Perfect for smaller gatherings, this Orange Sage Turkey breast is the best way to get juice meat without having to cook the whole bird. A great alternative for a small holiday meal or even Sunday dinner.
There is a lot of pressure to WOW in the kitchen because of my occupation, so I have a few recipes up my sleeve for stress-free entertaining and filling life with flavor. One of them is my Orange Sage Turkey Breast with Creamy Sherry Sauce.
It is always a crowd pleaser with impressive results.
What's In This Article
Orange Sage Turkey Breast
Turkey breast is lean protein and much easier to prepare than a whole bird. Basic seasonings like fresh sage and orange zest layered with a simple savory sherry sauce will give you a restaurant quality dish.
I can prep the turkey in less than 5 minutes and use the drippings to have my sherry sauce ready-to-go before it leaves the oven. While it roasts, I am making all the sides.
Gravy, by definition, is usually rich and creamy and thick. While this sauce is rich and decadent, it is more of a sauce and less of a gravy.
I use a combination of turkey butter drippings with just a little bit of flour. Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk, it uses skim.
And to thicken it, I use the same technique as hollandaise sauce, egg yolks. Egg yolk is chalk full of antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids and omega-3 fats.
It doesn’t need much additional seasoning since the turkey drippings include unsalted butter, orange zest, kosher salt and fresh sage.
Orange sage butter could also be used on a whole turkey. Just quadruple the recipe. Truth be told, I even served it on dinner rolls and melted over sautéed broccolini.
And a little goes a long way so you really only need two tablespoons for an entire turkey breast to make to get a whole lot of flavor.
The real star of the show isn’t the turkey, it is the sherry cream sauce. Delicious, slightly sweet and totally rich sherry sauce! Of course you could just grab a gravy packet from the store, but the juicy meat of this boneless turkey breast roast deserves a delicious sauce with great flavor.
Whether you don’t like dark meat, you’re serving a small group or you’re just looking for a a great option to make for your small family, this savory turkey breast is perfect. With simple ingredients, it’s ideal for home cooks and chefs alike.
- Turkey breasts – Some people like using a bone-in turkey breast, but for this recipe I like using a boneless turkey breast. It cuts down on time because you don’t need to carve.
- Butter – Any time I’m cooking, I like to use unsalted butter. That way I’m able to control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe.
- Sage – Fresh herbs just have a more pungent flavor, so I definitely recommend using fresh sage for this whole turkey breast.
- Orange zest – You can’t have an orange sage turkey breast without some orange, right?? You could also use lemon zest if you don’t have an orange.
- Salt – Kosher salt is my favorite variety to use for this roast turkey breast. If using salted butter, go ahead and omit the salt altogether.
- Turkey drippings – To make the deliciously creamy sauce that goes on top, I like to use the pan drippings from the juicy turkey breast. It has all the fat and flavor you need.
- Flour – We need a thickening agent for this sauce, just like when making gravy; all purpose flour will do just that. You can also use cornstarch.
- Milk – To help provide the creamy element, we need to add a little milk. I like to use skim milk, but you can use any type of milk you have on hand.
- Orange juice – Remember that orange you zested? Cut it in half and squeeze it to make juice! Fresh juice is so much better than the bottled variety.
- Cooking wine – I love the flavor that cooking wine adds to a recipe. I prefer to use a sherry flavored wine for this oven-roasted turkey breast recipe.
- Egg yolks – Believe it or not, tempering egg yolks can also give recipes a creamy finish. And that’s exactly what they do for this creamy sauce.
- Salt and pepper – You can add these to taste. I like to use fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
How to Make Orange Sage Turkey Breast
- Prepare oven and roasting pan. Preheat oven and coat a rimmed baking sheet or dish with cooking spray.
- Make herb butter mixture. In a small bowl, mash together softened butter, fresh sage and orange zest.
- Season with salt and butter. Season turkey breasts with kosher salt and then rub with butter mixture. For crispy skin, rub on top of the skin and underneath.
- Bake. Place on baking sheet and roast. Two or three times during cooking, use a basting brush and dab run off juices and better on the top. Dab, do not brush or else the orange zest and sage will brush off.
- Check temperature. Continue to roast turkey until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast. Remove at 165 degrees and allow to rest before serving. Use an instant read thermometer for this. The size of your turkey breast will change the cooking time.
- Slice. Slice turkey breast horizontally and serve with 2-3 tablespoons of sherry cream sauce over each serving.
FOR SHERRY CREAM SAUCE:
- Drain juices. At 30 minutes cooked, spoon some pan juices from the baking dish and transfer to a small saucepan.
- Brown butter. Over low heat, brown butter until it starts to smell nutty.
- Whisk in flour. Whisk in flour until it forms a paste.
- Add milk, juice and wine. While whisking, add skim milk. Whisk until smooth and then add orange juice and sherry cooking wine.
- Temper eggs. Ladle out approximately ¼ cup of sauce. Quickly whisk in two egg yolks and then return to main mixture over low heat. Continue to whisk until thick and hot.
- Taste test. Remove from heat and taste test and correct seasoning with fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Sauce should be sweet and decedent with a hint of sherry and fresh orange.
Storage and Freezing
There are endless ways to use leftover turkey, but first you need to know how to store it. Place turkey in a freezer bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
You can also freeze this baked turkey breast the same way. In an airtight container or freezer bag and it will last for up to five months.
More Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
Orange Sage Turkey Breast with Creamy Sherry Sauce
- 2 boneless skinless turkey breasts*
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage , minced
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Creamy Sage Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons turkey drippings
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
- 2 egg yolks , whisked
- Salt & Pepper , to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet or dish with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mash together softened butter, fresh sage and orange zest.
- Season turkey breasts with kosher salt and then rub with butter mixture.
- Place on baking sheet and roast for 45-55 minutes. Two or three times during cooking, use a basting brush and dab run off juices and better on the top. Dab, do not brush or else the orange zest and sage will brush off.
- Continue to roast turkey until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast. Remove at 165 degrees and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Slice turkey breast horizontally and serve with 2-3 tablespoons of sherry cream sauce over each serving.
For Sherry Cream Sauce:
- At 30 minutes cooked, spoon 2 tablespoons of drippings from the baking dish and transfer to a small saucepan.
- Over low heat, brown butter for 5 minutes or until it starts to smell nutty.
- Whisk in flour until it forms a paste.
- While whisking, add skim milk. Whisk until smooth and then add orange juice and Sherry Cooking Wine.
- Ladle out approximately ¼ cup of sauce. Quickly whisk in two egg yolks and then return to main mixture over low heat. Continue to whisk until thick and hot.
- Remove from heat and taste test and correct seasoning with fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Sauce should be sweet and decedent with a hint of sherry and fresh orange.
- Serve immediately to prevent over thickening.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Holland House Cooking Wines.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turkey done quite like this before. I love the orange combination. Citrus is wonderful with turkey.
Orange and sage sound wonderful. pinned to try this for holidays.
Loving the addition of orange! This would be so perfect for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂
This is such a creative recipe. Might have to add to our holiday menu this year!
Turkey is so good all year round and this orange cream sauce is perfect! Thanks for sharing this.
Looks so decadent and delish! And eash too! Will have to give it a try very soon. Thanks!
Love citrus and sage together, and it’s so good on turkey! Such a great recipe!
Tried this for the first time it was pretty easy to make and absolutely satisfying will be making it again.
Absolutely – one of the merriest times of the year but also one of the busiest, too! Fabulous turkey breat recipe to make!
I love the combination of orange and sage. Delicious in turkey breast!