Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast- Tasty, flavorful roasted turkey breast with a short cook time? I know it’s hard to believe, but you can! Removing the turkey breast from the bone allows for a quicker cooking time, and the brine ensures that you won’t end up with dry meat. This turkey breast recipe is a total win win! In this post, I will show you how to wow your guests with a wonderful brined roasted turkey breast that takes very little time compared to a whole turkey!
Buttermilk Brined Roasted Turkey Breast
Buttermilk brined turkey is the perfect dish for you if you are looking to spend less time in the kitchen, but also prefer white meat turkey over dark. I know in my house, the dark meat tends to go to waste, and I wanted to come up with an easy recipe for turkey breast that is great for holidays that pairs well with all the classic sides.
The brine ingredients combine to provide flavor and moisture, and this cooks in a relatively short time, meaning you have more oven space for other dishes!
When thinking about Thanksgiving or other holidays, turkey is usually at the top of the list. While a whole roasted turkey is the typical go to, sometimes you might need to do something smaller, quicker cooking, and more manageable.
When it comes to holiday meals, I like to make things as easy as possible so that I can enjoy family time without being pulled into the kitchen for one cooking task or another.
Here comes buttermilk brined turkey breast to the rescue! This recipe brings all the juicy tenderness and incredible flavors of a whole roasted bird, with less time and maximum results!
Why Make Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast
Is it worth brining a turkey breast? Totally, and here’s why: Brining your turkey breast in buttermilk before cooking will transform it from ordinary to awesome!
The acidity of the buttermilk acts as a tenderizer for the meat while infusing it with tons of flavor. The result? A succulent and moist turkey breast that is too easy and delicious to believe!
This recipe doesn’t even need a roasting pan (more on what you’ll need in the next section).
Another thing to love? The leftovers are just as tasty and versatile as whole roasted turkey, so you aren’t missing out on anything! If you are making this for a larger number of people, you can always buy two turkey breasts and double the recipe.
Once the meat is out of the oven, you don’t really have to carve it because that part is already done. Just slice and serve!
Here’s What You’ll Need To Make Buttermilk Marinated Turkey Breast
- Turkey breast removed from the bone, with the skin still on. You will need a chef’s knife if you are cutting it off the bone yourself.
- Ingredients for the brine.
- Rimmed baking sheet.
- Cooling rack.
- Aluminum foil.
- Black pepper and Paprika to season the turkey after brining.
- Onion and celery to place under the turkey while roasting for extra flavor.
Yes, you read that right! This turkey is roasted on a cooling rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet, with onion and celery placed between the baking sheet and the rack to help add flavor. No roasting pan needed!
If you are lucky enough to live close to a local farm that raises turkeys, I highly recommend giving one a try. They are more expensive than a standard grocery store turkey, but they taste great! If they have turkey breasts, even better!
For this recipe, I recommend buying just a breast since that is all you will be using. If you feel intimidated by removing the breast meat from the bone prior to cooking, you can ask the meat counter at the grocery store to do this for you.
Buttermilk Brine For Turkey Breast
The turkey brine contains buttermilk, salt, and fresh herbs. This creates tender turkey breast meat with a subtle hint of tanginess from the buttermilk.
What does buttermilk do in a brine? Buttermilk helps break down the connective tissues, as well as adding moisture to the meat. Turkey breast has a reputation for being dry, but when you brine it in buttermilk the turkey retains more moisture!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the brine:
Buttermilk- This would hardly be a buttermilk brined turkey recipe without buttermilk am I right? I prefer using full fat buttermilk, but if you can’t find it, low fat is just fine. Be sure to use real buttermilk! This recipe will not work with the shortcut homemade buttermilk using milk with vinegar or lemon juice that you use for baking when you need a buttermilk substitute.
Salt- Brine needs salt to be a brine! Whatever salt you keep in your kitchen is fine to use here.
Fresh Rosemary- One big sprig of Rosemary is all you need.
Fresh Sage Leaves- What is turkey without fresh sage? They go together like peanut butter and jelly!
Fresh Thyme- This is one of my favorite herbs. I love it so much in fact that I grow my own!
How To Cook A Boneless Turkey Breast In The Oven
For this recipe, we are removing the breast from the bone and leaving the skin on and roasting it. Why remove the breast from the bone? It cooks much faster! By taking it off the bone, you can have roasted turkey breast in a little over an hour!
I know what you might be thinking: won’t the meat be dry if it isn’t cooked on the bone? No, thanks to the buttermilk brine!
Here is a basic idea of what this recipe entails. For complete instructions and tips, please see the recipe card at the end of the post!
- Cut the breasts off the bone (if you’re not having your grocery store meat counter do it). See recipe card for additional notes and instructions.
- Add brine ingredients to a large freezer bag.
- Place the turkey breasts inside.
- Marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season the turkey breasts.
- Place the celery and onion on the rimmed baking sheet and put the cooling rack on top of the vegetables.
- Put the turkey breasts on the cooling rack and roast.
- When done, wrap the meat in foil for about 10 minutes to let the meat rest, then slice and serve.
What To Serve With Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast
I love all the classic sides you’d expect with turkey! You can serve the same menu with this recipe as you would a whole roasted bird.
Here are a few ideas to serve with your turkey breast:
- Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Green Bean and Chanterelle Mushroom Casserole
- Easy Red Kuri Squash Soup
- Pear and Parmesan Salad
What To Do With Leftover Turkey
How to utilize those leftovers is always the big question right? I love a good turkey sandwich, but why not do something a little different? You could swap the chicken out for turkey in my curried chicken salad with coconut. Casseroles, soups, and sandwiches are all great ways to use up your leftovers.
Thank you for stopping by. I really hope you enjoy this buttermilk brined turkey breast! If you tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Just leave a rating or comment below.
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Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast is low stress and easy, making for a less hectic prep for your holiday meal. The brine makes the meat moist and tender!
- One Turkey Breast (about 6 to 7 pounds on the bone)
- 1 3/4 cups of Buttermilk
- 3 Tbsp of Salt
- 1 large spring of Fresh Rosemary
- 6 to 8 Fresh Sage Leaves
- 1 large bunch of Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp of Paprika
- 1/2 medium Yellow Onion
- 3 stalks of Celery
- The first step is to cut the turkey breast from the bone. To do this, start by removing the turkey breast from its packaging.
- Using a chefs knife, start in the center of the breast and make a cut along the breastbone, moving in a downward motion.
- Run your knife downward along the bones of the carcass until you reach the bottom of the breast, then cut along the bottom until the meat is removed from the bone (if you prefer not to remove the meat from the bone yourself or you want to cook the meat on the bone, please see Notes). Leave the skin on!
- Take a gallon freezer bag and place it inside a large bowl.
- Add the 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, 3 Tbsp of salt, the fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme to the buttermilk. Close the bag and use your hands to squish the contents around to combine.
- Open the bag and add the turkey breast pieces.
- Close the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- When you are ready to roast the turkey, remove it from the refrigerator and take the meat out of the bag. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess brine.
- Season the breasts with the 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1/2 tsp of paprika. Place the seasoned turkey on a plate and prepare the baking sheet.
- Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Line your rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (dull side facing up).
- Cut the 1/2 an onion into wedges and place on the baking sheet.
- Place the celery stalks on the baking sheet with the onions.
- Put the cooling rack on top of the rimmed baking sheet. the rack should fit inside the borders of the baking sheet rim.
- Place the seasoned turkey on top of the cooling rack and place n the oven on the center rack.
- Roast for 1 to 1/2 hours, until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees and the juices are clear, not pink.
- Remove the meat to a plate or platter and wrap in foil for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the meat to rest. Then slice and serve!
If you don't want to take the meat off the bone yourself, have the meat counter at the grocery store do this for you.
If you want to cook the turkey breast on the bone:
Follow all of the instructions except that when you put the turkey in the bag to brine, you are doing it with the breast bones still attached. It should still fit in the bag this way if you are using a large bag.
You can roast it on the bone using the baking sheet method, or you can place it in a roasting pan.
On the bone, you will still roast this at 350 degrees, but instead of 1 to 1/2 hours, you will roast for 20 minutes per pound. At that rate, a 6 or 7 pound breast will take around 2 hours or a little more.
To check for doneness, use your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, registering 165 degrees and the juices are running clear.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 1819mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.