Air Fryer Turkey Breast is a bone-in turkey breast that features a flavorful herb butter and is cooked in an air fryer until tender and juicy. It’s perfect when you are cooking for a smaller crowd and is easy to clean up! Plus, it opens up your oven for other delicious recipes on your Thanksgiving Menu. If you need a larger turkey with the same delicious flavors, check out my Spatchcock Turkey!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Turkey: Look for a 4-5 pound bone-in, skin-on turkey breast. This size fits into a 6-quart air fryer. You can substitute a boneless turkey breast, but a bone-in turkey breast will add flavor and help keep the meat moist. In addition, you may need to adjust the cooking time if cooking a boneless turkey breast as they generally cook faster. If the basket of your air fryer catches the drippings, you could make a little bit of gravy if needed. Leftover turkey? Check out my delicious Leftover Turkey recipes!
Butter: Using unsalted butter helps you control the amount of salt in the herbed butter. If using salted butter, you may want to lessen the amount of salt in the recipe.
Shallot: A shallot is a small, mild-flavored onion used to enhance the turkey breast’s taste and aroma.
Herbs & Spices: Dried herbs and just a few spices are mixed with the butter and shallot to be rubbed onto the turkey. It makes the turkey so much more delicious! You will need thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Can I Use Fresh Herbs?
Yes, you can use fresh herbs in the butter if you have them. But, keep in mind that when using finely chopped fresh herbs, you will need about three times the amount of dried. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of a dried herb, you will need 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) fresh. This is not always an exact science, so adjust the ratios per your tastes.
How To Store Air Fryer Turkey Breast
To store a cooked turkey breast, first, let the turkey come to room temperature (but not more than 2 hours). For easier storage, carve the meat from the bone and into smaller portions. Store the turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Use it in all of your leftover turkey recipes like Turkey Sliders and Turkey Tetrazzini.
Freezing & Thawing Leftover Turkey?
To extend the shelf life of leftover turkey, freeze it! First, let it cool down, and then cut it into smaller portions. Wrap the turkey tightly with plastic wrap, or aluminum foil, or store it in a freezer-safe container. It will last up to 3-4 months. When ready to thaw, do so safely. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends letting it thaw in the refrigerator, which takes about 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. After thawing, the turkey can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. If you need a quicker thawing time, you could submerge the turkey in a cold water bath, changing out the water every 30 minutes. Or, thaw the turkey in the microwave. If thawing in cold water or the microwave, use the turkey immediately after thawing.
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 bone-in (4-5 pounds) turkey breast, skin on
- In a small bowl, combine butter, shallot, thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Remove any netting from the turkey breast. Pat skin dry.
- Gently loosen and lift the skin from the turkey breast without totally detaching the skin. (You can use rubber gloves here.) Rub half of the herb butter under the skin.
- Rub the remaining herb butter all over the turkey breast.
- Air fry at 360°F for 45-60, turning the turkey breast over every 15 minutes. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. (Timing may vary based on the size of the turkey breast.)
- Remove the turkey breast from the air fryer and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
I had NO idea you could make a turkey in the air fryer! The skin was crispy, and the turkey was juicy and full of flavor, just what you are hoping for! This frees up so much oven space for all of the other Thanksgiving goodies!
This turkey is so juicy and flavorful! Sometimes turkey breast is dry, but not with this recipe! Seriously, it is so good.
So juicy and flavorful! This is such a quick way to make turkey, too. The air fryer wins again!
This turkey stays so moist and flavorful! This is definitely a simple and quick way to make your turkey.
Super juicy and flavorful turkey. This was so simple to make, it might just change my life!