Juicy roasted turkey breast cooked in a delicious white wine marinade and roasted until golden perfection. The perfect turkey dinner for a couple or a small family. Great for a special Sunday dinner or Thanksgiving!
This dry-brined, wine roasted turkey breast turns out amazingly juicy, tasty, and crispy on top every time!
Turkey often has a bad reputation because it can turn out dry if it is not cooked properly.
Besides, roasting a whole turkey requires so much fuss: Hours and hours of thawing, brining, and roasting only to yield disappointing results and wayyyy too much leftovers from a full turkey!
This juicy roasted turkey breast is the answer to ALL your Thanksgiving turkey problems! This is a perfect recipe for couples and small families who want to enjoy flavorful, herb roasted turkey and a traditional turkey dinner without having to fuss with a whole turkey!
Roast turkey breast is also a great option for large families for whom one whole roasted turkey might not be enough, or for families who prefer the white meat over the dark meat!
I'll share my tricks with you to make the juiciest turkey breast that will be the star of your holiday dinner!
Related recipe: Leftover Turkey Pot Pie
What makes this roasted turkey breast recipe so special?
Three things make this roast turkey breast extra delicious:
- Dry brining. More on dry-brining turkey later!
- White wine. Lots of white wine.
- Butter. You can use a plant-based butter substitute if you need to keep this dairy-free!
Dry brined turkey breast
What is dry-brining, you ask? Dry-brining is seasoning turkey with salt, and letting it sit in the fridge.
Dry brined turkey is a much easier to make compared to wet-brining, which is letting turkey marinate in salt water. With dry brining, there's no sloppy raw turkey water to worry about. Just a neat, salt-rubbed turkey breast.
Dry brining is great for large cuts of white meat (such as turkey breast) that can otherwise turn out dry and bland inside, because the salt penetrates the turkey breast and starts to make the meat nice and tender (and flavorful!). I use dry brining to make smoked brisket... so good!
This roast turkey uses a dry brine or salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
White wine roasted turkey breast
This turkey breast gets poached / roasted in a delicious white wine mixture with fresh herbs and garlic. This white wine mixture prevents it from drying out while baking.
What kind of wine to use: I used a dry white wine (not-sweet wine) for this turkey. The wine doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, it should just be a wine that you would enjoy drinking on its own. Some dry white wines you can use to roast turkey are: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, or Pinot Grigio.
Don't want to cook with wine? Use chicken broth in place of the wine to roast the turkey in delicious broth!
Buttery golden brown turkey
For the last step, the turkey breast gets slathered in butter and roasted at a higher temperature just for a few minutes to create that gorgeous golden brown crust that is irresistible.
Sounds good?? Let's get started! Here's what you need:
For the turkey breast and dry brine:
- 1 boneless skinless turkey breast (about 2 lb, see recipe notes for what to do with a larger turkey breast)
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
For the white wine mixture:
- 2-3 garlic bulbs, peeled (leave the garlic cloves whole, don't mince them!)
- 1 bottle dry white wine (yes, that's one bottle! Grab another one to sip on while you're cooking 🙂 )
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
You will also need:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (you can reduce this to 2 tablespoons, but your turkey breast might not come out as golden brown)
- A baking pan that's a little larger than your turkey breast (but not too much larger!) plus another baking pan (but you can get away with one baking pan, keep reading!)
- Parchment paper - optional but nice to use!
How to make roast turkey breast
Step 1: Dry-brine the turkey breast: Season the skinless, boneless turkey breast by rubbing salt, pepper, and minced garlic all over the turkey breast. Let the salt-rubbed turkey breast sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking pan with the wine mixture: arrange whole garlic cloves on the baking sheet in a single layer. Pour the wine on top, and gently stir in the minced onion. Add the fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and lime juice.
Place the turkey breast into the wine mixture, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes. If your chicken breast is much larger than 2 lbs, increase the baking time by about 15 minutes for every pound.
Step 3: Here you've got two options:
Option 1: Carefully strain the white wine from the baked turkey breast (it's hot! be careful! You might want to save some to add to homemade gravy). Leave the garlic cloves in the baking pan.
Option 2: Grab another baking pan, and carefully transfer the turkey breast and the whole garlic cloves onto the new baking pan. Either way is fine - you just want to roast the turkey breast and garlic cloves without the wine mixture in the next step!
Step 4: Turn the oven temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slather the turkey breast with softened butter and roast at 450F for 10-15 minutes, or until the top of the turkey breast turns a gorgeous golden brown.
Let the turkey rest for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, then slice it and serve with your favorite sides (ideas below!)
How many servings does a turkey breast make?
This is a hard question to answer because it really depends on the size of the turkey breast, which can vary from 2 lb to about 8 lb, and also depends on how much each person will eat (which partially depends on how many other sides and appetizers you are serving!).
To be on the safe side, I would plan for about half a pound of turkey breast per adult, so a 2-lb turkey breast will yield about 4 large servings.
It's better to have leftovers than not enough, right?? Besides I have a few delicious leftover turkey recipe ideas for you below.
Got leftover turkey?
Thanksgiving sides to go with roasted turkey breast:
- Scalloped potatoes au gratin or the potatoes au gratin from this list of canned potato recipes
- Pan fried Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon (going with that whole turkey theme!)
- Mashed butternut squash with white beans
- Roasted butternut squash and chickpea casserole
- Fall apple mandarin spinach salad with lemon poppy seed dressing
Easy holiday appetizers:
Easy Thanksgiving desserts:
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Roasted Turkey Breast
- 1 lb small turkey breast - (about 2 lb)
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic - finely minced
- 2-3 bulbs garlic - peeled and separated into cloves - not minced!
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1 white onion - finely diced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme - (or about 2 tablespoons dry thyme)
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary - (or about 2 tablespoons dry rosemary)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice - (from 1 lime)
- 2 oz unsalted butter - , divided and softened at room temperature
- Baking pan
- Pat the turkey breast dry with a clean paper towel. Combine the salt, pepper, and minced garlic and rub all over the turkey breast. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium baking pan, arrange the peeled whole garlic cloves in a single layer. Place the seasoned turkey breast on top of the garlic cloves. Then add all the ingredients from the wine mixture to the pan.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast at 350F for 30-35 minutes. It's OK if the turkey breast is not fully cooked yet.
- Strain the wine: Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven and strain the wine mixture (it will be hot! you can use the wine mixture to make gravy!), leaving the garlic cloves and turkey breast in the baking pan. *OR* Grab another clean baking pan and line with parchment paper. Carefully remove the garlic cloves and turkey breast from the wine marinade and place onto the new baking pan.
- Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread a layer of softened butter on top of the turkey breast. Return the turkey to the oven and roast at 450F for 10 to 15 minutes, or just until the top is golden brown and the turkey is fully cooked with an internal temperature of 165F.Let the turkey rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve the turkey breast with roasted garlic (it makes an amazing spread) and your favorite sides (see notes for side dish ideas!)
- The total cooking time for a 2-lb turkey breast should be 45-50 minutes, or a little more or less, depending on the size of the turkey breast. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer, it should reach 165F in the thickest part. Try not to overcook it so the turkey breast doesn't dry out! If your turkey breast is larger than 2 lb, increase the wine-roasting step by 15 minutes for each pound over 2 lb.
- Save that strained wine! Add a quarter to a half a cup of that wine mixture that you strained to your favorite gravy recipe!
- Some amazing sides to go with roasted turkey breast:
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.