Crock Pot Turkey Breast

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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.

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!

Applying a spice rub blend onto a turkey breast

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).

Seasoned turkey breast laying a bed of vegetables inside a slow cooker

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.

Pouring gravy over slices of turkey on a plate

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.

Plate of turkey breast with golden crispy skin and gravy on top

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

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.
Pin Print Review
3.78 from 101 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition Facts
Crock Pot Turkey Breast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 104mg35%
Sodium 2459mg102%
Potassium 711mg20%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 20.6mg25%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

63 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Donna Chetnik says

    I have never done a turkey breast in a slow cooker, my daughter happened to see this recipe & thought I might like to try it. It looked good. I did make it on Thanksgiving. I was very happy with the results. What’s great about doing it this way is your free to use your oven for other things. I would certainly make this again.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You are a rockstar Donna! You are so brave to try a new turkey cooking method, especially on Thanksgiving! I’m thrilled to hear that you had positive results, and room to cook other food in the oven.

  2. Georgenne Tomlinson says

    Jessica, I see the sodium content is very high, and I am on a reduced sodium diet. I’m hoping I can make up for no salt (or very little) added with other herbs. I’m making it for Easter…..and I’m sure it will be great! Do you modify your recipes for low/no sodium? Thanks.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Amy- No liquid goes in. There should be some liquid from the turkey juice after cooking, which will be used to make the gravy. There is 1 cup of chicken stock to use as needed to adjust the consistency of the gravy.

  3. Megan says

    I was looking for an easy way to cook a turkey breast and came across this recipe. Super easy and delicious. Minimal prep for the slow cooker and around 10-15 extra min to broil and make the gravy. What a great way to have turkey all year round. I had it today on a 90º day! Thanks, Jessica!

  4. Jane says

    Wow !!! Really good and easy recipe. This recipe will be a keeper. My whole family really enjoyed the turkey and gravy. Thanks for posting it.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Bonnie, yes you can substitute cornstarch for flour. However, I would make a slurry by adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Then I would add that to boiling 1/2 cup chicken stock and reserved turkey juices, slowly add in the cornstarch slurry while whisking until it thickens, about 60-90 seconds.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Steve- Yes, you can use bone in turkey. You may need to adjust cooking time, so check doneness with a thermometer and continue cooking until the the internal temp reached 160-165F in the thickest part of the breast.

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Hi Jeff! How large is turkey breast? If it’s 4 to 6 pounds, I would go for 4 to 6 hours on low setting depending on size, making sure to check the temperature at 4 hours, and every 30 minutes after that to make sure it does not dry out.

  5. Twilla Youse says

    trying a boneless crock pot turkey breast for the first time, I am so excited, I had heard of it, but never came across a recipe to try, thank you for sharing this with us!!

  6. Shannon Landolt says

    Is there anything else besides rosemary that can be used? My husband HATES rosemary. Also, he’s not a huge fan of thyme. Anything else there? Trying this as soon as I get a reply! Thanks!

  7. Paula says

    I really want to try this for Turkey Day, I have a 3 lb Breast, and was wondering if I could put the Chicken Broth in with the onion, just because?? Lol and since I have a 3 lb how much longer?
    Sounds great looking forward to doing this… Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Paula- I would check it at 3 1/2 hours, then keep cooking until it hits 160-165 degrees. You could add the stock, but you will find there is a lot of juice that pools on the bottom of the pot. Just make sure that you add the indicated amount of liquid for the gravy.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Peggy- I checked the crockpot website and they recommended for a 6-pound bone-in turkey breast 7 1/2 hours on low setting. Therefore I would check at 5 hours for a 4-pound breast, make sure the thickest part of the meat reaches 160-165 degrees. Keep cooking until it gets to that temperature.

  8. Nancy says

    Would it be possible to make this the day before …. brown it under the broiler …. let it cool and refrigerate it? I’d like to slice it and put it in the oven to heat the next day.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Nancy- I think you could make it the day before. Perhaps brown it before serving so the skin is nice and browned/crispy.

  9. Paul says

    Jessica, I was wondering if I could substitute the onions and garlic for beetles and grubs? Would the grub juice interfere with the gravy consistency? Ha! Just kidding. The recipe sounds tasty. I haven’t tried it yet, as it is cooking right now.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Paul, you got me good! Sure add some beetles and grubs for extra protein, I’m sure it would make an incredible gravy 🙂

  10. Dolly says

    Hi Jessica. I am thinking about doing turkey breasts in the crockpot, using your recipe. I will need to make four breasts. Do you think that will work in a 6 quart crockpot? Cooking time and will I need to rotate the breasts during cooking?

    Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Dolly, I think 4 would be much too full in the crockpot. Perhaps at most you might be able to do 2 breasts. Try to fit them side by side, but one flipped the other direction so they fit better together.

  11. Janine King says

    Hi Jessica!

    I am happy to stumble on your informative and yummy website!

    I tried your crock-pot turkey breast and it turned out well. Thanks for the recipe!

    Just a question though…how would I use your recipe to prepare the turkey the day before it’s required? How could I keep the turkey breast meat nice and moist overnight and then to reheat the next day?

    Thanks Jessica!

    Janine

  12. Heidi says

    Hello. I have turkey breast cutlets without skin (I could not find any other turkey to cook in the store!) Would I still be able to use this recipe? Any modifications?

    Thank you,
    Heidi

  13. Marissa says

    Hi Jessica! This looks delish. I’m going follow your recipe for Thanksgiving this year. We are having a small holiday- just my husband and I and our son. Doesn’t make sense to make a whole turkey (for the first time too lol). However, they are still boys and eat a lot! Would this work if I used (2) 2 lb boneless breasts? Unless I can find (1) 3-4lb boneless. Do you know how much time this would add on to the cooking time? I just want to make sure I get it in the slow cooker early enough.
    Thank you so much!!

  14. Linda Patrick says

    Hi Jessica. I love your recipes. Tried this turkey breast for Thanksgiving and totally love it. Had almost a five pound boneless breast so doubled the rub. The flavors went all the way through the meat and was delicious. Thank you for this. Will do turkey this way from now on.

  15. Poppie says

    My husband and I had to cancel our plans and were unexpectedly home for Thanksgiving this year so I tried something new. Crock Pot Turkey Breast with Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Stuffing and Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin. This recipe makes the BEST gravy and our dinner was a “low carb” winner!! I really didn’t think I could be impressed by another turkey recipe…Thank You for an excellent dinner!!

  16. Peter Iversen says

    Out for Thanksgiving this year so we had no left overs to make litle turkey sandwiches the day after! …my lovely wife rose to the occasion and bought a 1/2 turkey breast and some canned cranberry. I made the turkey today.

    Everything came together perfectly for a roasted turkey (breast) better than the T-Day turkey we had just enjoyed. The seasoning and slow cooking process not only brought out the life of the meat but made the best gravy I’ve ever put together…

    …can’t wait to enjoy a little turkey sandwich on a dinner roll with jellied cranberry that I’ve been craving over the next few days…

    Thanks! P

  17. Michelle says

    I’m looking forward to trying slow cooker turkey breast. I have never cooked a turkey breast before. What do you think of pressure cooking a turkey breast? And do some people cook with the netting on?

    Thank you

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Michelle- It is possible to cook turkey breast in the pressure cooker, I have not tried it yet. I would take the netting off, usually, that’s left on for roasting to keep the shape together.

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