Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy

Roasting a bone-in turkey breast is easier and quicker than roasting a whole turkey. And it’s just as delicious!

Would you believe I have never roasted a whole turkey before? I’ve roasted whole chickens and though it was easy enough, the idea of roasting turkey feels more daunting.

This Thanksgiving, I decided a small turkey breast is sufficient for our family of four. Plus, my kids prefer the white meat anyway so why bother with a whole bird?

The first step is making gathering spices. I started with the same mixture I used for my baked chicken breast, and added an extra herb: sage!

Sage goes so well with turkey and stuffing and gives Thanksgiving dishes their unique flavor.

I used dried herbs because I always have them on hand, but fresh is fine to use as well. If using fresh, the amounts may need to be doubled and the herbs should be minced finely so they don’t burn.

The mixture is rubbed onto the turkey breast, both under and on top of the skin. Loosening the skin and getting some of the spices underneath will not only flavor the meat but help the skin crisp up.

The turkey is then placed in a cast iron skillet. By doing it in a pan rather than a baking sheet or dish, you can make a stovetop gravy directly in the pan.

How to Roast a Turkey Breast

Start by preheating the oven to 425°F and drizzling some oil into an oven-safe or cast iron pan. Set aside.

You will need half a turkey breast, about 2 1/2-3 pounds. It should be bone-in and with the skin on. If the turkey breast comes tied with twine, remove it.

In a small bowl, mix together 1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and sage. Also add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Rub the spice mixture onto the turkey, making sure to get some under the skin.

Place the turkey inside the prepared pan. Using your hands, rub some of the oil that’s in the pan onto the turkey, being careful not to remove the seasoning.

Roast the turkey for 50-60 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165°F.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and tent loosely with a piece of foil.

Golden roasted turkey breast on cutting board.

How to Make a Pan Gravy

While the turkey is resting, the gravy can be made directly in the hot skillet.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat. There should be pan drippings and residual fat in the pan from the turkey and olive oil. If there isn’t, go ahead and drizzle in a little oil.

Then whisk 1 tablespoon flour into the drippings and cook for a few minutes until it’s a deep golden brown.

Next, deglaze the pan with a little wine or vermouth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. This is optional but will add depth of flavor to the sauce.

Finally, add 1 cup heated broth and whisk continuously so no lumps form. Let the broth simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper if needed. I didn’t need to add any extra salt because there was enough from the drippings.

If you have a larger turkey breast or want to double the recipe, adjust the seasonings and cooking time as needed.

Also, don’t forget to save the those turkey bones. Keep them in the freezer along with vegetable scraps to make the most amazing bone broth!

This recipe is so simple, you don’t need to wait for a special holiday to make it.

Trust me, with minimal effort and amazing results, you will not be disappointed with this easy roasted turkey breast recipe!

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Joby's Test Kitchen cast iron skillet with roast turkey breast

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Savory and succulent turkey breast with a crispy skin.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (2½-3lb) turkey breast, bone-in, skin on
  • 1-1½ tsps salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil

Gravy:

  • 1 tbsp (8g) flour
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) dry white wine or vermouth, optional
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken or turkey broth, heated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Mix together the spices and rub them onto the turkey, making sure to get some under the skin (if the turkey breast comes tied with twine, make sure to remove it first).
  • Spread some olive oil in an oven-safe skillet and place the turkey inside. Using your hands, rub some of the oil onto the turkey, being careful not to remove the seasoning.
  • Roast the turkey for 50-60 minutes until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165°F.
  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and tent loosely with a piece of foil.

Gravy:

  • Meanwhile, make the gravy by putting the hot skillet over medium-high heat. Mix flour into the drippings.
  • Stir for 1-2 minutes until the flour is golden brown. Add wine or vermouth (if using) and deglaze the pan.
  • Add the hot broth and whisk continuously so no lumps form. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper if needed. I didn’t need to add any extra salt because there was enough from the drippings.

Notes

Bone Broth: Don’t throw away the bones! I keep chicken and turkey bones in a bag in the freezer and when I have enough, I place them in the Instant Pot along with vegetable scraps like onion peels, carrot stems, etc. Then I cover completely with water and set to High Pressure for 120 minutes. I strain out the solids and freeze the broth into 1/2-1 cup portions.
Keyword gravy, roast, Thanksgiving, turkey