This Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe is the quickest way to juicy, perfectly cooked turkey and delicious homemade gravy. Depending on the size of your breast, you can even make Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Potatoes in the same pot! Great for a small Thanksgiving Dinner, or anytime you want homemade comfort food in an Instant! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Confession: the first time I ever roasted a turkey, I roasted it upside down. On accident.
Apparently this is a thing…but I truly had no idea. I was 22, living in one of my first apartments, and I offered to make our Thanksgiving Turkey to bring over to my grandmother’s house. We were all trying to make the holiday prep as easy as possible for her.
Anyway, that upside down turkey? It ended up being the BEST turkey ever.
Why is it better to cook a turkey upside down?
When you cook your bone-in turkey breast or whole turkey upside down, you allow the juices from the bones and cavity to trickle down onto your breast meat, keeping it super juicy and flavorful!
And even though this is a recipe for just a turkey breast…and an Instant Pot Turkey Breast…I still used the same technique and cooked my breast upside down! Turkey perfection!
Should I Brine my Turkey Breast?
This is up to you – I love the way the Instant Pot locks in the moisture when cooking a turkey breast, so really, you don’t have to brine if you don’t want to, or don’t have time. BUT, dry brining is so super simple and will ensure you have the yummiest turkey breast!
How to Dry Brine a Turkey Breast
Dry brining couldn’t be simpler and way less messy than a wet brine. Just pat your turkey breast dry with some paper towels, then rub coarse kosher salt on the outside and in the inside cavity of your turkey breast. Then let your turkey rest in your fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Yup – that’s it!
After brining, don’t rinse your turkey! Just follow the rest of the directions for cooking!
How to Cook Turkey Breast in Instant Pot
After seasoning the turkey breast, I saute some onion, garlic, and celery that will work to flavor both the turkey and the gravy. Then I deglaze with some low sodium chicken or turkey stock (or water if you don’t have stock) – deglaze simply means to add a liquid and scrape the bottom of the pot while it’s still hot to release all of those flavorful bits.
Then stuff the cavity of the Turkey Breast with additional onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and even lemon to serve as aromatics. You can place the turkey on your trivet, but I love using my silicone sling for this! Don’t forget to put your turkey breast upside down!
Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Potatoes
Bonus! If you have a smaller Turkey Breast (around 3-5 pounds) or you have an 8 quart Instant Pot, you can make mashed potatoes at the same time as you cook the turkey! Just simply quarter your potatoes and place them around your turkey as shown in the photo below! You won’t be able to feed a crowd with this amount of potatoes, but it will be ok for a few servings.
If you have a second Instant Pot or a little extra time, just follow my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe…this is hands down my FAVORITE way to make mashed potatoes and I love having a second (and third, lol) Instant Pot for making sides!
After cooktime, just place in a ceramic or glass bowl and mash with butter and a splash of warm milk or broth.
Instant Pot Turkey Breast Video
Be sure to check out the video I made on how to cook this Instant Pot Turkey Breast! It will show you each step of the cooking process!
Instant Pot Turkey Breast Cooking Time
Like like my Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe, how long to cook an Instant Pot Turkey Breast heavily depends on how big it is, but a good rule of thumb for bone-in poultry is 6 minutes per pound, plus a 10-15 minute natural release.
For a 3 pound Turkey Breast, cook for 18 minutes + a 15 minute natural release.
For a 4 pound Turkey Breast, cook for 24 minutes + a 15 minute natural release.
For a 5 pound Turkey Breast, cook for 30 minutes + a 15 minute natural release.
For a 6 pound Turkey Breast, cook for 36 minutes + a 15 minute natural release.
For a 7 pound Turkey Breast, cook for 42 minutes + a 15 minute natural release.
**As always, using a digital meat thermometer to ensure properly cook meat is best! You want your turkey breast to be at least 165 degrees before eating. Just remember your turkey will continue to cook as it rests up to 5-10 degrees more.
What if my Turkey is frozen?
I haven’t tried this myself, but if your Turkey Breast is still frozen, you can cook it totally from frozen, by cooking 12 minutes per per pound, keeping the rest of the instructions the same! For more details about this method, check out this link from Savor the Best!
How do I get my Turkey skin crispy?
The skin of your turkey breast will not be crispy after cooking it in your instant pot, so you have a few options. First carefully flip your Turkey Breast back to breast side up using long kitchen tongs or silicone kitchen gloves. Then rub olive oil over the skin.
Next, broil your turkey breast in your oven for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Rotate your turkey breast around to ensure even browning.
If you have a Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot or Mealthy Crisp Lid, then you can use one of those to crisp up your skin!
How to Make Instant Pot Gravy
Finally, no Instant Pot Turkey Breast would be complete without gravy! I love using the Saute setting on the Instant Pot to thicken gravy and sauces so I don’t have to dirty another dish or pot.
To make the gravy, strain the liquid from the instant pot to remove all of the large pieces of celery and onion. I use a mesh strainer for this, but you could also use a slotted spoon.
Set your Instant Pot to Saute. Reserve at least 2 ½ cups and place back in the instant pot. I add 2 teaspoons of coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce to add some extra umami flavor and to also darken the gravy a bit. Remove ¼ cup of cooking broth and stir in 2 T of thickener or flour. We use arrowroot or gluten-free flour, but you can use what you have on hand!
Whisk this “slurry” into your cooking liquid and stir frequently, cooking until thickened. If your gravy isn’t getting thick enough, repeat “slurry” step until desired thickness.
Side Dishes to Serve with Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (obviously)
Instant Pot Turkey Breast + Potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 4-6 pound bone-in turkey breast
- 2 cups broth or water
- 1 large or 2 small onions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2-3 whole cloves of garlic
- 1-2 stalks celery cut in half
- Garlic powder
- Poultry seasoning
- Fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4-5 potatoes cut in half or quartered
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or ghee WW can sub 2T butter, add more to taste
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons thickener or flour of choice
Optional Dry Brine
- Take your Turkey Breast out of the packaging and place on a large pan or platter. Dry well, then rub 1 ½ teaspoons of coarse kosher salt on the inside cavity of the turkey breast, then an additional 1 ½ teaspoons over outside of the breast. Allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
- The day of cooking, remove turkey breast from the refrigerator. Sprinkle garlic powder, paprika and poultry seasoning on the skin of your turkey. If you didn’t brine, rub a teaspoon of salt on the outside of the bird and sprinkle additional salt in the inside. If you dry brined your turkey, skip the salt.
- Set Instant Pot to Saute and add 1 tsp of olive oil to the bottom of the inner liner. Roughly chop your onions and add half to the bottom of your pot. Saute until fragrant, then add the celery and garlic. Saute for 2 more minutes. Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of broth to the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place turkey, BREAST SIDE DOWN, on your silicone sling. Stuff the inner cavity with remaining onion, garlic, and fresh thyme. Add potatoes, if using, next to the Turkey. Cook for 6 minutes per pound and allow for a 15 minute natural release before releasing the remaining pressure. **If your Turkey Breast is still frozen, cook for 12 minutes per pound, and allow for a 15 minute natural release before releasing the remaining pressure. **see notes
- For Potatoes: remove from and add to a ceramic bowl. Mash, adding 2T of vegan butter, ghee, or butter and a sprinkle of salt. If necessary, add in some additional broth. Taste and add additional salt or butter if desired.
- Set oven to broil, then after cook time, carefully lift turkey out of the instant pot and onto a roasting pan or baking dish, breast side up. Brush skin with 1 tsp of olive oil and broil until skin is crisp and golden, rotating as necessary. Do NOT leave your turkey unattended or it will likely burn! Also - this step is totally optional!! Your breast will be delicious without it (unless you love to eat the skin)
- To make the gravy, strain the liquid from the instant pot and reserve at least 2 ½ cups and place back in the instant pot. Add 2 teaspoons of coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce. Set to saute. Remove ¼ cup of cooking broth and stir in 2 T of thickener or flour. Whisk this “slurry” into your cooking liquid and stir frequently, cooking until thickened. If your gravy isn’t getting thick enough, repeat “slurry” step until desired thickness.