Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe

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Instant Pot Turkey Breast



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Creating a succulent, flavorful turkey breast in an Instant Pot is not only possible, it’s also a great way to save time and kitchen space, especially during the holidays. Cooking turkey in an Instant Pot ensures that the meat stays moist and tender, while also infusing it with your chosen flavors. This method is ideal for small gatherings or as a simple meal prep option.

Here’s a straightforward recipe to help you make a delicious Instant Pot turkey breast.


1 boneless turkey breast (about 3 to 4 pounds), thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or herbs of your choice)
1 cup chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, for gravy)
Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)


Prepare the Turkey Breast:

Remove the turkey breast from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. If your turkey breast has a net or is tied, remove those as well.


In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme. Rub this mixture all over the turkey breast, ensuring it’s evenly coated.

Sear the Turkey:

Turn your Instant Pot to the “Sauté” setting. Once it’s hot, add the turkey breast, skin-side down, and sear for about 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Use tongs to carefully flip the turkey and sear the other side for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the turkey from the Instant Pot and set it aside.


Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the Instant Pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. These bits add flavor to the dish.

Pressure Cook:

Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and lay the turkey breast on top of it. Secure the lid, making sure the vent is set to “Sealing.” Select the “Poultry” or “Manual” setting and set the time according to the size of your turkey breast (about 6 minutes per pound). Once the cooking time has ended, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.


Carefully remove the turkey breast from the Instant Pot and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring the meat is moist and tender.

Make the Gravy (Optional):

If you’d like to make gravy with the drippings, switch the Instant Pot back to the “Sauté” setting. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the pot and cook until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.


Slice the turkey breast and serve it with the optional gravy and your choice of sides. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Tips for Success:

Size Matters: Ensure your turkey breast fits comfortably in your Instant Pot. If it’s too large, it won’t cook evenly.

Broth for Flavor: Using chicken or turkey broth adds depth to the dish, but you can also use water in a pinch.

Natural Pressure Release: This step is crucial for keeping your turkey breast tender. Rushing this process can result in tougher meat.

This Instant Pot turkey breast recipe simplifies cooking a traditionally time-consuming dish, making it accessible for any day of the week or special occasions. Enjoy the tenderness and flavor that come from pressure cooking, and customize the seasonings to match your taste preferences and the occasion.

Customizing Your Instant Pot Turkey Breast

The beauty of cooking with an Instant Pot is the flexibility it offers. Here are some suggestions for customizing your turkey breast to suit your taste and occasion:

Experiment with Flavors:

Herbs and Spices: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices. Rosemary, sage, and marjoram are excellent with turkey. For a more international flair, consider a blend of paprika, cumin, and a touch of cayenne for a spicier kick.

Citrus and Aromatics: Adding lemon or orange slices, garlic cloves, and onion wedges to the broth can infuse the turkey with subtle, aromatic flavors.

Cooking from Frozen:

Yes, you can start with a frozen turkey breast! The key difference is cooking time. Plan on approximately 10 minutes per pound for a frozen breast, and skip the searing step to avoid splattering.

Serving Suggestions:

For a festive occasion, pair your turkey with classic sides like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans.

For a lighter meal, consider a quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad.

Sandwiches and Salads: Leftover turkey breast is perfect for sandwiches or can be added to salads for a protein boost.

Making the Most of Your Instant Pot

Cooking a turkey breast in an Instant Pot not only saves time but also helps in keeping the kitchen cooler and frees up the oven for baking pies or other dishes. Here are some additional tips to get the most out of your Instant Pot cooking:

Use as a One-Pot Solution: Consider adding vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or Brussels sprouts to the broth under the trivet. They’ll cook along with the turkey, absorbing flavors and saving you time.

Broth as a Base: The cooking liquid left in the pot is rich in flavor. Besides making gravy, it can serve as a base for soups or cooking grains like rice or quinoa.

Meal Prep Magic: Cooked turkey breast can be sliced or shredded and then refrigerated or frozen in portions. It’s perfect for quick meals throughout the week, from salads to tacos.

The Instant Pot transforms the way we cook turkey breast, making it a viable option for any day, not just special occasions. By following this simple recipe and considering the tips for customization, you can enjoy a moist, flavorful turkey breast with minimal effort. The versatility of this cooking method, combined with your creativity, can lead to many delicious meals that your family and friends will love.


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