Okay guys, I’m going a little out of my price comfort zone for this one because it’s so good that I have to share. And you may very well be able to make this for half of what it cost me, depending on availability of ingredients in your area (all my ingredients were from Whole Foods this time). But even if not, I whole-heartedly believe that this herb-infused Cider Roasted Turkey Breast was worth every penny I spent on it.
But what’s the “real” reason I made this Cider Roasted Turkey Breast? I hate cooking whole birds. It’s such an ordeal, it’s intimidating, and it just makes waaaaay too much food for my small household. So if any of those things are true for you, you’re going to love this super simple Cider Roasted Turkey Breast. It really couldn’t be more simple and the flavors are ✨magic✨.
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Cider Roasted Turkey Breast
What Type of Turkey Should I Use?
This recipe is written for a “split” turkey breast, which is just one side of a full turkey breast, and has the bones and skin still intact. Dark meat pieces, like wings and thighs, will also work with this method, but cooking time may be shorter since they tend to be smaller than breast pieces. If you have a full turkey breast, both sides still connected with the back bone, I suggest you follow roasting instructions for a full turkey instead. The full breast is much closer in size and shape to a whole turkey than this smaller breast piece. This recipe is also not well suited for boneless turkey breasts, as they will cook much faster and generally don’t have the skin to hold in moisture.
No Cider, No Problem!
If you don’t like cider or just don’t want to buy any to use just 1/2 cup for a recipe (I get it), you can sub chicken broth in its place. I did a plain herb roasted version of this that way and it was still delish, just not cider flavored. Just keep in mind that any leftover cider that you buy can be used to make cider mimosas on Thanksgiving day. ;)
You can totally make a gravy from the drippings if you prefer, but I found that the apples and onions kind of absorbed a lot of the fat and juices, leaving not a lot to work with for a gravy. Instead, I just spooned the drippings over the meat directly and was very happy. Whatever you do, don’t toss the drippings. They’re liquid gold.
How Much Will This Feed?
That’s the million dollar question! Most guides online suggest buying one pound raw turkey per person for Thanksgiving, but after slicing up this beauty, it looked like a far too much for just two people. I think this would serve more like four people once you have all your Thanksgiving sides, but that’s just my opinion. Therefore, I’m not going to put a number of servings on this one. I think that needs to be a personal call.
Cider Roasted Turkey Breast
This easy herb-infused Cider Roasted Turkey Breast is the perfect answer to smaller Thanksgiving gatherings or those who are new to cooking.
- 2.5 lb. Split turkey breast (bone-in, skin on) $14.98
- 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.38
- 1 tsp dried sage $0.10
- 1 tsp dried rosemary $0.10
- 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
- 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
- 1 large apple* $1.22
- 1 onion $0.32
- 1/2 cup apple cider $0.25
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt in a small bowl and mix them together until they form a paste.
Pat the split turkey breast dry with a paper towel, then use your hand to separate the skin from the breast meat, leaving it intact on the sides, and creating a pocket to fill with the herb butter. Spread about 1/3 of the butter herb mixture under the skin. Spread the remaining herb butter on top of the skin and all over the exterior of the turkey breast.
Slice the apple and onion into wedges. Sprinkle the apple and onion wedges in the bottom of a casserole dish, then place the seasoned turkey breast on top. Pour 1/2 cup apple cider into the bottom of the casserole dish.
Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and roast the turkey for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Begin to check the turkey after 1 hour. If the top begins to brown too much before the internal temperature reaches its mark, cover the turkey with foil as it bakes (I did not need to do this). Make sure to test the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, without touching bone.
Let the turkey breast rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve the roasted apples and onions along with the sliced breast and spoon the drippings over top.
Cooking time will vary with the size of your turkey breast, so using an instant read meat thermometer is vital.
*I used a Fuji apple, but any sweet or sweet-tart variety will work. Avoid super tart varieties like Granny Smith.
Step by Step Photos
First, begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, mix together 4 Tbsp room temperature butter, 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried thyme, and 3/4 tsp salt.
This is what a “split” turkey breast looks like. It is one side of the whole breast. Pat it dry with a paper towel, then use your hands to separate the skin from the breast, leaving it intact around the edges. You just want to create a pocket to spread to spread the herb butter between.
Spread about 1/3 of the herb butter under the skin, on top of the breast meat. Spread the rest of the herb butter on top of the skin and all around the outside of the turkey breast.
Slice one large apple (I used a Fuji apple) and one yellow onion into wedges. Place the wedges in the bottom of a casserole dish. Place the seasoned turkey breast on top, then pour 1/2 cup apple cider in the bottom of the dish.
Roast the turkey breast in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 1.5 hours (depending on the size), or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Begin checking the turkey at 1 hour. If the top begins to brown too much before the internal temperature reachest its mark, cover with foil. Make sure that you test the temperature in the thickest part of the turkey breast and do not let the thermometer hit bone. I use this instant read thermometer and love it. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Let the turkey breast rest for at least ten minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve the Cider Roasted Turkey Breast with the roasted apples and onion and don’t forget to spoon the drippings over top for extra flavor!