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This juicy Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast recipe (with a buttermilk turkey brine) is a tender and crispy, time-saving option! It’s perfect whether you are preparing for a small holiday gathering for Thanksgiving dinner or if your family just prefers turkey breast. Learn how to make Ninja Foodi turkey breast and turkey gravy with pan drippings in less than 45 minutes (cook time) using this easy recipe.
Why Make Ninja Foodi Turkey Breast
And, while you might be tempted to make an entire turkey, cooking a turkey breast in a pressure cooker is the best option for a few reasons:
- Save time: Outside of the holidays, juicy turkey breast is great for dinner, leftovers, or lunch. The problem is, cooking a full turkey often takes a lot of time. This Ninja Foodi turkey breast takes a fraction of the time to make a Thanksgiving turkey
- Reduce waste: If you’re having a small gathering or your family doesn’t eat the darker meat, like the legs, turkey thighs, and turkey wings, a lot of the turkey ends up going to waste. By making this pressure cooker turkey breast or air fryer turkey breast, air fryer turkey wings, baked turkey wings, crockpot turkey wings, air fryer turkey tenderloin, and air fryer turkey thighs, you make exactly what you know your family will eat.
- Tender and juicy turkey meat: the turkey breast always cooks faster than the rest of the bird. So, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to overcook it.
- Make gravy in the same pan: after you cook your turkey breast in a pressure cooker, I give you directions to use the pan drippings to make turkey gravy.
Benefits of Ninja Foodi Turkey Breast
Since the Ninja Foodi is a pressure cooker as well as an air fryer, you get the benefits mentioned above. Plus, the ability to crisp up your turkey skin quickly!
Here’s what you’ll need to make a tender turkey breast in the pressure cooker (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact amounts):
Turkey Breast Brine Ingredients
The ingredients for a turkey breast brine are aromatic and designed to pack the turkey breast with extra moisture and extra flavor before you cook it.
For the turkey brine, you’ll need:
- Sea Salt
- Sweetener: I’m using a keto sugar replacement, but you can use whatever granular sweetener that you prefer.
- Hot Sauce
- Fresh Herbs: I’m using rosemary, thyme, and sage. I purchased these separately at my local grocery store. But you can also substitute the turkey herb packs (typically available around Thanksgiving) that include a curated collection of fresh herbs to add to your turkey.
- Chopped garlic cloves
I choose to make my own brine, but you should know that you can also use a turkey brining kit that is readily available in most markets during the holidays.
The Actual Turkey Breast
For this recipe, I use a 3-pound turkey breast roast. I always prepare it the day before, which gives it time to marinade well.
You can brine your turkey in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. To get all of the benefits of the brine, I recommend that you marinate the meat for at least 8 hours.
Turkey Breast Spice Mixture
When you take the turkey breast out of the brine, you add a spice rub to the outside. The spice rub has the following ingredients:
Pressure Cooking Ingredients
The following ingredients are needed when you start to cook the turkey breast in the pressure cooker.
- Chicken broth: helps with creating a flavorful steam that keeps your turkey breast moist as it cooks.
- Olive Oil: assists with crisping the skin once you use the air fryer function
How to Cook a Turkey Breast in a Pressure Cooker
To make a truly delicious turkey breast, you need to follow my easy recipe and its two-part process. Step one is to brine the turkey. Step two is to season the meat and cook it.
Brine the Turkey
- Make the Brine: I typically do this the night or afternoon before I intend to cook the turkey breast. You simply whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Brine the Turkey Breast overnight: Place turkey breast skin-side down in the brine carefully to avoid splashing. Store the turkey breast in the refrigerator.
Season the Turkey & Cook
- Add the spice mixture: When you are ready to cook the turkey breast, remove it from the brine, rinse off the excess, pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel, and discard the rest of the brine. Don’t worry – you’re not wasting the brine, the time marinating helps it get all the flavor.
- Pressure cook the turkey breast in the cooking pot: Before placing the turkey in the Crock-Pot Express Cooker, pour the broth into the inner pot. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on the cooking rack and place inside the inner pot. Put the pressure cooker lid in position and set to manual pressure cooking for 18 minutes if you have a 3-pound turkey breast. Otherwise, cook the turkey breast for 6 minutes per pound.
- Crisp the turkey skin: Take the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and drizzle it over and on top of the turkey breast skin. Place the crisping lid on the Crock-Pot express cooker and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. This will give you crispy skin.
Turn the Turkey Drippings into Turkey Gravy
Cooking your turkey breast in the pressure cooker makes it super easy to make gravy.
To make pan gravy without creating more dishes, I simply remove the cooked turkey breast and the rack from the cooking pot.
Next, I do the following:
- Turn on the Sear/Sauté function to high
- Add 1 cup of water, 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum and 1/2 tsp 24 Herbs Sprinkle Seasoning (Salt-free) to the cooking pot with the pan drippings or cooking liquid.
- Use a silicone bottom whisk to combine them. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until you get the consistency you prefer.
Top Tips & FAQs
- Adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your turkey breast: If you are not using an express cooker or pressure cooker with an air fryer option, you can still follow the recipe as is. You just need to add an extra minute per pound to the cooking time so you are cooking the turkey breast for 7 minutes a pound. And if you want to be sure the meat is cooked and have a meat thermometer, you should cook the internal temperature to 155 degrees.
- Works with a Crockpot Express and Instant Pot: you can use the crisper lid to air fry the turkey breast and follow the same instructions
How to Adjust this Recipe for a Whole Turkey
If you are making a whole turkey, you can follow the same basic brining procedure. But, since you are working with the whole turkey instead of just the breast, you want to:
- Adjust the brine: I usually use a full gallon of buttermilk in the brine and use four times the seasonings
- Brine in a turkey-sized oven bag: I simply place the bag in a roasting pan, add the turkey and brine mixture, and seal the bag with the included bag ties.
- Use an oven to cook it: You’ll need to follow conventional oven cooking instructions. You should plan to cook the turkey in the oven for about 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
How to Store Leftover Turkey Breast
If you have any leftovers of this turkey recipe, the best way to store them is in an airtight container for next time (up to 5 days). You can also wrap them up tight in aluminum foil.
You should cook the turkey breast for 6-7 minutes per pound. In this recipe, I cook the turkey for about 6 minutes because I also use the air fryer to crisp the skin.
What to Serve with Turkey Breast
For a keto Thanksgiving or other gatherings, you can add these side dishes to turkey breast to make a meal:
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Creamed Spinach
- Keto Cranberry Sauce
- Pressure Cooker Collard Greens
- Keto Cornbread Recipe [+VIDEO]
Ways to Use Leftover Turkey
If you have leftover turkey, you can use it in the following recipes:
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Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe
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Turkey Breast Brine
Turkey Breast Spice Mix
- Add all of the ingredients for the brine into a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
- Add the turkey breast into the brine and marinate overnight (up to 24 hours)
- Remove the turkey breast from the brine and rinse off excess brine liquid in cold water
- Pat the turkey breast dry. Mix the spice mix and use it to season both sides of the turkey breast.
- Pour the broth to the bottom of the cooking pot.
- Add the seasoned turkey breast (skin side up) to the cooking rack and place them inside the cooking pot
- Cook the turkey breast on Manual High Pressure for 18 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound). Allow the pressure to quick release (change the setting from "Seal" to "Vent")
- Remove the pressure cooker lid. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil on the turkey breast skin.
- Add the crisping lid. Air Crisp for 10-15 minutes.
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!