Instant Pot turkey breast is a quick and easy way to feed a small gathering for the holidays we’ve even got easy instructions for gravy so you can make a complete turkey dinner!

platter of Instant Pot Turkey Breast garnished with orange slices and fresh cranberries

Instant Pot turkey breast is a quick and easy way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey, or cook additional breast meat without needing to cook an extra full turkey or take up additional oven room. It’s so simple you’re going to want to make turkey dinner all year ’round.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright… that song couldn’t have been more right. This year the holiday may look a little different and we’re celebrating with a smaller group of people but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

This easy recipe for Instant Pot turkey breast is super simple to make and it saves you lots of time because you can make your turkey in your pressure cooker while you cook your sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and cornbread dressing in the oven!

And once your turkey and gravy is made you can throw your regular potatoes in the Instant Pot and make delicious Instant Pot mashed potatoes too…what? Your family doesn’t make two types of potatoes for every holiday? LOL

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ingredients to make Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Knowing you can prepare a holiday main course for a small gathering right in your pressure cooker and getting delicious results and perfectly cooked turkey every time take a little stress out of cook and gives you more time to spend with friends and family.

What You’ll Need 

One of the best things about making turkey breast in the Instant Pot is you don’t need many ingredients. A lot of it you probably already have on hand ready to go. Here’s what’ll need:

  • Turkey breast – We find that boneless turkey breast that weighs about a 4 pounds fits nicely in a 6 quart Instant Pot. You can go smaller if you prefer, but you should avoid getting a breast much larger than 4 pounds unless you have a larger Instant Pot. Make sure you get a skin on turkey so you can brown up that skin at the end!
  • Fats – You’ll need both olive oil and butter for this recipe, but you could omit the butter and add more olive oil if you prefer or use a different type of oil.
  • Spices – Kosher salt, Freshly ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
  • Broth – We use chicken broth in this recipe for a little extra flavor, but you could use water in a pinch or potentially turkey broth if you can find it.
Instant Pot Turkey Breast inside of Instant Pot

How to Make It 

1. Get the spices ready

Mix the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika together in a small bowl until it is well combined.

2. Add the rub to the breast

Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the turkey and then sprinkle the spices all over the breast. Rub in the spices until the outside is fully covered by the rub.

3. Sear the breast

When the turkey is ready, turn your Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the remaining olive oil and butter to the inner pot. Once it is hot, carefully place the turkey into the pot. We find using tongs helps keep your hands clean and protects them from spitting oil. 

Brown the turkey breast on all sides, cooking each side for about 2 minutes. Once all sides are done browning, remove the turkey breast and set on a plate or cutting board.

4. Set it and cook it 

Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape down the bottom of the pot and remove any stuck on bits. If you don’t scrape it down well, you will likely get a burn notice on the Instant Pot and need to remove everything to scrape it down.

Place a trivet or trivet sling into the pot and carefully place the turkey breast on it. Lock the lid and turn the valve to SEALING and set it to cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 25 minutes.

When the timer goes off, press CANCEL and let it do a natural release for 15 minutes. 

After waiting 15 minutes, turn the valve to VENTING to release any remaining steam and carefully open the lid. 

(Optional) Brown the Turkey

This step is optional. They turkey is ready to eat when it comes out of the instant pot but if you want to give that skin a little more color you can place it in the oven under the broiler for about 10 minutes or until the skin begins to brown. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get burned spots!

Instant Pot Turkey Breast with the skin

New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!

How Long Do You Cook a Turkey Breast in an Instant Pot 

When using the Instant Pot, you’ll need to cook the breast for 6 minutes per pound. 

No matter how long we cook it for, we always add an additional 15 minutes of natural release time before opening the lid to ensure the meat is extra tender. 

To be safe, we also use an instant thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. If it does not reach the proper temperature, you can cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on high pressure and then allow the natural release again. That should bring it up to temperature.

Turkey breast tried up on a sheet pan

Which is Better Bone-in or Boneless Turkey Breast?

You can cook bone-in or boneless turkey breast in your Instant Pot but I highly recommend boneless for 2 reasons.

1) Boneless turkey breast gives you more meat. Since you are restricted to the size of the turkey breast you can fit in the pot a 4 pound boneless breast is going to give you 4 pounds of meat whereas a bone-in breast includes the weight of the bones so you get a little less meat.

2) A boneless turkey breast just seems to fit better. Bone-in turkey breast has a slightly awkward shape for fitting in the Instant Pot whereas a boneless turkey breast is usually tied up into a nice little cylindrical shape that fits perfectly!

Do You Cook Turkey Breast With Netting?

Yes! If you get your boneless breast from the butcher it will most likely come tied up in very neat netting. Sometimes when you order the turkey breast the butcher will ask you if you want it tied up. I always say yes.

Leave the netting on the turkey breast while you cook it and then once it is done let the turkey rest until it is cool enough to handle and gently cut off the netting, remove it and throw it in the trash.

Thanksgiving dinner with Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Can I Cook Frozen Turkey Breast in the Instant Pot? 

We definitely don’t recommend placing a frozen turkey in the Instant Pot. When the meat is frozen, you have to add a significant amount of cook time. It can also lead to cooking the outside of the turkey while the center gets up to a safe temperature. We recommend letting your turkey breast thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

Thanksgiving dinner with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

How to Make the Gravy 

It wouldn’t be a holiday dinner without the gravy! You can whip it up in your Instant Pot after removing the turkey breast and it is the perfect addition to any turkey dinner. Don’t forget the Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes too!

When the turkey is done cooking, remove the breast and trivet from the pot and set aside on a clean platter or plate. Pour the juices through a strainer into a medium bowl or you can use this amazing fat separator – it helps remove any excess fat.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of chicken broth with ¼ cup of flour. This will create a slurry, which will thicken the gravy. Add the juices back into the Instant pot and set to SAUTE. Slowly pour in the slurry, whisking the entire time as you pour. 

Cook and whisk for about 15 minutes or until it has thickened to the desired consistency. 

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Instant Pot turkey breast with gravy is a quick and easy way to feed a small gathering a complete turkey dinner for the holidays.

Ingredients

Turkey:

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons Dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoons Dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 4 pound Turkey Breast
  • 1.5 cups Chicken Broth or Turkey broth

Gravy:

  • Turkey drippings remaining in the Instant Pot
  • 2 cups Chicken broth or Turkey broth
  • 2 tablespoons Flour

Instructions

Turkey:

  • In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the turkey breast and then sprinkle the spices over the turkey and rub it over the outside until it is covered.
  • Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot.
  • Place the turkey breast in the pot and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  • When the browning is done remove the turkey breast and pour the chicken broth into the pot of the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up anything that is stuck to the bottom so that you don’t receive the burn notice during cooking.
  • Place a trivet in the pot and sit the turkey breast on it.
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set the Instant Pot to HIGH PRESSURE for 25 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off press CANCEL and let it do a natural release for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes turn the valve to VENTING to release any remaining steam and open the lid.
  • Remove the turkey breast and set it on a baking sheet. If your turkey breast is tied up with string you will remove the string now.
  • Place under the broiler for 7-10 minutes, or until skin has browned.
  • Let turkey rest for 5 minutes and then cut and serve.

Gravy: (makes 2 cups of gravy)

  • Pour the remaining turkey drippings into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. This will remove the large pieces of herbs that it may contain.
  • Pour the dripping back into the pot and add 1.5 cups of chicken or turkey broth.
  • Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the remaining ½ cup of broth and whisk until there are no lumps.
  • When the liquid in the pot reaches a boil pour the flour mixture in and whisk everything together.
  • Cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until your gravy is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.
  • Pour into a gravy dish and serve with the turkey.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5pound, Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 130mg, Sodium: 1160mg, Potassium: 631mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 194IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot turkey breast