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This air fryer turkey breast is one of the most juicy and tender pieces of turkey you’ll ever eat. It’s brined overnight and then covered in a delicious spice rub, resulting in a piece of meat that’s as flavorful as it is moist.
I really love turkey. Too many people think of it as just meat that you eat at Thanksgiving or Christmas or perhaps put in your sandwich. But I think it’s so much more than that.
A good piece of turkey is packed full of flavor and can be so tender. Plus, it’s a very healthy and affordable meat!
My go-to quick method for cooking turkey is with an air fryer. An air fryer is an easy and reliable way to get a perfect cook on this bird.
This air fryer turkey breast recipe is amazing because it gets so much flavor into the turkey while making sure it’s still perfectly moist. Plus, it’s very easy to make, so you’ve got to give it a try.
Why You’ll Love This Juicy Air Fryer Turkey Recipe
This is one of my favorite dinners to make. Here are some of the reasons I love it, and why I think you’ll love it, too.
- Intense flavors. Turkey isn’t known for being the most flavorful meat, but these air-fried turkey breasts are absolutely bursting with flavor. The secret is that the turkey is brined overnight in a mixture of fresh herbs, garlic, hot sauce, and buttermilk. Then it’s covered with an amazing spice blend before being air fried. The result is that the turkey is exploding with flavor throughout.
- Healthy. One of my favorite things about turkey is how healthy it is. It’s a lean meat that’s packed with protein. This recipe really highlights how healthy turkey is. It’s so flavorful, but it doesn’t have any unhealthy ingredients. There’s a small amount of oil and a little buttermilk, but otherwise, it’s just a healthy piece of meat and a lot of seasonings.
- Perfectly cooked. Chances are you’ve been at someone’s house for the holidays and eaten a piece of turkey that was as dry as cardboard. For as delicious as turkey can be, it’s really easy to overcook it, and when you do that, it dries out very quickly. That’s not something you need to worry about with this recipe. The turkey is cooked to perfection every time, and the brine helps ensure that the meat is wonderfully juicy and tender.
Here’s everything you need to make this moist air fryer turkey breast. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amount for each ingredient.
For the Turkey Brine:
- Turkey breast – I like to use a split half breast for this recipe. You want to use turkey that has the skin on, so that you can get a crispy skin.
- Sea salt
- Granulated sweetener – I recommend monkfruit sweetener, but you can use sugar if you’re not on a keto diet.
- Hot sauce
For the Spice Rub:
- Sea salt
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika
- Black pepper – Always use freshly cracked black pepper.
- Olive oil – You can replace this with your preferred oil.
How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Here’s how to make this tender and flavorful turkey meal. It’s very straightforward!
- Make the brine. Add all of the brine ingredients except for the turkey into a large bowl. Whisk until everything is well combined.
- Add the turkey. Place the turkey breast in the brine and make sure it’s covered.
- Brine. Put the turkey and the brine in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to cook the turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off with cold water.
- Preheat. Turn your air fryer on to 350F.
- Dry. Pat the turkey breast completely dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
- Season. Put the turkey in a large bowl and add the oil and the spice mix. Make sure the turkey is well coated on all sides with the mixture.
- Air fry. Place the turkey skin-side down in the air fryer and cook until the thickest part of the breast is 150F. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Flip. Turn the turkey breast over, and air fry until the bird is 160F. This should take 10-15 minutes.
- Rest. Remove the turkey from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting or eating it.
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tricks and tips that you can use when making this healthy air-fried turkey.
- Save time with brined turkey. Brining the turkey breasts is a critical step in this recipe. But if you want to save time, you can often buy breasts from the butcher that have already been brined. There’s no need to double-brine, so if you buy a turkey that’s already brined, jump straight to the seasoning and air frying.
- Keep the bone in. You can use boneless turkey if you want, but you’ll get a lot more flavor if you use a turkey breast that has the bone in. It makes a big difference.
- Use a thermometer. This turkey recipe will be delicious if you cook it based on the cooking times. But for the best results, get an instant-read thermometer so that you can adjust the cooking time based on the temperature of the bird. That ensures that you don’t overcook the turkey and dry it out.
I like to keep this recipe pretty simple and serve it with some traditional side dishes. Here are a few of my favorites that go so well with this turkey.
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Keto Cornbread
- Easy Keto Grits
- Crockpot Fresh Green Beans with Bacon
- Keto Creamed Spinach
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Turkey Breasts
Leftover turkey will last in the fridge for up to 4 days, as long as you store it in an airtight container. You can reheat it in the air fryer at 300F, cooking for 10 minutes for each pound of turkey. To keep it from drying out, add a little oil or butter on the turkey while it cooks.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Definitely! All you have to do is store the turkey in an airtight container in the freezer and it will last for 3 months. Thaw or defrost fully before reheating.
More Easy Air Fryer Dinners
If you love your air fryer as much as I do, then you’ve got to try out these other amazing recipes.
- Easy Air Fryer Cajun Shrimp
- Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Italian Sausages
- Air Fryer Turkey Wings
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
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For the Turkey Breast Brine:
- 3 lbs turkey breast, , raw (I get a split half breast, bone-in)
- 1 quart buttermilk
- ¼ cup natural ancient sea salt
- ¼ cup granulated sweetener
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs sage
- 4 cloves garlic,, minced
For the Turkey Breast Spice Rub:
- 1 tsp natural ancient sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Brine the Turkey Breast:
- Add all of the brine ingredients except the turkey into a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
- Add the turkey breast into the brine and marinate overnight, and up to 24 hours.
- Remove the turkey breast from the brine and rinse off the excess brine liquid with cold water.
Air Fry the Turkey Breast:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F.
- Pat the turkey breast dry.
- Add the turkey breast to a large bowl with the oil. Add the spice rub and season both sides of the turkey breast thoroughly.
- Air fry the turkey skin side down for 30 minutes, or until it reaches 150F in the thickest part of the meat.
- Flip the turkey breast and continue air frying at 350F for 10-15 minutes to crisp the skin. The turkey should reach 160F.
- Remove the turkey breast from the air fryer and rest for 10 minutes.
- If you use a turkey breast that’s already been brined, skip straight to the spice rub and air frying portion of the recipe.
- Store leftover air fryer turkey breasts in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Reheat in a 300F air fryer for 10 minutes per pound.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!
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