Juicy, tender, and flavorful, this Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe is perfect for a small holiday gathering or for just when you're craving turkey but don't want to cook a whole bird! Coated in seasoned herb butter and then slowly cooked to tender perfection, this crockpot turkey breast is beyond easy to make. Want homemade gravy? I've got you covered there too, with additional instructions on how to use the liquid in the slow cooker to make a delicious gravy!
Ok, I know this website is about using one pot only and this slow cooker turkey breasts technically only require the slow cooker, but I LOVE how delicious and the extra bit of color that you get by placing the cooked turkey breast on a sheet pan to broil for a couple of minutes.
I also use an extra pan to make homemade gravy. That's optional, but I recommend it, as the liquid at the bottom of the slow cooker is like liquid gold for homemade gravy! But if you want to make a turkey breast for its meat (ie to shred to make something else), then this crockpot turkey breast is def one pot 😉
Why You'll Love This Slow Cooker Turkey Recipe
- Making a turkey in the crockpot is perfect for small holiday gatherings or for a weeknight meal with leftovers! No need to roast an entire turkey (and all the work associated with that, such as having to brine and baste!) to get your turkey fix.
- I love how this slow cooker turkey recipe comes together without having to turn on the oven. Sometimes I'm just craving turkey but not in the mood to 1. empty the oven of my 100 sheet pans and cast iron skillet and 2. to make the kitchen hot from the oven, especially in the summer. So, making the turkey breast in the slow cooker is perfect!
- It is so easy to make! Once you've rubbed the butter mixture all over the turkey breast, the slow cooker does all of the work!
- The dripping in the slow cooker from the turkey is liquid gold!!! You'll have the best gravy made from scratch quickly on the stovetop if you choose to.
Ingredients You'll Need To Make A Crockpot Turkey Breast
- turkey breast — I use bone-in, skin-on turkey breast as I loooooove putting seasoning under the skin as it adds major flavor. You can use boneless turkey breast if you prefer.
- butter — I use unsalted butter as I add a teaspoon of salt to it afterward. If you only have salted butter, I would use less salt.
- seasoning — I season the turkey with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme (or rosemary, or a combination of both!), salt, and pepper. You are more than welcome to double the seasoning or salt and pepper and generously season the turkey before spreading the butter mixture on the turkey.
- aromatics — I place an onion, celery stalks, and some carrots underneath the turkey in the slow cooker. This helps keep the turkey from being submerged in the liquid that comes out of the turkey, and it adds flavor to the liquid that's used for the homemade gravy. Yum!
- fresh herbs for garnish
- cooking spray — use as a reassurance that nothing will stick to the slow cooker.
Ingredients You'll Need To Make Homemade Gravy
- liquid — I use 1 to 2 cups of drippings from the bottom of the slow cooker after the turkey has cooked. If you do not have enough drippings, you can use chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth!
- butter — I recommend using unsalted butter to avoid an overly salty gravy.
- flour — to make the roux for the base of the gravy.
- seasoning — to add some extra delicious flavor to the homemade turkey drippings gravy, I add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the gravy.
How To Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- In a small bowl, place the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried rosemary or thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Stir until combined.
- Loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Spread half (or more) of the butter mixture under the skin and spread the rest over the top and bottom of the turkey. If there isn't enough, simply sprinkle more seasoning over the top and bottom of the turkey.
- Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Place the onions, carrots, and celery on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place the turkey breast on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165F.
- Transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet.
- Broil the turkey for 3 to 5 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy to your liking. Keep a close eye on it to prevent it from burning. This is an optional step, but I like the color you get from the broiling. Let the turkey rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How To Make Homemade Gravy
- Pour the liquid from the slow cooker through a strainer.
- Discard the onions, carrots, and celery.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour until smooth Stir continuously for about 2 minutes until a thick paste forms, forming a roux. The roux should be thick. If you run a spoon or spatula through it, the roux should coat the spatula without dripping off.
- Slowly whisk in the strained liquid while whisking constantly. Start with 1 cup and continue to add the rest of the drippings until there’s enough added to your liking. Now, the liquid should coat your spatula or spoon much less in comparison to the roux.
- Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook while whisking until it has thickened to your liking, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat or serving vessel of choice and serve it alongside the sliced turkey.
- If you'd like some heat, you can add cayenne powder to the seasoning mix.
- You can use pre-made herb butter instead of regular butter.
- If you use a larger turkey breast, keep in mind that additional weight will require more cook time.
- Using bone-in turkey will help keep the turkey breast from drying out. If you have boneless turkey breast, you will need to be more mindful of the fact that it will cook faster in comparison.
Tips and Notes
- Feel free to double the seasoning and butter to coat more of the turkey. As this turkey is slow cooked, the key to a flavorful turkey breast is to have the butter mixture placed underneath the skin, so the flavor is trapped.
- You can also season the exterior of the turkey breasts generously with some salt and pepper before placing the butter mixture on top.
- If your turkey reaches the top of the slow cooker lid, I recommend flipping the turkey breast so that the side with the least seasoning is on the top. This helps prevent the seasoning from being smooshed onto the lid.
- I don't recommend using frozen turkey for this slow cooker recipe. Be sure to thaw your turkey breast out fully first.
- Avoid lifting the lid while the turkey cooks as it'll release all the built-up steam and heat and affect the cooking time of your slow cooker turkey.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest part of the turkey breast is at least 165F/75C to tell when the turkey is ready.
- Try my turkey pot pie soup recipe with any leftover turkey breast you have.
I usually plan about 1 pound of turkey per person. If you are using a boneless turkey breast, plan about ½ pound per person. Plan for more if you want leftovers!
This cooked turkey will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Nope! The turkey will release liquid as it cooks in the slow cooker. Adding liquid will lead to the turkey sitting in it, making it soggy.
Thaw your turkey breast about 36-48 hours before you plan on cooking it. I usually plan on a minimum thawing time of 6 hours per pound of turkey.
Here are some recipes I like to serve with my crockpot turkey breast recipe:
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Sage
- Brioche Stuffing with Rosemary and Sausage
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Cauliflower Gnocchi (Air Fryer)
To Make the Turkey Breast:
- 6 lb bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch thick slices
- 2 celery stalks, halved
- 2 carrots, halved
- fresh herbs for garnish
- cooking spray
To Make the Gravy:
- 1 to 2 cups broth from the bottom of the slow cooker (drippings)*
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt and pepper
To Make The Turkey Breast:
- In a small bowl, place the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried rosemary or thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.
- Loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin and spread the other half over the top of the turkey.
- Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray and place the onions, carrots, and celery on the bottom.
- Place the turkey breast on top. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F.
- Transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet. Broil the turkey for 3 to 5 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy to your liking. Keep a close eye on it to prevent it from burning.
To Make the Gravy:
- Pour the liquid from the slow cooker through a strainer; discard the onions, carrots, and celery.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth Stir continuously for about 2 minutes until a thick paste forms, forming a roux. The roux should be thick. If you run a spoon or spatula through it, the roux should coat the spatula without dripping off.
- Slowly whisk in the strained liquid while whisking constantly. Start with 1 cup and continue to add the rest of the drippings until there’s enough added to your liking. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook while whisking until it has thickened to your liking, about 5 minutes.
- Serve gravy with the turkey. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
If you do not have enough drippings for the gravy, you can use chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth to make up the difference.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 878Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 406mgSodium: 1072mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 140g
All nutritional data is an estimate.
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