Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic

Bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts, also called split breasts, are inexpensive, flavorful, and nice for (just enough) leftovers. Try this any time of year!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
6 servings


  • 1 head garlic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, and/or sage, plus additional whole sprigs, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (Optional)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • 1 (3 1/2-4 pound) bone-in turkey breast half

  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Rub off the excess papery skin from garlic without separating the cloves. Slice the tip off the head, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle with oil, and wrap into a package. Roast until the garlic is golden brown and soft, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves and any oil left in the foil into a small bowl. Add chopped (or dried) herbs, salt, and pepper; mash with a fork to form a paste.

  3. Scatter lemon slices and herb sprigs, if using, in a 9x13-inch roasting or baking pan. Loosen the skin on the turkey breast and spread all but 1 tsp. of the garlic paste under it, massaging the paste into the meat. Spread the remaining paste over the skin on the underside of the breast. Place the turkey in the pan and add 1 cup water.

  4. Roast the turkey, checking the water every 30 minutes and adding more, 1/2 cup at a time, if the pan is dry, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part (without touching bone) registers 165 degrees F, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.

  5. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the skin before carving. Skim and discard any fat from the pan drippings, then drizzle the drippings over the turkey, if desired (see Tip).


Tip: To defat turkey pan drippings, pour them into a fat separator or heatproof container. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes. If using a fat separator, pour the liquid into a clean bowl or gravy boat. Otherwise, use a bulb baster to suction the liquid from the bottom of the container, leaving the fatty layer behind.

To make ahead: Prepare garlic and herb paste (Step 2) and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Equipment: 9x13-inch roasting or baking pan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

154 Calories
4g Fat
2g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 3 oz.
Calories 154
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 26g 52%
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Vitamin A 64IU 1%
Vitamin C 3mg 3%
Folate 9mcg 2%
Sodium 279mg 12%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Magnesium 29mg 7%
Potassium 237mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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