Crock pot turkey breast is an easy dinner cooked effortlessly in a slow cooker for tender, juicy meat. The spice-rubbed turkey is served with homemade gravy.
There is no need to wait until Thanksgiving dinner or the holidays to enjoy a turkey feast. A tender and juicy turkey breast can be easily made any day of the week, right in a slow cooker.
Using a savory spice rub to coat the meat instantly adds a punch of flavor to the poultry, without the need of a marinade. The low and slow cooking process allows the protein to gently cook without becoming dry. If you love lean slices of turkey, this meal is designed for you!
How to cook turkey breast in a crock pot
When you’re not in the mood to roast an entire turkey, slow cooking just the breast meat is an easy option.
- Turkey Selection: Choose a boneless turkey breast with skin on. Bone-in turkey breast can be used as well. However, cooking times may be slightly longer. Depending on the availability of just breast meat at the grocery store, a whole turkey may need to be purchased and cut. Choose at least a 16-pound whole turkey to yield a 1 1/2 to a 2-pound breast.
- Seasoning: A blend of salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and garlic powder is mixed with olive oil to create a paste, and rubbed onto both sides of the meat for maximum flavor transfer. If you have time to plan ahead, try brining the turkey breast beforehand to infuse more flavor and increase the juiciness.
- Cooking Time: I find it works best to use the LOW setting for this slow cooker turkey breast recipe to prevent the meat from drying out. Adjust the cooking time as needed, if the portion is smaller or larger than 2 pounds. Check for the proper doneness temperature using an instant-read thermometer, targeting around 160°F (71°C).
The turkey breast is cooked on a bed of onions, garlic, and rosemary. Not only does this add aromatics to the protein, but the juices from the turkey simmer with these ingredients to make a flavorful gravy.
Right before serving the turkey transfer to the oven and broil. This process helps crisp up the skin to add another layer of texture and deepens the color to a golden brown.
Making a turkey gravy is a must, especially when there are so many incredible flavors just sitting at the bottom of the slow cooker. The juices are strained and separated from the vegetables, and then a quick pan sauce is made using a roux as a thickener for the gravy.
Trust me, the gravy is delicious and will be hard to resist drizzling it all over your meal.
As the crock pot turkey breast is cooking, don’t forget to prepare some sides. I like to make my fluffy mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce, and some crunchy green beans. Make every day a reason to celebrate with this comforting meal!
More Slow Cooker recipes
Can frozen turkey breast be cooked in the crockpot?
Using a slow cooker is an easy way to cook a large piece of turkey breast with minimal effort. However, it is best to make sure that the meat is defrosted before adding to the crockpot. Due to the thickness of the poultry, if it is frozen when placed into the unit, it can reduce the efficiency of the moist heat cooking process by lowering the temperature in the vessel. This can also increase the cooking time and food safety risk if the turkey is not fully cooked through.
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Crock Pot Turkey Breast
- 2 pounds turkey breast, boneless, skin on
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion, 1-inch dice
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Place turkey breast on a sheet pan and dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl combine paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil.
- Spread spice mixture evenly over both sides of the turkey breast.
- Sprinkle garlic cloves, onions and rosemary evenly over the bottom of a 6-quart sized slow cooker.
- Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker on top of the garlic, onions, and rosemary.
- Cover and cook on LOW setting for 3 hours. Cook turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Check at 2 ½ hours and continue to cook as needed.
- Remove from the slow cooker and put the turkey on a sheet pan lined with foil.
- Set oven to broil. Place turkey in the oven about 12-inches away from the top. Broil until the skin is golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye that the skin does not burn, as it cooks very quickly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile make the gravy.
- Strain the contents of the slow cooker into a bowl, reserving only the juices. It should yield about ½ cup of liquid.
- Heat a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan and then whisk in the flour. Once a pale roux is formed, turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Gradually whisk in the reserved turkey juices and ½ cup of chicken stock. Continously stir until thickened and add more chicken stock as needed until the desired consistency is reached. Season gravy with salt and pepper.
- Slice the turkey and serve with gravy.
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