Rosemary and Garlic Brined Turkey Breast

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Rosemary and Garlic Brined Turkey Breast…the perfect turkey recipe to make for Thanksgiving! It’s so simple, full of flavor, and a definite crowd pleaser. Brined in a rosemary, garlic, and red chili brine overnight, then left to dry in the fridge, before coating in butter and roasting to golden perfection. This Rosemary Garlic Brined Turkey is going to be a recipe that everyone asks for this holiday season! Every bite is juicy, with hints of garlic and rosemary, perfectly seasoned, and has a crispy skin. Oh, yes. It really doesn’t get any better than this! Be sure to serve this delicious Turkey on your holiday table for a gorgeous and effortless main dish that everyone is sure to love.

overhead shot of roasted turkey breast on oval platter with rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, orange mums around on marble surface with glasses of wine, stack of plates, and three slices of turkey on plate beside.

About The Recipe

Happy November, everyone!

Oh my gosh, the count down to turkey day IS ON. I am so excited, kinda nervous, but definitely more excited. My mom and I have been planning menu’s, thinking of new recipes to make, and (most importantly) getting everything ready for the big day! Are you ready?

It seems kind of daunting, right? Planning and figuring out food for the big day. It’s such a big holiday for us, even though it tends to just be me, my mom, and brother, we always do something to make the day special.

The last few years we’ve had some family around, but even in the midst of all the chaos, the one thing we’ve never worried about is our turkey for Thanksgiving!

My mom has been making this recipe for…at least 22 years, probably more. We’ve had this turkey every year for as long as I can remember and it has always stolen the show! When we had big Thanksgiving parties when I was younger, people would literally fight over who got to take it home.

It’s really that good.

So, when my mom and I were trying to think about content for Thanksgiving, we realized we never shared a recipe for our turkey! We did share the recipe for our Rosemary Garlic Turkey Brine a few years back, but not the secret to our delicious turkey that’s not just brined, but has a crispy skin!

close up of sliced turkey breast on oval platter.

We’ve always heard, like everyone, that brining a turkey means you get the best EVER flavor, but you give up having a crispy golden skin. My mom felt that way for years, until a few of years ago, she started to tinker with the recipe.

Each Thanksgiving, she would change how the turkey was baked until she finally achieved what she was looking for a couple of years ago…crispy skin!

We went through a lot of trial and error to get to this point, but every time now, the turkey comes out moist, golden, and delicious. The secret? Letting the turkey dry OVERNIGHT (very important!) in the fridge, then wrapping in a butter soaked cheesecloth.

This not only gives you a gorgeous turkey, but it also adds just a little bit more flavor the skin.

We did notice that, over the years, depending on how well the oven evenly bakes does have a huge factor in how well this turkey browns. We got a new oven last year and it fully browned the turkey beautifully! In previous years, it was always a little more browned in spots than others.

So, kind of keep that in mind when you go to bake your turkey! If your oven has hot spots, the turkey probably won’t be browned all the way around, but it definitely will still be amazingly delicious.

Reasons You Will Love This Rosemary Garlic Brined Turkey Breast

  • It’s SUPER simple to make.
  • A real crowd pleaser.
  • Achievable crispy skin with almost NO effort!
  • Prep begins 2 days before Thanksgiving, which means no last minute rushing.
  • Full of flavor!!
  • Absolutely delicious.
front shot of turkey breast on oval platter with rosemary sprigs and orange mums around. Glass of white wine, white pumpkin, and stack of plates behind.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

turkey breast, stick of butter, and brine on marble surface.

What Kind of Turkey To Buy?

This is SUPER important!! When going to buy a turkey, make sure that you buy plain turkey breast. No added anythings! NO “enhanced”, self basting, nothing. Be sure to read the labels and double check what you’re getting!

What Size Turkey To Buy?

So, the general rule of thumb is about 1 pound of turkey per person. We have a pretty small family, so this recipe is for a 5-7 pound turkey. There’s just the three of us, sometimes a few members of family will drop by, but we typically have enough for some meals a few days afterwards!

Though, if you have a big family, here’s a quick guide to help you through it!

  • For 8 people: 10 – 12 pound turkey
  • For 12 people: 14 – 18 pound turkey
  • For 16 people: 18 – 20 pound turkey

Quick note: once you start upping the weight on the turkey, the amount of brine + cooking times will need to be increased! The recipe + cooking times listed below is for a 5-7 pound turkey breast.

On average, plan for about 15 minutes of cooking time per pound. Always use a thermometer to gage when your turkey is done. Place it in the thickest part of the breast and it should read 165 °F.

How To Make Rosemary Garlic Brine Turkey Breast

Step 1: Brine the turkey

Remove giblets from turkey breast, if turkey breast contains them. Place breast in a lidded container big enough to hold the breast and that will also fit in the refrigerator. Pour brine over breast, making sure to get all of the rosemary, garlic, peppers, and peppercorns into the container with the turkey. Close the lid and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 2 days.

Step 2: Let dry

The night before cooking, remove turkey from brine and pat it dry. Place the turkey on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan. Place uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. Set your turkey out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes – 1 hour before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.

Step 3: Melt butter

While the turkey is coming to room temperature, melt the butter.

Place cheesecloth in melted butter, turning so that cheesecloth can soak up all the butter.

Step 4: Bake

Place the turkey on a roasting pan and drape buttered cheesecloth around the turkey breast, covering as much as possible. Place turkey in a 425 °F oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 °F and continue cooking for an additional hour, or until internal temperature registers 165 °F. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Troubleshooting & Questions

Why is my turkey not browned evenly?

A lot of ovens don’t cook evenly, which is what will cause the turkey to not brown evenly. If your turkey isn’t as brown as you’d like it after cooking, brush it with some melted butter and run it under the broiler for about a minute or so, just until the color starts to turn. Though, we don’t really recommend doing this, as it might dry out the turkey.

My turkey is getting too brown but it’s not cooked yet!

Make sure to follow the recipe below! Did you turn the oven down after the initial 30 minutes of bake time? This is a crucial step. If you did, you may need to lower the turkey down a rack in the oven, turn the oven down slightly, or cover with foil. Some ovens may not be reading temperatures correctly, so you may need to check the thermometer on your oven to ensure that it’s cooking at the temperatures you set!

Why is there pink inside my turkey?

Pink doesn’t always mean underdone. If your thermometer is accurate and reading 165°F, the turkey is safe to eat. Always check your thermometer before cooking. Boil some water and see what your thermometer reads. If it reads 212°F, which is the temperature of boiling water, it’s accurate!

If it’s higher or lower, write down the number and adjust the temperature as needed. Say the thermometer reads 214°F, that means your thermometer is reading 2 degrees higher than what it actually is. So, you will need to cook your turkey to 167°F degrees, as that will actually be 165°F.

turkey on angled oval platter with plate of three turkey slices beside, white cheesecloth, two glasses of wine, fork, and two white pumpkins on marble surface.

What To Serve With This Thanksgiving Turkey

The wonderful thing about the turkey is that it goes with almost ANYTHING! We have so many wonderful tried-and-true side dishes that have been made for years that go perfectly with this recipe.

How To Store

The wonderful thing about turkey is that it does store well! The easiest way to store it will be to take it off the bone and place in lidded containers. The turkey will keep four about 2-4 days in the fridge. Though, the best way to store it is by freezing!

Take the meat off the bone and place in freezer safe containers or zip-top bags. The turkey can be frozen for up to 3 months.

angled shot of turkey breast with slices missing.

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

The one sure thing about Thanksgiving is that there will be leftovers! You can do so many things with turkey, especially this one since it’s so neutral in flavor that it pairs well with almost anything. From making sandwiches with leftover dinner rolls or Sourdough Hamburger Buns to even baking it into a batch of Southern Baked Mac and Cheese!

The possibilities are pretty much endless. You can use it instead of chicken in recipes like our Chicken and Wild Rice Soup! Though, my personal favorite is sandwiching this turkey into a grilled cheese the next day!

Substitutions

  • A frozen turkey breast can be used. Just be sure to thaw it in the fridge before brining.

Looking for something sweet to make this holiday season? Here are a few recipes you may like: Southern Pecan Pie, Homemade Pumpkin Pie, Mini Apple Pies, Spiced Pumpkin Roll with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

turkey breast with slices laying beside, rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, and orange mums around.

Expert Tips

  • Be sure to start this recipe ahead of time! Read through the times and instructions thoroughly.
  • When brining, make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the brine.
  • Do not wash the turkey after brining!
  • If you see dry spots on your cheesecloth, you may need to melt some more butter. The cheesecloth needs to be thoroughly coated in melted butter.
  • Always use a thermometer to see when your turkey is done.
  • Let the turkey rest about 10 minutes before serving!

When you make this Rosemary and Garlic Brined Turkey Breast, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of roasted turkey breast on oval platter with rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, orange mums around on marble surface with glasses of wine, stack of plates, and three slices of turkey on plate beside.

Rosemary and Garlic Brined Turkey Breast

Traci
Juicy, flavorful, and so much easier to make than you might think! This Rosemary and Garlic Brined Turkey Breast is the perfect recipe to make this holiday season. Simply delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Refrigeration Time 1 d 12 hrs
Total Time 1 d 13 hrs 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 204 kcal

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Remove giblets from turkey breast, if turkey breast contains them.
  • Place breast in a lidded container big enough to hold the breast and that will also fit in the refrigerator.
  • Pour brine over breast, making sure to get all of the rosemary, garlic, peppers, and peppercorns into the container with the turkey.
  • Close lid.
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 2 days.
  • The night before cooking, remove turkey from brine and pat it dry.
  • Place it on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  • Place it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Set your turkey out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes – 1 hour before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • While turkey is coming to room temperature, heat oven to 425 °F.
  • Melt butter.
  • Place cheesecloth in melted butter, turning so that cheesecloth can soak up all the butter.
  • Place turkey on roasting rack.
  • Drape buttered cheesecloth around the turkey breast, covering as much as possible.
  • Place turkey in oven.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 325 °F.
  • Continue cooking for an additional hour or until internal temperature registers 165 °F.
  • Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • A frozen turkey breast can be used. Just be sure to thaw it in the fridge before brining.
 
Expert Tips:
  • Be sure to start this recipe ahead of time! Read through the times and instructions thoroughly.
  • When brining, make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the brine.
  • Do not wash the turkey after brining!
  • If you see dry spots on your cheesecloth, you may need to melt some more butter. The cheesecloth needs to be thoroughly coated in melted butter.
  • Always use a thermometer to see when your turkey is done.
  • Let the turkey rest about 10 minutes before serving!

Nutrition

Serving: 4ouncesCalories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 0.02gProtein: 0.3gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 7mgSugar: 0.02gVitamin A: 709IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.01mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

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