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Air Fryer Turkey Recipe

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In today's fast-paced world, innovative cooking methods have become increasingly popular. With the rise of air fryers, people are exploring new ways to prepare their favorite dishes. One such dish that has gained attention is the air fryer turkey recipe. Did you know that using an air fryer can significantly reduce cooking time? In this article, we will delve into the details of cooking a succulent turkey in an air fryer, providing you with a detailed and organized approach to achieving a perfectly crispy and flavorful bird. If you have never cooked an air fryer turkey recipe before it can seem intimidating on your first try. The first thing you want to do is find the meat that will fit best in your air fryer and make sure the size of the turkey you buy is suitable for your air fryer. If you are planning a smaller Thanksgiving or want to enjoy a perfect turkey dinner on another night of the year the air fryer can be a lifesaver!

Raw turkey breast

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?

The cooking time for air frying a turkey can vary depending on the size and weight of the bird. To ensure a perfectly cooked turkey with crispy skin, it is crucial to follow a precise cooking time. For a boneless turkey breast, the recommended cooking time is approximately 25-30 minutes per pound at a temperature of 350°F. However, it is essential to use an instant-read thermometer or other meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure it reaches a safe minimum temperature of 165°F. Before cooking, it is recommended to marinate the turkey with a flavorful mixture of fresh herbs, spices, and olive oil. To keep track of the cooking time, it is helpful to have a recipe card with the cooking instructions and a timer to ensure precise timing with the specific air fryer recipes.

This is the easiest way to cook a small Thanksgiving dinner but it is defiantly not the only way. If you need to cook a larger bird with plenty to go around you will want to check out some of our other recipes, or you may want to try some leftover turkey recipes. This air fryer turkey recipe is quite handy and a real time saver. We haven't tried cooking a whole turkey in the Instant Pot yet, but would like to try for other recipes that are not just for Thanksgiving Day. It would be a great option for things like broth or meat. The air fryer is not going to give you the drippings you need for the best turkey gravy, so you can use broth or other ingredients for that.  

 Is it better to air fry or bake turkey?

Utilizing an air fryer to cook turkey yields a quicker cooking process, while baking in the oven provides a traditional and more even distribution of heat. When it comes to air frying a turkey breast, the process is relatively simple and can be done in a fraction of the time compared to traditional oven roasting. One popular air fryer turkey breast recipe involves using a boneless breast and cooking it in the air fryer at a high temperature for a shorter cook time. The result is a juicy turkey breast with a crispy turkey skin-side. This innovative cooking method is perfect for those who want to save oven space or are looking for a faster way to cook a delicious turkey dinner. So if you only eat breast meat or are looking for a weeknight meal you may want to buy a bone-in breast or turkey tenderloin and serve it with your favorite side dishes like cranberry sauce. If you bake, fry or air fry you want to make sure your turkey rests before carving so you don't end up with dry meat. You will want to roast turkey is you are cooking an entire turkey as most are too large to fit in an air fryer. 

Cooking turkey breast

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

How exactly can aluminum foil be safely used in an air fryer, and what precautions should be taken to avoid any potential risks? Aluminum foil can be used in an air fryer to prevent food from sticking to the air fryer basket and to facilitate easy cleaning. However, it is important to follow certain precautions to ensure safety and avoid any potential risks. Here are some guidelines to consider:

– Use a small amount of aluminum foil to line the bottom of the air fryer basket, making sure it does not cover the entire surface.

– Avoid placing aluminum foil on the sides or covering the air fryer basket completely, as this can restrict airflow and affect cooking performance.

– Make sure the aluminum foil is securely placed and does not come into contact with the heating element.

– When using aluminum foil, it is recommended to lightly coat it with olive oil to prevent food from sticking.

– Avoid using aluminum foil when cooking acidic or highly seasoned foods, as this can cause a reaction.

– Always remove any excess grease or oil from the aluminum foil before disposing of it.

How to make an air fryer turkey breast

To achieve a deliciously crisp and moist air fryer turkey breast, consider marinating the meat in a blend of herbs and spices for at least two hours before carefully placing it onto the air fryer rack. Start by preparing the marinade using ingredients like herb butter, black pepper, and other spices of your choice. Massage the marinade into the turkey breast tenderloins, ensuring that every inch is covered. Allow the flavors to infuse by refrigerating the turkey for a couple of hours. Preheat your air fryer to the recommended temperature and lightly coat the rack with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place the marinated turkey breast onto the rack, making sure it is evenly spaced. Cook the turkey until it reaches the desired internal temperature, using an instant-read thermometer for accuracy. The result will be succulent, juicy meat with a perfectly crispy exterior.

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.

air fryer turkey breast


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 melted 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 in the air fryer turkey recipe 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
  • Rosemary (I prefer dried to fresh Rosemary)
  • Thyme
  • 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 on the inside or outside of the turkey.

Next, place the turkey breast in the air fryer skin side up. When you cook the turkey breast skin side up it gets golden brown and seals in the moisture, this is the best way to keep it from drying out and ending up with tender meat. Cook at 370F for 20 minutes. Then flip the turkey breast and cook for an additional 20 minutes. You will be glad you saved time by making this air fryer turkey recipe. 

air fryer turkey breast

Food Safety with Poultry

In order to ensure the safety of poultry, it is crucial to adhere to proper handling and cooking techniques. When it comes to food safety, particularly with poultry, it is important to take necessary precautions to prevent any potential risks of foodborne illnesses. Here are some key points to consider:

– Store poultry properly: Keep raw poultry in an airtight container or freezer bags to prevent cross-contamination with other foods in the refrigerator or freezer.

– Cook poultry to the right temperature: Use a food thermometer to ensure that poultry reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F to kill any harmful bacteria.

– Avoid cross-contamination: Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw poultry to prevent the spread of bacteria to other foods.

-Frozen turkey takes a long time to thaw. Whole 14-16 pound turkeys can take more than 3-4 days to thaw before Thanksgiving, but a 2-3 lb bone-in turkey breast may only take 24-48 hours to thaw in the refrigerator. This is one of the best things about not cooking a large whole turkey. 

Resting Meat

Resting meat is a crucial step in the cooking process as it allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender final dish. When it comes to air frying, this step is just as important. After cooking a turkey in an air fryer, it is essential to let the turkey rest before carving. This allows the internal temperature of the turkey to stabilize and the juices to be evenly distributed, resulting in a moist and succulent meat. To ensure the best results, it is recommended to let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. During this time, cover the turkey with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Use a sharp knife to carve the turkey into thin slices, which will make the meat even more tender. Resting meat is an easy way to enhance the flavor and texture of your air fried turkey, making it a must-follow step in any easy recipe. Air frying is not quite like deep frying, so you shouldn't need paper towels to drain the oil on, there will be just a little bit of grease to drip. 

This air fryer turkey recipe offers a convenient and efficient way to cook a delicious and crispy turkey. By eliminating the need for oil, the air fryer provides a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. With its precise temperature control and quick cooking time, the air fryer ensures a perfectly cooked turkey every time. So, why settle for the same old baking method when you can elevate your turkey game with the air fryer?


Yield: 4

Air Fryer Turkey Breast

air fryer turkey breast

Enjoy a delicious turkey breast any time of year with this easy air fryer turkey breast recipe.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 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
fresh herbs.

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.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 562Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 272mgSodium 652mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 103g

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