Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast (5-Minute Prep!)
This super juicy, easy slow cooker turkey breast recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prep, and results in super tasty, ultra tender results every time! Perfect if you’ve never cooked a turkey breast, if you want to free up oven space, if you’re feeding a smaller group, or for the best turkey sandwiches ever; includes an easy (optional) grave recipe, too.
5 star review
“The best turkey I’ve ever had! This past Thanksgiving, I needed to make the turkey for the first time, which was pretty intimidating. When I saw this recipe it looked perfect and it was. The turkey was so yummy!”– Kayla
Say hello to your new go-to turkey breast recipe!
This ultra easy turkey breast is the perfect recipe if you’re new to cooking turkey and want to ensure the the results are super juicy and tasty.
I love that it’s a simple dump and go slow cooker recipe, yet tastes like you spent hours prepping it!
This slow cooker turkey breast with gravy recipe is also fantastic if you’re feeding a smaller group and don’t want to cook an entire turkey.
It’s also wonderful if you want to lighten your load around the holidays, and I often lean on it to turn out the most tender and juicy (and low effort!) holiday meals like this Slow Cooker Corned Beef!
Another benefit of making turkey breast in the crockpot is that it’s perfect for those times you want to reserve oven precious space for other side dishes, or when you want to prepare additional white meat in addition to a whole turkey.
This slow cooker turkey breast is wonderful for sandwiches, since you can control the ingredients and slice it as thick or thin as you want, so don’t save this recipe just for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Tip: For more turkey recipes and leftover ideas, check out these yummy Slow Cooker Turkey Recipes.
How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast: Step-By-Step Visual Guide
Testing Notes and Tips For Success
If using a frozen turkey breast, make sure it is completely defrosted before cooking.
For the best, juiciest, results, cook the turkey breast on low (not on high).
You do not need to add any additional liquid to this recipe, as the turkey will create its own juices as it cooks.
I use both carrots and onion in this recipe to make a “platform” to prop the turkey up out of the cooking liquid that will accumulate directly from the turkey, as well as to add flavor to the drippings that will be used to make the gravy.
If you don’t want to make the gravy, simply serve the sliced turkey with the strained cooking liquid alongside.
Notes on Cook Time and Weight
First, make sure the turkey breast you select fits in your slow cooker with the lid fully fitted on top with no gaps; you’ll likely need a 6-quart oval slow cooker or larger.
Slow cooker temperatures can differ depending on make and model, so be prepared to check the internal temperature at the early end of the cook time, then continue to add time in 30 minute increments until it reaches the desired temperature.
For bone-in, or boneless, skin-on turkey breast:
1-2 pounds: 4-5 hours on low, begin checking at 4 hours
2-3 pounds: 4-6 hours, begin checking at 4 hours
4-8 pounds: 5-7 hours on low, begin checking at 5 hours
Tip: To defrost a turkey breast, place in on a plate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 days, or until completely thawed.
Prep Ahead Tips
Since prep is super minimal for this recipe, there’s not much that needs to be done ahead.
However, if you’d like to get a jump on the spice rub, combine all the ingredients in a covered jar and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
The butter will have solidified, so simply gently reheat or allow to come to room temperature, and then rub it on the turkey breast.
Notes on Adapting for Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Check ingredients in your turkey breast to ensure it’s gluten free.
The spice rub and turkey are naturally gluten free for this recipe.
To adapt the gravy to be gluten free, swap 1:1 gluten free flour for the all-purpose flour.
For dairy-free, use olive oil in the rub instead of butter, and dairy-free butter in the gravy.
Storing & Freezing Turkey Breast
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, so if you have any leftovers, freeze in a freezer bag with all the air removed for up to 3 months.
Leftover turkey is so versatile! I love using my leftover turkey to make this turkey pot pie pasta or in some of my favorite soups. Be sure to make this easy Slow Cooker Turkey Soup or this Turkey Rice Soup any leftovers!
5 star review
“I have never made a turkey or turkey breast before so I thought I’d try this before venturing into the whole bird. I may never do that because this recipe is so easy and delicious! Big thumbs up from my household. Thank you! ”– Elizabeth
Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast (5-Minute Prep!)
- 4 pounds boneless turkey breast, skin-on, or bone-in
- 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
- 2 medium carrots, scrubbed
Turkey Spice Rub
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage, or poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour, or 1:1 gluten free flour for gluten free
- Chicken stock, if necessary
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Turkey Spice Rub
- In a small bowl, mix the Turkey Spice Rub (melted butter, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, paprika, and salt) together until a paste forms. Set aside.
Prepare the Turkey
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, arrange the onion and carrots to make a “platform” for the turkey breast.
- Pat the turkey breast completely dry with a paper towel. Evenly coat the turkey breast with the Turkey Spice Rub, working it under the skin and on top of the skin.
- Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker on top of the onion and carrot “platform.”
- Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F when inserted into the thickest part. Begin checking the temperature at 5 hours. Allow to rest for 20 minutes, tented with foil, prior to carving or crisping the skin.
For Crispy Skin (Optional)
- Carefully place the turkey breast into an oven-proof pan. Broil until the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes, rotating halfway through, keeping a close eye the whole time to avoid burning.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice against the grain and serve with gravy, if desired.
Prepare the Gravy
- Strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator. Discard any remaining solids. If necessary, add additional chicken or turkey stock to reach two cups of total liquid.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then sprinkle in the flour, whisking until a smooth paste forms.
- Pour over about half the liquid, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour in the remaining liquid, stirring constantly until smooth. Simmer on low until just thickened (the gravy till continue to thicken as it cools), about 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve alongside the sliced turkey.