Instant Pot Turkey Breast is hands down the easiest, most flavorful way to prepare a turkey breast! This herb-seasoned turkey breast is cooked to perfection and is served with an easy gravy made right in the Instant Pot.
You will permanently say goodbye to dried-out turkey with this recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast. Not only is this turkey breast ready in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven, but it is also the juiciest turkey breast ever!
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Cooking a turkey breast in the Instant Pot not only frees up space in the oven for things like Sweet Potato Casserole and Classic Bread Stuffing, but this cooking method also produces the best-tasting turkey breast you have ever had!
The moist heat from the instant pot perfectly cooks the turkey, without drying out the meat, while the homemade herb butter infuses the turkey with flavor. Finished with a rich gravy, Instant Pot Turkey Breast is not only easy to make but also delivers impressive results.
I highly recommend using this recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast for smaller holiday gatherings, a nice Sunday supper, or preparing to use for turkey sandwiches throughout the week.
How to Cook a Turkey Breast in the Instant Pot
Step One: Make sure your Turkey Breast Fits
This may sound obvious, but the most important step to properly cooking a turkey breast inside an instant pot is to be sure it fits!
I recommend placing the turkey breast, while still in its packaging, inside the instant pot on top of the metal trivet/rack to be sure the lid will fit and close properly. Don't worry about your turkey breast extending past the max fill line in your pressure cooker, this is one time that is okay!
In my experience, an instant pot can hold the following sized turkey breasts:
- For a 6-quart Instant Pot: 5-6.5 pounds
- For an 8-quart Instant Pot: 7-8.5 pounds
Step Two: Prepare Compound Herb Butter
The easiest way to infuse flavor into the turkey breast is to season it with compound butter.
A compound butter sounds complicated, but it is simply just softened butter mixed with herbs, salt, and pepper. You can use any herbs you like, but I find rosemary and thyme are the perfect compliments for turkey breast.
Step Three: Season Turkey Breast
Instead of rubbing the butter over the surface of the turkey breast, it is best to gently loosen the skin on the turkey breast and rub the herb butter underneath the skin. The butter will melt into the meat of the turkey as it cooks and gives it an incredible flavor.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
- Pour the stock into the inner pot of the pressure cooker. You can use water in place of stock, but if you are planning on preparing gravy, the stock is key.
- Place turkey inside Instant Pot, meat side DOWN on the inner rack. I do this so that the juices flow into the meat, keeping the turkey breast super juicy.
- Place onion and celery stick in the cavity of the turkey breast, if you have it on hand. It just adds a bit of extra flavor, but don't stress if you don't have it on hand.
- Close the lid on the instant pot and be sure the vent knob is pointed towards sealed.
- Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes per pound.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes naturally, then release any remaining pressure.
- Test turkey breast with a digital thermometer to be sure meat has reached at least 160 degrees F. (The turkey breast will continue to cook as it rests and needs to reach 165 degrees F.)
- Remove turkey from instant pot and place on cutting board and tent with foil and allow the turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute through the meat, keeping the meat super juicy.
Optional: Brown the Turkey Breast
If you would like to get crispy skin or a golden brown appearance brown the turkey breast in the oven AFTER pressure cooking.
- Place cooked turkey breast on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Place under broiler for 5-6 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn, and brown up the skin of the turkey breast.
- It is still important to let the broiled turkey rest for 10 minutes before cutting to allow the juice to redistribute through the turkey breast.
Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast
If you have forgotten to thaw your turkey breast out, do NOT panic!
You can cook a frozen turkey in the instant pot with a few modifications.
- First, be sure to check for any packet of frozen gravy inside the cavity of the turkey breast. If so, run under cold tap water to loosen and discard, as you do not want to cook the turkey with any plastic packets inside the cavity of the turkey breast.
- Because it is next to impossible to loosen the skin of a frozen turkey breast, skip the herb butter and simply season with salt and pepper.
- To cook a frozen turkey breast in the instant pot, increase the cooking time from 6 minutes per pound on high pressure to 10 minutes per pound on high pressure.
How to Prepare Turkey Gravy
If desired, you can easily make turkey gravy right inside your pressure cooker after the turkey breast has cooked.
- Strain cooking liquid from the instant pot and return the inner pot back to Instant Pot.
- Turn to Saute function and allow the instant pot to heat.
- Once the pressure cooker is heated, add in butter and melt.
- Add in flour to melted butter and whisk well to form a roux and cook for 1 minute to cook away raw flour flavor.
- Add in dry white wine if using, and whisk well.
- Slowly add ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the instant pot and whisk well.
- Allow the gravy to bubble and thicken, adding more cooking liquid as needed to reach the desired consistency.
- Season and turn off the instant pot and serve.
Storing Leftover Turkey
Leftover Turkey Breast can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Freeze leftover cooked turkey for up to 3 months in the freezer.
If your turkey will not fit in the instant pot using the rack, you can cook directly inside the inner pot. HOWEVER, do not place the turkey breast meat side down in the pressure cooker, as this could cause a burn notice due to the compound butter under the turkey skin. Instead, cook meat side up OR skip the compound butter.
If you would like to brine this turkey breast before cooking, follow my Turkey Brine recipe. You can skip the herb butter if you opt to brine the turkey breast, as the brine will give it plenty of flavor.
If you have a small whole turkey, this recipe will work the exact same way--cook for 6 minutes per pound on high pressure. If your turkey won't fit in your Instant Pot, use my recipe for cooking a whole turkey in the oven.
More Holiday Instant Pot Recipes
Want to make a fast holiday meal using ONLY your Instant Pot? Watch me prepare an entire Instant Pot Thanksgiving dinner, including this recipe for turkey breast, along with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans in just under 2 hours!
I hope you enjoy this delicious, juicy Instant Pot Turkey Breast and I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
For the Turkey Breast
For the Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Mix together the butter with fresh herbs and 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Loosen skin on turkey breast using your hand. Rub herb butter underneath skin of turkey breast. And any remaining butter on top of turkey.
- Season outside of turkey with remaining salt and pepper.
- Pour 1 cup stock into inner pot or pressure cooker for a 6 quart instant pot and 1.5 cups for an 8 quart instant pot. Place the rack or trivet inside the inner pot.
- Place turkey inside Instant Pot, meat side DOWN. Place onion and celery stick in the cavity of turkey breast.
- Close lid on instant pot. Set vent knob to sealed. Cook on high pressure, using manual button, for 6 minutes per pound.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release for 10 minutes naturally, then release any remaining pressure.
- Test turkey breast with a digital thermometer to be sure meat has reached at least 160 degrees. (The turkey breast will continue to cook as it rests and needs to reach 165 degrees.)
- Remove turkey from instant pot and place on cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- To brown turkey skin, Place cooked turkey breast on baking sheet. Place under broiler for 5-6 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn, and brown up the skin of the turkey breast.
For Turkey Gravy
- Strain cooking liquid from instant pot and reserve.
- Return inner pot back to Instant Pot. Turn to Saute function and allow instant pot to heat.
- Once pressure cooker is heated, add in butter and melt. Add in flour to melted butter and whisk well to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add in dry white wine and whisk well. Then slowly add ½ cup reserved cooking liquid to instant pot whisk well. Allow gravy to bubble and thicken, adding more cooking liquid as needed to reach desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, and serve with turkey.
This post was originally published in 2017 but was updated with new tips and a video in 2020.