Air fryer boneless turkey breast is the quick air-fried recipe you need this Thanksgiving (or any time of year!) Learn how to cook and how long to cook this perfect main dish recipe that tastes so juicy and tender, you'll swear it was a tenderloin made on the rotisserie! Simple roast bursting with flavor and on the table in less than 1 hour!
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Sometimes simple is all you need for Thanksgiving! Or maybe you are getting a craving for turkey, but you don't want to turn on the oven.
This recipe delivers the holiday meal of your dreams - in what seems like no time at all! Deliciously juicy turkey roasted to perfection in a fraction of the time of roasting up the entire bird.
This recipe creates a bird that is golden brown on the outside, juicy, and moist on the inside. Perfect for a small holiday meal or a great replacement for rotisserie chicken in your weekly meal prep.
For the holidays you can serve it with roasted colorful carrots or blistered green beans, garlic parmesan Brussels sprouts, or air fryer bacon wrapped asparagus and sweet potato casserole for an easy and delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas meal! Don't forget pumpkin pie for dessert!
Got leftovers? Try these healthy leftover turkey recipes.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- FAST! Air fryer boneless turkey breast takes a fraction of the time of a full bird - less than an hour and you have a Thanksgiving-worthy main dish on your table.
- Family & Kid Approved. My family almost always goes for the breast meat so sometimes making just that part makes more sense.
- Juicy with no brining. This method gives you crispy skin and a tender, juicy, and moist inside that is roasted to perfection. You don't have to brine it if you don't want to!
- Great for a small holiday gathering. If you want to go the easy route for Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, you will love this recipe! This air-fried turkey breast will make about 12 slices - perfect for 4 full servings, or make for 2 with leftovers!
- Best way to cook juicy turkey breast in less time for Thanksgiving, the holiday season, or a weeknight meal!
Ingredients for This Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
- 3 lb boneless turkey breast: Butterball has a frozen variety that you can find in many main grocery stores.
- Garlic: I highly recommend roasted garlic as it is very smooth in creating the butter herb paste that goes on the turkey. Otherwise, grate or finely mince the garlic. Garlic powder also works.
- Fresh herbs: A poultry seasoning blend or spice rub work well here. I used sage, rosemary, and thyme.
- Butter: You can also use ghee or use olive oil if you need it to be dairy free.
How to Cook This Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe
Below are step-by-step instructions for how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cooking time and temperatures.
Begin by preheating your air fryer for 10-15 minutes at 350F. You can allow it to preheat while you begin mixing up the herbed butter mixture.
Dry the turkey very well using paper towels. This will help it to cook evenly and have a crisp outside.
Start by creating the garlic herb butter mixture in a small bowl. Mix softened butter with garlic and herbs and stir to incorporate. Using your hands, rub half of the butter on the top and under the skin of the turkey. Flip and rub the remainder on the bottom.
Carefully place the turkey in the air fryer basket. I like to coat my basket with coconut oil spray to ensure that it does not stick.
Roast boneless breast for about 20 minutes then flip over and roast for an additional 30-35 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers at least 170F.
Let the turkey rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing it.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Tips
To freeze, slice the turkey meat into individual slices. Once it has cooled completely, wrap it carefully in plastic wrap and place it in freezer bags or in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
To reheat, place the slices into the air fryer basket and reheat for 3-5 minutes, monitoring it carefully. To prevent it from drying out, brush a little bit of olive oil on the meat before reheating.
Other Expert Tips
- You do not need cooking spray for this recipe. The buttered outside will prevent the turkey from sticking. Use air fryer parchment paper if desired.
- Select the right size bird for your air fryer model. I made this recipe using my 4-liter Ultrean model and it fit the 3 lb. Butterball perfectly.
- Cook time will vary based on your model as well as the size of the turkey breast you are using. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the roast comes to an internal temperature of 170F.
- Allow roast to rest, tented under aluminum foil for 10 to 15 minutes on a cutting board before slicing to keep it moist and juicy.
- Do not use frozen meat for this air fryer boneless turkey breast. If your meat is frozen you will want to defrost it for at least 24 hours. The Butterball 3 lb. took about a day and a half to fully defrost.
- The 3 lb. Butterball comes in a few flavors (Cajun and Savory Herb) so that may impact taste if you select one that has a dry rub already on it. For this recipe, I recommend using the plain breast meat roast.
- Leave the skin on for roasting even if you are looking to make a boneless skinless turkey breast. The skin helps to keep the moisture in during roasting.
The total roast time is about 55 minutes, flipping after the first 20 minutes.
Allow the roast to rest under tented aluminum foil for 10 to 15 minutes prior to slicing.
Use a meat knife or an electric knife to cut thin or thick slices, depending on your preference. Slice meat crosswise using long motions.
I removed the webbing prior to cooking but some people swear by leaving it on.
If you leave it on, you will want to check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer to ensure it has cooked according to the time in the recipe card.
Leaving the webbing on may lengthen the cooking time.
This recipe is designed to air-fry turkey quickly. You can choose to brine it if you desire but it will add to the total time.
Other Delicious Thanksgiving Air Fryer Recipes!
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Air Fryer Boneless Turkey Breast
- 1 Air Fryer
- 1 instant read thermometer
- 1 3 lb turkey breast
- 3 tablespoon butter or ghee softened
- 6 cloves roasted garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
- sea salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.1 3 lb turkey breast
- Wash and mince fresh herbs. Add garlic to top of minced herbs and work the herbs into the garlic to incorporate. Stir herb/garlic mixture into the butter.6 cloves roasted garlic, 1 tbsp, 3 tablespoon butter or ghee
- Spread ¼ of the butter mixture under the turkey skin and ¼ of the butter on top of the turkey skin. Spread remaining butter on the bottom. Season the turkey with salt and pepper.sea salt + pepper
- Place turkey skin side down into the basket. Roast it for 20 minutes then flip it.
- Roast for an additional 30-35 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 170F.
- This recipe is for boneless turkey breast, not bone-in turkey breast.
- Select the right size bird for your air fryer model. I used the 4-liter Ultrean model and it fit the 3 lb. Butterball perfectly.
- Cook time will vary based on your model as well as the size of the turkey breast you are using. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that the turkey breast comes to an internal temperature of 170F.
- Allow the turkey to rest before carving it. Tent it under aluminum foil for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing to keep it moist and juicy.
- Do not use frozen turkey. If your meat is frozen you will want to defrost it for at least 24 hours. The Butterball 3 lb. took about a day and a half to fully defrost.
- If using a pre-seasoned turkey breast, you may want to skip additional herbs and seasonings. For this recipe, I recommend using the plain breast meat roast.
- Remove the skin after roasting for a skinless turkey. The skin helps to keep the moisture in during roasting.