Air Fryer Turkey Breast

Air Fryer Turkey Breast cooks in about an hour and comes out tender and juicy every time. Roasting a turkey breast in the air fryer keeps your oven free for cooking the sides or keeps it off so you can have turkey year round, even during the hot summer months.

white platter, rosemary, cranberries, sliced turkey breast, fork

If you need a little extra meat for your Thanksgiving dinner, or are just craving turkey on a Thursday, this air fryer turkey breast recipe is the answer! Most grocery stores sell turkey breast year round, not just at the holidays, and if not fresh then frozen. If you’re having a smaller Thanksgiving this year, it’s great for feeding just a few people. It’s also the perfect size for a week’s worth of sandwiches or for adding a few people to the holiday dinner table without having to cook a second turkey.

There are tons of great sides to serve with it any time of the year, but some of our favorites are , Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Cranberry Orange Sauce.

Cooking in the air fryer is a great way to get some flavorful juicy turkey meat without heating up your kitchen or while keeping your oven free for mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole!

Table of Contents
  1. Why Use an Air Fryer?
  2. How to Cook a Turkey Breast in an Air Fryer
  3. How to Carve a Turkey Breast
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. More Ways to Cook Turkey
  6. What to Serve with Turkey Breast
  7. Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe

Why Use an Air Fryer?

There are lot of benefits to using an air fryer for everyday cooking, but especially around the holidays. When you cook an air fryer turkey breast:

  • You free up oven space: Save the oven for larger casserole dishes that can all cook at the same time, like mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole and Green Bean Casserole.
  • Faster and more even cooking: Hot air circulates around all sides of the turkey breast, allowing it to cook faster and more evenly than a traditional oven roast.
  • It’s healthier: Use a skinless turkey and you’ve got a much healthier bird with a fraction of the fat of regular Thanksgiving turkey. And you still get incredibly tender, juicy meat.

I love my Phillips XXL Air Fryer. It’s large enough to cook a whole turkey breast, or 4 chicken breasts, or a few steaks or a big bag of Tater Tots. It’s easy to use and easy to clean. In my opinion it’s the best air fryer and the one I always recommend!

sliced turkey breast, fork, white platter

Ingredients for Air Fryer Turkey Breast

  • Turkey breast – I prefer boneless turkey breast for air frying, because it fits much better in the basket. If you want a crispy skin, try to find a boneless with the skin on.
  • Olive oil
  • Spice rub – Salt, garlic powder, rosemary, paprika and black pepper. Feel free to add additional herbs and flavors that you love, like thyme, sage, poultry seasoning or lemon. Fresh herbs work, too.

How to Cook a Turkey Breast in an Air Fryer

This easy recipe makes the best, juiciest and most flavorful turkey breast. I was surprised by how much juicier the meat was compared to cooking it in the oven! There are 3 simple steps and your entree is done in less than an hour.

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below to view the complete list of ingredients and full instructions.

  • Season. Rub olive oil all over the turkey this helps to keep it juicy and moist and also helps the seasonings stick. Rub in some salt and pepper, garlic powder, rosemary and paprika.
  • Air fry. Preheat your air fryer if it needs it and roast for 20 minutes on each side, or until the internal temp is 160 degrees.
  • Rest. Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

How to Carve a Turkey Breast

Carving a boneless breast is simple – just slice and serve. If you choose to use a bone-in turkey breast, you’ll need to first separate the meat from the bone, running your knife gently down both sides of the breast bone from top to bottom. Then use gentle strokes to separate the meat. Once you’ve removed the meat from the bone, you can slice and arrange on a serving platter.

collage of two images - turkey breast in an air fryer basket

Tips

  • You will need to completely thaw your turkey breast before you cook it. Do this in a casserole dish in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Do not thaw turkey in the sink!
  • Use leftover turkey meat in turkey casserole, sandwiches, wraps and soups.
  • Serve with turkey gravy and your favorite side dishes. There won’t be a lot of liquid from the meat, so I recommend purchasing a package of turkey stock for the gravy – most stores carry it in the soup aisle.
  • I tested this recipe with a boneless, skin-on breast, a bone-in skin-on breast, as well as a boneless and skinless breast. If you are leaving the skin on, be sure to rub the seasonings under the skin as well. Cooking times were roughly the same for each one.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use for soups, casseroles, sandwiches and salads. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator – do not reheat from frozen or your leftover turkey will dry out.
gravy boat, gravy, sliced turkey breast, cranberry

Frequently Asked Questions

What size Turkey Breast Should I Buy?

The size you need really depends on how many people you need to feed and whether you want lots of leftovers. First, decide if you want bone-in or boneless. Each will give you roughly the same amount of meat and take about the same amount of time to cook. If you want skin, go with bone-in.

For this recipe, I used a Butterball turkey breast that’s readily available at most grocery stores. It’s a boneless 3 pound turkey breast (half breast) that will feed approximately 4-6 people with a couple of sides, or up to 8 people with small portions and lots of side dishes.

You should also consider the size of your air fryer. Measure the basket and make sure that it will fit the turkey breast you want to cook.

What Temperature Should Turkey be Cooked to?

All meat should be cooked to its optimal temperature for food safety. The internal temperature for turkey is 165 degrees. You can remove it at 155-160 and let it rest on a cutting board, covered with foil. As it sits it keeps cooking and the temp will rise to 165 degrees. A digital instant read thermometer handy is a must for every kitchen!

More Ways to Cook Turkey

For leftover turkey, Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole and Turkey and Stuffing Casserole are both quite delicious and a great way to use up leftovers.

slices of turkey breast on a platter with gravy and fresh rosemart

What to Serve with Turkey Breast

Now that you know how to cook a turkey breast in the air fryer, serve it up with some of your favorite, classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

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Air Fryer Turkey Breast

Learn how to make the most tender and juicy air fryer turkey breast. Includes tips for boneless or bone-in, and with or without the skin.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 273kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pound boneless turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Rub turkey breast with olive oil on all sides.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, rosemary, paprika and pepper.
  • Pat the seasonings into the turkey breast.
  • Place the turkey breast in the basket of an air fryer.
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the turkey breast over and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165.
  • Allow the turkey breast to rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Thaw your turkey in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Not in the sink!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use for soups, casseroles, sandwiches and salads. Freeze for up to 6 months. 
  • To make turkey gravy, plan to purchase a package of turkey stock. 

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 49gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 855mgPotassium: 555mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 127IUCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer recipes, air fryer turkey breast

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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