Roasted Turkey Breast with Citrus Herb Butter Recipe

The Perfect Turkey Recipe For A Smaller Crowd

When you’re entertaining a smaller crowd for a holiday meal, opting to serve a turkey breast instead of a whole bird will minimize your time in the kitchen and leave you with fewer leftovers.

This roasted turkey breast recipe uses a combination of citrus zest, fresh herbs and butter spread under the skin to keep the meat moist and tender and infuse it with a rich blend of fresh flavors.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Citrus Herb Butter


Roasted Turkey Breast with Citrus Herb Butter

Roasted Turkey Breast with Citrus Herb Butter Recipe

Roast Turkey Breast with Citrus-Herb Butter

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

This roast turkey breast recipe uses a blend of butter, fresh citrus zest and herbs to infuse the meat with flavor and keep it tender, moist and juicy.


  • 4-1/2 to 7 lb turkey breast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (plus more for gravy)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Drain any excess juices from the turkey breast and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Combine the butter, thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, lemon zest, orange zest and mustard in small bowl until well blended.
  4. Being careful not to tear or detach it completely, work your fingers under the skin of the turkey breast to loosen it from the meat.
  5. Rub about 2/3 of the butter mixture between the skin and the meat as evenly as possible, then smooth the skin back in place. Rub the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the skin.
  6. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan and pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan.
  7. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 425°F, then rotate the roasting pan in the oven to ensure even browning and reduce the temperature to 325°F.
  8. Depending on the weight of the breast, continue roasting for 40 minutes to 1-1/4 hours, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F.
  9. Remove the turkey breast from the oven, reserve the pan juices for gravy (see below). Tent loosely with foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. For safety, check to be sure the temperature rose to 165°F during resting.

To Make Pan Gravy:

  1. While the turkey is resting, skim any excess fat from the pan juices and transfer to a 4 cup measure. Add enough extra chicken broth to equal 3 cups of liquid total.
  2. Pour the broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/3 cup water.
  3. Add to the simmering broth and continue whisking just until thickened and smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Transfer to a bowl or gravy boat for serving.


Recipe Notes: