Kalyn's Kitchen

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast (Video)

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast is a tasty idea when you’re having a smaller crowd for Thanksgiving or just craving turkey dinner! This post also has lower-carb turkey gravy tips; enjoy!

PIN CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast to make it later!

Watch the video to see if you’d like to make CrockPot Turkey Breast!
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

I know most people are choosing to have Thanksgiving with just immediate family members this year, and I’m not going to lie; I am feeling a bit sad I can’t host a huge family gathering like I have so many other years. But nothing is more important to me than having all the members of my huge extended family stay safe. And I’m still planning to cook some of my favorite Thanksgiving foods, and I hope you’re also planning to make the most of the holiday even if it’s a different experience this year. 

For the next two weeks I’m going to share some Thanksgiving recipes that you might want to make for your smaller celebration, starting with this CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast that’s such 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, and when I finally made turkey breast in the Instant Pot, it was such a winner. The Instant Pot Turkey Breast was so juicy and delicious; I hope you’ll try the Instant Pot version if you’re an Instant Pot fan!

The main change we made from Slow Cooker Turkey Breast to Instant Pot Turkey Breast was to cut the turkey breast in half for the Instant Pot. 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 the low-carb gluten-free 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 this is filed with the Thanksgiving Recipes, both CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast are easy enough to make any time you’re craving turkey dinner!

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. (affiliate links)

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

Tips for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Turkey Breast:

  1. 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.
  2. First we used the mortar and pestle (affiliate link) 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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

How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast:

(Scroll down for complete recipe for slow cooker or Instant Pot, plus nutritional information.)

  1. Trim skin on the turkey breast and rub the outside with thyme and sage.
  2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and brown the turkey well.
  3. While the turkey browns cut up the carrots, celery, and onion.
  4. 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.
  5. Put that liquid over the turkey breast; then put onion, carrots, and celery around the turkey.
  6. Cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours, or until the instant read meat thermometer (affiliate link) reaches the safe minimum temperature for turkey breast, which is 165F/75C.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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. (If you don’t want to use arrowroot, there are more low-carb gravy tips at my post on Penzeys Turkey Soup Base.)
  10. 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

How to Make Instant Pot Turkey Breast:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. While the turkey browns, cut up the carrots, celery, and an onion. 
  4. When turkey is nicely browned, put the carrots, celery, and onions into the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  5. Add water with a little Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base to the frying pan and simmer as above.
  6. Lay the browned turkey breast halves on top of the vegetables and pour over the stock mixture.
  7. 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.)
  8. Use NATURAL RELEASE for at least 20 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.
  9. When pressure has released remove the turkey breasts to a cutting board.
  10. 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.)
  11. 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. 
  12. 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:

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes ~ 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

Weekend Food Prep:

Turkey breast is great to cook on the weekend and eat during the week, so this recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep!

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

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Lower-Carb Gluten-Free Gravy is easy to make for dinner any time of year! 

Ingredients

  • 5 pound turkey breast with skin and bones (thawed completely in refrigerator, if frozen)
  • 2 tsp. dried ground thyme (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dried sage (see notes)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 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 (see notes)

Instructions

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 (affiliate link), 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

You might want to use slightly less dried herbs if you're not a big fan of those flavors. I use 2 cups water with 2 T Penzey's 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 (affiliate link) 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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 596Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 379mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 98g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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 Diet Type Index 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!

CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast is a tasty dinner any time of year and this recipe also has tips for lower-carb and gluten-free turkey gravy. [found on KalynsKitchen.com] InstantPotTurkeyBreast #CrockPotTurkeyBreast #TurkeyBreastRecipe

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    27 Comments on “CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast (Video)”

  1. What do you do with the vegetables after straining the broth?

    • They are really just for flavoring; I throw them away. You might use them to make some kind of mashed vegetable if you hate the idea of wasting them, but they’re fairly soft after cooking that long.

  2. I made this with about 1.5 lb of boneless/skinless turkey breast, and another 2 lb. of b/s turkey thigh. Instant pot. Also used S&P in pre-browning rub. 15 min high pressure cook. Natural release for about 20 min, then (due to soccer practice, not by choice) let sit in closed pot for another hour plus. Followed directions for gravy (took forever to reduce, like 40 min on sauteé) setting, but turned out amazingly.