Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

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Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!    

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Cooking a Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker 

Roasting a Thanksgiving turkey isn’t hard, per se, but you can mess it up if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re making turkey for Thanksgiving or a holiday meal, the last thing you want is a recipe fail!

One of the reasons whole turkeys can be tricky to nail just right is because a whole turkey is big, and if you’re not careful you may wind up with an tough, dry exterior and an overcooked interior. 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Although I’ve mastered the fine art of roasting a whole turkey, I most often wind up cooking just a turkey breast for my family’s Thanksgiving meal. 

It’s a smaller cut of meat, so I’m able to cook it with more confidence – and so will you. And since I do not have a big extended family who I am sharing the meal with, my immediate family and I end up with a reasonable amount of leftovers. Personally, I don’t need a freezer full of turkey that will take months to get through! 

The best way to cook a turkey breast so it turns out moist and juicy every time? In a slow cooker! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

There are so many reasons to slow cook a turkey breast in your Crockpot this holiday season: 

  • Using your Crockpot frees up oven space that can be used to make your favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes instead. 
  • You can set it and forget it when cooking turkey breast in a Crockpot. No babysitting or time-sensitive basting required! 
  • Crockpot roast turkey breast is much harder to overcook, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to have perfect results every time. 
  • Cooking just a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey is ideal for smaller to medium families or smaller gatherings so you end up with just enough leftovers to turn into turkey noodle soup or turkey tetrazzini, and then you’re done. 

If you don’t want to commit to roasting a whole turkey this year, slow cook a turkey breast instead!  

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

I also take advantage of all those super flavorful pan drippings and natural juices that will accumulate in the bottom of your slow cooker and make a quick and easy 10-minute gravy.

While this is an optional step, it would practically be a crime to discard those cooking juices and drippings because they’re filled with hours-worth of slow cooker flavor! Even if you’ve never made gravy before, never fear. This is a quick, easy, and practically foolproof easy gravy recipe (and no lumps)!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe Ingredients 

For a classic Thanksgiving recipe like this, simple is better when it comes to the ingredients. Just tried-and-true common and easy to find fridge and pantry ingredients.

Gather the following basic ingredients to make the turkey breast:

  • Onion
  • Bone-in skin-on turkey breast
  • Butter
  • Fresh garlic 
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage) 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Orange juice 
  • Reduced sodium chicken broth 
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

For the turkey gravy using the drippings you’ll have in your slow cooker, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

How to Cook a Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker 

This Crockpot turkey breast recipe takes less than 10 minutes of hands-on prep to make! After that, the slow cooker does the work for you. That is a holiday recipe win of the biggest magnitude!

And if you’re someone who has to have crispy skin on your turkey, don’t worry! I have a genius hack for how to crisp up the turkey breast skin as well below.

Step 1: Pat the turkey breast dry using paper towels.

Step 2: Rub the turkey all over using a combination of softened butter, fresh herbs, and spices that you mix up in a small bowl. I’ve tried using garlic powder but I prefer whole garlic cloves or minced garlic (from a jar) as opposed to garlic powder and whole onions rather than onion powder.   

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Step 3: Place roughly chopped onion pieces into the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Then, place the turkey breast on top of the onion pieces. 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Wondering why the buttery mixture looks so orange? It’s from the smoked paprika or regular paprika which turns everything very orange and golden colored!

Step 4: Pour the orange juice and broth into the bottom of the slow cooker insert. 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Step 5: Slow cook the turkey breast on low for 5 hours. Use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the meat — if the internal temperature registers 160ºF, it’s good to go! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Love Crispy Turkey Skin? 

You can either eat the slow cooked turkey breast as is, straight from the Crock-pot.

…OR you can take the time to crisp up the skin using your oven’s broiler. 

1. To crisp up the skin, preheat the broiler to 500ºF or HIGH broil depending on your oven.

2. Before the broiler gets screaming hot, place an oven rack on the second to the top rung, or high enough that the turkey will be close to the broiler, but still have clearance to enter and the space isn’t too tight because remember the breast is likely quite thick.

3. Place the cooked turkey breast on a baking tray and cook under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or just until the skin becomes crispy and is browned. 

Broiling comes with a huge caveat: DO NOT WALK AWAY from your kitchen, DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON YOUR OVEN, do no get distracted with chatting up Aunt Peggy, or start some other task or prep work that you plan to do ‘real quick’ because broilers are HOT. And you can easily burn the heck out of your turkey breast in 1 minute flat and at that point, your holiday meal is definitely not going to be the smashing success you were hoping. I am always very explicit with broiler talk because I do not want you to be the one who is trying to scrape off burnt crusty black flakes after a five hour slow cook! Watch your turkey breast very closely.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

How Long to Cook Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker? 

A bone-in turkey breast that’s roughly 7 pounds in weight will take 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

Larger turkey breasts will take slightly longer to cook, while smaller turkey breasts will take less time to cook. 

Use your best judgment when slow cooking a turkey breast in a Crockpot and adjust the cook time as needed. Because all slow cookers vary in their size, heat output, and your climate (cold vs. warm kitchen), the size of the turkey breast, bone-in or not, etc. it all affects cooking time. And obviously, cook until the bird is done, whatever that means given your situation.

I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat so that you don’t overcook it by mistake! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Looking for more holiday side dish recipes? See below the recipe card. Featured above is my Corn Casserole recipe and steamed green beans.

How to Tell When Turkey Breast Is Done 

A guaranteed way to wind up with a tough, dry turkey breast is to overcook it. While this is much less likely to happen in a slow cooker than oven-roasting, it’s still a possibility if you grossly over cook it.

The only way to know for sure if the turkey breast is finished cooking is to test its internal temperature using a meat thermometer. I prefer digital read to manual-read thermometers, but use what you have. 

The turkey breast is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF in the thicket part.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Do NOT insert the thermometer so deeply that it touches the bone — that will mess up your reading! 

You can pull the turkey breast out of the Crock-Pot at about 155F and then let it REST. During the resting time, the internal temperature will continue to raise and it will reach the temperature for safely consuming turkey breast which is 160F.

If you’re planning on broiling it to crisp up the skin, that’s fine. Plop it on a baking sheet, put it under the broiler, and it’ll be in a 500F oven, more than sufficient to help the internal temp bump up a bit.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

How to Make Gravy From Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Drippings 

If you love homemade turkey gravy made from roast turkey drippings, you’re going to love this easy gravy made from the drippings left behind in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

The gravy-making process is very similar to the traditional method: 

Step 1: Strain the broth from the slow cooker. You don’t want any onion chunks to wind up in your gravy! 

Step 2: In a saucepan, heat the butter until melted.

Step 3: Then, whisk in the flour. This is called a roux. Cook the roux for 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. Do NOT shortchange this step or else your gravy will taste like wallpaper paste! Another reason not to shortchange this step is because the roux helps thicken pan juices into actual gravy.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Step 4: Measure out 2 cups of strained slow cooker broth.

Step 5: Drizzle in the 2 cups of broth to the roux.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Step 6: Whisk, whisk, whisk to combine! Don’t stop – you don’t want lumpy gravy!

Step 7: Taste the gravy, and add extra salt and pepper to taste. 

Step 8: Keep whisking the gravy as it simmers over low heat until it’s thickened to your liking. 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Tips for Slow Cooking Turkey Breast 

Place the turkey breast on the onion pieces to elevate it. You don’t want the turkey sitting in the poaching liquid or else the meat will cook unevenly in the slow cooker! 

Leave the skin on the turkey breast. The turkey skin helps keep the meat super tender and moist, while also adding tons of flavor! 

Broil the meat briefly to crisp up the skin. Yet another reason to leave the skin on the turkey breast! You can briefly (about 5 minutes) broil the turkey breast in your oven to crisp up and brown the skin. I do recommend doing this because everyone goes nuts for crispy turkey skin! But make sure to re-read my Love Crispy Turkey Skin? caveats above about not turning your back on your oven!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Opt for a bone-in turkey breast. Bone-in turkey breasts contain both sides of the breast, which means more meat for the same amount of work in the kitchen! The bone also makes for a juicier Crockpot turkey breast and adds flavor. Turkey is naturally a fairly bland protein, so you’ll want to lock in as much flavor as possible by buying bone-in.

Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Cook the turkey to 160ºF (or to about 155F and let it rest noting the internal temp will still climb even out of the slow cooker). But don’t cook it longer! If you overcook the turkey breast – which is tough to do in a Crockpot but it happens – it will be dry, stringy, and rubbery inside. That would be a Thanksgiving tragedy! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Rest the meat. I always rest any protein for 5 to 10 minutes before I slice it because it gives the natural juices a chance to redistribute rather than just run out all over your cutting board at the first knife prick. If you’re making gravy, that’s perfect anyway. Make it while the meat rests and you’re set.

Tender Turkey Breast Recipe FAQs

Should I buy a boneless or bone-in turkey breast? 

Buy a bone-in turkey breast, which will contain both sides of the breast. Bone-in turkey breasts are juicier and more flavorful than boneless turkey breasts, and are harder to overcook. 

If for some reason you cannot find a bone-in turkey breast, you can use a boneless turkey breast. It may also be skinless at that point, which is also fine. In general boneless proteins cook a bit quicker than bone-in

Should I buy a fresh or frozen turkey breast?

It’s up to you, and of course, based on what’s available at your grocery store or butcher shop. I find it’s more common to be able to get ahold of fresh (never previously frozen) breasts in comparison to a whole turkey, which are almost always frozen. So you may not have to worry about thawing your breast.

However, if you have purchased a frozen turkey breast and need to thaw it, remember this process takes a few DAYS, if done properly in the refrigerator and not on your counter (unsafe, don’t do it). The rule of thumb is 1 day for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So if you are working with a 7-ish pound turkey breast, safely plan that it will take 48 hours to thaw in your fridge.

What if my turkey breast(s) are small? Or very big?

Around the holidays it can sometimes be a real challenge to find the exactly “perfect” turkey, ham, pumpkin pecan pie, etc. that you had your heart set on due to everyone else buying it before you did! If all you can find are two smaller turkey breasts, say 3 to 4 pounds each, you can cook them at the same time in your slow cooker. Keep an eye on cook times but more or less 3-ish hours on high, or 5-ish hours on low, should be about right.

If all you can find are very large turkey breasts, say 8 to 9 pounds, that’s fine too. It will take longer to cook. About 1 to 2-ish hours longer, depending on if you’re slow cooking on high or low.Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Should I remove the skin from the turkey breast before cooking? 

No, leave the skin on the turkey breast. Turkey is incredibly lean, so you need that layer of fat on top to add moisture and flavor.

After slow cooking the turkey breast in the Crockpot, broil it for about 5 minutes in your oven to crisp up the skin if you’d like. If you don’t care about crispy skin and you’re not a skin person no matter what, just let the meat rest briefly and then slice and serve.

What size crockpot is best for cooking a turkey breast?

I suggest using a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker, which is the typical size of most oval-shaped slow cookers. I do not recommend using anything smaller because food that’s cramped doesn’t cook as well or as evenly. I do not recommend using a round slow cooker since those are typically about 4 to 5-quart slow cookers which is a bit too small.

Can I add vegetables to the slow cooker to cook alongside the turkey breast? 

I don’t recommend doing that, no. The vegetables wouldn’t cook at the same rate as the turkey breast, not to mention your slow cooker would be incredibly full if you cooked both the turkey and the vegetables in it. See above, cramped food doesn’t cook well.

Instead, cook your favorite holiday sides and casseroles in your oven. Looking for ideas? Scroll past the recipe card to see a ton of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and Christmas dinner sides, too.

Should the turkey breast be submerged in liquid when slow cooking? 

No, you want to elevate the turkey breast on some chunks of onion to keep it out of the poaching liquid. The turkey will release quite a bit of moisture as it cooks, so the poaching liquid will eventually touch the meat — that’s not a problem.

You just don’t want the meat to be partially submerged in the broth / juice mixture from the beginning or else the turkey will cook unevenly in the Crockpot. And at that point it’s more like you would be poaching the turkey which isn’t the goal here.

Can I double this recipe?

If you have a slow cooker big enough to accommodate two bone-in turkey breasts, sure. The cook time should remain the same even if the meat is doubled provided that your slow cooker is BIG! You’d want at least an 8-quart slow cooker.

However, for me, it would be simpler is to ask one of your guests or a friend to loan you their slow cooker for the day and cook the birds, side by side, in two separate slow cookers.

Can I make gravy from the turkey drippings? 

Please do! I’ve included detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make gravy using slow cooker turkey drippings. 

How many people will a bone-in turkey breast feed? 

This recipe calls for a bone-in turkey breast, also called a whole turkey breast. A whole turkey breast weighs roughly 7 pounds, which will feed about 6 people.

After cooking (which reduces the weight) and you take the bone out (reduces the weight), a 7 pound turkey breast turns into about 4 pounds. Most adults – especially on a special day like Thanksgiving where people have a “feasting” mentality and east more than usual, I find most people easily eat 3/4 to 1 lb of turkey.

So I would say this serves 6 nicely, with a nice bit of leftovers, although not tons of leftovers. If you’re factoring in kids or lighter eaters, then you can stretch the yield to 8 people perhaps.

How much turkey should I plan per person? 

In my opinion, when it comes to turkey recipes, you should plan on about 1 pound of turkey per person. That’s cooked turkey, so raw is slightly more/heavier.

With that being said, not everyone in my family actually eats a full pound of turkey on Thanksgiving since our table is loaded down with so many side dishes as well! Even if you plan on 1 pound per person, you will have a nice amount of leftovers but not too much. Remember, the beauty of a turkey breast made in your slow cooker rather than an oven roasting whole bird is that you won’t have excessive amounts of leftover turkey!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

What to Serve with Crockpot Turkey Breast 

Serve your Crockpot whole roast turkey breast with your favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

Storage and Reheating Instructions 

Leftover turkey breast can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

When refrigerating, I recommend spooning some of the gravy over the meat to keep it moist because turkey tends to dry out a bit in the fridge unfortunately. 

To reheat individual servings of turkey, I usually just nuke my plate in the microwave at 30-second intervals. 

To reheat larger servings, you can place thicker turkey slices in a baking dish with a little broth, cover the pan with foil, and warm at 325ºF for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Personally, that sounds like a lot of work, but not every has a microwave.

Or you can always eat it cold on turkey sandwiches!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

What To Make with Leftover Turkey?

Now isn’t this the 64 thousand dollar question! I have plenty of ideas for you.

And stay tuned for the rest of the month, closer to Thanksgiving, because I have some really creative recipes using not only leftover turkey, but also leftover cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and more.

Got turkey? I’ve got some recipes to use it:

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!   

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Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

By Averie Sunshine
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast — Learn how to make a perfect turkey breast every time using your slow cooker! Making turkey breast in a Crockpot results in juicy, tender turkey every time and is nearly impossible to dry out! Save the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker for making into turkey gravy. Whether you want to free up oven space for a holiday meal or you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this EASY recipe creates AMAZING turkey every time!    
Make sure to read the blog post, including the Tips and FAQs section for extra pointers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

Turkey

  • 1 large white or yellow, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
  • one 7-pound bone-in turkey breast, with skin on*
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped**
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped**
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped**
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste***
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or regular paprika if preferred
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ½ cup orange juice, chicken broth may be substituted if you do not want a light citrus flavor
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium chicken broth

Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups broth, from the turkey drippings in the slow cooker, plus more if needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Turkey – Spray the ceramic portion of the a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker with cooking spray and scatter the onions chunks evenly over the base of it; set aside momentarily.
  • Pat the turkey breast dry; set aside momentarily.
  • To a small bowl, add the softened butter, garlic, all herbs, salt, pepper, and stir with a small spoon to combine and mix evenly. Tips – I really recommend fresh herbs however if you don't have all of them as fresh herbs and need to use some dried herbs from your pantry, it's fine. Use half the quantity of dried herbs compared to fresh. For example, use 1 teaspoon dried thyme rather in place of 2 teaspoons fresh thyme. I use 2 teaspoons salt (maybe more) because I am not brining this turkey first in saltwater, and I use reduced sodium broth, but to ensure the turkey tastes amazing, I find it does need a solid 2 teaspoons salt, but salt is a very personal thing. You can always add more salt later on if you're very sensitive to salt and want to use less salt to begin with.
  • Rub the seasoned butter mixture all over the turkey breast including on top, underneath, and you can gently rub a bit in between the underneath the flap of skin and the actual meat, taking care not to rip the skin. Tip – The only way to really add the butter rub is with clean hands. Wear kitchen gloves if you'd like.
  • Place the turkey on top of the onion chunks.
  • Add the orange juice, reduced sodium chicken broth, and place the lid on the slow cooker.
  • You can slow cook on HIGH for about 3 hours, or on LOW for about 5 hours. Tips – Resist the urge to keep opening the lid and peek on it. That let's the heat out and just delays the cooking process unnecessarily. Turkey breast is safe to consume when the internal temperature is 160F. In order to know that, I advise not guessing. Instead use a digital thermometer. You can pull the turkey from the slow cooker when the temp is about 155F. The internal temp will continue to rise even out of the slow cooker to the safe level of 160F. When taking the temp, make sure to go into the deepest part of the meat, but do not hit bone because the reading will be inaccurate.
  • Rest the turkey for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing it if you are not moving on to the next steps, which are all optional.
  • Crispy Skin, optional – If you want crispy skin, it's easily accomplished. Preheat your broiler to 500F or high broil, and move a wire rack to approximately the second highest rung in the oven. Tip – Make sure to eyeball the space it so that when you place your turkey breast (usually pretty thick) on a baking sheet, it has clearance to enter the oven and not actually touch the broiler. Do this before the oven and broiler get screaming hot.
  • Place the cooked turkey breast on a baking sheet and place it on the pre-positioned oven rack and broil for about 5 minutes, or until the skin is as golden and crisped as desired. Tips – Broiling comes with a huge caveat: DO NOT WALK AWAY from your kitchen, DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON YOUR OVEN, do no get distracted or start another task or prep work that you plan to do ‘real quick’ because broilers are HOT. You can easily burn and ruin your turkey breast in 1 minute flat, and at that point, your holiday meal is definitely not going to be the smashing success you were hoping. Watch the turkey extremely closely!
  • After the turkey skin is as golden as desired, remove the sheet pan from the oven, and allow the turkey to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. If you're making gravy, this is perfect.
  • Gravy, optional – Strain the cooking juices/broth that have accumulated in the basin of the slow cooker into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Tips – Straining is necessary because you don't want onion chunks in the finished gravy. However, the ceramic basin of the slow cooker is heavy and it'll be hot – be careful. If you need to dunk a 1/2 cup measuring cup in and dole out the broth 1/2-cup at a time, do it. I personally don't flip the whole thing over. It's tricky, hot, heavy, and you risk hot broth going everywhere!
  • If you don't have 2 cups of cooking juices/broth, add additional reduced sodium chicken broth from a carton or can so that you have 2 cups; set aside.
  • To a high-sided medium saucepan, add the butter, and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  • Add the flour to the melted butter, and cook for 1 minute; whisk the entire time. Tips – This is called a roux and is necessary so that later on the gravy thickens properly. Don't shortcut this step or your gravy will not thicken and will have a terrible raw flour taste.
  • Slowly drizzle in the 2 cups of broth into the roux, whisking the entire time so that your gravy doesn't have lumps later.
  • Turn the heat to medium or medium-low, and continue gently simmering the gravy for about 5 minutes, or until it has thickened. Whisk nearly constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper, to taste. Tip – If you used reduced sodium chicken broth, and unsalted butter, I woudn't be surprised if you need 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, and about 1/2 teaspoon pepper, but of course always season to your personal taste preferences.
  • Serving – Slice the rested turkey breast as thick or thin as desired, and serve with gravy, or as desired.
  • Storage – Extra turkey and gravy (stored separately) will keep airight in fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the microwave or as desired before serving. I like to drizzle a bit of gravy over turkey meat before I store it to help keep it moister.

Notes

*Turkey – Select a bone-in turkey breast, which will contain both sides of the breast. Bone-in turkey breasts are juicier and more flavorful than boneless turkey breasts, and are harder to overcook. If for some reason you cannot find a bone-in turkey breast, you can use a boneless turkey breast. It may also be skinless at that point, which is also fine. In general boneless proteins cook a bit quicker than bone-in however since this is a slow cooker recipe, it's probably negligible.
If you have purchased a frozen turkey breast and need to thaw it, remember this process takes a few DAYS, if done properly in the refrigerator and not on your counter (unsafe, don't do it). The rule of thumb is 1 day for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So if you are working with a 7-ish pound turkey breast, safely plan that it will take 48 hours to thaw in your fridge.
**Herbs – As I mentioned, I highly recommend fresh herbs however if you don't have all of them as fresh herbs and need to use some dried herbs from your pantry, it's fine. Use half the quantity of dried herbs compared to fresh. For example, use 1 teaspoon dried thyme rather in place of 2 teaspoons fresh thyme.
***Salt – I use 2 teaspoons salt (maybe more) because I am not brining this turkey first in saltwater, and I use reduced sodium broth so I can control the overall sodium more precisely. But to ensure the turkey tastes amazing, I find it does need a solid 2 teaspoons salt, but salt is a very personal thing. You can always add more salt later on if you're very sensitive to salt and want to use less salt to begin with and not risk oversalting it although for my preferences, you'd have to use much more than 2 tsp for it to actually be over-salted. I also use a good bit of salt in the gravy, again, so that it tastes good.
Nutritional information – In my opinion the stats are artificially very high because they take into account if every last drop of gravy was consumed, as well as turkey skin, and if we are working with a 7 pound finished (cooked) amount of meat which you won't have. After removing the bone and cooking, you'll end up with about 4 pounds of meat, but the computer generated program that creates the stats cannot discern that. Calculate by hand with another online tool if this is of critical importance to you.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 976kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 163g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 466mg, Sodium: 1133mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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