Instant Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast and Gravy
I’m all in when it comes to using the Instant Pot this Thanksgiving and Christmas for the family dinner. Although I love the dark meat on a whole turkey, most of my family prefers the white meat on the breast, so this year I decided to buy a bone-in turkey breast.
I also made the executive decision to cook it in my 6 quart Duo Instant Pot instead of roasting it in the oven. Why? Two reasons: Quality time with my family and oven space to bake sides and pie!
I have fond memories of my Grandma Wilson slow roasting a humongous turkey and bringing it over to our house for Thanksgiving. She would bake it in a large navy blue and not-so-white speckled enamelware roaster with a matching lid. It had metal clamps to hold the lid on which was great for traveling between her house and ours. I am proud to say I inherited this sentimental piece of nostalgia and have baked several turkeys in it myself.
But this year, I want to offer turkey AND ham but we aren’t serving an army so buying the smaller bone-in turkey breast and a small ham is perfect to please everyone. I’ll cook the turkey in the 6-quart Duo Instant Pot and bake the smaller ham in the oven at the same time as the Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes
I recently teamed up with 8 of my girlfriends (The Squad) to present the first annual Grits and Gouda Holiday Cooking Show as a fundraiser for my husband and son’s nonprofit Outdoor Ability Foundation. On the Thanksgiving Dinner menu for the show is this Instant Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast. We gave an Instant Pot (thanks to Webb Payroll Services) as a VIP door prize! I think everyone was surprised at how quick and easy the prep was and also how simple the Instant Pot was to operate.
One of the best things about cooking the turkey breast in the Instant Pot was being able to make the gravy right there in the Instant Pot because it captures all the drippings and you cook it on the saute setting after removing the turkey breast.
To get the most juicy and flavorful turkey breast, clip the membrane just under the skin with kitchen shears or a sharp knife, then rub the butter mixture under the skin and and on top of it.
I also like to just brush olive oil or vegetable oil on the top of the skin, then sprinkle the paprika, garlic powder, and salt on the oil. Both methods work great! If you choose the butter method be sure to pat the skin dry first or the butter mixture won’t stick….it will just slide around.
Don’t toss those celery leaves! There’s more flavor in the leaves than in the stalks so go ahead and stuff the turkey with the leaves as well as the stalks. I always include the leaves when I’m chopping celery for dressing, too.
Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth to the pot. You can use water but this is the base for the gravy yet to come so I like to start with chicken broth or stock. Don’t forget to add the Instant Pot trivet before placing the turkey in the pot so it’s easy to remove the cooked turkey.
Close the lid and set the steam valve to “sealing” and push the Pressure Cook button and the + button until it reaches 32 minutes for a 7 pound turkey breast. It will take about 21 minutes to bring it up to pressure, then it will start counting down the 32 minutes. Let it release pressure naturally for 20 minute, then gently push the steam valve over to venting to release any remaining steam.
Remove the turkey breast with the trivet handles or two large spoons. NEVER remove it with forks because you will release all the juices! Place the turkey breast on a foil-lined baking sheet or pan, skin side up, and broil under the oven broiler 3 to 5 inches away from the coils 3 to 5 minutes or just until golden brown. You can also rub a little softened butter on the skin before broiling. Of course, you can eat and serve it straight out of the Instant Pot but one of the best parts of the turkey is the crispy golden skin and why not have the best of both worlds of saving time and golden brown turkey with 3 minutes of broiling?
Let the turkey breast stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes so the juices can return to the center of the breast, then slice the breast and serve on a platter. I’ve garnished mine with fresh sage from my garden but any herb will work. I like the presentation of sliced turkey breast better than serving it whole personally.
Combine cornstarch a the cold water in a little custard dish. This is important because if you add cornstarch to hot liquid or just drop it in a lot of liquid, it’s hard to incorporate it and you get the dreaded lumpy gravy. Use a whisk to incorporate the thinned cornstarch to the 2 cups of drippings in the Instant Pot and push the Saute button and cook, stirring constantly, just until slightly thickened. I like my turkey gravy thinner than, say, country milk gravy you pour over biscuits and pork chops because I like to pour it over my turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing….pretty much half of my plate at Thanksgiving!
Oh yeah, it’s the gravy that gilds the lily on this plate of Instant Pot turkey breast! I can’t wait to make it again!
Need some side dishes to go with your turkey? Try these from Grits and Gouda. Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Apple Jalapeno Salsa (instead of traditional cranberry sauce), Fresh Green Beans with Bacon, and Cornbread Dressings Cups.
All the flavor of roasted turkey in a fraction of the time with my Instant Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast and Gravy recipe.
- 1 7-pound bone-in turkey breast
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 small onion quartered
- 2 small celery stalks cut in half
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
If the turkey breast is frozen, let thaw in refrigerator for 3 days in the wrapping it came in. Remove the gravy mix, if any. Rinse the turkey breast and let it drain in a colander. Pat it dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin on top of the breast with your fingers and a knife but do not cut it off.
Combine butter, herb seasoning, and salt in a small bowl. Using fingertips, spread about 2 tablespoons of the mixture up under the skin and onto the turkey breast. Lay the skin over the mixture then spread the remaining mixture on top of the skin.
Place the trivet in the Instant Pot 6 qt Duo pan and pour in chicken broth.
If the turkey breast has a cavity to place the onion and celery under the breast, place it there. If it is open, just place them in the Instant Pot pan and place the turkey breast, breast side up.
Place lid on Instant Pot and set valve to “sealing”. Press “Pressure Cook” button, then -/+ button to 32 minutes on High Pressure. It will take about 12 to 20 minutes to come to pressure, cook 32 minutes, then when it beeps, let it release pressure naturally (don’t touch sealing valve) for 20 minutes. If it hasn’t release all the pressure, switch to “venting”. Carefully open the lid away from your face when floating valve drops.
Preheat broiler. Remove the turkey with two large metal spatulas or spoons. Forks will release all the turkey juices! Place it on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil it 3 to 5 inches from the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or just until skin in golden brown.
Measure 2 cups of turkey drippings in the Instant Pot pan. Discard any remaining liquid, onion and celery (I actually save them for soup later). Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a custard dish then pour into turkey drippings. Turn Instant Pot “Saute” button on. Cook the gravy, stirring constantly about 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Shortcut: 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic and herb salt-free seasoning can be substituted for paprika and garlic powder.
Instead of combining softened butter and the spices, another easy method is to brush olive oil or vegetable oil on the turkey breast skin and then sprinkle the spices on the oil. Both work well!