Making Turkey Breast in Air Fryer is a quick, easy, and hassle-free way to “roast” a turkey breast in under an hour.

With just a handful of ingredients and an incredibly simple cooking method, you can make an air fryer turkey breast for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any night of the year.

sliced air fryer turkey breast with crispy skin on a platter. mashed potatoes and green beans are nearby

Turkey Breast in Air Fryer Recipe

Making a turkey breast in the air fryer is an amazing trick to have up your sleeve this holiday season, for a few reasons!

First, if you’re cooking for just a few people, there’s no need to roast a full bird all day. A turkey breast is enough for up to 4 servings, and it can be cooked in the air fryer in about 40 minutes.

Using the air fryer on Thanksgiving to cook a turkey breast is great if your family really likes white meat. You can cook your regular turkey the traditional way, but cook an extra breast in the air fryer so that you won’t run out!

You can cook a turkey breast in your air fryer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any occasion!

I like to pick up one or two of these at the grocery store while they’re on sale in November, then thaw and air fry one whenever I’m in the mood for a turkey dinner.

Enjoy a small scale Thanksgiving turkey dinner whenever you want!

It’s fun to serve “Thanksgiving” in March or June too, complete with a tasty Air Fryer Pumpkin Pie and all the classic holiday side dishes!

You can also try my recipe for Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins.

The ingredients needed to roast turkey breast in air fryer

Ingredients Turkey Breast in Air Fryer

Turkey Breast – Look for a boneless turkey breast that still has the skin. This recipe uses a breast that is about 2 pounds. If yours is smaller or larger, that’s ok. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.

Butter: Softened butter is mixed with seasonings and then placed under the skin. This keeps the meat tender and juicy.

Seasoning: Salt, pepper, and a little bit of poultry seasoning is all you need! Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper are recommended.

Lemon Zest: The fresh zing of lemon zest brings a hint of brightness to the turkey.

Olive Oil: This is used to coat the turkey breast, and is the key to crispy turkey skin!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP

a collage of six images showing how to make turkey breast in an air fryer.

How to Cook Turkey Breast in Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF/200ºC for 5 minutes. While you do that, pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels and gently loosen the skin from the breast (but don’t fully remove it).
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, poultry seasoning, and lemon zest.
  3. Place the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey breast, and spread it out evenly.
  4. Use your hands to coat the outside of the turkey with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.
  5. Place the turkey breast skin side down in the air fryer and cook at 350ºF/176ºC for 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip the turkey breast over. Set the air fryer to 400ºF/200ºC, and cook for an additional 13-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF/74ºC. Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions for cooking a turkey breast in the air fryer, please see the recipe below.

sliced air fryer turkey breast with crispy skin on a platter. mashed potatoes and green beans are nearby

Recipe Tips

  • Avoid using bone-in turkey breast for this recipe. It will not cook as evenly with the bones. If your turkey breast came with bones, cut them away first.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer. Most recipes don’t require pre-heating, but for this one, it’s a very important step. Starting the turkey in a hot air fryer ensures even cooking and crispy skin.
  • Skin down first. Cooking the breast with the skin down will render away most of the fat. This way, when you flip it over, the skin will get perfectly crisp.
  • Raise the temperature. Pay special attention to the recipe. After cooking the turkey breast at 350°F and flipping it over, the second air fry is done at 400°F to promote crisping.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Turkey Breast

Complete your meal with the perfect side dishes!

You can use your air fryer to prepare almost all of the classic thanksgiving side dishes, including Air Fryer Stufing, Air Fryer Green Bean Casserole, and crispy Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts.

But if you’d rather make your sides on the stove, check out these recipes for Ranch Mashed Potatoes and sauted Green Beans and Mushrooms.

FAQs

How do I store leftovers?

You can keep leftover air fried turkey breast in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days if kept in an airtight container, and makes delicious leftover turkey sandwiches!

Can I air fry a frozen turkey breast?

The turkey breast must be fully thawed before cooking it in the air fryer. While you can cook frozen chicken breast or frozen steak in the air fryer, a turkey breast is just too large to cook fully from frozen.

How long should I cook turkey breast in the air fryer?

The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your breast. For a two pound boneless turkey breast, expect to cook it for a total of 35 minutes. Add time if needed to cook the breast to an internal temperature of 165ºF/74ºC

What can I use instead of poultry seasoning?

Any type of dried herbs can be used. Poultry seasoning is usually a blend that includes sage, thyme, and rosemary. So use one of those!

Can I cook a whole turkey in an air fryer?

You probably can, but this recipe is not designed for that! To cook a whole turkey, you’ll need to have a very large air fryer, and follow a recipe specifically for that. In the meantime, you can see how we cook a whole chicken in the air fryer, or delicious air fryer cornish hens.

sliced turkey on a platter. A large fork is picking up a serving.

Pro Tips

More Air Fryer Recipes to Try

There are lots of ways to use your air fryer to “roast” large cuts of meat.

Instead of a turkey breast, why not make an Air Fryer Pork Loin Roast, Air Fryer Flank Steak, or Air Fryer Lamb Chops the main event for dinner today?

Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!

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sliced air fried turkey breast with skin on a platter.
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Turkey Breast in Air Fryer

Making Turkey Breast in Air Fryer is a quick, easy, and hassle-free way to "roast" a tender and juicy turkey breast in under an hour.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 470kcal
Ken

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless skin-on turkey breast about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer using the preheat function or by heating it at 400ºF/204ºC for 5 minutes.
  • Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel and gently loosen the skin from the breast (but make sure not to remove it).
  • In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, poultry seasoning, and lemon zest. Rub the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey breast.
  • Rub out the outside of the turkey breast with olive oil and season with sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • Place the turkey breast skin side down in the air fryer and cook it at 350ºF/176ºC for 20 minutes. Flip the turkey breast and cook it skin side up for an additional 13-15 minutes at 400ºF/204ºC, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF/74ºC on an instant read thermometer.
  • Allow the turkey breast to rest in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy immediately.
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Notes

  • Avoid using bone-in turkey breast for this recipe. It will not cook as evenly with the bones. If your turkey breast came with bones, cut them away first.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer. Most recipes don’t require pre-heating, but for this one, it’s a very important step. Starting the turkey in a hot air fryer ensures even cooking and crispy skin.
  • Skin down first. Cooking the breast with the skin down will render away most of the fat. This way, when you flip it over, the skin will get perfectly crisp.
  • Raise the temperature. Pay special attention to the recipe. After cooking the turkey breast at 350°F and flipping it over, the second air fry is done at 400°F to promote crisping.

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1342mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg
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Air Fryers can vary greatly. Please take the time to learn your specific air fryer. You may need to adjust times and temperatures based upon your air fryer. All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.

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