Turkey breast in the pressure cooker is one of the most flavorful and tender ways to prepare it! Not only is it delicious but it is surprisingly easy to make. With just a few ingredients, you can take the turkey breast from completely frozen to perfectly cooked in as little as an hour! By using the natural drippings that cooking creates, you have have gravy to go with the turkey all in one pot just in minutes also.
Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe
I am going to let you in on a little secret that I didn’t know until just a bit ago… Turkey breast doesn’t have to be dry!
I know, right?!
I have had turkey for Thanksgiving for years and I have had a range from really good turkey to turkeys that can best be classified as a major failure. Since I got my Instant Pot though, I decided that I wanted to see if there was any way that I could make a turkey in it. Well, the turkey as a whole was WAY too big for the pot, but I did find a Butterball Frozen Turkey Breast Roast in the freezer section right next to the full turkeys and I knew it was worth a try (or a few tries!)
This took a little thought, and about 3 turkey roasts, to come up with the right combo of ingredients and cook time for the perfect turkey, once we got it right, it was SO RIGHT! I never knew turkey breast could be so moist and delicious!
Can you use frozen meat in the pressure cooker?
YES! This is actually the best part! You can literally take the turkey breast out of the freezer frozen solid and pretty much put it straight into the pressure cooker, no thawing required! The only extra step I take, detailed below, is that I cut off the plastic and run the turkey under warm water until I could remove the gravy packet off of the turkey breast. The recipe I have detailed here cooks the turkey breast from frozen. If your meat is not frozen, you will need to reduce the cook time.
How to serve Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
Once the meat has finished cooking, it can be served right away or anytime while it is still warm. I use tongs to remove the turkey breast from inside the pressure cooker and place it on a platter. Be careful! It will be very hot!
The lemon and rosemary that were on top while cooking can be discarded, or set to the side to reuse for garnish, as in the pictures. Then the pressure cooker turkey breast can be carved into slices at a thickness of your preference. My slices are about 1/2 inch thick. I like to lay the slices out a bit so it makes a really nice presentation. You can spoon the gravy right over it or leave it to the side for each person to add on to their plate.
For presentation, I used a medium sized platter and placed the turkey breast on it and added additional fresh rosemary and garlic around the sides. The lemon and rosemary that cooked on top of the turkey were replaced for garnish. They get pretty delicate after cooking so if yours don’t work, you can still cut fresh lemon and rosemary and use that for the top. I also cut some slices to get started with the turkey and fanned it out a bit. You can use your imagination to recreate this or add as much as you want for your presentation.
This turkey will be stand on its own, but I do have some really delicious sides that make a great compliment to the meal. Try serving it with this creamy and oh-so-delicious Jiffy Corn Casserole and these ranch smashed potatoes which are my favorite way to make potatoes. Add some cranberry sauce and a green veggie and you have a meal for the books! This is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas but easy enough for anytime in between.
How to make Turkey Breast in the Pressure Cooker
I am going to walk through making this recipe for pressure cooker turkey breast with you step by step here. If you are new to your pressure cooker or an old pro, this recipe should be very simple and straightforward so that you can get a great result. I use an Instant Pot to make this, but you should be able to achieve the same result with any electric pressure cooker. If you are looking for the quick version of the pressure cooker turkey breast recipe, feel free to scroll to the bottom of the post to find the recipe card.
Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Ingredients
- 1 Butterball Turkey Breast Roast- This is the 3 pound turkey breast that you will find in the freezer section. At my store it is near the traditional full turkeys.
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning- I use the premade seasoning from McCormick, but you can make your own poultry seasoning mix if you prefer.
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into pats- Just cut it up into 3-4 slices and that will do.
- 2 lemon slices (optional)- You can omit these if you want but I love the flavor of lemon on turkey. If you do use lemon, only place a couple of thin slices on top of the turkey breast. Don’t put any extra in the broth or it will make the gravy bitter.
- 1 sprig rosemary- Again optional, but adds to the flavor. I think fresh rosemary is just a wonderful flavor for Thanksgiving especially!
- 1 onion, quartered- Any type will do here. You can roughly quarter it. This adds flavor to the broth and will be removed so the size/shape doesn’t matter much.
- 3 stalks chopped celery- Again for flavor so leaving it in bigger chunks is better so that it is easier to strain out.
- 4 garlic cloves- This is also for flavor so you can remove the skin and leave them whole in the broth.
- 2 cups chicken broth- You can use store bought broth or learn how to make homemade chicken broth super easily here!
- 2 McCormick Turkey Gravy packets- I use the Turkey Gravy packets but any flavor would work, or you can make gravy from scratch if you prefer.
Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Instructions
- Remove the packaging from the turkey. This is usually an outer plastic netting and the plastic wrapper around the turkey. I use scissors to easily cut them away.
Next, run it under warm water until you can separate and remove the gravy packet from the turkey breast. This may take a few minutes so you can leave it in a bowl of water for 5 minutes or so if you prefer. Now all that is left should be an inner netting on the turkey breast which will help it keep it’s shape. You can leave it on while cooking.
Rub the outside of the chicken with the poultry seasoning as evenly as you can and set it aside.
- Place the celery, onion, garlic cloves, and chicken broth in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot. As I mentioned above, these are to create a great flavor so they can be in larger chunks. They will be strained out after cooking so it makes it easier.
Place the trivet in over the vegetables and broth and set the frozen turkey breast roast on top of it. Place the butter pats, lemon slices and rosemary on top of the turkey breast. I usually do it in that order.
- Close the lid to the pressure cooker and set the valve to sealing. Then use poultry mode and adjust the time to 55 minutes and let cook. When cooking is done, natural release for an additional 20 minutes. If you are new to the Instant Pot, all this means is that once the cooking timer sounds signaling that it has finished, the Instant Pot will then begin to count up. Let it count up until it gets to 20 minutes which will effectively slowly and naturally release the built up pressure, rather than hitting the valve to quick release it.
Last, open the lid and check the temperature which should be 170˚F throughout.IMPORTANT NOTE: I have made this many times in the Instant Pot cooking it for 50 minutes with it turning out perfectly. I am located at sea level. If you are in a higher altitude, you may need to raise the cook time about 5-10 minutes so that it cooks completely.
- Remove the roast and strain the vegetables, reserving the broth and pour it back into the pressure cooker pot and add both gravy mixes. To do this, I use a mesh strainer and pour the pot through it into a bowl then return the strained broth into the pot. You can discard the vegetables, and either throw away the lemon and rosemary or save it for garnish.
Turn the pot on to the sauté setting and whisk continuously until it comes to a boil and then about 3-5 additional minutes until it thickens. Turn the pressure cooker off and remove the gravy from the heat. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools as well.
- Cut off the netting from the pressure cooker turkey breast and place on a platter to carve. Serve warm with as little or as much gravy as you want! Enjoy!
I really hope this meal is loved by your family as much as it is by ours. We have loved this so much that we have been adding it into our dinner rotation outside of the holidays too. You can’t beat the combination of how easy and delicious it is! If you get a chance to make it, I would love it if you left me a comment below! I love to hear when others are making and enjoying the recipes we share. Or if you snap a pic of your pressure cooker turkey breast and post it on Instagram make sure and tag me so I can see your creations @easyfamilyrecipes.
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Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
- 1 3lb Butterball Turkey Breast Roast
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 2 tbsp butter cut into pats
- 2 lemon slices optional
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 onion quartered
- 3 stalks chopped celery
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 McCormick Turkey Gravy packets
- Remove the packaging from the turkey then run it under warm water until you can separate and remove the gravy packet from the turkey breast. You can leave the inner netting on while cooking. Rub the outside of the chicken with the poultry seasoning and set aside.
- Place the celery, onion, garlic cloves, and chicken broth in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot. Place the trivet in and set the turkey breast roast on top of it. Place the butter pats, lemon slices and rosemary on top of the turkey breast.
- Close the lid to the pressure cooker and set the valve to sealing. Then use poultry mode and adjust the time to 55 minutes and let cook (see note section for altitude adjustments.) When cooking is done, natural release for an additional 20 minutes. Then open the lid and check the temperature which should be 170˚F throughout.
- Remove the roast and strain the vegetables, reserving the broth and pour it back into the pressure cooker pot and add both gravy mixes. Turn the pot on to sauté and whisk continuously until it comes to a boil and then about 3-5 additional minutes until it thickens. Turn the pressure cooker off and remove the gravy from the heat.
- Cut off the netting and serve warm with as little or as much gravy as you want! Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)