For most families, side dishes are the real star of food-heavy holidays. Big buttery rolls, sweet potato casserole, stuffing and everyone’s favorite, green bean casserole. This means that space in the oven is a hot commodity. Rather than roast a 20-pound bird in the oven for the better part of the day, make things a bit easier and turn to your trusty kitchen ally: a slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Ingredients
- Bone-in turkey breast
- Dried minced garlic
- Seasoned salt
- Italian seasoning
- Olive oil
Step 1: Season the turkey
If your turkey breast came from the store skin-on, don’t worry: You can remove the skin from the breast by gently pulling it up and back. Discard.
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, seasoned salt, paprika, Italian seasoning and pepper until evenly combined. Brush the turkey breast all over with the oil, then rub it evenly with the seasoning mixture.
Editor’s Tip: For an ultra-seasonal turkey rub, try our recipe for homemade turkey seasoning in this step. It will fill your house with the most savory aromas!
Step 2: Slow cook until tender
Transfer the seasoned turkey breast to a slow cooker, and add the water. Cover and cook on low until the turkey is nice and tender, 5 to 6 hours.
Step 3: Let the turkey rest, then slice
Before taking the turkey breast out of the slow cooker, check its temperature with a meat thermometer to test its doneness. The thickest part of the turkey should be at least 165°F for food safety.
Once it’s up to temp, pull the turkey breast from the slow cooker, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices (and flavor!) to lock into the meat before cutting. After that quick rest, slice the turkey. Serve it alongside lots of fresh-from-the-oven sides!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Variations
Make a zesty lemon-garlic turkey rub: Skip the seasoning mixture listed above, and instead make a fresh rub with minced fresh parsley, minced garlic cloves, grated lemon zest and lemon-pepper seasoning. Rub mixture all over oiled turkey breast, then add water and cook as directed.
Get ultra-elegant with an herb-cream rub: For exceptionally juicy meat, use both butter and cream cheese in the herb-studded rub. A must-try!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Tips
Taste of Home
How can I use up leftover turkey breast?
Try out any of our leftover turkey recipes to see how you can use up your turkey breast. Raspberry mustard spread adds a fruity zing to a typical turkey sandwich. Or get cozy with comforting turkey pot pie or satisfying turkey shepherd’s pie.
How many people does a turkey breast serve?
A 6 to 7 pound turkey breast will feed 5 to 6 people, making it a great meal choice for small gatherings. To find out how much turkey to serve per person, use this simple formula: Number of guests x 1.25. So six guests will need a 7.5 pound turkey. If you’re serving a large crowd, cut down on the cook time by purchasing two turkeys.
How long does it take a turkey breast to thaw?
If your breast came frozen, give it time to thaw. Every 4 pounds of frozen turkey will need 24 hours of thawing time before it’s ready to cook. The best (and safest) way to defrost a turkey is to place it in its original packaging in the refrigerator on a tray for the allotted time. A 7 pound turkey will need just under two full days (42 hours) to thaw.
Can I slow cook a turkey overnight?
As this slow cooker turkey recipe takes about 5 to 6 hours to cook, we recommend cooking it during the daytime.
Can I slow cook a skin-on turkey breast?
Yes, you can slow cook a skin-on turkey breast. It’s truly a matter of personal preference. If you do cook with the skin on, we recommend crisping up the skin afterward by broiling it for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on it, though, so it doesn’t overcook the turkey.