Not making a whole Thanksgiving Turkey this year? This oven roasted turkey breast recipe is just as good, if not better than roasting the whole bird!
Baked Turkey Breast
Why is this recipe so darn good? Mayonnaise… or mayo as most call it.
In my everyday life, I don’t really enjoy mayonnaise that much. In fact, I won’t eat it out of a jar, only if it is homemade. So the fact that I LOVE it in this recipe is pretty remarkable.
Mayonnaise is made from salt, eggs and oil. Salt helps brighten flavors, eggs bind and are sticky and oil keeps it all moist.
These three elements make it the perfect glue, for better words, for slathering onto a turkey breast. You don’t have to baste it! It just sticks.
But mayonnaise is funny. Even though it is so simple, there is a wide range of mayo flavors and many are passionate about their favorites. Dukes being a big one in the south.
So I blended my mayonnaise with all your traditional fresh herbs, slathered it on and baked to a golden brown. Easy peasy.
Can I use a Whole Turkey?
Why make turkey breast instead of a whole turkey? There are several reason.
When making it for a holiday, a turkey breast is perfect for a smaller, more intimate gathering.
Turkey breast is less intimidating than roasting a whole a turkey. Two turkey breasts will still feed 4-5 people.
But to answer your question, yes, you can use it on a whole turkey.
Boneless Skinless Turkey Breast
Turkey breast is white meat, meaning it is lean, lower in fat and calories than other, dark meat, parts of the turkey.
And of course, it takes less time to roast a turkey breast than a whole bird.
You don’t need to mess around with an extra large roasting pan or filling the turkey cavities for maximum flavor.
Don’t just make this turkey breast recipe for Thanksgiving, it can be made all year long!
And as far as I know, it is considered to be keto friendly, paleo and Whole30 friendly as long as you use the approved mayonnaise. Primal Kitchen and Tessamae make these.
For the rest of the recipe… check out my tips for using fresh herbs. You can use dried, but fresh packs so much more flavor.
PRO TIP: If substituting dried herbs for fresh, use 1 tablespoon fresh herbs for every 1 teaspoon of dried. Or vice versa.
Tips for how to chop herbs:
- Use a very sharp knife. See my Knife Skills post for more info.
- Use a wood chopping board. It is better for your knives and makes fragile chopping cleaner.
- Dry herbs chop easier than damp or wet herbs. Rinse a few hours before using to allow them to dry or blot with a paper towel before chopping.
- For rosemary, splay the leaves to the side andude kitchen shears to snip it off.
- For thyme, using your fingers, pull up against the grain, removing whole leaves.
- For sage, tear off whole leaves. Pile them on top of each other flat and then chop vertically and horizontally for perfect littles squares.
- Use flat leaf (Italian parsley) for seasoning and recipes.
- Use curly parsley for garnish.
How do I make turkey gravy?
Easy! Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons flour in a small skillet. This makes a roux. Whisk until a paste forms and it browns slightly.
Add 2-4 tablespoons pan drippings and 2 cups turkey or vegetable broth. Simmer and whisk until smooth and thick.
Season with salt and pepper. You can also add a small amount of white wine right before serving for extra layers of sophistication.
Check out my post on chicken gravy (only using turkey drippings) for most detailed instructions.
Red Wine Gravy also tastes AH-amazing on this dish!
Couple more random questions…
Is Miracle Whip mayonnaise? Yes and no. Mayo, but definition is made with eggs, oil and salt, sometimes vinegar. Miracle Whip contains those ingredients, plus added seasoning of paprika, sugar and garlic powder.
Can I use Miracle Whip in this recipe? Yes, you can! It is sweeter than regular mayo, so keep that in mind.
What temperature does turkey breast need to be? The internal temperature of turkey should be 165 degrees using a instant read digital meat thermometer.
Should I cook turkey breast skin side up or down? For this recipe, skin side up. Otherwise, all this delicious herbed mayonnaise will just slop off.
Do I need to brine my turkey breast? Because the breast doesn’t roast for that long and the mayo helps keeps it moist, it isn’t really needed.
But if you want to brine, you certainly can. It doesn’t hurt! Here is my award winning turkey brine recipe! Just cut the recipe in one serving on the recipe card and it will auto populate to the correct amounts.
More Turkey Recipes:
- Orange Thyme Turkey
- How to Brine a Turkey
- Cranberry Turkey Roll-Ups
- Turkey Noodle Soup
- Stuffed Turkey Breast
Here are even more recipes you can add to your Thanksgiving feast!
Herb Mayonnaise Roast Turkey Breast
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sage, thyme, parsley and rosemary. Set aside.
- Season turkey breast with fine sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Slather the top with herbed mayonnaise.
- Bake for 60-90 minutes. The exact time is going to vary based on the size of your turkey breast. If the mayonnaise starts to brown too much, loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake until the center registers at 165 degrees.
- Remove and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with gravy, if desired.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!