Best Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe

Best Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe
the pioneer woman's air fryer turkey breast recipe

Caitlin Bensel

Not every Thanksgiving menu is planned for a crowd, which makes this easy air fryer turkey breast the perfect centerpiece for a smaller celebration. (Think Thanksgiving for two or even a solo dinner with leftovers!) In this air fryer recipe, turkey breast is simply rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a fresh herb butter, so it’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner or plentiful enough for weekly meal prep. Wait for Thanksgiving if you can, or enjoy this moist, juicy turkey breast in a turkey sandwich or leftover turkey soup.

Can you cook a frozen turkey breast in an air fryer?

You can use a frozen turkey breast for this recipe, but it must be thawed completely before cooking in the air fryer. We found that one bone-in turkey breast (with two breast halves), around 7 pounds in weight with the backbone removed, fit comfortably in The Pioneer Woman 6.2 quart air fryer basket. A breast of this size takes about 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator. Plan to purchase a frozen turkey breast at least 1 day ahead of cooking.

Can you bring this turkey breast?

You can absolutely bring this turkey breast. If you do, omit the salt from the seasoning, as the turkey will already be adequately seasoned from the brine (and don’t forget to rinse your bird well before cooking). Use the black pepper if you like, and unsalted butter for the fresh herb butter.

How long does it take to cook turkey breast in the air fryer?

This turkey breast cooks in the air fryer at 350Β° for about 60 to 70 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160Β°. Most air fryer models do not require preheating (check the instruction manual), which makes this recipe super fast.

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4 – 5


Prep Time:





Total Time:






7 lbs. bone-in turkey breast, thawed

3 tbsp.

salted butter, softened

1 tbsp.

chopped herbs, like sage, rosemary, and/or thyme

1 tsp.

ground black pepper

Turkey gravy, for serving

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  1. Remove the turkey breast from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut out the backbone of the turkey with sharp kitchen scissors. Trim the breastbones, so that the turkey can sit breast side up in the basket of an air fryer, and the drawer will slide closed completely. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the butter in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the garlic and herbs and mash together. Starting at the top of each breast, near the wishbone, work your fingers between the flesh and the skin to create a pocket. Divide the butter evenly between the two sides and rub all over the breast. Press the skin back down into place.
  3. Drizzle the breasts all over with the olive oil, then season with the salt and pepper. Place skin side up in the air fryer basket. Cook for 30 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. Remove from the air fryer and turn the breast over so that it is skin side down. Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the internal temperature reads at least 160Β°F.
  4. Remove to a cutting board. Tent with foil for 5 minutes. Carve the breasts from the bones. Slice into pieces and serve with turkey gravy, if you like.

This also works with two, bone-in turkey breast halves. Overlap them slightly in the air fryer basket and cook for about 10 minutes less.

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