Dry Brined Turkey Breast

5 from 11 votes

This dry brine, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor! If you haven't tried dry brining your bird I highly recommended it!

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If you’re looking for the best dry-brined, bone-in turkey breast recipe, you’ve come to the right place! This recipe is easy to follow and produces a delicious, juicy turkey breast every time. Plus, it’s perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. The herb dry brine features sage, parsley, thyme, salt, and black pepper and adds amazing flavor to the turkey.

Overhead shot of sliced turkey breast on a large platter with fresh herbs with sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce nearby.

If you’ve never dry-brined a bird before, you’re in for a real treat! Dry brining involves rubbing a mix of kosher salt and herbs onto the turkey and letting it sit in the fridge for a couple days before cooking. This process helps to draw out moisture from the meat, resulting in a juicy and tender turkey. In comparison to traditional brining that uses a water base, dry brining is much simpler and requires less prep time. Many agree it also yields better results.

why you’ll love this dry brined turkey breast

  • Juicy and tender. The dry brining process helps to draw out moisture from the turkey, resulting in a juicy and tender meat.
  • Flavorful. The herb dry brine adds amazing flavor to the turkey breast.
  • Versatile. This recipe can be used for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. And you can use it for just the breast or the whole turkey.
  • Easy to prepare. Dry brining is a simpler process than traditional brining and requires less prep time.

Ingredients to make a dry brined turkey breast

The dry brine is a process all its own, but you’ll also need some simple ingredients for cooking the turkey breast.

Dry Brine

  • Kosher salt: Fine ground Kosher salt is best for dry brining. That being said, you can use coarse kosher salt if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Dried sage, parsley, and thyme: Normally, I would suggest fresh herbs, but in this case, you want to use dried herbs for the dry brine. We will add some fresh herbs during the cooking process.
  • Black pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper adds a nice kick of flavor.

Turkey Breast

  • Turkey breast: Bone-in, skin-on, and a hefty 5-7lbs in breast meat is what we’re going for here. This size turkey breast should easily feed 6-8 people.
  • Carrot, celery, and onion: We will use these ingredients to create a vegetable base for the turkey to sit on while cooking. This helps to add moisture and flavor.
  • Fresh thyme: Adding some fresh thyme during cooking adds extra flavor.
  • Avocado oil & butter: Both are used to help facilitate a crispy skin, but also helps add flavor.
  • Chicken stock: An additional precaution to prevent the turkey breast from drying out, you will add some chicken stock to the cooking pan about halfway through.
Ingredients for recipe before prepped: dried herbs, salt, butter, fresh herbs, seasonings, opil, broth, celery, carrot, onion, and whole bone in turkey breast.

How to make a dry brine and bone-in turkey breast

Dry brining isn’t a complicated process, but it does require some time for the flavors to fully penetrate the turkey, so that’s where we start!

Dry brine your turkey

  1. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels, then set it on a rimmed sheet pan.
  2. Generously season the turkey with the salt mixture. You may not need to use all of the dry brine, but you want to cover the entire turkey breast surface with an even layer of salt.
2 image collage of turkey breast on paper towels and then seasoned.

Cook your dry brined turkey breast

  1. Take a large-rimmed baking sheet and scatter carrot, celery, onion, and thyme all over, then place the turkey breast on top. Let sit at room temperature. Once the turkey has come to room temperature, rub the avocado oil all over the skin.
  2. Place in the oven and roast. Rotate the pan, then add chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Return to the oven.
  3. Then brush with butter. Roast until the internal temperature registers 160˚F on an instant read thermometer.
  4. Remove from the oven. Let rest, then carve the turkey breast from the bone and thinly slice.
4 image collage of recipe on baking sheet adding oil, adding broth, brushing on butter, and then final image of turkey.

Tips for making a dry brined turkey

  1. Adjust the recipe for less guests. This recipe is for a whole turkey breast, which is usually about 5 to 7 pounds. If you have a smaller crowd, you could just roast one turkey breast half, which you can usually find at the grocery store around the holidays. These will be about 2 to 3 pounds. Reduce the brine and oil in half, but everything else will remain the same! Just start checking the temperature of the turkey after about 40 minutes of roasting time.
  2. Use kosher salt. This recipe is designed specifically for kosher salt. Table salt will not work in the same way that kosher salt does to break down the muscle fibers and brine the bird properly. Additionally, table salt contains additives that can affect the flavor of the turkey while it sits overnight. 
  3. Let the turkey brine for a minimum of 24 hours. The sweet spot for dry brining is 48 hours, but you can let it sit for as long as 72 hours. Just be sure to keep it regularly refrigerated, so the meat remains safe to consume.
  4. Let the turkey rest before carving. This is just good practice for any type of turkey you’re cooking. Letting the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more tender turkey.
Whole roasted turkey breast on top of roasted veggies garnished with fresh herbs on a large oval platter.

popular substitutions & additions

  • Use a whole turkey. For the dry brine, you’ll just need to adjust the seasoning amounts by weight. If you end up with a 10-14lb turkey, simply double the ingredients, and you’ll have enough to cover the whole bird. As far as cooking time goes, use the recommended time on the bag the turkey came in per pound.
  • Alternatively, you can use boneless, skinless turkey breasts. Similarly to adjusting for a larger bird, just reduce the seasoning in half and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Switch up the herbs used in the dry brine. Feel free to use whatever dried herbs you have on hand! Rosemary or oregano would be great alternatives.
  • Add some citrus. Adding orange or lemon slices to the vegetable base in the roasting pan can give a nice brightness to the flavor profile.

what to serve with your turkey breast

Plate with turkey, pear slad, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and brussels sprouts with fork.

how to store & reheat turkey breast

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat slices of turkey breast in the oven or microwave until warmed through.

Alternatively, use them in sandwiches or salads throughout the week!

how long will turkey breast last in the fridge?

Properly stored, leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

can i freeze cooked turkey breast?

Yes, but make sure it has cooled completely before you freeze it. This reduces the chance of freezer burn and helps preserve the quality of the meat.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use sea salt instead of Kosher salt?

Yes, coarse sea salt can be used in place of Kosher salt. Just use the same measurement as listed in the recipe.

Can I brine a frozen turkey breast?

No, your turkey breast must be thawed before brining to ensure that the brine is able to penetrate and season the meat properly.

Should I cover the turkey breast while it brines?

It’s not necessary to cover the turkey while it brines, and in fact, it may hinder the process, and instead of sealing in the moisture, it may create an environment for bacteria to grow. Just make sure your turkey is in the coldest part of your refrigerator while it brines.

Slice turkey breast fanned out on a platter with fresh herbs.

This delicious dry-brined, bone-in turkey breast recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. It doesn’t take any more effort to prepare that my popular Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe, but the end result is a juicy and flavorful turkey that will impress your guests. Give it a try for your next holiday meal!

leftover turkey recipes:

If you try this feel good Dry Brined Turkey recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Dry Brine Turkey Breast

This dry brine, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor! If you haven't tried dry brining your bird I highly recommended it!
5 from 11 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Calories 392
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs 40 mins

Ingredients
  

Dry Brine

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Turkey Breast

  • 1 5-7 pound bone-in skin on turkey breast
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine salt, parsley, black pepper, thyme and sage.
  • Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels, then set on a rimmed sheet pan. Generously season the turkey with the salt mixture. You may not need to use all of the dry brine, but you want to cover the entire turkey breast surface with an even layer of salt. Let sit uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook. Remove from the fridge. Take a large rimmed baking sheet and scatter carrot, celery, onion and thyme all over, then place the turkey breast on top. Let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425˚F. Once the turkey has come to room temperature, rub the avocado oil all over the skin. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan, then add 1 cup chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Roast for an additional 20 minutes, then brush with butter. Roast for 10 additional minutes or until the internal temperature registers 160˚F on an instant read thermometer. The final time will depend on the size of your turkey breast, be sure to check the temperature of the turkey to ensure proper doneness.
  • Remove from the oven and tent with foil. Let rest for at least 15 minutes, then carve from the bone and thinly slice.
  • If desired, use the pan drippings to make gravy.

Notes

Tip: Place the turkey breast in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually the back, once the dry brine is in place. 

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 57g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 155mg, Sodium: 1266mg, Potassium: 88mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1356IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Overhead shot of sliced turkey breast on a large platter with fresh herbs with sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce nearby.

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