Air Fryer Turkey Breast

by Karly

This AIR FRYER TURKEY BREAST has a perfectly crispy skin with juicy, tender meat. So simple to make for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner and ready in just an hour.

A close up of a sliced turkey breast on a plate in front of an air fryer.

Usually when I am making turkey it is to feed a group of people. That stresses me out a little bit every time. Imagine messing up the turkey on Thanksgiving day!

If you’ve ever struggled with dry turkey or limp skin, this is the recipe for you!

Everyone knows the crispy skin is the best part, and that makes the air fryer perfect for the job!

If you’ve had fried turkey before, you know how good it can be. It doesn’t dry out and the skin is amazing.

Of course, it’s kind of terrifying (and messy) dropping a whole turkey in a pot of oil.

Enter the air fryer! It’s more of a roast turkey than a fried turkey, but it still solves the dry meat/limp skin issues. This air fryer turkey breast turns out just perfect!

Overhead view of mashed potatoes and turkey topped with gravy.

How to make a turkey in an air fryer:

Place your turkey breast on a large plate or a baking sheet.

Mix the rub together to form a paste. We’re using butter, oil, garlic, and seasonings. Full recipe below!

Butter and herbs in a clear glass bowl

Gently loosen the skin around the meat and rub about two-thirds of the butter mixture under the skin. This helps keep the breast meat nice and juicy.

Rub the remainder of the mixture over the outside of the turkey breast. This bit flavors the skin and helps it crisp up.

Place the turkey, breast side down, in the air fryer basket.

Cook for 20 minutes, then flip to breast side up. Cook for another 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey breast is at 165 degrees F.

Remove the turkey to a carving platter and tent it with foil. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes.

Carve and serve!

We like to drown ours in gravy, obviously. 😉

A close up of mashed potatoes and turkey covered in gravy.

Answer a question:

How do I know how much turkey to buy/cook?

The rule of thumb for bone in turkey is 1 to 1 1/4 pounds per person. This recipe is for a 4-5 pound turkey and intended to serve 4 people.

How long will it take to thaw my turkey?

First, always thaw your turkey in the refrigerator! The guideline here is it will take a full day for every 5 lbs of meat. Again, for this recipe you will want your turkey to start thawing the day before you plan on cooking it.

Where do I put the thermometer to measure the internal temp?

The thermometer should always go in the thickest portion of the breast. Be careful not to put the thermometer against a bone.

A turkey breast in an air fryer basket

Air Fryer Tips and Notes for this Recipe:

As an Amazon associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

We used an OMORC 6 qt air fryer. It was just barely too small for my 5lb turkey, so I had to cook the turkey on its side. To compensate for that, instead of flipping it only once like the recipes says, I flipped it every 20 minutes to make sure I cooked it evenly. This worked perfectly,!

Meat thermometers are relatively cheap. I use mine all the time for the security of knowing it is cooked all the way through. The best part about this digital meat thermometer is that it has a magnet on it to just keep it hanging on the side of the fridge. It is a reminder to use it often, instead of letting it get lost in a drawer somewhere and estimating if the food is done.

When it comes to knives I am picky, and I don’t like to have a bunch of knives that only do one thing. Instead, I have one 7-inch knife that I use for EVERYTHING. It is great for chopping veggies or for carving a turkey!

A close up of carved turkey breast

More air fried recipes you might serve with this turkey:

An overhead view of turkey and mashed potatoes on a black plate.
Mashed potatoes and gravy on a plate with turkey breast.

Air Fryer Turkey Breast

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Our turkey breast recipe is seasoned with traditional seasonings but cooked in an untraditional way. Coooking the turkey in the air fryer adds some extra crispiness to the skin and we all know that is the best part!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary

Instructions

  1. Place the turkey breast on a large plate or baking sheet.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to a small bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Gently loosen the skin around the meat and rub about ⅔ of the butter mixture under the skin.
  4. Rub the remaining butter mixture over the outside of the turkey breast. 
  5. Place the turkey, skin side down, in the air fryer basket and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Carefully flip the turkey over and cook, skin side up, for 40 minutes more or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  6. Remove the turkey to a ccutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Carve and serve.

Notes

If you have a preferred seasoning it will work fine with this recipe. You don't have to use what we recommend. Feel free to use your super secret family recipe instead and you will still find it enjoyable to cook in the air fryer!

If your air fryer is too small to have your turkey sit flat in the air fryer basket, lean it on the side to cook. You will need to flip it every 15 mintues if you cook it like this instead of only flipping it once like the recipe calls for.

You'll need around 1 1/4 pounds per person you're feeding with a bone-in turkey breast.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 970Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 484mgSodium: 1183mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 171g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.