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CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy (Video)

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy is easy to make for dinner any time of year and cooking a turkey breast in the slow cooker or pressure cooker is a great option when you have a small crowd for Thanksgiving. This recipe also has tips for lower-carb and gluten-free turkey gravy. Use Thanksgiving Recipes to find more ideas for Thanksgiving!

Click to PIN CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast!

Watch the video to see if you’d like to make CrockPot Turkey Breast with Low-Carb Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy! Use the photos below to see how to adapt for Instant Pot Turkey Breast.

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy is a great option if you’re making Thanksgiving dinner for just a few people. I’ve been cooking turkey breasts in the crockpot for years now, and recently I decided I had to try this favorite recipe in the Instant Pot. And wow, was it ever a winner. The Instant Pot Turkey Breast was so juicy and delicious; I’m excited to be able to update this post with the Instant Pot version.

I’ll give you photos of each method below so you can compare them, but really the main change we made from the Slow Cooker Turkey Breast was to cut the turkey breast in half for the Instant Pot for quicker cooking. For both methods, I rub the turkey breast with a mixture of dried thyme and sage, brown the skin well before I cook the turkey, and use a generous amount of vegetables to add extra flavor to the cooking liquid that gets turned into gravy. We put all the vegetables in the bottom of the Instant Pot and used those to hold up the turkey without a trivet.

And even though I’m updating this recipe in time to add it to the Thanksgiving Recipes, both these methods of cooking turkey breast are easy enough to enjoy turkey for dinner any time of year!

What Size Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?

I made this turkey breast in my 6 Quart Ninja Cooker, which gave plenty of room for vegetables to add flavor to the gravy, but you can get away with a smaller slow cooker if that’s what you have. I used a Six Quart Instant Pot for the Instant Pot version.

Tips for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Turkey Breast:

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

For both the cooking methods we used the same techniques to add flavor to the turkey breast, which admittedly can be a bit ho-hum if it’s not cooked well. First we used the mortar and pestle to grind together dried thyme and dried sage, to get a finely ground mixture to rub on the turkey. (You can also use ground sage and ground thyme and skip that step.) Second, we cooked the turkey breast with a generous amount of vegetables, which added flavor to the gravy and in the Instant Pot the vegetables acted as a trivet to hold the turkey breast up out of the liquid. Third, we used Penzeys Turkey Soup Base to add flavor to the cooking liquid that became our gravy. There are other brands, but I highly recommend the Penzeys turkey base for the best flavor!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast:

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

Trim skin on the turkey breast and rub the outside with thyme and sage. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and brown the turkey well. While the turkey browns cut up the carrots, celery, and onion. Put browned turkey into the slow cooker, then add water with some Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Put that liquid over the turkey breast; then put onion, carrots, and celery around the turkey. Cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours, or until the instant read meat thermometer reaches the safe minimum temperature for turkey breast, which is 165F/75C.

When turkey has reached desired temperature take out the breast and put it on a cutting board while you make the gravy. (You can cover with foil to keep warm.) Strain the liquid from the crockpot into a pan, add a little more Penzeys Turkey Soup Base if desired, and simmer to reduce until it has a good turkey flavor. Turn down the heat, mix the arrowroot powder (or thickener of your choice) with cold water to make a slurry, and whisk that into the hot liquid, turning off the heat as soon as it thickens if you’re using arrowroot. Remove bones from turkey (and skin if you prefer), then slice the turkey and serve hot, with gravy.

Instant Pot Turkey Breast:

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

For the Instant Pot method, we trimmed the thawed turkey breast and used a meat cleaver to cut it in half, cutting down the middle through the bone. Rub the turkey with a mixture of ground thyme and sage; then heat olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the skin of the turkey well. (Don’t skip this step. You can brown in the Instant Pot if you prefer.) While the turkey browns, cut up the carrots, celery, and an onion. When turkey is nicely browned, put the carrots, celery, and onions into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add water with a little Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base to the frying pan and simmer as above. Lay the browned turkey breast halves on top of the vegetables and pour over the stock mixture. Set the Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, 25 minutes. (We had a relatively small turkey breast, if yours is closer to 5 pounds, I would add a couple more minutes.) Use NATURAL RELEASE for at least 20 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.

When pressure has released remove the turkey breasts to a cutting board. We drained the stock into a colander placed inside a large measuring cup to catch the liquid. Put that cooking liquid back into the Instant Pot and cook on SAUTE or SIMMER until it’s reduced to about 3 cups. (Taste to see if it’s as strongly-flavored as you prefer, and add a little more Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base if desired.) Mix the arrowroot powder (or thickener of your choice) with cold water to make a slurry, and whisk that into the hot liquid in the pot, cooking until it thickens, turning off the heat as soon as it thickens if you’re using arrowroot. Remove bones from turkey (and skin if you prefer), then slice the turkey and serve hot, with gravy.

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Turkey Recipes in the Crockpot or Instant Pot:

50+ Ideas for a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Thanksgiving ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Top Ten Ideas for Slow Cooker Turkey Breast ~ Slow Cooker  or Pressure Cooker
Ten Terrific Recipes for Instant Pot Turkey Breast ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy is easy to make for dinner any time of year! Put turkey on the menu more often by using one of these easy methods.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 – 5 pound) turkey breast with skin and bones (thawed completely in refrigerator, if frozen)
  • 1 – 2 tsp. dried ground thyme (I recommend using the larger amount unless you’re not a fan of thyme.)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. dried sage (This is often called rubbed sage; I recommend using the larger amount unless you’re not a fan of sage.)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 T arrowroot starch for gravy, mixed into 1/4 cup cold water (or use double that amount of cornstarch, but arrowroot is slightly lower in carbs and thickens with less starch; see notes.)

Directions:

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Trim extra skin and fat from turkey breast, leaving the parts of skin that are directly covering the meat. If you have a meat thermometer, pull out the pop-up timer if desired.
  2. Grind the dried thyme and dried sage together in a mortar and pestle. (Or use ground spices.) Rub breast all over with thyme and sage.
  3. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then brown turkey breast on both sides, about 5 minutes each side. Put browned turkey breast in crockpot.
  4. While the turkey browns cut up carrots, celery, and onion.
  5. Add the turkey or chicken stock to the frying pan you browned the turkey in and cook for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom to get all the browned bits.
  6. Pour the liquid over the turkey, then add carrots, onions, and celery to the slow cooker.
  7. Cook on high until temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 165F/75C; this will take about 3 hours. (You can also cook on low for a longer time, about 5-6 hours.)
  8. Remove turkey breast and let rest while you make gravy, covering with foil if desired to keep it warm. Use a fine-mesh skimmer to scoop out vegetables and skim the broth, or strain through a fine strainer into small saucepan. You should have 2-3 cups broth.
  9. Bring to a boil and reduce until there is a strong turkey flavor (or add another teaspoon or two of Penzeys Turkey Soup Base to get more turkey flavor). I kept tasting it as it cooked down for a few minutes, and stopped when it tasted good to me.
  10. Reduce heat so the liquid is barely at a simmer. Mix arrowroot starch with cold water, then stir gently into the simmering liquid and stop stirring once it’s combined. Don’t over whisk or continue to cook once it’s thickened, or the gravy won’t stay thick. (Gravy can also be thickened with cornstarch mixed with water if you don’t have arrowroot, but it will take about twice as much cornstarch to get the same amount of thickness, and cornstarch is slightly higher in carbs and will take longer to thicken.)
  11. Remove bones (and skin if you prefer), slice the turkey and serve hot with the gravy.

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Trim the turkey as above and use a large meat cleaver to cut the breast along the bone into two pieces.
  2. Rub turkey with spices, and brown in a frying pan as above. (You can brown the turkey in the Instant Pot if you prefer but we thought it was easier in a frying pan.)
  3. While turkey breast browns, cut up the carrots, celery, and onion. Add them to the Instant Pot (after you’ve removed the browned turkey if you browned it in the Instant Pot.)
  4. Put browned turkey breast pieces on top of the vegetables in the Instant Pot. Add stock to the frying pan and cook as above, then pour that cooking liquid into the Instant Pot.
  5. Set the Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, 25 minutes. (We had a relatively small turkey breast, if yours is closer to 5 pounds, I would add a couple more minutes.)
  6. When time is up, use NATURAL RELEASE for at least 20 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.
  7. When pressure has released remove the turkey breasts to a cutting board. We drained the stock into a colander placed inside a large measuring cup to catch the liquid. (You could strain it again with a fine strainer if you want gravy that’s completely smooth.)
  8. Put that cooking liquid back into the Instant Pot and cook on SAUTE or SIMMER until it’s reduced to about 3 cups. (Taste to see if it’s as strongly-flavored as you prefer, and add a little more Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base if desired.)
  9. Mix the arrowroot powder (or thickener of your choice) with cold water to make a slurry, and whisk that into the hot liquid in the pot, cooking until it thickens, turning off the heat as soon as it thickens if you’re using arrowroot. (See comments above about using cornstarch instead of arrowroot.)
  10. Remove bones from turkey (and skin if you prefer), then slice the turkey and serve hot, with gravy.

Notes:

I use 2 cups water with 2 T Penzeys Turkey Soup Base to make the cooking liquid for both slow cooker or Instant Pot turkey breast, but you can get a pretty good result with canned stock if you don’t have any turkey soup base.

Arrowroot Starch is a lower-carb thickener that’s great if you’re really watching carbs but don’t want to skip the gravy. Although the carb counts are close to the same, it only takes about half as much Arrowroot to thicken things as it does cornstarch. Arrowroot thickened gravy can be a bit tricky; read herehere and here for more information about arrowroot.

This recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from DianneAlanna, and Stephanie. Instant Pot version perfected with help from Jake and Kara.

All images and text ©

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast is a great idea for a low-carb dinner any time of year. If you’re making gravy, Arrowroot starch (also called arrowroot flour) is a great thickener for low-carb eating plans because it’s slightly lower in carbs and it only takes about half as much arrowroot as it does cornstarch to get the same amount of thickness. It’s also gluten-free. I did learn that arrowroot is often mixed with other types of starch, so check the label if you’re buying it. It will lose its thickening properties if stored too long, so buy a small amount at a time. (Even if you thicken this gravy with cornstarch, that will be lower in carbs compared to gravy that’s thickened with flour.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here to see Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy found on KalynsKitchen.com

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22 comments on “CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy (Video)”

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe, especially the SB friendly gravy!

  2. Hi Kalyn
    I will try this, I’m always looking for new ideas on cooking and this sounds great. I love The South Beach diet food, it’s got loads of mediterranean dishes in it, hardly feels like a diet!

  3. Thanks Kalyn – this looks and sounds really good. GF is right up my alley.
    Will have to try this later this winter as I love Turkey-already have on for Thanksgiving. Have a great Holiday. Eileen

  4. Fantastic — I’ve been wanting to learn to use my slow cooker for more than just stew, and this is much more appealing to me than a roasting a whole turkey, especially when everyone at the table wants breast meat.

  5. Hilly you’re welcome. Arrowroot can be tricky to work with (be careful not to overstir or cook too long) but it’s wonderful for lower-carb gravy.

    Lesley, agree completely!

    Eileen, this is something I can see myself making often. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Lydia, same thing here, no one really wants the dark meat. This turkey turned out so moist and flavorful, loved it!

  6. Terrific! I won’t be doing this one for Thanksgiving, but since we won’t have any leftovers (going to the In-Laws for the big day), it would be an easy, perfect way to get some turkey in after the holiday.

  7. This is great – I’ve been on the hunt for SB-friendly crockpot recipes. Thanks so much!

  8. Kalyn
    Just wanted to tell you I made this turkey in the crockpot this past weekend for the umpteenth time. Always so good!!

  9. Have you ever made this with boneless, skinless turkey breast? I am contemplating trying it but am worried it will be dry. Thoughts?

  10. I have made this with boneless, skinless turkey breast and it was still good. Be sure to use a meat thermometer and don't cook it too long.

  11. I'm making this tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I'll let you know how this works out. Looks yummy!

  12. Loved this idea, but for me the time was way off. Had to add almost an hour on high.

  13. Mecca, slow cookers are known for being highly variable in how hot they cook, so yours must cook a bit cooler than normal. I've made this in two different slow cookers through the years, and it was done in just under 3 hours for me in both of them.

  14. Kalyn, did you know that Penzeys now has a store in Draper? It is beautiful. You might want to hop in your car and drive down there to check it out.

  15. So wonderful, I cann't wait to try it out, I am wondering whether I can use my bread machine to do the same thing as your recipe

  16. Pingback: Have a Healthy Thanksgiving! Easy, Nourishing Recipes | Grace Filled Plate

  17. Pingback: Ten Terrific Recipes for Instant Pot Turkey Breast - Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

  18. Pingback: Thanksgiving Recipes | Instant Pot Resources

  19. I couldn’t find turkey breast so I used 1.3 lbs of chicken breast and Better Than Bouillion for the stock. I used the Poultry settting on my InstaPot (15 min) plus 32 min natural release. The chicken was very soft, moist and tender. So much gravy, I don’t know what to do with it. A savory and delicious Sunday lunch, with roasted broccoli and wild rice. Just enough for two people. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s a keeper. Next time I’ll use more chicken/turkey to get leftovers.

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