Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

If you don’t want the hassle of cooking a whole turkey, opt for a smaller portion by roasting a turkey breast half instead.

Turkey Dinner

It used to be that every year I would buy a whole frozen turkey, let it take up valuable refrigerator space for the week before Thanksgiving, and then frustrate myself to no end about getting that bird dressed and cooked in a reasonable amount of time.

Then after the meal there was the issue of stripping the meat from the bones, making the stock, and dealing with leftover meat, usually only dark meat, which my family doesn’t really care for, not matter how I hide it in casseroles. (If it were white meat leftovers, no problem! We love turkey, just not the dark stuff.)

So, after several years of threatening to make tri-tip instead of turkey, I found a wonderful, beautiful, tasty compromise:

The Turkey Breast

You can buy just a turkey breast. All year long. I found them at Sprouts for $2.99. No, that’s not the cheapest price on turkey, but since we waste nothing from this cut, it pays off in the end.

Plus, when Sprouts didn’t have as many as I wanted, the butcher grabbed a fresh turkey from the case, carved it up on the spot and gave me both breast halves. Whoo hoo!

(Well, he didn’t give them to me; I bought them. But, I call that service with a smile! He even went looking through the store to find me to deliver them to my cart.)

You can buy a turkey with the thighs, legs, and wings cut off, giving you the full breast on the entire bone. You can also buy the breast halves individually. This is what I did last Thanksgiving and what I’m doing forever and ever again. Amen.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast


If you love dark meat, then this isn’t for you. But, it’s a great way to have your turkey without feeling overwhelmed or throwing out your back. Been there, done that.

This 3-pound turkey breast easily fed the eight of us, but wasn’t enough for leftovers, so I will be making several turkey breasts in the future. I don’t mind white meat leftovers. But, you knew that already.

Which do YOU choose: white or dark meat?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Laura C says

    Good idea. We are white meat eaters here but do have other family that like dark meat. And I will eat dark meat in casseroles and turkey salad. So I will probably still cook a whole one since its so cheap!

    • I may buy a few cheap birds because of the bargain factor. I’ll either invite friends who like dark meat or use the dark meat in tamales. I might be able to hide it that way. 🙂 But, I’ll make them AFTER thanksgiving not for the holiday. Too stressful for me.

  2. Jennifer says

    I always make my turkey in the crockpot. I get a 10-12 lb. whole turkey and sometimes have to cut the legs off and re-arrange it to make it fit. It’s the best turkey I’ve ever eaten.

  3. Jrseygirl in VA says

    We have been doing this for years. Ever since I made my first whole turkey and ended up with most of it, except the breast,headed for the trash, I resolved to never waste that much food again. Luckily one of our surprise guests took the carcass and remaining dark meat with him. It’s so much easier but thanks for the recipe as I am always trying to re-figure the amounts from whole turkey recipes. I usually get a whole breast and with our family of 5 usually have a full breast left over.

  4. Sandi says

    We’re dark meat fans here, so it is usually the white meat getting added to casseroles and pots of chili. We do eventually and relatively painlessly eat it all, so I do buy and cook the whole bird when they are on sale for those seemingly unreasonably low per pound prices. However, I would like to make a suggestion for the next breast you roast: try adding some sliced citrus along with the onion. Either lemon or orange work great and really infuse the meat with a subtle but delicious flavor.

  5. againstthegrain says

    I roast a bone-in half turkey great about every other week for my teenage son’s packed lunch sandwiches. For just a few minutes of hands-on effort and a little time, one half breast makes a week’s worth of sliced turkey for sandwiches and snacks at approximately half the per price of processed turkey lunchmeat and without any of the gross additives and “not required to be labeled” transglutaminase, aka “meat glue”, which is priceless in my opinion.

    After I slide a sharp carving knife between the the slightly cooked down roasted meat and the rib bones (trying to keep the meat in one piece), the I break the bones up and store them in a zip bag in the freezer to await the next batch of turkey or mixed poultry broth (also made weekly or every other week in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker). Another food budget bonus and cleaner eating, less packaging.

Share Your Thoughts