This Air Fryer Turkey Breast recipe makes the perfect smaller Thanksgiving dinner, but it's also a great family dinner option for any night of the week. It's easy to make in less cooking time, thanks to the air fryer!
Are you looking for a mouthwatering yet convenient way to prepare a succulent turkey breast? Look no further -- it's the air fryer to the rescue!
Whether you're hosting a smaller Thanksgiving feast or looking for a quick, delicious weeknight meal, this easy Air Fryer Turkey Breast recipe is a great option. It's perfect when you don't want to or don't need to cook a whole turkey.
Say goodbye to lengthy oven roasting and hello to quick, crispy, flavorful turkey breast. With this simple recipe, you can achieve the ideal balance of juicy tenderness and golden crispiness thanks to the magic of the air fryer.
🌟 Why you should cook turkey in an air fryer
Cooking turkey in an air fryer can be a great cooking method for several reasons. We love cooking turkey tenderloins in the air fryer, and this turkey breast recipe is easily one of our favorite air fryer recipes as well!
- Quick and convenient - Air fryers use a convection fan to circulate hot air around the food. This cooks the turkey breast quickly. So you can have a delicious, juicy turkey breast in a fraction of the time it would take in a traditional oven.
- Even cooking - The convection technology in air fryers ensures that the turkey breast cooks evenly. It eliminates hot spots, resulting in an evenly cooked piece of meat with a crispy exterior and moist interior.
- Crispy texture - One of the advantages of cooking turkey breast in an air fryer is the ability to achieve crispy skin. The hot air circulation promotes browning and crisping, similar to deep-frying but with significantly less oil.
- Reduced mess - Cooking in an air fryer is relatively mess-free. There's no need to deal with splattering oil or excessive cleanup, as you might when roasting in an oven or deep frying.
- Energy efficiency - Air fryers are generally more energy-efficient than traditional ovens.
- Big flavors - Air frying helps seal in the natural juices of the turkey breast, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish.
🛒 Ingredient notes
- Boneless turkey breast - This recipe calls for a 3 pound boneless breast. You can usually find it in the meat department of any local grocery store.
- Seasoning - To create your own poultry seasoning, you'll need fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, fresh minced garlic, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. You can use pre-mixed poultry seasoning instead, but I find the best flavor comes from being able to control the amounts of each herb. If you use pre-mixed, storebought poultry seasoning, add the fresh minced garlic or a little garlic powder.
- Gravy - For the turkey gravy, you'll need some chicken broth or chicken stock and all purpose flour.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
You'll find a full ingredient list and detailed air frying instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. But for you visual learners, here are step-by-step photos to help you make the most delicious air fryer turkey breast!
- Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels. You can choose to leave the netting on or take it off before air frying.
- Rub the olive oil over all sides of the turkey meat.
3. Whisk together all of the seasonings in a small bowl.
4. Pat the seasoning mixture over the entire turkey breast.
5. Place the seasoned turkey breast in the air fryer basket.
6. Air fry the turkey at 360°F and the time to 20 minutes.
7. Flip the turkey breast over, then air fry for another 20-25 minutes. The turkey meat is done when a meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 165°F.
Let the turkey breast rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. During this time, you can make the gravy.
Make the turkey gravy
- Pour the drippings from the air fryer basket(s) into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour in the chicken broth, then whisk in the flour.
- Continue whisking until the flour has dissolved into the sauce, and until the gravy thickens up to your liking.
👩🏻🍳 Air frying tips and recipe FAQs
- Be sure to preheat your air fryer for faster, even cooking.
- Always let your turkey breast rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it. You can tent it with aluminum foil during this time to help the internal temperature rise to 165°F if you remove it from the air fryer at 160°F.
Yes, you can keep the netting on during air frying. This helps keep the turkey breast all together to cook evenly. Be sure to remove the netting completely before slicing and serving.
You can. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your turkey breast. Be sure to check the internal temperature on your bone-in turkey breast after about 35 minutes and check it again at 40 minutes. It may cook just a few minutes faster than a boneless turkey breast.
Allow the breast meat to cool down, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
🍽 Serving ideas
This juicy turkey breast with gravy is perfect for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner. But it's also fast enough for any weeknight meal. Try serving this turkey breast with any of these easy recipes.
For a Thanksgiving feast:
- Turkey Charcuterie Board
- Broccoli Crunch Salad
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots
- Mini Pecan Pies
- Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
For an everyday weeknight meal:
🍷 🥂 Best wine with turkey
There are two wines that always pair perfectly with turkey: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is a classic light-bodied red wine is renowned for its versatility, making it an excellent choice to pair with turkey. Its bright acidity, red berry notes, and subtle earthy undertones harmonize wonderfully with the bird's succulent meat and herb-infused stuffing.
If you prefer red wines, you can also pair a Grenache or Zinfandel with turkey breast.
A well-oaked Chardonnay brings buttery, creamy notes that complement the turkey's texture and flavor. The wine's balanced acidity and hints of vanilla and citrus make it an ideal pairing, especially with dishes like roasted turkey with gravy.
If you are a white wine lover, you might also try pairing a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or an aromatic Viognier wine with turkey.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Air fryer - You'll need an air fryer that is at least 8 quarts in size. I use either my Ninja Dual Zone air fryer or my Ninja Foodi XL Deluxe Air Fryer to make this turkey recipe.
- Tongs - Use kitchen tongs to flip over the turkey meat halfway through air frying.
- Cutting board and knife - Have a large cutting board and sharp knife ready to slice the turkey once it's done air frying.
- Small saucepan - Use a small saucepan to make the gravy.
- Whisk - You will need a whisk to stir together the seasoning and also to whisk together the gravy.
- Meat thermometer - an instant read thermometer helps ensure your turkey is cooked properly.
More Thanksgiving recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Air Fryer Turkey Breast and Gravy
- Preheat the air fryer at 360°F for 5 minutes. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels.
- Rub 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the turkey breast.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.
- Rub the seasoning mix all over the turkey breast.
- Spray the inside of your air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the turkey breast in the basket.
- Air fry at 360°F for 20 minutes. Then use tongs to flip the turkey breast over.
- Air fry for another 20 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 165°F.
- Allow the turkey breast to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- While the turkey is resting, make the gravy.
Make the gravy
- Pour the drippings from the air fryer basket into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the broth and then whisk in the flour. Continue cooking and whisking until the flour has fully dissolved into the gravy and the sauce thickens. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the turkey breast.
- Make sure you are using a boneless turkey breast for this recipe -- not bone-in turkey breast, and not turkey tenderloin, which is a totally different cut.
- If your turkey breast comes in netting, leave the netting on while it's air frying.
- If your turkey breast is slightly larger, watch the meat carefully while air frying -- you may need to add more time to the cooking time.
- Taste the gravy before serving and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.