Make a delicious turkey with this juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe. We’re keeping it simple and tasty, seasoning the turkey with a mix of butter, garlic, herbs, and paprika. It cooks up perfectly tender every time, and a quick broil delivers that crispy, golden-brown skin.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas loom just around the corner, my thoughts naturally turn to turkey! From a gorgeous whole roast turkey with stuffing to simple turkey scallopini. However, this recipe for turkey breast in the slow cooker is easy, hands-off, and hassle-free. You’ll still get plenty of juicy white meat, perfectly flavored with butter and herbs, plus a generous amount of turkey broth for making turkey noodle soup afterward.
How Long To Cook A Turkey Breast In A Slow Cooker
Cooking time always depends on the size of the turkey. For a turkey breast weighing 4 to 6 pounds, plan for a cooking time of 4 to 6 hours on the LOW setting of your slow cooker. I suggest starting to check the internal temperature of the turkey at the 4-hour mark with your trusted instant-read meat thermometer. The internal temperature of a cooked turkey should register at 165°F for safety. But I suggest pulling your turkey breast from the slow cooker when it reaches 160°F as it will continue to cook after you take it out.
- Turkey Breast: Grab a bone-in, skin-on breast for the most flavor and juiciness.
- Butter: Either salted or unsalted butter is fine. It should be softened to room temperature.
- Garlic: Finely minced fresh garlic is my go-to, but you can also substitute garlic powder or garlic from a jar.
- Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage: These are my favorite herbs, but you can use any herbs that you like!
- Lemon Zest: A couple of teaspoons of lemon zest add much-needed brightness to the turkey, especially since it will be cooking low and slow for a long time.
- Salt and Pepper
- Paprika: Paprika is made of dried, ground peppers, and adds a sweet, earthy note.
- Chicken Broth: Just a small amount is needed. You could also use water, or even apple cider.
How To Cook A Turkey Breast In The Slow Cooker
The actual method for making this recipe involves just a couple of steps: seasoning the turkey with herbed butter, slow cooking, and then broiling to crisp up the skin.
- Coat the Turkey Breast. Pat the thawed turkey breast dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and paprika. Loosen the skin on the turkey breast, and rub half of the butter mixture under the skin. Rub the rest of the butter mixture on top and all around the turkey breast.
- Cook It. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper over the turkey. Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker, and then place the turkey breast in the slow cooker skin-side up. Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey registers at 160˚F to 165˚F.
- Broil the Turkey. Remove the turkey breast from the slow cooker and transfer it to an oven-safe dish. Let it stand for 15 minutes. In the meantime, heat up your oven’s broiler. Broil the turkey for 5 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy.
- Enjoy! Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 15 more minutes before slicing and serving.
- Turkey Size: Ensure your turkey can fit inside your crockpot.
- Bone-In Turkey: Opt for a turkey with the bone in and skin on. This enhances the flavor and ensures the meat remains moist. The skin can be easily removed before serving.
- Thawing: A completely thawed turkey is paramount.
- Incorporate Veggies: Place a mix of chunky vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions at the bottom of your slow cooker before adding the turkey.
- Make It Juicy: Use this recipe for how to brine a turkey – which involves soaking it in salty water overnight before cooking.
- Resting Time: Rest the turkey before carving. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
- Oil Before Broil: Before placing the turkey under the broiler, brush a little oil over the skin. The oil will help the skin to get truly crispy.
- Cooking Time: Every slow cooker and turkey breast is different, so if needed, allow extra time for the turkey to finish cooking. Since the cooking is low and slow, you may need as much as an additional hour.
- Use the Juices: Don’t discard the pan juices after cooking. Those are perfect for making this gravy recipe.
What to Serve with Turkey Breast
Since this dish is a holiday-oriented recipe, I serve it with my Traditional Stuffing Recipe, this Apple Stuffing, or my Sweet Potato and Cranberry Stuffing. Everybody loves a Green Bean Casserole or Creamy Green Beans. Then there’s Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes, Vesuvio Potatoes, or these Air Fryer Baked Potatoes. I also can’t forget my Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots! Or choose any of these 20 Carrot Recipes – I love them all. To end that meal, turn to my very popular Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls, this delicious Pumpkin Fluff Dip, and wash it all down with a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- To store, take the turkey meat off the bone and pack it into airtight containers. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in a covered skillet on low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to keep the turkey from drying out. Heat just until the turkey reaches a safe internal temperature.
Easy Turkey Recipes
Pat dry the turkey breast with paper towels and set aside.
In a mixing bowl stir together the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and paprika.
Using your fingers, carefully pull the skin away from the meat and rub about half of the butter mixture under the turkey skin. Rub the remaining butter mixture on top and all around the turkey breast.
Season the turkey with the remaining salt and pepper.
Pour chicken broth in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the turkey to the slow cooker, skin side up.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey breast registers at 160˚F-165˚F. Use a Meat Thermometer and start checking for doneness around the 4-hour mark.
Remove the turkey breast from the slow cooker and transfer it to an oven-safe dish; let it rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, turn the oven to broil.
When ready, broil the turkey for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy.
Remove from oven and let the turkey breast rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
- Size of the Turkey: Make sure your turkey fits in your crockpot; measure ahead to avoid any issues.
- Bone-In Turkey: Choose a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast for better flavor and moisture; remove the skin before serving if desired.
- Boneless Turkey: If you want to use a boneless turkey, that’s okay, too, but note that it will cook faster than the bone-in.
- Thawing: Thaw the turkey in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
- Add Veggies: Place carrots, celery, and onions in the slow cooker under the turkey breast for extra flavor and a built-in side dish.
- Let it Rest: Allow the cooked turkey to rest. This will help to redistribute the juices and result in a more tender, juicier turkey.
- Crispy Finish: Brush oil on the skin before broiling for a crispy texture.
- Adjust Cooking Time: Be flexible with the cooking time; the size of the turkey breast may require an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Calories: 451 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 74 g | Fat: 17 g | Saturated Fat: 8 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 214 mg | Sodium: 1242 mg | Potassium: 862 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 591 IU | Vitamin C: 3 mg | Calcium: 62 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.