Looking for main dish ideas? This Air Fryer Turkey breast is one to add to your meal ideas! Turkey breast is a common dish for Thanksgiving, but it can also be cooked any other time of the year. Cooking a turkey breast in an air fryer is a healthy and easy way to make this dish. An air fryer cooks the turkey evenly, so it will be juicy and delicious. Follow these simple steps to make our air fryer turkey breast. Please note I am an amazon associate and may make a small commission of the links that I post.
If you are a seasoned cook and need to print the recipe, you can find the printable recipe card at the end of this post. For awesome tips and ideas, read below!
How long does it take to air-fry a turkey breast per pound?
When cooking a boneless turkey breast in the air fryer, a general rule of thumb is about 7-10 minutes per pound. A turkey breast is basically just the breast meat but is often packaged in the same way an entire turkey will be. To know cooking time, remember you will always want to check the internal temperature to make sure it reaches at least 165 degrees. We say this since turkey breast will vary in size. There is no magic number for how long you will cook one.
Of course if you’re just starting out as a college student, newly married couple, or have limited cooking experience, this can seem intimidating! But don’t worry- turkey breast is a great protein that lends itself to many meals. It also has a lot of juices that allow it to be a bit easier to cook than chicken. We know the goal is to have nice, juicy turkey breast that is fully cooked but not dried out. You can be sure the air fryer keeps turkey and chicken recipes from being too complicated. And, you can use leftover turkey again and freeze any remaining portions, allowing the turkey breast to work for several meals!
Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
Aluminum foil is safe for use in an air fryer as long you don’t cover any important components of the machine. Just make sure to place a small amount over your air fryer basket or food. If you don’t want to use aluminum foil, you can also try using air fryer liners.
How to make an air fryer turkey breast
This air fryer turkey breast recipe is perfect for when you are cooking for just a couple of people or if you’re just cooking for yourself. Cooking a whole turkey can be time-consuming so I love that I can still have that great turkey flavor all year long with my air fryer.
You’re going to start with a boneless breast. If you’re new to turkey recipes, one of the most important things to know is that the poultry must be thoroughly thawed out. You cannot cook a frozen turkey breast, so this recipe does require some planning ahead. Even if you purchase turkey or chicken breasts from grocery stores and they appear to be thawed, chances are the centers are still frozen! Allow the turkey to sit in the refrigerator to thaw until the meat is soft. You can look up a turkey thawing chart online. The good news is that a turkey breast will thaw much faster than an entire turkey.
After you have a thawed turkey ready, place it on a large cutting board or baking sheet with sides. Rub the turkey breast with avocado oil or olive oil spray. You can also use butter, herb butter, or a butter flavored non-aerosol cooking spray. Then, sprinkle the turkey breast with dry seasonings and fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme. If you love a good smoked flavor you can dry our homemade dry rub. There are a number of great spices that are probably already in your pantry that could also be used.
You can choose your spices but be aware that the turkey does not need to be overly flavored! We recommend choosing 1-3 of these spices, in about 1 teaspoon amounts for a 1-2 person serving of turkey meat. For a 4-pound turkey breast or larger, you can increase your spices to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Here are some great spices to use:
- Poultry seasoning
- Garlic powder
- onion powder
- black pepper
- Cajun spice rub
- Herbed butter (different brands are available)
- BBQ Rub (again, you can make your own or choose your favorite brand)
- Sea salt
This air fry turkey breast recipe is really about using simple ingredients and getting good crispy skin. The olive oil works to stick the rub onto the skin, so be generous but ensure there is no excess oil.
Next, place the turkey breast in the air fryer skin side up. Cook at 370F for 20 minutes. Then flip the turkey breast and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Food Safety with Poultry
It’s always important to look at internal temperature rather than cooking time if you’re working with poultry! A good instant read thermometer makes this part effortless. Just check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer when the outside of your turkey breast appears to be fully cooked. Air fryers and air fryer recipes all differ, so it’s extra important to know your meat is fully cooked.. Mine was at 140F when I checked! I flipped the turkey breast again and cooked for an additional 5 minutes until it reached 165F.
A great way to achieve a juicy, delicious, moist turkey is to ensure the turkey rests. Let the turkey rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. The easiest way to do this is by placing the meat into a stoneware dish and covering with a lid. Do not cut the turkey prior to letting it rest.
If you don’t have a stoneware pot or Dutch oven, you can wrap the turkey breast in foil and allow to rest undisturbed in that. Resting also allows the turkey to remain hot if you have guests, and the turkey is done prior to when you’re ready to serve it. Some of the best turkey we’ve had actually had the chance to rest for longer than the minimum of 10 minutes! It’s great either way.
Thanks for reading our post on how to make an air fryer turkey breast. Check out the recipe card for full instructions. I look forward to Thanksgiving day all year long, when the family would drool over my Grandmother’s Secret Turkey Recipe along with her cranberry sauce. With this recipe, you can enjoy turkey just about any time of year without the hours of prep-work we end up with for holiday meals! We hope you enjoyed this recipe and found it helpful. Be sure to check out our other posts for more cooking tips and tricks. Have a great day!
- 3 pounds boneless turkey breast (thawed)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Rub the turkey breast with avocado oil. Then sprinkle the turkey breast with spices and
Place the turkey breast in the air fryer skin side up. Cook at 370F for 20 minutes. Then flip the turkey breast and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
After cooking time is completed, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Poultry must be 165 at center of the turkey breast before it is thoroughly cooked.
Continue cooking in 5 minute increments until temp reaches 165 F.
Let the turkey rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.
Allow the turkey to rest in a covered dish, or wrap with aluminum foil. Carve after the turkey has rested completely but is still hot. Serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days. This recipe will make up to 6 smaller portions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 272mgSodium: 652mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 103g
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