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This super easy Instant Pot Turkey Breast is made in a fraction of the time and you’ll end up with the juiciest turkey breast ever, plus you can make your own gravy right in the instant pot.
The Best Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe
My love for the Instant Pot continues and I have to say that after trying turkey breast roasted in the oven or made in a slow cooker, my favorite way right now is the Instant Pot version. The reason is simple and beside the obvious reason that it’s faster, I find that this results in the juiciest turkey breast out of all the other cooking methods.
This is coming from someone who loves dark meat because I find that there’s more flavor in the dark meat, plus it’s not as dry as breast. However, the Instant Pot made me a believer in juicy turkey breast.
Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Quick and Easy! You can have delicious perfectly cooked turkey breast with gravy in just an hour! It’s the perfect recipe for a small thanksgiving with all your favorite side dishes.
- Extra Juicy Turkey! Pressure cooking in the Instant Pot not only cooks faster but seals in all the juices too as the turkey cooks, which produces meat that is super moist and tender.
- Healthy Meal Prep! Omit the gravy and you’ve got a healthy meal prep option that you can make and then store in the fridge for days or freezer for months!
- Turkey – You’ll need a boneless 4 pound turkey breast. Frozen turkey breast must be thawed out first. Also, bone-in turkey breasts have a different cooking time, so it’s important to use boneless.
- Olive Oil – I use olive oil, but you can also use any type of vegetable oil.
- Herbs – Smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and tarragon are used to add flavor. I like to use this mix of herbs in place of basic poultry seasoning. If don’t have Italian seasonings on hand you can use a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram or whatever you have in your pantry
- Salt – All poultry, especially turkey must be seasoned well with salt to make them tasty.
- Black Pepper – Regular ground black pepper is fine.
- Garlic – Always use fresh minced garlic cloves for the best flavor. Jarred garlic can sometimes be bitter due to preservatives.
- Butter – Used to sear the turkey breast with the oil. Always use unsalted butter to control the amount of sodium.
- Butter – Again, always use unsalted butter to control the saltiness.
- Flour – All you need is simple all-purpose flour to thicken the gravy.
- Chicken Broth – I always use low-sodium broth.
- Half and Half – Adds richness and makes the gravy creamy. You can use milk but it won’t make the gravy quite as creamy.
This Instant Pot turkey breast recipe is the quickest and easiest way to make juicy turkey with gravy in just one hour! The entire process is done in the IP and it’s a total turkey making game changer!
Prep The Turkey
First, you need to pat the turkey dry with paper towels. This is going to give you a much better sear once it’s seasoned. Then drizzle the olive oil over the turkey and rub it all over. Next, rub the turkey breast well with the smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Finally, rub it with the minced garlic to finish.
Sear The Turkey Breast In The Instant Pot
With the turkey well seasoned you can now begin cooking! So add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pot and then turn the IP on to the high sauté setting. Then once your Instant Pot has reached the desired temperature and begins counting down, add the turkey breast to the pot and sear it well on all sides. This process should take about 5 to 8 minutes. Then remove the breast from the pot and put it on a plate.
Pressure Cook The Turkey Breast
To cook the breast, you first need to put the IP’s wire rack (the trivet) on the bottom of the pot. Then place the turkey on the rack. Now, close the lid and set the valve to the sealed position. Then set the Instant Pot to manual setting and set the timer to 25 minutes on high pressure. Yet, keep in mind that after you set the timer it will take the Instant Pot a few minutes to come to pressure before you see it starting to countdown. So don’t worry, your instant pot turkey breast is going to cook!
Please not that I did not add any additional broth to the Instant Pot, the turkey will release natural juices as it cooks. However, many of you got the burn notice which usually happens when there’s not enough liquid. To avoid this, you can add about a cup of chicken broth, then when you make the gravy don’t add any additional broth.
Release The Steam
Once the Instant Pot has finished its cycle, let it natural pressure release until the pin drops. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the lid and check the turkey for doneness. The thickest part of the breast needs to have reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be considered done and safe to eat. I always use my handy digit cooking thermometer to check the temperature.
Let It Rest
Now, remove the turkey from your pressure cooker and place it on a cutting board. Next, completely cover the breast with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing to ensure that the turkey stays nice and juicy. If you cut into it too soon all the juices will run out and make the turkey dry.
Crisp Up The Skin
This step is totally optional! But if you’d like crispier skin it’s easy to do. Just put the turkey breast side up on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven under the broiler for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Make The Gravy
While the turkey rests you can make the gravy. To begin, leave all the turkey drippings in the Instant Pot and turn it back on to the high sauté setting. Then melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Next, whisk in the flour and cook it for a few minutes while stirring constantly until the flour loses its raw smell.
Now, pour in the chicken broth along with the half and half while whisking, and simmer the mixture for about 3 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Then taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Note, you can omit the half and half if you like and replace it with broth. I use it to make my gravy creamier, but this is a personal preference. Also, I keep my gravy simple, but you can easily sauté some onion, celery, and carrots first in the IP to add to the gravy.
Carve And Enjoy
Once the turkey has rested and the gravy is made, carve the breast and top it with some creamy gravy and fresh herbs. Then serve it with some yummy homemade cranberry sauce and enjoy.
Can I Make This Turkey Breast in the Slow Cooker
Absolutely! Check out the recipe notes for instructions on how to make this in the slow cooker, keep in mind that the instant pot also has a slow cooker method.
Some of you have said in the past the slow cooking is still the best, well that option is available to you, you can definitely cook this on low for about 6 hours and you’ll still end up with a super juicy turkey breast.
- Check your manual. For the best results, check your manufacturer’s guide for recommendations for your Instant Pot before starting any IP recipe.
- Pat the turkey dry. For the best sear, pat the turkey dry to remove any excess moisture before adding any oil or seasoning. If the meat is too moist it will steam more than sear.
- Use both the butter and oil. Make sure to use the olive oil with the butter. Doing so prevents the milk solids in butter from burning. Only clarified butter won’t burn without mixing it with oil.
- Let it rest for a juicy turkey. You must let the instant pot turkey breast rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into it to let it reabsorb the juices. If you don’t they will run out when you slice it and the meat will be dry.
Instant Pot I Used
Instant Pot 6qt Duo Pressure Cooker
Cooking Times for Instant Pot Turkey
The general rule of thumb for cooking poultry in the Instant Pot is is 6 minutes per pound with a 10 minute NPR (Natural Pressure Release).
4 lb Turkey or Turkey Breast = 24 minutes + 10 minutes NPR
8 lb Turkey or Turkey Breast = 48 minutes + 10 minutes NPR
Leftover turkey will keep in the fridge for about 6 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months when stored in an airtight container. To reheat, just put the leftovers in the microwave for a few minutes or in a pan on medium heat. However, if frozen, it’s best to let the stew thaw out in the fridge overnight prior to reheating.
Other Turkey Recipes To Try
- Spatchcock Turkey
- Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Maple Mustard Roasted Turkey Thighs
- How to Roast a Turkey
- Brined Roast Turkey Breast
- Drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil all over the turkey breast and rub it in. I usually do this so that the spices stick to the turkey breast. Rub the turkey well with the smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Finish with the minced garlic.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the high sauté setting. (See your manufacturer's guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot). Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and oil and once your instant pot reaches the desired temperature (the timer will start to count down) add the turkey breast. Sear the turkey breast on all sides. Should take about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the breast to a plate or a cutting board.
- Add the Instant Pot's wire rack (the trivet), then place the turkey on top, as seen in the video. Close the lid (follow the manufacturer's guide for instructions on how to close the instant pot lid). Set the Instant Pot to the Manual setting and set the timer to 25 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot. Transfer the breast to a cutting board, cover completely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into it. Make sure to remove the butcher twine before slicing it. If crispier skin is desired, broil it in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
For the Gravy
- Turn the Instant Pot to the high sauté setting (don't discard the turkey drippings). Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and cook until the butter is melted. Whisk in the flour with the butter and cook for a couple minutes, stirring or whisking constantly, until the flour loses its raw smell.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and cook and half and half and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until thickened. You can omit the half and half and just use 1 cup of chicken broth or turkey broth. I used half and half for a creamier gravy. Season with salt and pepper as preferred.
- I used a boneless piece of turkey breast, sometimes it comes in a box and it usually has butcher twine all around it. You can of course, use a large turkey breast with bone in – meat side down.
- Please note: NO ADDITIONAL LIQUID is needed in the Instant Pot, however some people have been having issues with their Instant Pot reaching high pressure or got the burn notice, so if you wish you could add a cup of liquid, either water or chicken broth.
- I DID NOT use the poultry setting on the instant pot, you must use high pressure.
- Other herbs that you can use and go well with turkey include thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano or marjoram.
- Searing the turkey breast before actually cooking it in the instant pot is an optional step, however, it does give the turkey an incredible depth of flavor, plus it gives it that nice golden brown color. Searing over high heat caramelizes the surface of the meat, giving it incredible complex layers of flavors.
- Slow Cooker Alternative: Season the turkey breast as instructed then place the turkey breast in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Check the internal temperature and make sure it’s at 165 F degrees, otherwise cook it longer. If crispier skin is desired, broil it in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Serve your turkey with:
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Originally published Nov 2017.