With simple ingredients, such as butter, salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh herbs, it results in a juicy center with flavorful crispy skin! Such a great way to enjoy turkey without the hassle of a full bird! You may also love to see how to make a turkey breast in the Instant Pot!
It never fails, when cooking a whole turkey, it leaves a ton of leftover turkey, leaving us trying to find ways to use up the rest in other recipes and feeling tired of turkey after a few days, and possibly wasting a lot of great juicy meat.
Although that’s absolutely ok, and using extra turkey to make things like turkey and noodles (instead of chicken and noodles) or turkey noodle soup, is DELICIOUS… sometimes it’s nice to only have a smaller portion to cook.
This is where cooking a bone-in turkey breast comes in really handy. You can get the most delicious parts of the bird and not waste any!
Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe
If you have an air fryer, then you know that the cooking time can be a lot faster for your favorite recipes, without sacrificing flavor. Well this air fryer turkey recipe can also be cooked in less time and is the perfect way to cook it, without getting a dry turkey.
Should I Use Bone-In or Boneless Turkey Breast?
When cooking turkey breast, the bone-in usually results in a more flavorful and more juicy bird. A boneless breast is easier for slicing or carving but can definitely be less flavorful.
So for this easy air fryer turkey breast, we recommend a bone-in.
All you need for this recipe is:
- Turkey Breast (With Bones)
- Olive Oil
- Unsalted Butter
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Sage
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
You can grab the full printable recipe card with instructions and ingredient quantities at the end of this post!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Remove any excess juices around the turkey and transfer to a baking tray or piece of parchment paper – somewhere that you can prep the turkey.
Step 3: Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. (This is helpful for the spices and seasonings to stick to the turkey before and during the cooking process.)
Step 4: Use your hands to spread the butter just under the skin.
Step 5: Then, drizzle the olive oil all over the top of the turkey.
Step 6: Rub the top of the turkey skin with the salt & pepper.
Step 7: Next, sprinkle the turkey breast with the chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme). Patting them down on the sides of the turkey breast, so, they stick.
Step 8: Place the turkey breast into the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Step 9: Flip the turkey over and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees cook for an additional 40 minutes.
You may flip the turkey once more during the last ten minutes if you feel the skin doesn’t seem as crispy as you want.
The turkey is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Step 10: Remove from air fryer and make sure the turkey rests for 10 minutes before carving!
When it comes to turkeys I always suggest checking the temperature with a meat thermometer. (We love using this instant read thermometer.)
Make sure the thermometer is inserted in the middle of the breast meat & not touching any bone.
You can, but it’s not really recommended. It will take a long time to cook and by the time the middle of the turkey is cooked to a safe temperature, it will create a very dry turkey breast. But it is possible.
For a 5-7 pound, bone-in turkey breast, it takes about 50 minutes to reach a safe, internal temperature of 165°.
It’s not mandatory, however placing the turkey in brine can help give it more tender meat, and make it more flavorful and keep it juicier. We use this chicken brine even for turkey breasts!
If you do not have fresh herbs on hand, you can use dried herbs if necessary, however, it really is better with the fresh.
You can also use spices such as poultry seasoning, garlic, etc. if you prefer those flavors!
This recipe will work for any brand or size of air fryer! However, make sure the turkey breast you choose will fit into your air fryer.
Also, if you choose a very small turkey breast that fits in the Air Fryer basket use that. But if you have a larger turkey breast you can use the air fryer pot or base dish, placing the turkey directly in that! So depending on the size of your air fryer, it can be cooked in the basket or the base.
How to Store Leftover Turkey
Although turkey breasts are usually smaller than a whole turkey, you may still have leftovers! If you do, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days after cooking.
What to Serve with Turkey Breast
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- air fryer
- 5-7 lb turkey breast bone-in
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- .5 tsp salt
- .5 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 tsp fresh sage chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1.5 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- Preheat air fryer to 400°
- Remove any excess juices around the turkey and transfer to a baking tray or piece of parchment paper – somewhere that you can prep the turkey.
- Pat the whole outside of the turkey dry with paper towels – this allows the spices and herbs to stick to the turkey better.
- Use your hands to spread the butter just under the skin, getting in all of the places you can, without ripping a hole in the skin.
- Then, drizzle the olive oil all over the top of the turkey.
- Rub the top of the turkey skin with the salt & pepper.
- Next, sprinkle the turkey breast with the chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme). Patting them down so they stick.
- Place the turkey breast into the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
- Flip the turkey over and reduce the temperature to 350 degreesand cook for an additional 40 minutes.
- You may flip the turkey once more during the last ten minutes if you feel the skin doesn’t seem as crispy as you want.
- The turkey is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove from air fryer and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving!
To make sure your turkey breast is kept safe to eat and while cooking, here are food safety tips to help along the way!
- Cook turkey breast to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw turkey
- Wash hands after touching raw turkey
- Do not leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove