A turkey breast is a perfect way for a smaller crowd to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner but the air fryer makes it an everyday kind of meal!
This air fryer turkey breast recipe makes is super juicy and tender with nice crispy skin and needs only 5 minutes of prep.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Turkey Breast: This recipe uses a single boneless turkey breast, about 2 pounds. You’ll want to ensure the turkey breast fits in the air fryer without touching the element on the top. If the turkey breast is wrapped in a net and too tall, you can remove the net so it flattens out a little bit.
Seasonings: A little bit of olive oil (or melted butter) helps with browning and helps the seasonings stick. I keep the seasonings simple with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. If you have fresh herbs, they can be added along with other seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or onion powder if you’d like.
You can brine this turkey breast if you’d like (I don’t usually brine it). You’ll need about ¼ of a recipe of turkey brine and be sure to use less salt when seasoning the turkey. Pat the breast dry with paper towels before brushing it with oil.
How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- Remove the turkey breast from the fridge (and remove the net if it is wrapped in a net).
- Brush with oil and season per the recipe below.
- Cook skin side down for 20 minutes, flip the turkey breast over, and continue cooking until it reaches 165°F.
How Long to Cook a Turkey Breast in the Air Fryer
Since you’ll be using a smaller breast to ensure it fits, this cooks fairly quickly (and needs less time than a whole chicken since it’s boneless). Similar to oven-roasted turkey breast, this has a crisp skin and juicy meat.
- A 2 ½ -pound boneless turkey breast will need to air fry for about 45 minutes.
- A 4-pound bone-in turkey breast will need to air fry for about 55-65 minutes.
Cooking time can vary based on the shape of your turkey breast (or the brand and size of your air fryer). A thinner flatter shape will cook through quicker while a thicker rounder turkey breast will need longer. I tested this recipe with various turkey breasts in a 5.8qt Cosori air fryer.
Check It Early
The air fryer is great for lean meats like pork and turkey but ensure it doesn’t overcook. It’s easy to open the air fryer and check the temperature of the turkey breast a bit early.
It should reach an internal temperature of 165°F with a meat thermometer. A thermometer is a very inexpensive investment to ensure the meat is always cooked to juicy perfection without overcooking!
Tips for Tender Turkey Breast
- Do not overcook – use a thermometer to ensure you reach the right temperature.
- Use a thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°F. I remove the turkey breast from the oven when it reaches about 158°F as the temperature will continue to rise as it rests.
- Check the turkey breast early, air fryers can vary.
- Rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Be sure to remove it from the air fryer basket while resting or the heat will keep it cooking. You can loosely tent the turkey with foil as it rests if you’d like.
Store leftover turkey in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze in a freezer bag for up to 4 months.
Favorite Side Dishes With Turkey
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Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- 1 boneless turkey breast 2-2 ½ pounds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs* optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
- Rub turkey breast with olive oil and season with salt, poultry seasoning, and black pepper.
- Place turkey, skin side down, in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 20 minutes. Flip the turkey breast over, skin side up and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes or until it reaches 160°F in the thickest part. The temperature will continue to rise to 165°F as it rests.
- Remove from the basket and let the turkey rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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