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Roast Turkey Breast

White and blue plate with sliced roast turkey breast with herbed stuffing and gravy
This roast turkey breast is the answer to when you have more white meat lovers at Thanksgiving than you have white meat. Succulent, flavorful, and ready in 1 1/2 hours.
Julia Turshen

Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Total 1 hr 30 mins
Entrees
American
12 servings
316 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 6 pounds boneless skin-on turkey breast halves OR 8 pounds bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts (3.6 kg)
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt*
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch sage
  • 2 large yellow onions thickly sliced, about 1/2 inch (12 mm)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions 

  • If using boneless turkey breast, and your turkey comes tied like a roast or in netting, remove all of that and just unroll the turkey so it’s nice and flat. This way the turkey will cook more quickly and is less likely to dry out. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. If using bone-in turkey breasts, either have your butcher take them off the bone or do it yourself (it’s not as hard as it seems; just get a sharp knife and follow the bones). and use the bones for stock for your gravy. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, salt, and pepper. Pick 12 sage leaves from their stems, reserving the stems and the remaining leaves. Mince the sage leaves and add them to the mustard mixture. Rub the mixture all over the turkey breasts and gently slip a little under the skin as well. If you have time, cover the turkey and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator, being certain to let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to roasting.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • In a large roasting pan, scatter the onion slices and drizzle with the olive oil. Arrange the remaining sage and reserved sage stems over the onions. Place the turkey breasts, skin-side up, in a single layer on top of the onions. Pour the water into the roasting pan, being careful not to pour it directly on the turkey.
  • Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to roast until the turkey is firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each breast registers 165°F (75°C), 20 to 35 minutes more, depending on the size.
  • Transfer the turkey breasts to a cutting board and let them rest for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard the sage leaves from the roasting pan and use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a warmed serving platter. Strain the pan juices and skim any fat from the surface. Pour them into a small bowl for serving or, if you’ve made gravy, stir in the strained pan juices into it.
  • Once the turkey has rested, slice the meat as thickly as desired. Place the sliced turkey on top of the onions and drizzle with gravy or pan juices. Serve warm.