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A moist, flavorful and easy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is the perfect entrée for a smaller Thanksgiving gathering or for a cozy Sunday supper. Enjoy the leftovers on sandwiches all week long!

Overhead shot of slow cooker turkey breast with gravy and cranberry sauce on a plate

Did you know that you can prepare a turkey in the Crock Pot?! Slowly cooked with herbs and aromatics like celery, onion, carrot and apple, the turkey absorbs so much flavor while staying tender and juicy. It’s the perfect holiday solution for white-meat lovers, it frees up your oven for all of the delicious sides, and it’s a stress-free, foolproof entrée.

But you know what? You don’t need the excuse of a holiday to serve your family this meal. On a busy weeknight or on a lazy Sunday evening, a simple dinner of turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy will satisfy your comfort food cravings.

Sliced slow cooker turkey breast on a white serving tray with gravy on top

How to cook a turkey breast in the slow cooker:

You might be familiar with a roast turkey breast that bakes in your oven just like a full Thanksgiving turkey; however, you might not realize the convenience of slow cooker turkey breast! With about 20 minutes of hands-on time, you can have a holiday-worthy feast ready for the table.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Turkey Breast:

  • 1 bone-in turkey breast (about 6-7 lbs. total)
  • Chicken broth or white wine
  • Butter
  • Rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and sage or poultry seasoning
  • Apple, celery, carrot, onion and bay leaf

First, place the chicken broth, apple, celery, carrot, onion and bay leaf in the bottom of a large slow cooker (at least 6-quart in size). Don’t worry about chopping the veggies too small — these are only used to flavor the meat, and will be discarded at the end (so big chunks are fine).

Vegetables chopped in bottom of slow cooker

Next, get the turkey ready! I used a fresh bone-in turkey breast (about 6.5 lbs. total), but you can typically find frozen bone-in turkey breasts year-round at almost any grocery store. If using a frozen turkey breast, make sure that you allow adequate thawing time before cooking in the Crock Pot!

Fresh whole bone in turkey breast with wrapper on it

Rub the turkey with softened butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and herbs. This doesn’t need to be perfect — just get that flavor on there!

Then cover the Crock Pot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Turkey breast rubbed with butter and herbs and placed in slow cooker

The turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The skin will not be crispy and golden (since you’re not roasting it in a traditional oven), so I prefer to remove the skin before slicing and serving.

Slow cooker turkey breast on a cutting board

If you want to leave the skin on, you can achieve that crisp, golden brown finish by placing the turkey under the broiler.

Overhead shot of sliced turkey breast on a serving tray garnished with fresh herbs

What to serve with Slow Cooker Turkey Breast:

On a regular weeknight, you can pair this turkey breast with mashed potatoes, gravy and some cranberry sauce (as shown here), or with Stovetop stuffing and your favorite vegetables.

If you’re including the turkey as a part of your Thanksgiving feast or as a component of a Friendsgiving gathering, you’ll want plenty of sides to go along with it. Here are some easy options that your guests will love:

Slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey on a plate with sides

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • It’s important to remember that every Crock Pot cooks at a slightly different temperature — and therefore it’s really helpful to get to “know” your slow cooker. For instance, my Crock Pot tends to run pretty hot, and therefore cooks a turkey breast through in about 6 hours. If you’re not sure about your own pot, 7 hours is a great place to start (but keep an eye on it at 6 hours). It’s definitely possible to overcook pork and turkey in the slow cooker, so it’s always best to use a meat thermometer to know when your meat is done. The turkey breast is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • To prepare gravy using the drippings in the slow cooker, simply strain the drippings and use about 1 cup of the drippings and a turkey gravy packet to prepare the gravy.
  • Can I cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker? No, experts do NOT recommend putting frozen meat in a Crock Pot. This is because slow cookers do not reliably get frozen meat to a safe temperature of 140 degrees F evenly or quickly enough.
  • If using a frozen turkey breast, make sure that you allow plenty of time for the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking. A general rule of thumb is to plan on 24 hours of thawing time in a 40 degree F refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey.
  • A 6-7 lb. bone-in turkey breast will yield about 2-3 pounds of cooked meat. For instance, my 6.5 lb. turkey breast yielded 2.75 pounds of edible meat. Nutrition information provided below is for 1/8 of the meat without skin.
  • The turkey skin does not get browned and crispy in the slow cooker, the way that it would in a regular oven. As a result, I prefer to remove the skin before slicing and serving. The meat inside is flavorful and juicy! If you prefer to leave the skin on, you can place the turkey under the broiler just until it’s crisp and golden!
  • You can freeze any leftover turkey breast. Allow the turkey to cool to room temperature, then wrap the meat in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • You can keep the turkey breast warm or reheat the turkey breast on the “warm” setting in your slow cooker with some of the drippings.
Close overhead shot of slow cooker turkey breast on a blue and white plate with mashed potatoes and gravy

Have extra meat? Here are some of the best leftover turkey recipes:

Overhead shot of slow cooker turkey breast with gravy and cranberry sauce on a plate

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 7 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total: 7 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 210.4 kcal
A moist, flavorful and easy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is the perfect entrée for a smaller Thanksgiving gathering or for a cozy Sunday supper!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (about 6-7 lbs total)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage or poultry seasoning
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 whole carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  • Place chicken broth, apple, celery, carrot, onion and bay leaf in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Pat turkey dry; rub with butter and place in the slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, combine rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and sage. Rub herb mixture onto the turkey.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove turkey to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. I like to remove the skin before slicing, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Notes

  • It’s important to remember that every Crock Pot cooks at a slightly different temperature — and therefore it’s really helpful to get to “know” your slow cooker. For instance, my Crock Pot tends to run pretty hot, and therefore cooks a turkey breast through in about 6 hours. If you’re not sure about your own pot, 7 hours is a great place to start (but keep an eye on it at 6 hours). It’s definitely possible to overcook pork and turkey in the slow cooker, so it’s always best to use a meat thermometer to know when your meat is done. The turkey breast is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • To prepare gravy using the drippings in the slow cooker, simply strain the drippings and use about 1 cup of the drippings and a turkey gravy packet to prepare the gravy.
  • Can I cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker? No, experts do NOT recommend putting frozen meat in a Crock Pot. This is because slow cookers do not reliably get frozen meat to a safe temperature of 140 degrees F evenly or quickly enough.
  • If using a frozen turkey breast, make sure that you allow plenty of time for the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking. A general rule of thumb is to plan on 24 hours of thawing time in a 40 degree F refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey.
  • A 6-7 lb. bone-in turkey breast will yield about 2-3 pounds of cooked meat. For instance, my 6.5 lb. turkey breast yielded 2.75 pounds of edible meat. Nutrition information provided below is for 1/8 of the meat without skin.
  • The turkey skin does not get browned and crispy in the slow cooker, the way that it would in a regular oven. As a result, I prefer to remove the skin before slicing and serving. The meat inside is flavorful and juicy! If you prefer to leave the skin on, you can place the turkey under the broiler just until it’s crisp and golden!
  • You can freeze any leftover turkey breast. Allow the turkey to cool to room temperature, then wrap the meat in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • You can keep the turkey breast warm or reheat the turkey breast on the “warm” setting in your slow cooker with some of the drippings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the turkey breast (not including skin)Calories: 210.4kcalProtein: 46.9gFat: 1.2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 129.4mgSodium: 81.1mgPotassium: 455.2mg
Keyword: bone in slow cooker turkey breast, easy slow cooker turkey breast recipe, slow cooker turkey breast
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

    1. Hi, Angela! No, you don’t. You can baste it if you want, but the moisture from the top of the slow cooker drips down onto the turkey during the cooking time, so it stays nice and moist as it cooks. 🙂

  1. I have 2 questions. The first is why cook with skin on then remove could you just take it off before cooking? The second would this cook the same with a whole chicken or would it take longer?

    1. Hi, Katelyn! The skin adds a ton of flavor and moisture to the meat, so you definitely don’t want to remove it before cooking.

      Yes, you can probably do the same thing with a whole chicken. Total cooking time will obviously depend on the size of your chicken and on your specific slow cooker. A chicken is typically about 4-5 lbs, whereas a bone-in turkey breast is about 6-7 lbs, so you’ll probably need to decrease the cooking time by an hour or two. I recommend keeping an eye on your chicken as it gets towards the end of the cook time and take the temperature in the thigh (you want it to be about 170-175 in the thigh meat) — not touching the bone. Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  2. Blair
    I have 12 for Thanksgiving and have 2 frozen Boned turkey breasts (will be thawed) 4.75 lbs each to be cooked in my all-clad slow cooker. I will also be using a slow cooker liner for easy clean up. How long would you suggest cooking them for.

    1. Hi, Jan! I’ve never tested the boned turkey breasts in a slow cooker, so I can’t say exactly. If you’re cooking two in the pot together, I would guess that they will still require about the same amount of time — low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. Really, though, I would use a meat thermometer to keep an eye on them. Every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature, and I find that my all-clad slow cooker is quite warm. They might be done in as little as 4-6 hours. When they reach the 165 degree F mark, just switch the slow cooker to the “warm” setting so that they don’t become overdone and dry. Hope that helps!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi, Blair!
    I made this turkey breast for Thanksgiving today and it was delicious! It turned out so moist and tender. I love the recipe, too, because the prep is minimal and because I don’t have to use the oven. My breast took exactly 6 hours on low heat, because my slow cooker runs hot like yours. Thank you for another great, yet simple recipe. This is now my go-to turkey breast recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I made your recipe Crock Pot turkey breast and loved it. The turkey breast was very moist and I used a five and half turkey breast. It was for my husband and me. Was very happy to have another meal left over. Thanks again for sharing the recipe. I hope you have more recipes I can try in the future.

    1. Hi, Joanne! I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for your note. I absolutely have many more recipes for you to explore in the future. Enjoy! 🙂