Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Every Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of my love for turkey. But turkey can be overwhelming, especially if you roast a large bird for several hours. Then come the negotiations between you and your chef’s knife, cutting it this way and that, hoping you don’t mangle the meat too much. Well, this year I had no reason to cook a twenty-pound turkey, but turkey breast – that I could handle.


Turkey breast is perfect for two or small dinner parties. Plus it’s easier to make, takes significantly less cooking time, and is the perfect way to enjoy fall flavors year round. Making turkey is a great opportunity to test side dishes, cooking methods, and try new flavors for old favorites. By the time I do host Thanksgiving, my menu should be perfect.

I love the herb variety in this recipe. The addition of tart mustard (I used fresh instead of dried), and a slight hint of lemon is a lovely combination. Served alongside roasted acorn squash or mashed potatoes and it will feel like Thanksgiving all over again.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Recipe courtesy Ina Garten

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.