Use your Instant Pot multi-use pressure cooker to make my easy Instant Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast and Gravy recipe this year! Save the oven for the pies and sides this Thanksgiving and Christmas! The gravy is made right in the pressure cooker. This method will free up time to make all those family-favorite sides and desserts.
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 cook Thanksgiving turkey in the Instant Pot?
- Quality time with my family
- 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.
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.
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.
How do I get the butter under the turkey skin?
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 release handle 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 minutes, 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. Try to avoid using forks because you will release all the juices!
How do I get turkey skin crispy in the Instant Pot?
It's optional. To get that crispy skin on the turkey, place it under the broiler a few minutes.
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.
How to make turkey gravy in a pressure cooker
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!
Garnish with a sprig of fresh sage or other fresh herbs, if you like. I like!
What if my turkey is smaller or bigger than the recipe?
No worries. Birds come in all sizes! For every pound of bone-in turkey breast cook in the Instant Pot 6 to 7 minutes. After natural release, be sure to check with an instant read thermometer to be sure it registers 165F degrees.
What sides go with bone-in turkey breast?
Here are some of my favorite Southern shortcut side recipes that go well with turkey breast made in the Instant Pot.
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I show you how to make Southern shortcut recipes for your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus!
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If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to give the recipe a rating of 5 stars if you love it!
Instant Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast and Gravy
- pressure cooker
- 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, thaw according to package directions which may take several days. 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, paprika, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Using fingertips, spread about 2 tablespoons of the mixture up under the skin. 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 on the top, place the onion and celery there. If it is open, just place them in the Instant Pot around the turkey breast in the pan. The turkey breast is placed breast side up in the pan.
- Place the lid on the 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 an oven 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). Remove the rack.
- Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a custard dish then pour into turkey drippings. Turn on the “Saute” setting. Cook the gravy, stirring constantly about 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Yield: 8 servings.