platter.

How to make a juicy bone-in turkey breast

We’ll start with the herb butter. Begin with softened butter. Leave it on the countertop at room temperature for two hours to soften it.

Then, mix in lemon zest, rosemary, sage and thyme. These are my favorite herbs, and I used the extra thyme for my stuffing recipe. You could use any combination of these herbs. So if you had thyme and rosemary but not sage, just use a little more of each!

Next, place the turkey on a roasting rack fitted in a pan. I use this one from Crate and Barrel, which we received as a wedding present. There are some seriously expensive ones out there ($200+) but this one is just perfect. And it brings me such joy to haul it out, because I use it mostly for special occasions. 🙂

Then, pat the turkey dry with paper towels. This ensures that the butter sticks to the skin, and that the skin gets nice and crispy.

Finally, slather the whole turkey with the herb butter (I used my hands) and place it in the oven.

The end result is a super juicy turkey breast with extra crisp skin.

sliced turkey breast on a platter garnished with lemon halves and pomegranates.

What temperature do I cook turkey breast to?

The safe temperature for turkey breast is 165°F.

After removing the turkey from the oven, it’ll continue to cook. So, remove the turkey breast from the oven when it reaches 155°F. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

I use OXO Good Grips Chef’s Precision Digital Leave-In Thermometer. You can set it to ding when the meat reaches a certain temperature, and it’s easy to use. Well worth the $40 price tag, in my opinion.

What can I do with leftover turkey?

I LOVE a good turkey sandwich, but this Turkey a la King is a great way to turn turkey into another comfort-food dinner.

Thanksgiving side dish ideas

I served this juicy bone-in turkey breast with Easy Vegetarian Sourdough Stuffing, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pecans, and Apple Cranberry Sauce.

Two more ideas for you: Mashed Potato Casserole is another great recipe that my family loves and Creamed Corn Casserole is a must-have on our Thanksgiving table!

table set for thanksgiving dinner with a turkey breast, sweet potatoes topped iwth pecans, cranberry sauce, china plates, and orange napkins.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

cooked turkey breast on a platter with herbs, lemons, and pomegranate halves.

Juicy Bone-In Turkey Breast

Published by Kate
This bone-in turkey breast is incredibly juicy, with no brining required!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 479 kcal


  • 8–10 lb bone-in turkey breast
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • Heat oven to 425°F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the butter, lemon zest, chopped rosemary, chopped sage, chopped thyme, and kosher salt.
  • Place the turkey breast in a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey. Sprinkle additional salt in the cavity.
  • Place in the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue to cook for another 75–90 minutes, or until the turkey reaches 155°F with a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part. Check the turkey after 60 minutes has passed—you may need to cover it with a piece of foil to prevent the turkey from browning too much. If the turkey looks very golden brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top of the turkey until it has completed cooking.


A roasting rack and a meat thermometer are key to this recipe.


Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 80gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 1633mgPotassium: 909mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 526IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Thanksgiving, turkey breast
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