My simple brined turkey breast is so easy and there are just a couple tricks to make it perfect.

Unless you have lots of $$ to spend to buy a fresh turkey breast, you’ll buy it frozen.

Please, pretty pretty please don’t try to defrost your turkey on your counter.  It takes a little planning.  My turkey breast that I got at Mariano’s was 8.5 pounds and it took me three hours to defrost.  I also brined it for 24 hours, so start this process four days before Thanksgiving.

Should you butter or oil your turkey breast?

I prefer oil.   I think it distributes better and still gets a delicious looking and crispy skin.  I also do minimal seasoning on the turkey.  Just some simple dried rosemary, salt and pepper.

How long should you brine a turkey breast?

The rule of thumb is to brine at least one hour for every pound of turkey.  Whether you use a turkey breast or whole turkey.  Even though I was cooking a turkey breast, I still brined mine for 24 hours.

this is a photo of oven roasted turkey with root vegetables

this is a photo of oven roasted turkey with root vegetables

Simple Brined Turkey Breast

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 4 days
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 days 2 hours

A delicious simple brined turkey breast is so easy and delicious. Perfect for a small family for Thanksgiving.


  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 8-9 pound turkey breast

Right Before Roasting

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Put the water, salt, brown sugar in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar and salt are dissolved.  Let cool completely.  In a large container, put they turkey in the container, pour over the brine and add the crushed red pepper, peppercorns and rosemary.  Brine for 24 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 325.  Remove turkey from the brine.  Pat completely dry with paper towels.  Place in a roasting pan.  Pour the oil over the bird, and using your hands cover all parts of the turkey.  Salt and pepper the turkey and bake until it reaches 160 degrees.  After resting it will reach the correct temperature.  It took me just under two hours for my turkey to get to temperature.
  3. If you like, you can roast root vegetables with the turkey such as carrots, turnips and celery.
  4. Let rest at least 60 minutes if possible, to allow the juices to redistribute.  You’ll have perfectly juicy turkey every time.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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My turkey breast fell over during the first hour, so it didn’t brown evenly.  For the second hour, I placed the turkey breast on an apple and it stays straight.

this is a photo of turkey breast ready to go in the oven

Please let it rest at least an hour before slicing.  It will still be quite warm in the middle!  And really, isn’t that what gravy is for?

this is a photo of a simple brined turkey breast

this is a photo of roasted chicken, potatoes and zucchini

You can add root vegetables in the pan while baking the turkey.  If your turkey breast seems to be getting too dark, you can tent after the first hour with foil – shiny side up.  If you missed it, my butternut squash twice baked potatoes recipe can be found here.  My scalloped zucchini will be posted soon!

If you like turkey, try out my thanksgiving meatballs – same taste without the fuss!