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Whether you are preparing for a small holiday gathering or if your family just prefers turkey breast, this Juicy Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast recipe is a time-saving option. After a simple buttermilk marinade, this boneless turkey breast is pressure cooked to tender. Then, I use the Crock-Pot® Express Crisp crisping lid to finish the dish. In this post, I share how to make a moist and tender turkey in a pressure cooker in less than 35 minutes and give you recipe options for keto-friendly side dishes.
Reasons to Cook a Turkey Breast and not a Whole Turkey
Turkey is a staple of the Thanksgiving table. It also makes its appearance during other holidays, such as Christmas Dinner – after all doesn’t the song say, “Everybody knows that turkey and some mistletoe will help to make the season bright?”
Outside of the holidays, turkey breast also makes a great weeknight dinner that turns into leftovers for lunch.
Problem is, cooking a full turkey often takes a lot more time. And, if your family doesn’t eat the darker meat, like the legs, thighs, and wings, a lot of the turkey ends up going to waste.
Besides that, you might not always need the extra meat from a whole turkey, especially if you are having a smaller get-together. This makes a turkey breast is easier and faster to prepare for a small crowd.
Finally, when you cook the whole turkey, the breast cooks faster than the rest of the bird. This results in the breast getting overcooked and dried out. If you only cook the breast, you can cook it until it reaches the perfect temperature.
Ingredients in this Pressure Cooker Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
To make a truly delicious turkey breast, you need to follow a two-step process. Step one is to brine the turkey. Step two is to season the meat and cook it.
Turkey Breast Brine Ingredients
The ingredients for a turkey breast brine are aromatic and designed to help pack the breast with extra moisture. The aromatic ingredients help to give it extra flavor to the turkey breast before you cook it.
The ingredients for the brine are:
- Sea Salt
- Keto Sugar Replacement
- Hot Sauce
- 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 Boneless 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 for when you start to cook the turkey breast in the pressure cooker.
- Olive Oil
These ensure that the pressure cooker has enough moisture to build enough steam and pressure for the cooking process. These also become the start of a fabulous pressure cooker gravy!
How to Cook a Turkey Breast in the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker
Make the Brine
The first step in cooking the turkey breast in the pressure cooker is to brine the turkey. I typically do this the night or afternoon before I intend to cook it.
Making a brine is very easy. You combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large bowl. Then, you whisk the ingredients so that the salt and sugar replacement dissolve.
Brine the Turkey Breast Overnight
Place the turkey in the brine carefully to avoid splashing. Also, make sure the brine fully covers the turkey breast before covering the bowl with it’s top or with aluminum foil. Store the turkey breast in the refrigerator.
Add the spice mixture
When you are ready to cook the turkey breast, remove it from the brine and discard the brine. In the sink, rinse off excess brine. I know it sounds weird, but the process of marinating allows all of the flavors to sink into the breast meat so don’t worry about washing it all away.
Once rinsed, pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel and put aside on a cutting board or plate.
In a small bowl, combine all the spices until well mixed. Rub the spice mix on both sides of the turkey breast.
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.
When the cooker has finished, let it naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
Finish the Turkey Breast with the Crisping Lid
When the pressure is released, remove the lid.
Take the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub it over the turkey breast. Finally, place the crisping lid on the Crock-Pot express cooker and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
How long does it take to cook boneless turkey breast in a pressure cooker
A pressure cooker cuts the number of minutes per pound quite a bit compared to cooking in the oven.
You should cook the turkey breast for 6 minutes per pound. In this recipe, that is about 18 minutes. If you use a bigger or smaller turkey breast, you should adjust the time as needed.
For this recipe, I use the crisper feature of the 8-quart Crock-Pot® Express Crisp Pressure Cooker. This adds about 15 minutes of cook time in the end. But it also means, I only cook the breast for 6 minutes per pound.
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.
How to make & cook a moist turkey breast or whole turkey
The best way to ensure your turkey breast or whole turkey turns out moist after cooking is to brine the turkey. The salty, flavorful mixture adds moisture and extra flavor to the turkey breast or whole turkey.
For my recipes, I use a fresh, non-brined turkey to start with. If you pick up a pre-brined turkey breast (they usually mention “a solution” on the packaging), then you should not brine your meat. It will become too salty.
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 use a full gallon of buttermilk in the brine.
Also, due to the size, you will want to brine the bird in an oven bag and place the whole thing in a roasting pan.
Since a full turkey is much bigger than a turkey breast, it is unlikely that it will fit it in a pressure cooker. So, you’ll need to follow conventional oven cooking instructions.
Though this may vary some, you should plan to cook the turkey in the oven for about 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
Keto Dishes to Make This a Meal
For keto-friendly fixings for Thanksgiving or other gatherings, you can make these delicious recipes to serve with the turkey breast:
- Low Carb Side Dishes
- Cauliflower Rice Risotto
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Creamed Spinach
Easy Keto & Low Carb Creamed Spinach RecipeGet this recipe
Keto Cauliflower Mac and CheeseGet this recipe
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic RecipeGet this recipe
Other Crock-Pot Express Recipes
If you love using your Crock-Pot Express cooker and are looking for other recipes to try, I suggest you start with this Crock-pot Whole Chicken or Low-Carb & Keto Korean BBQ Ribs Recipe. They are the perfect blend of savory and sweet. And, they are keto-friendly.
Keto Korean BBQ RibsGet this recipe
Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe
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Turkey Breast Brine
- 3 lbs turkey breast
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Natural Ancient Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 sticks rosemary
- 2 sticks thyme
- 2 sticks sage
- 4 fresh, chopped garlic cloves
Turkey Breast Spice Mix
Key Tool I Used
- 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 naturally release (~10 minutes)
- 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!