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.
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.
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.
My Favorite Air Fryer
The Phillips XXL Air Fryer is large enough to cook a whole turkey breast, 4 chicken breasts, 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.
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 turkey breast with the skin on.
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.
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!
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!
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. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator – do not reheat from frozen or your leftover turkey will dry out.
Let us know how it was by leaving a review or sharing on Instagram with the tag #yellowblissroad
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.