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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, it takes less than 45 minutes for a crispy and tender result.
In this post, I share how to make a turkey brine, cook a turkey breast in a pressure cooker, and use the pan drippings to make a gravy.
Reasons to Cook a Turkey Breast and not a Whole Turkey
Outside of the holidays, turkey breast is great for dinner, leftovers or lunch. Problem is, cooking a full turkey often takes a lot of time. And, if you’re having a small gathering or your family doesn’t eat the darker meat, like the legs, thighs, and wings, a lot of the turkey ends up going to waste.
Plus, the turkey breast always cooks faster than the rest of the bird. So, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to overcook it.
In this easy pressure cooker turkey breast recipe, you solve all of those challenges, by cooking just the part that’s juicy and tender without worrying about everything else.
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 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.
- Broth: helps with creating a flavorful steam that keeps your turkey breast moist
- Olive Oil: assists with crisping the skin once you use the air fryer function
How to Cook a Turkey Breast in the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker
- 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 the turkey breast skin-side down in the brine carefully to avoid splashing. 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, 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 skin: Take the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and drizzle it over the turkey breast skin. 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
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.
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 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 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.
Turn the Pan Drippings into 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
- Use a silicone bottom whisk to combine them. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until you get the consistency you prefer.
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:
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.
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!