Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

If you’re looking for an easy way to make the most delicious turkey, look no further than this slow cooker turkey breast. It’s the perfect way to get turkey on the table without the hassle of making an entire turkey. 

overhead shot of platter of sliced turkey breast with text overlay for facebook


 

This tender turkey breast is perfect for a small gathering during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving to Christmas or holiday parties. But it can be great year-round for busy weeknights or meal prep.

If you’re looking to impress your guests, or you just want to make a tender turkey breast that’s full of great flavor, this simple recipe is the easiest way to do it!

Why You’ll Love Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

If you’re a turkey lover, you may not find another recipe that can easily satisfy your turkey cravings like this one.

  • Easy – This recipe takes all the work (and guesswork!) out of making the most perfect, moist turkey. There’s only a few minutes of prep and with a programmable slow cooker, there’s very little attention needed to monitor the cooking. Plus, not making a whole turkey in the oven frees you up to spend less time on the main course and more of your time crafting the perfect side dishes.
  • Great for small gatherings – You can make this easy recipe for a smaller group for Thanksgiving dinner or on a busy weeknight. Plus, leftovers are easily transformed into a simple protein to throw over a salad, pile onto turkey sandwiches, or to make into a mayo-based turkey salad. 
  • Change it up – Adjust the seasoning, change up the oil, or make any additions that your family will love.
overhead shot of whole slow cooker turkey breast on platter

Ingredients

These simple ingredients are all you need to make this juicy turkey breast in the slow cooker.

What You’ll Need for Crock Pot Turkey Breast

  • Carrots – Chop carrots coarsely and in uniform-sized pieces.
  • Celery Ribs – To easily slice the celery, use a sharp knife to slice down the center lengthwise before chopping through both halves. 
  • White Onion – I prefer the flavor and appearance of white onion in this recipe, but you can use any type of onion you prefer. 
  • Garlic Cloves – Finely mince the garlic.
  • Rosemary – Be sure to use fresh rosemary for the most flavor.
  • Fresh Thyme – Thyme is a perfect flavor match for turkey. 
  • Boneless Turkey Breast – The star of the show, this cut of turkey fits perfectly into a slow cooker so that you don’t need to worry about taking up valuable oven space that you may need for other dishes. Be sure that if you purchased a frozen turkey breast at the grocery store, you have thawed it all the way before beginning the slow cooking process. 
  • White Wine – Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking. A dry white wine works best. 
overhead shot of bowl of turkey seasonings

What You’ll Need for the Turkey Rub

  • Garlic Powder – Using powder allows you to add more garlicky flavor directly to the bird.
  • Onion Powder – This gives the turkey a more aromatic flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika – This variety of paprika adds a smoky flavor, but you can use sweet paprika if you prefer.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt – Salt helps to bring out the flavors of the other spices.
  • Ground Black Pepper – Black pepper adds subtle, gentle heat.
  • Dried Rosemary – Rosemary complements the flavor of the turkey.
  • Dried Thyme – Thyme adds herbaceous flavor.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Keep the turkey moist by spreading olive oil over it. Mixing your seasonings into the olive oil first helps to spread them evenly. 

How to Make Crock Pot Turkey Gravy

  • Low-Sodium Chicken Stock or Vegetable Broth – Chicken broth or stock helps to keep the turkey moist. Use low sodium so you’ll be in control of the salt.
  • Unsalted Butter – Using unsalted butter allows you to control the saltiness of the gravy. 
  • Flour – Flour helps to thicken the gravy. Cornstarch or arrowroot are great alternatives.
overhead shot of cooked turkey breast

How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

It couldn’t be easier to make this simple turkey breast — the slow cooker does nearly all of the work!

  1. ​Prepare slow cooker. Spraying slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or lining it with a slow cooker liner
  2. Add veggies, herbs and white wine. Add the onion, garlic, chopped carrots, and celery to the bottom of the slow cooker before placing the fresh herbs on top. Then, add the white wine.
  3. ​Make rub. Place all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and combine until it has a pasty consistency.
  4. Coat turkey with rub. Coat the turkey breast with the rub and place it in the slow cooker. 
  5. Cook. Cook the turkey and vegetables on low until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. 
  6. Allow to rest. Place the cooked turkey breast on a cutting board or plate and cover with tented foil. 
  7. ​Make gravy. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a measuring cup, using a sieve to catch the solids. Add more broth if there is not enough liquid from the slow cooker.
  8. Make roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan and combine it with flour.
  9. Combine. Pour the liquid and drippings in the measuring cup into the butter and flour mixture.

What to Serve with Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

There’s nearly no end to the sides that you can serve with slow cooker turkey breast. Try any steamed or roasted veggies or salads like a classic wedgeBrussels sprouts saladpear salad with candied walnuts, or beet goat cheese salad.

For starches, we like to serve cheesy au gratin potatoesInstant Pot mashed potatoespan-fried sweet potatoes, or sausage stuffing. And you can never go wrong with creamy mac and cheese or slow cooker ratatouille.

And, of course, don’t forget the sauce! Use the gravy recipe we’ve included, make your own favorite turkey gravy recipe, or try drizzling creamy peppercorn sauce over the top for a twist on tradition. And for a tart complement, serve a spoonful of cranberry orange relish too.

And then there is dessert. Baked apples or pumpkin pie bites are excellent options.

Variations 

There are plenty of ways you can make this delicious slow cooker turkey breast your own!

  • Herbs – Use your own favorite blend of fresh herbs. 
  • Turkey – You can use a bone-in turkey breast, but this can add to the cooking time.
  • Heat – If you like some spiciness on your turkey, add heat with cayenne pepper powder or roasted red pepper. 
  • Injections – Experiment with a homemade turkey injection or inject your own favorite flavors. 
straight on shot of slow cooker turkey breast sliced

Storage and Freezing

You can enjoy leftover turkey for days by simply storing it in the fridge or freezer.

Make-Ahead: The beauty of this slow-cooked turkey recipe is that you can let it cook while you’re heating your sides. But if you want to make it the day before, you can easily store the turkey in the slow cooker insert in the refrigerator, and pop it back into the slow cooker to warm it. 

Refrigerator: Store cooked turkey breast for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Freezer: Place leftover turkey meat slices in resealable plastic bags or a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months.

Common Questions About Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Is it safe to cook turkey in a slow cooker? 

While whole turkeys can be a challenge to cook in a slow cooker, turkey breast is definitely manageable and safe. 

Is it better to cook a turkey fast or slow? 

Like many meats, turkey is better cooked slowly. This will yield the juiciest results. 

Why did my turkey breast turn out tough? 

Turkey breast will dry out if it is overcooked. Even in a slow cooker, it’s important to pay attention to the amount of time the turkey cooks. 

collage of slow cooker turkey breast for pinterest

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whole turkey on a serving platter

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turkey breast covered in orange sherry sauce

Orange Sage Turkey Breast with Creamy Sherry Sauce

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Turkey Breast with Stuffing

4.80 from 49 votes
Oven roasted turkey breast doesn't get any better than this Stuffed Turkey Breast! Perfect for any weeknight, not just Thanksgiving!Oven roasted turkey breast doesn't get any better than this Stuffed Turkey Breast! Perfect for any weeknight, not just Thanksgiving!
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angled shot of sliced turkey breast topped with gravy with text overlay for pinterest
overhead shot of sliced slow cooker turkey breast on a platter

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe

5 from 9 votes
This EASY Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is perfect during the holiday season for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, or holiday parties!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Turkey:

Rub:

Gravy:

Instructions

  • Coat the inner pot of a slow cooker with cooking spray or line with a slow cooker liner. Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic in a layer on the bottom. Place the fresh herbs over the veggies and then pour in the white wine. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the rub, including the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and olive oil. Stir to make a paste. Rub this all over the top of the turkey breast in a thick lather.
  • Place the turkey breast on top of the veggies and herbs.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Sizes of the turkey breast and exact temperature of “low” on slow cookers vary, so please double check using a digital meat thermometer.
  • Remove the turkey breast and set on a plate tented with aluminum foil to rest.
  • Using oven mitts, carefully pour the liquid and turkey drippings out of the slow cooker pot through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. If liquids do not measure 2 cups, add additional chicken or vegetable broth. Discard solids. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make a paste (roux).
  • When lightly browned, whisk in the turkey drippings liquid. Keep whisking until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • Slice the turkey breast and top with pan gravy.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Nutrition

Calories: 307 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 38 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0.3 g, Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 863 mg, Potassium: 529 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 1762 IU, Vitamin C: 2 mg, Calcium: 45 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 307
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow cooker turkey breast
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    What a great way to cook a turkey breast! 🙂 This would be perfect to make if you are hosting a smaller Thanksgiving dinner this year.

  2. 5 stars
    I had no idea you could get turkey to turn out so tender by using your slow cooker!! I don’t think I’ll be using any other method for cooking turkey breast anymore – this was delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ll be making this for the weekend. I buy turkey breasts whenever they’re on sale, and I have two in the freezer right now. I can’t wait!

  4. 5 stars
    This easy recipe is a game-changer for busy weeknights thanks to the slow cooker! The turkey comes out tender and juicy. Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious as written. I put it in the slow cooker with instructions to my husband to take it out at noon. Let me first say that our slow cooker has 1 speed and that’s “High” so everything has to adapt. Needless to say, my husband “forgot” and the meat was in all day and it’s highest temp was 195 degrees. I expected it to be dry and almost inedible- To my surprise, it was still delicious and moist. The cooking liquid made a lovely gravy that we put over the moist turkey breast and some homemade mashers that I threw together to go with. Absolutely wonderful! I will definitely make this again. I was concerned that it would be too “light’ without browning but the rub gave it a nice color. Serve with a side of broccoli or green beans. I will definitely make this again.

    1. Thanks for the feedback and detailed description! I am sure other SE readers will appriciate the time you took to leave it!