All this time the secret to the perfect turkey was inside my electric pressure cooker, AKA Instant Pot. Juicy, flavorful, and flat-out incredible, you must try this Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast!
Sometimes I feel a little awkward gushing about recipes. It’s like, I’ve given birth, I’ve jumped off bridges and out of planes, and married the man of my dreams. So isn’t it a bit weird to completely lose my cool over food?
Well today, I don’t care, because . . .
OH MY GOODNESS! YOU GUYS! I HAVE NEVER, IN MY LIFE, TASTED A TURKEY, SO SO SO GOOD!
This turkey is right up there with babies, flying, and dreamy men. I sat there tasting bite after bite wondering how could this be the same meat I’ve been eating since I was a child. And then I combined it with my favorite Apple Cranberry Sauce and literally stood up out of my chair and waved a fork at my children exclaiming, “DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?”
And they didn’t . . . but they were scared.
But you don’t need to be scared! Because guess what? This will also be the easiest, fastest turkey you will ever make in your entire life.
Oh I agonized over turkey last year. I was in charge of the turkey for all my in-laws and had no clue what I was doing. Not to brag, but it was amazing (shockingly), but it was stressful, to say the least.
But not this lemony, garlic, herb turkey breast. Not stressful in the least!
Mix up some herb butter, rub it around under the skin, season the bird, plop the bird in the pressure cooker, add some aromatics, close that lid, push some buttons, and the “hard” part is DONE. If you pass the carving of the meat to someone else, then actually, you are done. You just created a masterpiece, and you for reals, are already done.
This turkey if sooooo flavorful and juicy and I owe that to a few key factors.
Butter. Herby, Lemony, garlic butter that is. It gets rubbed all over the turkey breasts (under the skin, don’t be scared, wear gloves like I do) keeping the meat nice and moist. No need to brine with this trick!
Flip it. Flip that bird so the breast is facing down. This allows all the juice to settle right where you want it.
Well the magic that is the Electric Pressure Cooker, of course. Obviously.
I don’t know that I will ever roast another turkey in the oven. If I ever get put in charge of turkey again, I’m gonna pull out 2 pressure cookers, throw a turkey in each, then go play with all the men and children that don’t think they have to help in the kitchen.
P.S. No offense to those amazing men who rule their kitchens. In fact, I’d like to join your dinner party, please. I’ll be in charge of the life changing turkey.
This turkey and herb butter also makes the best gravy in the entire world, which also can so easily be done in the pressure cooker pot itself as the turkey rests. One pot. Serious. I can’t even handle it anymore.
Last thing, this recipe is for a 6 – 7 pound turkey so it will be thawed by Thanksgiving easily. You could probably even cook it from frozen, but you wouldn’t be able to get the butter under the skin. If I ever try it, I will update. If you’ve tried cooking a turkey from frozen, please let me know!
Now go own that turkey!
Tools used to make Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
Instant Pot or
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Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
Tender, juicy, flavorful Turkey Breast, ready in less than an hour! Perfect for holidays as well as a weekday because it’s that easy and delicious.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: About 1 hour
- Yield: 8 servings
For the Lemon Garlic Herb Butter
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
For the Broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 onion
For the Turkey
- 6 – 7 pound bone in, skin on turkey breast
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- handful of fresh parsley
- 1/2 onion, peeled
- 1/2 lemon
For the Gravy
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- To make the Lemon Garlic Herb Butter: to a small bowl, add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Use a fork to mash and combine the ingredients. Set aside.
- For the Broth: To the pot of the pressure cooker, add water, celery, carrots, and 1/2 of an onion and place short trivet on top.
- For the Turkey: Season the turkey liberally all over with kosher salt and a lighter amount of black pepper.
- Separate the skin from the turkey breast by carefully pushing your fingers under the skin, you don’t want to tear through it, you’re just creating a pocket under the skin. (If this grosses you out like it does me, use gloves!)
- With your hands, scoop up half of the herb butter and stuff it under one side of the breast. Repeat on the other side with the rest of the butter. Spread the butter around by massaging over the top of the skin. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it distributed around underneath the skin as much as possible.
- Place the turkey breast side down, on top of the trivet. This will help to keep a lot of juice in the breast.
- To the under cavity of the turkey breast, add the fresh parsley, 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 onion, stuffing it inside as much as possible (turkey breasts don’t always have a large enclosed cavity like a full turkey does).
- Secure the lid and turn the pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a full natural release (this will help the turkey stay nice and moist compared to a quick pressure release). Check the temperature of the turkey to be sure it’s at least 160-165 degrees.
- Place the turkey on a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.
- While the turkey rests, combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Strain broth from pot through a fat separator or a fine mesh sieve. If you don’t have a fat separator , skim the top of the liquid with a spoon to remove some of the fat. Pour broth back into the pressure cooker pot.
- For the Gravy: Using the saute or brown function on the pressure cooker, bring broth up to a simmer. Give the cornstarch/water slurry an extra stir to make sure it’s combined, then while whisking, slowly pour slurry into the simmering liquid. Whisk until gravy thickens then unplug the pressure cooker.
- Remove and discard the skin from the turkey. Cut breasts away from the bone, slice, and enjoy with a splash of gravy and a scoop of cranberries (or however you like it!)
If you like a crispy skin, place the finished turkey underneath the oven broiler until nicely browned.