Cider Roasted Turkey Breast

$17.48 recipe
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 23 votes
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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.

Want more holiday goodness? Check out our Holiday Recipes category!

Herb-Infused Cider Roasted Turkey Breast with apples and onions, just out of the oven.

See this recipe in my Easy Thanksgiving Dinner for Beginners meal plan.

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✨.

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. Unfortunately using a boneless breast will require different cooking instructions, which I have not tested.

I have also successfully doubled this recipe, using one 4 lb. full turkey breast (both sides of the breast, bone-in, skin-on) and two turkey drumsticks, in order to feed about six people. If doubling the recipe, you’ll need to use a much larger baking dish and add about an additional 30 minutes of roasting time (use a meat thermometer to make sure).

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. ;)

No Gravy??

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 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 sliced and ready to serve with roasted apples and onions.

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Cider Roasted Turkey Breast

5 from 23 votes
This easy herb-infused Cider Roasted Turkey Breast is the perfect answer to smaller Thanksgiving gatherings or those who are new to cooking. 
Herb-Infused Cider Roasted Turkey Breast with Apples and Onions in casserole dish
Servings 3 to 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 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)
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  • 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.

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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.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 798.87kcalCarbohydrates: 20.6gProtein: 83.3gFat: 43.07gSodium: 990.57mgFiber: 3.13g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Cider Roasted Turkey Breast – Step by Step Photos

Butter and Herbs for Cider Roasted Turkey Breast

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.

Raw Split Turkey Breast

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.

Split Turkey Breast Coated in Herb Butter

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.

Apple cider being poured into a casserole dish with turkey breast, apples, and onions.

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.

Finished Cider Roasted Turkey Breast

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.)

Cider Roasted Turkey Breast Resting 10 minutes

Let the turkey breast rest for at least ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Sliced Cider Roasted Turkey Breast on the plate with apples and onions

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!

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  1. This was so easy and tasty! I also saw that another commenter suggested blending the apples/ onions/ drippings as a gravy – DO IT. This was a great idea.

  2. This was turkey recipe not intimidating in the slightest! I tackled cooking it and my husband and son enjoyed eating it for Thanksgiving while I DEVOURED it. (I’m the bigger turkey fan out of all of us.) So juicy and the cooked apples and onions gave it a nice zing. Mine was a bit smaller and so I used my instant thermometer to make sure it didn’t over cook – good call on that end!

    A wonderful turkey recipe for a smaller audience!

  3. I’ve never successfully cooked a turkey but this looked like something I might be able to pull off. Tender, moist, delicious! I’m very excited I am able to finally cook turkey for my loved ones and not have to struggle with an entire bird. Thank you so much.

  4. I did this last year–I bought a frozen whole bone in turkey breast for $1.69 per lb., about 6 lbs. I thawed it, and cut it in 2, saving the backbone for broth annd coming in well below Beth’s cost estimate. I used a roasting pan instead of a Dutch oven. This recipe was spectacularly tender and deliciously flavored. It fed 7 people with leftovers. I haven’t seen a whole breast yet this year for under $1.99, but still hope for a bargain.

  5. Did this recipe with two 3-lb boneless turkey breasts. Everyone said it was the juiciest turkey they’d ever had, and it has already been requested for Xmas dinner! I fileted the breasts and they took about 1.5 hours. Only hard part of the recipe was getting the herb butter to stick to the turkey—the turkey was cold, so the butter didn’t spread and glued itself to my hands instead. Next time I’ll warm the butter more than room temp, and I’ll make sure the turkey is room temp instead of fresh out of the fridge.