Our Air Fryer Turkey Breast is so moist and tender. Its generously slathered in a perfectly seasoned thyme butter that ensures it is super juicy and provides a crispy golden skin. Cooking it in the air fryer is also super fast being ready in 50 minutes.
Air Fryer Turkey
The air fryer has fast become a favorite cooking tool of mine and so many others. It's a great way to enjoy food you'd normal have to deep fry like Copycat Chik-fil-A chicken sandwich and Air Fried Oreos.
This is a great recipe for any holiday dinner too! The air fryer frees up the oven for other foods. Personally, I love putting an extra turkey in the air fryer to be sure I have enough food for everyone.
If you are having a smaller celebration, this is the perfect way to enjoy an easy Holiday meal.
- A bone-in turkey breast with the skin on is what we use that for this recipe. A boneless breast also works well.
- Unsalted butter is my go-to for the rub so the amount of salt can be controlled.
- Black peppercorns add a nice kick to the rub.
- Paprika adds another level of flavor to the rub.
- Minced garlic, adds deliciousness to just about anything. Do not skimp on the garlic if you want a nicely flavored turkey.
Why this recipe works
- Although turkey is associated with Holiday eating, smaller breasts make a great weeknight dinner.
- This particular recipe is absolutely delicious and makes a great recipe to use for a menu plan.
- Make this recipe on Sunday and enjoy for lunch during the week.
1. Melt the butter and mix in the spices. Brush all over the breast.
2. Cook in the air fryer for 45 minutes, at 375°F, turning the meat half way through the cooking time.
3. When cooking is complete, the skin will be golden brown and the internal temperature will be at least 165°F.
- Use a paper towel to wipe the raw turkey before adding the herbed melted butter. This helps the seasoning to stick to the skin.
- Be sure to purchase a piece of meat that can fit nicely in your air fryer.
- A countertop air fryer can hold a larger breast or whole turkey. While the front handle fryers are smaller.
- Be sure the meat is not touching the top of the fryer. This ensures even cooking.
- Turn the turkey at the halfway point if using a front handle air fryer so it cooks evenly.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer to get an accurate reading of the meat.
How to cook turkey by the pound in the air fryer
According to Butterball, turkey should be cooked about 7-10 minutes per pound in the air fryer. The meat will be cooked somewhere between 40-60 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to get an accurate temperature of the cooked meat. It is cooked through when the insta-read thermometer reaches 165°F
Keeping the Turkey Juicy
Air fryers are like ovens and despite setting the temperature, they don't all heat the same. To prevent dried out meat, begin to check the internal temperature at 40 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of of the meat. The turkey is cooked through when the internal temperature hits 165°F .
Once cooked, remove the breast from the air fryer and let it rest, covered with aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes. This allows the meat to rest. The juices will settle into the meat giving you perfect moist slices of meat.
Also, be sure sure to cut the meat against the grain for tender results.
Leftovers should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in a well covered container or storage bag. You can freeze leftovers in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
If I have a lot left, I usually cut the meat up and place in a storage bag. They meat can be used to make Enchilada Sliders. My recipe uses cooked chicken but cooked turkey is an awesome variation.
The leftovers make a great Rachel sandwich.
Instant Pot Fried Rice is another delicious recipe that leftover turkey can be used. Another recipe that can use leftovers is our tasty Instant Pot Chow Mein. So easy and a great way to transform leftovers. Looking for a warm me up soup, add your leftover turkey to this Chicken Zoodle soup.
Homemade Mashed Potatoes is such a classic side dish for the Air Fryer Turkey Breast.
Oven Roasted Green Beans, tender and crunchy is another wonderful side dish.
Having a big celebration, take a peek at my Holiday recipes.
When you make this recipe, take a pic and tag me on Instagram @everyday_eileen or #everydayeileen
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Air Fryer Turkey
- 2 - 3 pound turkey breast, skin on bone-in or boneless Note 1
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature Note 2
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt or Kosher salt Note 2
- 1 Tablespoon black peppercorn, coarsely ground pre-ground peppercorns can be used
- 2 Tablespoons garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 sprigs thyme, remove and discard the stem
- Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pot over low heat on the stove.
- Once melted, add in the sea salt, ground black peppercorn, minced garlic, and thyme. Mix well.
- Using a basting brush, brush the butter mix on the top and bottom of the turkey breast
- Place the turkey breast in the air fryer.
- Set your Air Fryer to 375 ° F for 45 minutes.
- At the halfway mark of about 22/23 minutes, gently flip the breast with tongs.
- Continue to cook in the air fryer. At about 40 minutes, use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey. Put the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
- The turkey is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F
- Once cooked through, remove the turkey to a cutting board. Cover with foil and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the juices to set into the meat.
- Slice the turkey against the grain. Serve with your favorite sides.