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two slices of slow cooker turkey breast on plate with thanksgiving sides
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5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Perfectly moist and tender bone-in turkey breast, made easily in the slow cooker! Great to free up your oven for side dishes, and the perfect size for a smaller family Thanksgiving.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 15 mins
Total Time6 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 843kcal

Ingredients

Turkey/Slow Cooker

  • 4 lb bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and cut in half
  • 1 head garlic extra paper skins removed, then cut in half horizontally
  • 2 lemons sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Seasoning rub/paste

  • 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil

Gravy

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cooking liquid from bottom of slow cooker
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter

Instructions

Prepare slow cooker and turkey

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine rub ingredients and stir to combine well.
  • Pat turkey breast very dry with paper towels.  Spread rub onto turkey breast, using hands to really massage it in.
  • To the insert of a slow cooker, add halved onion, garlic and lemon.  Add sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary.
  • Place the seasoned turkey breast on top of the onion, garlic and lemon.

Cook the turkey breast

  • Cover and cook on LOW for approximately 6 hours, or until an internal thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part.
  • Remove turkey breast from slow cooker and set aside on a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet.
  • Preheat broiler to high and adjust oven rack to the middle position.
  • Add turkey breast to a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle turkey breast with a little extra olive or vegetable oil.
  • Broil for 3-5 minutes, until skin is golden and crispy. Set aside to rest for 10-20 minutes.

Make gravy

  • While turkey breast is resting, strain the cooking liquid out of the slow cooker.  If there’s not enough to liquid to get to 2 cups, supplement with chicken broth.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over MED heat.  Once melted, add flour and whisk to combine. Cook approximately 1 minute, then slowly whisk in cooking liquid.
  • Stir in salt and pepper, and simmer for several minutes, or until thickened to your liking.  
  • Remove from heat and whisk in cold butter. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve

  • Slice turkey into 1/2 inch thick slices and drizzle with gravy (or serve gravy on the side).

Notes

  1. For the best results, I highly recommend using an internal meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey breast.  The cook time given is what it took for me, but all slow cookers cook a little differently, and even things like how cold the turkey breast was before cooking can alter the total cook time.
  2. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and you're looking for it to read 165°F.

Oven Directions

  1. Make sure the oven rack is one rung below the middle, so the turkey breast will be in the center of the oven as it cooks.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F and add onion, garlic, lemon, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary to either a roasting pan or large baking dish.
  3. Add turkey and rub in the seasoning rub/paste.
  4. Roast turkey breast for approximately 20 minutes per pound (so for a 4 lb turkey breast, cook for 80 minutes), basting with the pan juices every so often if you'd like (basting isn't necessary though).
  5. Use an internal meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and when the turkey breast is 165°F, remove the pan from the oven.
  6. Transfer turkey breast to a platter or cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes while you make the gravy.
  7. Make gravy as directed in main recipe and serve as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 843kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 93g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 1985mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 874IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg