You’ll be the talk of your holiday gatherings with this Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey Breast! With herb butter smeared under the skin so it drips down and bastes the turkey while it roasts, the skin is loaded with flavour while the flesh is beautifully juicy. This is epic!
Now available: the Slow Cooker version of this recipe with a Garlic Butter Gravy!
Roast turkey breast
The phrase “This side dish recipe is so good, it will steal the show!” is thrown around all too much, and I’m guilty of it myself. But for those of you responsible for the main event – here is a turkey against which no side, no matter how epic, stands a chance.
That herby garlic butter….. that juicy turkey breast – WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE PART IN THE VIDEO WHERE I SHOW YOU HOW JUICY IT IS!!!! Sorry for shouting, but I was so excited to be able to capture that snippet!
There are no words sufficient enough to describe to you how good this is. I don’t even know where to begin, but am going to have a good crack at it.
The story begins with a garlic herb butter. Imagine your greatest garlic bread experience. Remember how it oozes out of the soft bread when you bite into it? That salty, buttery, garlicky deliciousness.
Now, imagine that smeared very generously under the skin of a turkey.
Imagine what that herby garlicky butter is doing to the turkey, while it’s roasting away. All sorts of good things. It’s dripping down the turkey, very slowly because it’s under the skin, basting that turkey, infusing it with ridiculous amounts of flavour.
Yes, you need to get your hands dirty. Best hand moisturiser ever.
And as that butter drips ever so slowly down the turkey, some of it ends up in the pan, mingling with the turkey juices. Baste, baste, baste away, for extra buttery goodness.
Regular readers know I’m a pretty flexible laid back kind of cook. So when I put my foot down, you know there’s a reason for it.
I’m putting my foot down and saying – if you are responsible for the main event and are roasting turkey, no matter what recipe you are using – get a meat thermometer!!
No excuses. Especially fellow Aussies. Turkey is a once a year indulgence for many, and it isn’t cheap, so a meat thermometer is a small investment to ensure your turkey comes out as juicy as mine (wait until you see it!!!). El cheapo is fine – mine is this $6 one from Ebay. Get one NOW!
Ahh, those pan juices! The perfect sauce. No need to fuss around with gravy when you have a ready made sauce that tastes this good! That’s the reason why I roast the turkey on a bed of garlic and herbs – to infuse the pan juices with extra flavour so it can be used as the sauce.
Leftover turkey was never so good!
And with all that talk about this Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey, piping hot fresh out of the oven, I haven’t even started on the day after…
Leftover turkey was never so good. Now, I’m no food scientist. But I swear, something happened to that turkey overnight and the flesh became almost “cured” so it truly has a texture like the turkey deli slices. It’s a bit hard to capture it in photos, but I’ve tried – see how the slices are smooth? There’s no question – it’s the best leftover turkey I’ve had. You can eat it cold, straight out of the fridge, and you’d never describe it as dry.
Pile it onto warm rolls slathered with the garlic butter… because you saved the leftover butter sauce, the thought of throwing it out never crossed your mind – and to really take it over the top, add some cheese (I’m partial to provolone and Swiss).
A turkey so good, it makes you want to cry. Well, it makes me want to cry. 😂
What to serve with turkey
Turkey breast is more often than not a centrepiece for holiday feasting such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are some traditional and some of my personal favourite side dish suggestions!
Thanksgiving sides for turkey
Christmas sides for turkey
Your roast turkey breast will be the talk of the town
There’s no denying it – the prep is a bit fiddly and you do need to get in there with your hands to make sure the herb & garlic butter gets into all those cracks and crevices. If you’ve never massaged butter into meat before, you’re missing out – and you should rectify that immediately!
And just think how beautifully moisturised your hands will be after you make this, not to mention how you will be showered with compliments by all those fortunate enough to get some of your Famous Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey which will be remembered for years to come. 🙂
That’s what I’m here for. To make you look like a star! 😂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Breast
- 2.5 - 3 kg / 5-6 lb single turkey breast , skin on, bone in (Note 1), NOT BRINED
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Small bunch of fresh herbs - 4 rosemary sprigs , 8 sprigs sage, 10 thyme sprigs
- 12 garlic cloves , smashed with side of knife (see video)
- 150 g / 5 oz (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 tsp table salt or 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 large garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped sage , fresh
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary , fresh
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves , fresh
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves , fresh
- Take turkey out of the fridge 45 minutes before cooking (or 30 minutes if it's super hot where you are).
- Preheat oven to 200C / 390F (all oven types). Put rack in the lower middle position. (Note 3)
- Place garlic and bunch of herbs in the middle of a baking dish. (Note 4)
- Butter: Mix Butter ingredients together.
- Use an upside teaspoon to help loosen the skin from the turkey flesh (easiest to go under the paper thin layer under the surface skin). Video helpful here.
- Use about 2/3 of the butter, and smear it under the skin on the top half of the breast. Best to smear using hands under the skin (not on surface), to ensure it spreads as evenly as possible.
- Turn turkey upside down. Reserve about 2 tbsp butter for the surface, smear the rest on the underside.
- Place turkey in pan on the herbs, skin side up. Now smear skin with remaining butter - you don't want much on the skin because the herb bits burn.
- STOP HERE for make ahead - the turkey can be left like this for up to 24 hours. Remove from fridge 45 minutes before serving then proceed.
- Sprinkle top and sides of breast with salt and pepper all over. Place turkey in oven, turn DOWN to 180C/350F.
- Roast for 1 hr 30 minutes, basting all over every 30 minutes. (Note 5)
- COOK TIME / INTERNAL TEMPERATURE: The turkey is cooked when the meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part is 74C/165F. I check in several places. My 2.8 kg / 5.5lb bone in turkey took 1 hr 40 minutes.
- COVER turkey with foil when it becomes golden to your taste, at any point during the cook time (1 hr 15 minutes for me).
- Remove turkey from pan and place on serving plate. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Butter Sauce (Note 6):
- The pan will have melted butter and roasting juices. Remove herbs and garlic, squeezing out juices. Pour sauce into jug, serve with turkey.
- Gravy option - see Note 11. I personally love using the butter, but I understand if you feel the need for gravy!
More turkey recipes
Life of Dozer
Oh dear Dozer. The holiday season is upon us again. How you dread that time of the year when I break open your Christmas box. Little did you know the day I bought you that one of my friends’ has a pet supply business.
Poor, poor Dozer. 😈