Instant Pot Turkey Breast (SO Tender & Juicy)

Instant Pot Turkey Breast – the most tender and juicy turkey ever!!! Brine the turkey in a mixture of salt, paprika, garlic, brown sugar, thyme, pepper, onion powder, basil and a little cayenne then cook in the Instant Pot. Ready to eat in about an hour! SO easy and SOOO delicious!!! Stress-free Thanksgiving and Christmas meal!! #turkey #instantpot #thanksgiving #christmas

turkey breast on cutting board

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The BEST Thanksgiving Turkey in the Instant Pot

It’s November and I’ve got turkey on my mind. We usually bake our turkey, but this year we are going to cook it in the Instant Pot!! Now, this isn’t going to work for a giant whole turkey. This recipe is designed for a bone-in turkey breast. You should be able to fit a 6 or 7 pound breast inside the Instant Pot. That is plenty of turkey for 4 to 6 people.

turkey breast on cutting board

How to Make a Turkey Brine

The key to cooking any turkey is to BRINE it! Brining the turkey makes it so tender and juicy. It also infuses the turkey with tons of great flavor.

For the brine seasoning, I used a combination of salt, paprika, garlic, brown sugar, thyme, pepper, onion powder, basil, and a little cayenne. To make the brine, bring water, seasoning, and salt just to a boil. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and pour over the turkey. Chill for up to 12 hours. Rinse the brine off the turkey, and season with more of the seasoning blend. Pop it into the Instant Pot and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

  • You can use the recipe for the brine on any turkey and any cooking method.
  • Get Slow Cooker Turkey Breast instructions here: https://www.plainchicken.com/slow-cooker-turkey-breast/
  • Oven-Baked Turkey Breast instructions here: https://www.plainchicken.com/brined-thanksgiving-turkey/
  • I used a 6 to 7-pound turkey breast and it was ready in about 40 minutes.
  • If you use a larger turkey breast, just add about 5 minutes per pound to the cooking time.
  • I removed the turkey breast from the Instant Pot and popped it under the oven broiler to crisp up the skin a little. This is optional, but I highly recommend it.
  • Do I have to make the brine? No. You can season the turkey any way you like and use the same cooking times to cook the turkey.
  • Is the turkey brine gluten-free? Yes! The brine for the turkey is gluten-free.
turkey breast on cutting board

What to Serve with Instant Pot Turkey Breast

This turkey was SO easy to make and tasted great! The brine and seasoning make all the difference. SO much amazing flavor!! We loved everything about this yummy turkey. It makes GREAT leftover turkey sandwiches!! I am counting down the days until we make this again!!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes that go great with this juicy turkey:

Southern Cornbread

Southern Cornbread Recipe – a family recipe passed down for generations. THE BEST! Great with chili and soups. We also…

turkey breast on cutting board

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Instant Pot Turkey Breast – the most tender and juicy turkey ever!!! Brine the turkey in a mixture of salt, paprika, garlic, brown sugar, thyme, pepper, onion powder, basil and a little cayenne then cook in the Instant Pot. Ready to eat in about an hour! SO easy and SOOO delicious!!! Stress-free Thanksgiving and Christmas meal!! #turkey #instantpot #thanksgiving #christmas

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 to 7) pound bone-in turkey breast
  • 5 Tbsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp paprika
  • 6 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp dried basil
  • tsp cayenne
  • 1 gallon water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

  • Combine 5 Tbsp salt, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, thyme, black pepper, onion powder, basil and cayenne. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine water, 1 cup of seasoning mixture and 1/2 cup salt. Heat over medium heat until salt and spices are dissolved without boiling. Remove from heat and chill to room temperature.
  • Remove any giblets from turkey breast and save for gravy or discard. Place the turkey in a container large enough to leave 2 inches of space on all sides and over the top of the bird.
  • Stir the brine and pour over the turkey. Cover and chill for 8 to 12 hours. Don’t brine more than 12 hours or the turkey will be too salty.
  • Remove turkey from brine. Rinse and pat dry. Season turkey with a few tablespoons of remaining spice mixture.
  • Place Instant Pot trivet/rack in the bottom of the pot. Place turkey breast side up in Instant Pot. Pour chicken broth into Instant Pot.
  • Set the Instant Pot lid in place and seal/lock the lid. Close the vent.
  • Cook on manual HIGH for 40 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Remove turkey from Instant Pot and place on baking sheet. Place under oven broiler for a few minutes to crisp up skin, if desired.

Notes:

  • You can use the recipe for the brine on any turkey and any cooking method.
  • Get Slow Cooker Turkey Breast instructions here: https://www.plainchicken.com/slow-cooker-turkey-breast/
  • Oven-Baked Turkey Breast instructions here: https://www.plainchicken.com/brined-thanksgiving-turkey/
  • I used a 6 to 7-pound turkey breast and it was ready in about 40 minutes.
  • If you use a larger turkey breast, just add about 5 minutes per pound to the cooking time.
  • I removed the turkey breast from the Instant Pot and popped it under the oven broiler to crisp up the skin a little. This is optional, but I highly recommend it.
  • Do I have to make the brine? No. You can season the turkey any way you like and use the same cooking times to cook the turkey.

Steph

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Comments

  1. Wow that looks so good, I'm going to try it. Also, the seasoning mix looks delicious! Do you use this seasoning on any other recipes? Is it a good all purpose seasoning?

  2. Can you do this with 2 3lb turkey breasts at the same time in the instant pot? I'm really new to this and my grocery store only sells 3lb breasts

  3. I made this today for our Thanksgiving meal. Now who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks! This was absolutely the BEST turkey breast I've ever cooked (or eaten) and I've been cooking for well over 55 years and eating for…well we just won't go there!!! This will definately be the way to go from now on. Thanks Stephanie for sharing all your great and delicious recipes.

  4. Wow! Very moist! Made this today for our Thanksgiving meal and could not be happier with how it turned out. Thank you so much as I will definitely be making this again.

  5. Looks delicious and I have used the Instant Pot I bought during Black Friday quite a bit this year, but never for a turkey breast! The turkey breast I have is about 4.75 lbs. and my question is similar to Unknown's question above, I guess. The last thing I want to do is undercook a turkey product:) Do you have any advice? Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  6. Would the adjustment smaller be the same 5 mins per pound (but lower) from the recipe as published, or is there some probable minimum, regardless of size? Thanks.

    1. Yes – I would adjust the time down 5 minutes per pound. Check the internal temperature and you can always cook it a few minutes more if it isn’t ready.

  7. What size instant pot did you use for this turkey breast? 6 quart or 8 quart? I have a 6 qt so wondered if this size turkey breast would fit.

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