Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey Recipe [+ Video]

Your Thanksgiving turkey is just 30 minutes away.  Yes!  You read that correctly!  Juicy, perfect Thanksgiving turkey in no time with this Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey Recipe.

 

a photo of sliced turkey breast drizzled with gravy and garnished with fresh herbs on a bed of mashed potatoes all on a black plate

 

Our family usually just eats the breast anyway, and we are often doing our own thing on Thanksgiving since everyone is so spread out in our family. So just the turkey breast like this Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey is the perfect size for dinner with enough leftovers for those blessed leftover sandwiches, like The Ultimate Leftover Turkey Bacon Club.  You know the ones I’m talking about!  We can talk about those later!

Plus, and this might be my favorite part, your oven is freed up to make all those delicious Thanksgiving sides.  I have many Thanksgiving dinners under my belt and it always becomes a little tricky getting everything done at the same time with everything warm and perfect.

Boom!  Now your oven isn’t hogged up by the turkey all day!  And you don’t have to be on constant turkey alert making sure it’s basted and not overdone or underdone.  It’s a win win!

 

a photo of sliced turkey breast drizzled with gravy and garnished with fresh herbs on a bed of mashed potatoes

 

Crazy for Good Gravy

Now let’s talk about gravy!  Good gracious I love gravy!  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a total sauce person so gravy on Thanksgiving is critical!  I may or may not put it on just about everything…the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, and of course I’m dipping my rolls (yes, plural!) in it! 

The orange juice makes the best gravy ever.  I could drink this stuff!  Have I gone too far?  You get the point…this gravy is liquid gold!

 

Dress that Bird

The beauty of turkey is all you need is a little butter and a few fresh herbs to make this bird sing!  It’s all the fresh herbs and butter slathered all over that bird that make it so juicy and flavorful!  And let’s not forget the paprika that gives lots of color but doesn’t make the turkey taste like smoky paprika.  Lots of different fresh herbs can be used to flavor a turkey but we just use thyme and sage in this recipe.  Here are some herbs that go well with turkey:

  • thyme
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • parsley

 

a photo of a raw turkey breast bound with twine and lathered in butter and fresh herbs

 

Instant Pot Lovers

It took us a while to get aboard the Instant Pot train.  We wanted to make sure it wasn’t just going to be a fad, and we wanted to test it ourselves on all sorts of different foods.  We have tried it on everything from applesauce to yogurt with stops at cheesecake and chili in between.  And we are IN LOVE with the Instant Pot.  How did we live without it?!

This is the Instant Pot we prefer for our family of 5.  We totally love it for cooking poultry, and this turkey is no exception!

 

Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey

Let’s jump in to this award winning recipe!  Make sure your butter is at room temperature and mix it with all the seasonings until it is smooth.  Now you’re going to want use about half of the butter and slide it under the skin of the turkey breast without removing the twine.  Take the other half of the butter and rub it all over the outside of the skin.

Now you are all ready to start cooking.  First you want to get a nice golden sear on the outside of the turkey breast.  This can be done in a skillet or in the Instant Pot using the “saute” function.  Place the turkey skin side down and cook it until it is beautifully golden and repeat this on all sides.

 

It’s All About the Trivet for the Instant Pot

Grab your trivet!  If your Instant Pot didn’t come with a trivet, this  one is our favorite.  The trivet is used to keep the turkey breast up out of all the yummy juices that drip off.  We will be putting those to good use in the gravy!

Stick your trivet in the in the Instant Pot and pour all the butter and juices from the sautéing into the Instant Pot.  Here comes the orange juice!  Add the orange juice to the Instant Pot and place the turkey on the trivet.

 

How Long to Cook a Turkey in an Instant Pot

Now you let the Instant Pot work its magic.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot, ensure the valve is set to seal and cook it on high pressure for 30 minutes.

30 minutes!!

Allow a 10-15 minute natural release, stick bird in a pan and place it under the broiler for a few minutes so it can get all crispy golden again.  Then remove the turkey from the oven, tent it with foil, and let it rest for up to 10 minutes while you get groovy with the gravy!

 

a photo of a cooked turkey breast bound with twine in an Instant Pot sitting on top of all the juices that have cooked off

 

Why Does Meat Need to Rest?

Allowing meat to rest allows all the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat from coming out dry.  If you cut meat right away, all the juices come pouring out and your meat isn’t going to be as moist as it could be.  Patience…it’s worth it!

 

How to Make Perfect Gravy

I don’t know why, but making gravy often intimidates people.  You don’t want it lumpy or too thick or too thin, and as I mentioned the gravy is critical!!  There is no need for intimidation here!  You got this!

  • Must Have Tool for Gravy

This gravy separator  is pretty much the greatest invention ever!  It saves all the yummy drippings while separating out the fat.

Add the drippings to a skillet that has been heated to medium heat.

Make a quick slurry of water and cornstarch by whisking them together in a small bowl.

When the drippings are simmering, add the cornstarch mixture a little at a time until your gravy is the consistency you want.  Make sure you are whisking constantly.  That will helping you avoid lumps.

Then serve that liquid gold all over anything and everything you can!

 

a photo of sliced turkey breast drizzled with gravy and garnished with fresh herbs on a bed of mashed potatoes all on a black plate

 

Can You Freeze Cooked Turkey Breast?

Yes absolutely!  As long as the turkey was completely cooked through, you can freeze it and enjoy it on another day! Make sure it is securely wrapped and zipped tight in a Ziplock bag, or better yet, use the Food Saver!

 

Can the Turkey Breast be Cooked from Frozen?

Why yes you can!  Although I would strongly recommend cooking it from thawed, it can be done from frozen.   You won’t be able to get that butter and herbs slathered under the skin, but sometimes you wake up Thanksgiving morning and you realize your turkey is still in the freezer.  Don’t panic, friends!  Just follow the same directions but up the cook time to 1 hour.

 

a photo of sliced turkey breast drizzled with gravy and garnished with fresh herbs on a bed of mashed potatoes

 

Cook Time per Pound

No math needed here…yahoo!!  It doesn’t matter if your turkey breast is 3 lbs or 6 lbs, the 30 min cook time is going to get the job done perfectly!

Leftover Turkey

As promised, we come to quite possibly my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner….the leftovers!!  Is there anything better than a turkey sandwich made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?  We recommend the Ultimate Leftover Turkey Club!

A photo of a sandwich sliced in half with one half in the background and the other half showing the profile of the sandwich. The sandwich has toased bread, turkey, cranberry sauce, melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, and bacon. The sandwich is sitting on a piece of parchment papger on a table.

 

But if you want something quick and simple, we have a friend that swears by turkey jalapeno sandwiches.  Grab a leftover roll (and we all pray there are many leftover rolls!!), cut it in half, put a little mayo on each side, a few pickled jalapenos, and a healthy helping of turkey.  I’m totally trying it this year!

Check out exactly how to make this Instant Pot Turkey!

 

 

Thanksgiving RECIPES

Looking for a few different Thanksgiving recipes to go with this Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey? Here are just a few to get you started:

 

To see all of our family dinner recipes, head here! These are a few of our favorites…

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Yield: 6-8

Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey Recipe

Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey Recipe
Your Thanksgiving turkey is just 30 minutes away.  Yes!  You read that correctly!  Juicy, perfect Thanksgiving turkey in no time with this Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey Recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 Turkey Breast, boneless, skin on, tied with butcher twine
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice

For the Gravy

  • Drippings from the turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the butter and seasonings until smooth.
  2. Gently, without removing the twine, slide your fingers under the skin and lift the skin up a little.
  3. Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin and on the underside of the meat.
  4. Spread remaining butter over the skin.
  5. Heat a skillet to medium high heat or push saute on the instant pot. See note*
  6. Add the turkey, skin side down and cook until golden.
  7. Repeat on all sides.
  8. Place a trivet in the instant pot and pour the remaining butter and juices from the saute pan into the instant pot.
  9. Add the orange juice.
  10. Add the turkey onto the trivet.
  11. Place the lid on, making sure the valve is set to seal and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
  12. Allow a natural release for 10-15 minutes and then place the breast under the broiler to brown and crisp again.
  13. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for up to 10 minutes while you prepare the gravy.

For the Gravy

  1. Pour the drippings into this gravy separator.
  2. Heat a skillet to medium heat and pour in the drippings, stopping at the fat.
  3. Whisk together the water and cornstarch.
  4. Once the drippings are simmering, add a drizzle of the slurry in (cornstarch mixture) until desired consistency, whisking continuously.
  5. Remove from heat and serve with turkey and these mashed potatoes.

Notes

We've found that the instant pot doesn't get as hot as a pan, so it goes faster to just use a skillet for the browning.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6-8

Serving Size:

2 slices

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 174 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 786mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g Protein: 10g

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a photo of sliced turkey breast drizzled with gravy and garnished with fresh herbs on a bed of mashed potatoes all on a black plate