Whether preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, looking for a turkey option for dinner or meal prepping, boneless Turkey Breast Roast is awesome. It’s all white meat and cooked to a moist never dry finish in the Instant Pot. This version uses simple lemon pepper spices!
If you are craving turkey but don't want to make a whole turkey, a turkey breast roast is a great solution. It's moist, with lots of flavor, boneless and essentially skinless.
Cooking in the Instant Pot not only speeds up the cooking but it's hand's off for you until it's done. Everything from searing to making a light gravy is done in the Instant Pot so easy clean up too.
This boneless turkey breast recipe is a great alternative to making a traditional turkey. And it's easy enough to make it any time.
Serve these up with some of our Maple Roasted Air Fryer Carrots and Red Cabbage Slaw, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or Cornbread Stuffing Muffins. Maybe a slice of skinny crustless Pumpkin Pie for dessert too!
- What is a boneless Turkey Breast Roast?
- Why you'll love this recipe!
- What makes this skinny?
- How many people will this serve?
- What size Instant Pot to use?
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- Where to buy Turkey Breast Roast
- How to Make Instant Pot Turkey Breast - Step-by-Step
- Cooking Times for Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Cooking Time adjustments for High Altitude
- Pro Tips
- Storing Leftovers
What is a boneless Turkey Breast Roast?
It’s made with only white turkey breast meat that has been deboned and bound together with netting. The netting is left on during cooking and when it is done the netting is removed and the meat holds together in the shape of a roast.
This is different than boneless Turkey Roast which will include dark and light meat so is not just from the lower calorie breast.
The turkey roast is usually found in the frozen section of the grocery store and will need to be thawed in the refrigerator before starting the recipe. Depending on the size allow 48 hours or more to ensure it’s fully thawed.
Why you'll love this recipe!
What’s fabulous about this cut of meat is it’s lean, moist and full of flavor once cooked in the Instant Pot. We used a 4.75 pound roast which is a perfect size for dinner and leftovers.
It’s a great, easy option for Thanksgiving too depending on how many are being served. Being boneless it's great for slicing as a main dish or leftover turkey sandwiches and other recipes.
What makes this skinny?
- All white turkey meat which is lower fat and fewer calories than dark meat
- There is very little skin on the roast if any. The skin is a great source of flavor as well as fat so that’s out of the picture.
- Cooking in the Instant Pot not only retains more nutritional value through pressure cooking but doesn’t require additional basting with higher calorie ingredients to keep the turkey moist.
- The gravy is made from the cooking liquid and some cornstarch. No butter or flour is used.
How many people will this serve?
The general rule of thumb for a boneless turkey breast is to plan ½ pound per person (planning the precooked weight). However the real amount will depend on what else is being served. For Thanksgiving for instance when with multiple side dishes (and even under normal conditions) ½ pound of turkey seems like alot.
We used the guideline of 4-ounce servings. A third pound may be more likely but for the nutrition calculations and WW points they are based on 4-ounces.
What size Instant Pot to use?
Be sure to check the size of turkey breast you select will fit into your Instant Pot if using a larger turkey breast. Boneless breast roasts fit more easily as they are pliable so usually can fit up to a 6 to 6 ½ pound roast.
If substituting a turkey breast with ribs which has bone, check the size in the Instant Pot before starting the recipe. It will need to sit on the trivet (to avoid a potential burn warning) and the lid to close.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Boneless Turkey Breast Roast. This recipe uses a 4.75 pound roast. We've included cooking times in the event you use a larger (or smaller) turkey breast. Be sure it fits into your Instant Pot if using a larger breast. Discard the gravy packet that comes with the turkey.
Black pepper. Use freshly ground black pepper if possible.
Lemon. One lemon will be used both for zest and juice. Zest the lemon first then pop the lemon into the microwave for 10 seconds and juice. Putting it in the microwave helps render more juice.
Where to buy Turkey Breast Roast
We found our 4.75 pound turkey breast roast at Costco. Check the larger stores which carry larger supplies of frozen meat.
Some grocery store butchers told us they carry 3 pound boneless turkey breasts year round but other cuts of turkey often only are available around Thanksgiving.
Turkey Breast with ribs (called 'Whole Turkey Breast') is another cut we tried (and is featured in the process photos). It has bones and skin so was not our first choice but instructions are included for that too. If you like crispy skin we've included a tip about that (see image below for packaging details).
How to Make Instant Pot Turkey Breast - Step-by-Step
This is one of our favorite cooking methods for the ease, speed, moistness and natural flavor.
STEP 1. Sauté
Select SAUTE function on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil.
Rub the black pepper and rosemary into the turkey breast roast (photo 1).
Place the roast into the instant pot and lightly sear (brown) the roast on all sides (photo 2).
Remove the roast using tongs.
STEP 2. Deglaze
Add the cold water to the Instant Pot with the SAUTE function still on. Scrape off any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot insert with a wooden spoon or heat proof silicon spatula (photo 3). Turn SAUTE off.
NOTE: this step is critical as some newer Instant Pot models will produce a Burn warning if anything is sticking.
STEP 3. Cook
Add the lemon juice to the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot.
Place the roast onto the trivet (skin side down if using an alternative turkey breast with skin)(photo 4).
Sprinkle the lemon zest and minced garlic on top of the roast (photo 5).
Seal the lid and vent. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 29 minutes (adjust the time if making a turkey breast smaller or larger than 4.75 pounds).
When cooking concludes allow a NATURAL RELEASE for 15 minutes.
Check the internal temperature of the turkey roast. It should be 165 degrees F (food safety temperature). If the turkey is not at 165 degrees return it to the Instant Pot for 5 more minutes.
Remove the turkey using the trivet and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
NOTE: if making a turkey breast with skin brown the skin under the broiler to crisp the skin if desired.
STEP 4. Make gravy
Remove the cooking liquids and strain (photo 6). Discards solids. If the pan liquids do not equal 2 cups add chicken stock to make 2 cups.
Remove ¼ cup and whisk the cornstarch in to dissolve (photos 7-8).
Add both the cooking liquids and cornstarch to the Instant Pot on SAUTE setting.
Stir as it heats to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 5. Serve!
Lift string netting away from the turkey for easier net removal before cutting the netting. Slice turkey.
Serve with or without the pan gravy.
Cooking Times for Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- The guideline is 6 minutes per pound of the turkey breast. We use a 15 minute Natural Release.
- Cooking times can vary based on the shape of the turkey.
- Always verify the temperature to be 165 degrees F after the release or add more time.
|Turkey Breast Weight (pounds)||Cook Time||Natural Release Time||Total Estimated Cooking time|
Cooking Time adjustments for High Altitude
When using a pressure cooker over 2000 feet altitude it's necessary to adjust the cooking time. Use this easy High Altitude Cooking Time Adjustment chart to figure out the correct cooking time for your location.
Use a meat thermometer. To verify the turkey breast is done use a meat thermometer or instant read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey breast. If using a bone-in turkey breast ensure the probe is not touching bone.
Start with a fully thawed turkey breast roast. Give the frozen roast a few days to thaw in the refrigerator. If the core is still frozen the turkey will require additional cooking time. Check with a thermometer not by whether the juices are clear (not a reliable indicator).
Freeze leftovers in 4-ounce portion sizes. If you have a good amount leftover, freeze in portion sizes to they can be removed and used at different times.
Refrigerator: store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freezer: place turkey breast into a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.