Slow cooker turkey breast gives you perfectly juicy meat without the basting and it frees up your oven for all of the sides you’re going to serve with it.

sliced Slow Cooker Turkey Breast on a plate with gravy

This easy recipe for slow cooker turkey breast is going to change your life.

Ok, maybe a little dramatic but seriously cooking turkey breast in the Crock Pot (or in the Instant Pot) is a great way to save a little time when you’re preparing your holiday meals. You just set it and forget it, no basting every 20 minutes, no worrying about drying out the meat.

When you slow cook turkey you also free up the oven for all of the Thanksgiving sides that go with it so you can have everything ready at the same time which means more time to focus on food and family and less time standing in the kitchen cooking.

This is a great way to make your turkey if you’re hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner or if you are serving a large crowd and want more meat without having to cook a whole second turkey.

Don’t forget to the save the drippings to make this amazing recipe for homemade turkey gravy!

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ingredients to make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what we use to make this Crock Pot turkey breast recipe.

  • Turkey breast – We use bone-in and skin on for best flavor, but if you can’t find this, you can use a boned and skinned breast instead.
  • Olive oil – The oil helps to give outside of the breast a crispy texture and browned appearance.
  • Seasonings – We use Kosher salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper
  • Fresh veggies – For added flavor, we cook the breast with garlic, celery, carrots, and an onion.
  • Chicken broth – The broth adds some added flavor, but you could use water instead if you prefer.

Turkey Breast Options 

Bone-in, skin-on: We recommend bone-in, skin-on turkey breast because you’ll get more flavor. As an added bonus, the fat under the skin on the turkey helps to keep the meat extra moist. 

When we make this recipe, we use a bone-in, skin-on split turkey breast, which means the turkey breast was split in half down the center. The bone is still in there and the skin is still on, but each breast piece only weighs about 2 pounds. 

Splitting it in two allows it to cook a bit faster since the meat isn’t as thick so it doesn’t take as long to be cooked through to the center. 

It is also much easier to fit in the Crock Pot, so it is particularly good if you have a smaller pot.

Boneless, skin-on: You can use boneless, skinless turkey breast as well. The slow cooker does a great job of keeping meat moist and tender all on it’s own with or without bones and skin. 

Whole turkey breast: If you use a whole turkey breast that’s no problem either! You will just want to make sure it will fit in your slow cooker. If needed, you may need to trim it or cut it to fit. 

Deboned turkey breast: You can also use a deboned turkey breast. These often come rolled up and bound with cooking twine. We used one for our Instant Pot turkey breast last year. This is a great option if you are serving more people and need a little more meat but still need it to fit in your slow cooker. 

how to make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Instructions

Here’s what you need to do to make this recipe in the slow cooker.

Step 1 – Prepare the breast.

Once you remove the turkey breast from the packaging, pat it dry with a paper towel. Next, pour the olive oil over it and rub it over all sides.

In a small bowl, stir the salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper until combined. Use your hands to rub the seasoning all over the turkey breast.

Step 2 – Prep the veggies.

Chop the celery and carrots in half, cut the onion into six wedges, and then peel and crush the garlic. Once cut, place the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the chicken broth over it.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast in crock pot

Step 3 – Cook the turkey breast.

With the veggies and broth in place, lay the turkey breast on top and then place the lid on top of the slow cooker. Set the cooker to LOW and cook for 4 to 5 hours. 

The turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Since cook times can vary based on the size of the turkey breast, start checking the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer around 4 hours.

Step 4 (Optional) – Crisp the skin.

As an optional step, you can crisp the skin a bit under the broiler. To do this place the cooked turkey breast on a baking sheet, set oven it to broil on HIGH and place the turkey breast under the broiler for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the skin begins to brown. 

Make sure to keep an eye on it so it does not burn. 

Step 5 – Slice and Serve. Once the turkey has cooked through, carefully remove it from the slow cooker (or oven if you completed step 4) and place on a cutting board. Slice turkey and serve.

You can save the dripping to make a delicious homemade turkey gravy that takes is great served over turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with gravy poured on sliced turkey breast

How Long Do You Cook Turkey in a Slow Cooker?

Cook times will vary based on the size of your turkey breast. 

To help you out, below are approximate cook times based on weight. Your turkey is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

We highly recommend purchasing an instant read thermometer for this. It takes all of the guesswork out of cooking meats!

Cook times for turkey breasts:

  • 2 to 3 pounds: 4 to 4.5 hours on Low
  • 4 to 5 pounds: 5 to 5.5 hours on Low
  • 6 to 7 pounds: 6 to 6.5 hours on Low

Save the Broth! 

Turkey and vegetables make a great broth. 

You can use the broth to make turkey gravy with lots of extra flavor. 

To store the broth, remove the vegetables and throw them away. Next, place a fine mesh strainer on a large bowl and pour the broth through the strainer to remove any lumps. 

Let cool completely and skim any excess fat off of the top. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Crisping the Skin 

The slow cooker can make amazingly juicy breasts, but it does have one down side: the skin doesn’t get crispy as it’s cooking. That usually isn’t a problem for my family because I remove the skin before serving anyways. 

If you like crispy skin, it can be done! You’ll need to set your oven to broil on high and then put your cooked turkey breast on a baking sheet. Finally, you’ll need to place it under the broiler and let it roast for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skin gets crispy. 

We’re not going to lie, you’re never going to get that delicate, completely crispy skin that you would get from cooking in the oven for hours. But, we can promise you that when you bite into this perfectly tender turkey breast that you didn’t have to baste and tend to for hours, you won’t care! 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

What to Serve With It 

If you are struggling to figure out what to make with the breast, here are some of our suggestions:

sliced Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with black platter with oranges, cranberries and rosemary

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Slow cooker turkey breast gives you perfectly juicy meat without the basting and it frees up your oven for all of the sides you’re going to serve with it.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pay your turkey breast dry with a paper towel. Pour the olive oil over it and rub it over all sides.
  • In a small bowl combine the salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Rub the seasoning over the turkey breast.
  • Chop the celery and carrots in half. Cut the onion into six wedges, and peel and crush the garlic.
  • Place the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of your in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the chicken broth over it.
  • Lay the turkey breast on top of the veggies.
  • Cover the pot with the lid and set to LOW for 4-5 hours. The turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Since cook time can vary based on the size of the turkey breast start checking the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer around 4 hours.
  • Optional: Once the turkey is cooked through, if you would like to crisp the skin a bit set broiler to HIGH and place the turkey breast under the broiler for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the skin begins to brown. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.
  • Place turkey breast on a cutting board and slice and serve.

Notes

Cook times for turkey breasts:
  • 2 to 3 pounds: 4 to 4.5 hours on Low
  • 4 to 5 pounds: 5 to 5.5 hours on Low
  • 6 to 7 pounds: 6 to 6.5 hours on Low

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5pound, Calories: 283kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 124mg, Sodium: 1098mg, Potassium: 674mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2776IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 54mg, 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
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cooking turkey breast in crock pot, crock pot turkey breast, slow cook turkey, slow cooker turkey breast