Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

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Enjoy this juicy and flavorful Turkey Breast that is easy to make in a slow cooker! It’s the perfect recipe for a small group, or when you need extra servings during the holidays.

This bone-in breast is so moist and tender, you’ll be wanting to make it instead of a big turkey for Thanksgiving!

turkey breast coming out of the oven with cranberries and rosemary.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

If you’re looking for a turkey breast recipe that’s juicy and tender…look no further! After you make this crock pot turkey breast, you’ll wonder where this recipe has been all of your life!

By using the low and slow method, you’ll get moist turkey that melts in your mouth. As an extra plus, the juices from this Slow Cooker Turkey Breast make an incredible gravy that’s packed with amazing flavor!

Even though this recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to make it for your family. It’s so easy, you’ll want to fix it all year long. Don’t forget to make Leftover Turkey Bake with the leftovers!

white plate with turkey and gravy next to cranberries.

Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to create a moist and tender turkey breast in the crock pot. See recipe card for quantities.

  • 4 to 6 pound turkey breast (bone-in recommended)
  • celery ribs
  • sweet onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • poultry seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken stock
  • fresh rosemary
  • butter
  • cornstarch
  • fresh cranberries for garnish (optional)
ingredients needed for Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.

Equipment Needed

  • slow cooker with lid (at least 6 to 8 quarts)
  • baking dish for crisping skin
  • tongs or large fork
  • skillet and spoon for making gravy

Instructions

STEP 1 – Chop celery and onions into large pieces and add to the bottom of slow cooker. Add a few springs of fresh rosemary and a cup of chicken or turkey stock.

celebry, onions and rosemary in a slow cooker.

STEP 2 – Place turkey on top of veggies. Stuff cavity with onions, celery and rosemary sprigs.

turkey breast added to crock pot on top of rosemary, onions and celery.

STEP 3 – Rub olive oil over bird. Sprinkle herbs and seasonings over skin until lightly covered. Set crock pot to low setting. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours until it reaches 165 degrees F.

turkey going into the crock pot.

STEP 4 – Check meat with thermometer in the largest part of the breast. It’s done when it reaches 165 degrees F.

turkey breast after cooking in a slow cooker.

STEP 5 – Take breast out of crock pot and place in a baking dish. Set broiler on high. Place in oven on lowest rack and broil until skin is golden brown (usually 4 to 5 minutes). Move dish around to broil evenly. Allow meat to rest before carving.

slow cooker turkey breast after being browned in oven.

Recipe FAQS

What size turkey breast should I use?

Use at least a 4 pound bone-in breast, but if your crock pot is larger, you can go up to a 6 pounder. The bird in this post was 5.3 pounds and took 6 hours to cook on low before it reached 165 degrees.

Does the skin brown in the slow cooker?

The skin doesn’t really crisp, but the poultry seasoning gives it a brown color. To achieve golden crispy skin, take the breast out of the slow cooker and brown it under the oven broiler for a few minutes just before serving.

Is bone-in or boneless better?

A bone-in turkey with skin produces a better piece of meat. It’s more tender and the consistency of the meat tastes exactly like turkey is supposed to taste. The skin also makes delicious gravy. You can use boneless if desired, but the cooking time will be different.

Can I cook a frozen turkey in the crock pot?

No, your bird must be completely thawed before putting it in the crock pot. The safest way to thaw out a turkey is in the refrigerator. Put it in a large pan and allow it to thaw at least 2 days. If it’s a large breast, it will usually take 3 days to thaw.

sliced turkey on a bed of cranberries and rosemary.

Turkey Breast Tips

  • Use a 4 to 6 pound bone-in breast for best results with this recipe.
  • It’s difficult to rub cold butter on a cold turkey. Olive oil is recommended to help the seasonings adhere to the skin. Add pats of butter to the liquid for the gravy.
  • It’s not necessary to brine the breast before cooking, but you can if you wish. Read the contents on the bag to make sure the bird hasn’t already been brined.
  • Cooking a turkey breast in a crock pot does not produce crispy skin. The best way to crisp the skin is to broil it in the oven after it has been cooked.
  • Low and slow is the best method for cooking a breast in the slow cooker.
  • Make sure the breast is completely thawed out in the refrigerator at least 2 days before using. The refrigerator is the safest way to thaw out meat.
  • For safety tips regarding poultry, visit USDA.gov.
turkey breast on a napkin that says Give Thanks.

How To Make The Gravy

It’s easy to make turkey gravy! Remove the breast from the slow cooker and set aside. Strain the juices into a colander over a skillet. There should be about 2 cups of liquid. Bring it to medium heat on the stove.

Make a slurry with cornstarch and water. Add it to the drippings in the skillet and whisk until gravy thickens. If it isn’t thick enough, add more cornstarch and water. If your frozen bird came with gravy packets you can add those to the skillet and mix well.

Serve hot gravy over meat, mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing.

What To Serve With Turkey

View over 30 recipes for the holidays by visiting my Thanksgiving Index. Or, check out these southern sides that are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal!

Recipe Card

golden brown turkey breast made in a slow cooker surrounded by cranberries and rosemary.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Enjoy this juicy and flavorful Turkey Breast that is easy to make in a slow cooker! It's the perfect recipe for a small group, or when you need extra servings during the holidays.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 301kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 pound turkey breast bone in recommended
  • 3 celery ribs quartered
  • 1 sweet onion quartered
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh cranberries for garnish optional

GRAVY

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups of pan drippings strained in a colander and added to skillet

Instructions

TURKEY

  • Chop celery and onion into large chunks. Add to a 8 quart crock pot with rosemary sprigs and chicken stock. Add a few tablespoons of butter to the stock.
  • Place turkey on top of veggies in crock pot. Rub with olive oil. Sprinkle poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper over entire turkey breast.
  • Set crock pot on low heat. Cook for 4 to 6  hours until thermometer registers 165 degrees F. Use a thermometer to keep from overcooking the turkey. 
  • Remove turkey from slow cooker with tongs or large forks. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • Turn the oven broiler on high.
  • Place the turkey breast on the lowest rack in the oven and broil until the skin starts to turn golden brown and crispy. Move the dish around (with pot holders) to even up the browning. It should take a total of 5 minutes maximum. Watch it carefully because it can burn!
  • Let turkey rest before carving. Carve as desired and serve with piping hot gravy.

GRAVY

  • Use a colander to strain the liquid from the veggies in the baking pan. Place at least 2 cups of liquid into a skillet and turn the heat to medium.
  • Mix cornstarch and equal parts of water together to make a slurry. Add it to the skillet and whisk until gravy thickens.
  • If the gravy doesn't thicken enough, add more cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk until it is the right consistency. 
  • Serve hot gravy over turkey and cornbread dressing.

Notes

  • Make sure the breast is completely thawed out in the refrigerator at least 2 days before using. The refrigerator is the safest way to thaw out meat.
  • Use a 4 to 6 pound breast for best results with this recipe.
  • It's difficult to rub butter on a cold turkey. That's why olive oil is recommended to help the seasonings adhere to the skin.
  • It's not necessary to brine the breast before cooking, but you can if you wish.
  • Cooking a turkey breast in a crock pot does not produce crispy skin. The best way to do that is to broil it in the oven after it has been cooked.
  • Low and slow is the best method for cooking a turkey breast in the slow cooker. Use a thermometer to make sure you don't overcook the turkey. It is done when it reaches 165 degrees F. 
  • Do not be tempted to set the temperature on high or medium. This can affect the tenderness of the turkey. 
  • For safety tips regarding poultry, visit USDA.gov.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was thinking about making a turkey breast for Thanksgiving this year and your recipe popped up. Does it get more tender if you cook it longer in the crock pot?

  2. 5 stars
    What an incredible and unique way to make a turkey. Was super easy and loved the flavors! Perfect for Thanksgiving or any time of year!

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