Enjoy a holiday meal without all of the holiday stress when you make this Instant Pot Turkey Breast! It takes a fraction of the time to make, you reserve oven space for other dishes, and the results are tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection! It will be your new favorite way to make turkey!
Can you believe it’s almost that time of year? You know, when you start thinking of ways to get creative for Thanksgiving instead of making the same whole turkey for the twentieth year in a row? While I do love traditional meals, sometimes it’s fun (and delicious) to shake things up.
If you’ve got a pressure cooker then you can make this Instant Pot turkey breast for your next small Thanksgiving gathering! This Thanksgiving turkey is honestly an easy recipe that is perfect for two or four with some leftover turkey to make delicious post-Thanksgiving meals, or even just a sandwich!
Of course, if I am having a larger crowd over, I will make a whole turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner, but this pressure cooker option is a great one for those of us that are trying to keep it small.
Making turkey in the pressure cooker simplifies the cooking process of making a perfect turkey entree for your table and it’s delicious as can be. When cooking the turkey breast in the pressure cooker, the turkey itself is so juicy and flavorful, no one will know you cut any corners with your trusty Instant Pot.
The reason why it comes out so moist, tender, and juicy is because when you use a pressure cooker to cook, it uses steam and keeps in all the moisture. There will be no more guessing game with this easy recipe! Ditch the traditional oven and try the pressure cooker this year!
Just a heads up that you won’t get that crispy, golden turkey skin when you cook in the pressure cooker but a quick broil in the oven after the turkey is done to get that beautiful golden turkey skin will suffice!
Additionally, this meal is also great for when it’s not quite Thanksgiving, but you’re craving those warm and cozy holiday flavors and want to make something in a fraction of the time.
No matter what time of year it is, sometimes roasted Thanksgiving turkey with homemade gravy just hits the spot. And with a recipe this simple, now you can enjoy your favorite comforting meal without all the hassle of roasting a whole bird.
How to cook the turkey breast in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot)
First, you’ll want to gather your ingredients. For the turkey, you’ll need:
- Turkey – It should be 6-7 pounds of turkey breast. If you buy a frozen turkey breast, it needs to thaw before cooking!
- Olive oil – Extra virgin will yield the best flavor.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
- Sage – Ground or rubbed sage will help create that incredible in-depth herbaceous flavor profile.
- Garlic powder – If you want to measure this one with your heart, that’s okay – I won’t judge!
- Chicken stock or broth – Make your own Chicken Broth at home for the most incredible flavor. During the holidays they also sell turkey broth (at least here at our Trader Joe’s they sell it and I’ve bought it numerous times) so if you see that, grab that and replace turkey broth for chicken broth.
The delicious gravy simply calls for:
- Butter – Salted butter is what you should use.
- Flour – All-purpose works just fine.
- Cream – To help create that thick consistency.
- Turkey drippings – that will be leftover after you remove the turkey breast from the insert of the pressure cooker.
Next, after you have gathered all your ingredients, make sure your to ‘test fit’ your turkey breast into the insert of the pressure cooker to ensure it fits! You might want to do this a few days prior to the big day so you aren’t super stressed out. A 6-7 pound turkey breast will usually fit inside a 6 quart pressure cooker.
FAQ about Instant Pot turkey breast
I used boneless in this recipe but you can use bone-in. It takes about the same amount of time to cook.
If the juices are clear, then the turkey is cooked. Or, you may use an instant-read thermometer to check – the minimum internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.
Yes! You may either melt the butter or just make sure it is well softened.
Yes! Poultry seasoning usually contains some mixture of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. You may just substitute 1 teaspoon of this in place of the sage.
Yes! You will need to increase the cook time to 50 minutes. Or, if you prefer, you can thaw the turkey breast in the fridge overnight and cook as directed in the recipe.
The guideline is to cook the turkey for 5-6 minutes per pound.
No pressure – it’s just a Thanksgiving turkey (haha)
Seriously though, don’t stress! If you’re wondering about the pressure, natural release, etc…I’ve got you.
The cook time on the turkey breast will greatly vary based on thickness and weight. The guideline is to cook the turkey 5-6 minutes per pound. However, since we are making this in a pressure cooker, keep in mind that if you have a large turkey breast, ensure it’ll fit into the liner of your Instant Pot.
For this recipe, I set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 40 minutes and then did a natural release. You could do a quick release if you are pressed for time but a natural release will ensure a tender and juicy turkey breast.
Making the turkey gravy
Because we’re making the turkey in the Instant Pot, we’ll have a lot of golden turkey juices and turkey drippings to work with to make the turkey gravy.
The instructions I gave below for making the turkey gravy is made right in the insert of the Instant Pot. You just switch the cooking mode over to sauté setting and add the butter and flour and gently whisk until it starts to thicken.
This is where you want to add in some flavorings if you need more. More fresh herbs, fresh garlic, etc. Make sure to taste as you go as you don’t want it to be too strong. If it’s too salty, add a little bit of water to mellow it out.
You play with the thickness of the gravy by adding more or less flour. I love a thick gravy but not everyone does so I leave that up to you.
You can use cornstarch instead of flour but I prefer to use flour in this turkey gravy.
What should I serve with Instant Pot turkey breast?
I think that if you’re going with an entree this Thanksgiving-friendly, why not keep your sides the same way? Round out your feast with some Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Honey Butter Rolls, and finish it off strong with a warm Rustic Apple Pie.
How long will leftover Instant Pot turkey breast stay fresh?
In an airtight container in the fridge, any leftovers you have of this roasted turkey will stay fresh for about 3-4 days, and in the freezer, 2-3 months.
Also, there are SO many delicious ways to use your leftovers. I love leftover turkey recipes. One of my favorite ways to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey is to make Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Sliders! They might be even better than enjoying the real Thanksgiving spread.
How to reheat leftover turkey
To keep the turkey moist and not dry it out when you reheat, I wouldn’t microwave it. Instead, I would, in a sense, re-steam the turkey breast.
You can do that in the pressure cooker by putting the trivet into the insert of the pressure cooker, place an oven-safe bowl with the leftover turkey on top of the trivet and pour some water into the insert of the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, quick release, and enjoy!
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- 6–7 pound turkey breast, thawed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons sage, ground or rubbed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup chicken broth
For the gravy:
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon cream
- Serve with cranberries and rosemary sprigs if desired
- Mix the salt, pepper, sage, and garlic powder in a small bowl and set aside.
- Rub the turkey breast all over with olive oil. Then rub the seasoning mix all over the turkey breast.
- Place 1 cup of chicken broth into the Instant Pot.
- Place the trivet into the Instant Pot.
- Place the seasoned turkey breast onto the trivet, skin side up.
- Set the Instant Pot to cook for 40 minutes on high power. Then allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the turkey from the pot and cover with tin foil until ready to serve. Or, if you would like the turkey skin to brown more and be crispy, turn the oven on low broil. Place the turkey on a baking sheet and broil until the skin is crispy and golden. Watch constantly as it can change very quickly.
- Next, make the gravy. Turn on the saute function of the instant pot. Add butter to the liquid in the instant pot. Stir until melted. Gradually add flour while whisking constantly. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cream. (If there are lumps, an immersion blender works well.) Turn off the heat. Whisk occasionally, until desired thickness. (It should continue to thicken in the residual heat.)
- You may pour the gravy over the turkey breast or serve it on the side.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.