Air Fried Turkey Breast with Herb Butter

This recipe for turkey breast with herb butter is an easy way to get some great flavors incorporated into your turkey, plus it sort of self-bastes as the butter under the skin melts and spreads over the meat.

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It’s amazing how easy it is to make a beautiful roast turkey breast in your air fryer. Honestly – I’m amazed every time. You’d think that it would get too brown or burn on top, being so close to the element, but it doesn’t. Instead, it turns a gorgeous brown and only needs to be flipped over a couple of times – ending with the turkey skin side up is key for crispy skin.

Whole roast turkey breast on a cutting board with herbs and cranberry garnish.

You can really use any combination of herbs that you like. I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme because I’m a big Simon and Garfunkel fan and love singing. (true story) If you wanted to put lemon zest and oregano in the butter instead, go for it! Or perhaps orange and tarragon… You can really put any combination together that you like. Just remember to use unsalted butter and add salt so you’re in control of the seasoning.

Once the turkey is roasting, the butter will obviously melt, but the nice thing about the air fryer is that the butter will collect along with the turkey juices in the drawer below. You can scoop that beautiful liquid up with a bulb baster and baste your turkey each time you flip it. Plus, at the end of roasting, you can put those juices into a fat separator, let the fat rise to the surface and then pour the delicious juice from below into your gravy.

Whole turkey breast, sliced on a cutting board with herbs and cranberry garnish.

The air fryer really can make your Thanksgiving meal easier if you just let it. You could use it to cook an additional turkey breast if you’re having a lot of company, or if you’re only feeding a small crowd cooking the turkey in the air fryer leaves your oven available to do all the side dishes. The air fryer is an honest-to-god life saver. (You should say “thank you”.) 

A white plate with slices of roast turkey breast covered with gravy in foreground; whole turkey breast on cutting board in background.

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Air-Fried Turkey Breast with Herb Butter

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 50 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 5 m
  • Servings:


  • 5 to 6 pounds whole turkey breast, rib bones trimmed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Gravy (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brandy or white wine
  • cups rich turkey or chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • drippings from the roast turkey


  1. Start by making sure the turkey breast will fit into your air fryer. Trim the rib bones with a pair of sharp poultry scissors if necessary to make sure the turkey will fit nicely and not sit higher than the top of the basket.
  2. Combine the butter, chopped fresh herbs, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Gently slide your fingers underneath the skin of the turkey to loosen the skin away from both sides of the turkey breast. Place a third of the herb butter under the skin, massaging it over the turkey breast. Repeat with the other side. Melt the remaining herb butter in a small saucepan (or in the microwave) and brush it all over the skin of the turkey breast, or flatten the butter with your hands and let it rest on top of the turkey.
  3. Pre-heat the air fryer to 350°F.
  4. Place the turkey breast skin-side up in the air fryer basket. Air-fry for 20 minutes at 350ºF. Turn the turkey breast over so that it is now skin-side down. Use a turkey baster to suck up some of the juices from the bottom drawer and baste the turkey breast with the drippings. Air-fry for another 20 minutes.
  5. While the turkey is air-frying, make the gravy on the stovetop if you choose to do so. Pre-heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the flour and whisk the butter and flour together, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the brandy or white wine and let it bubble and thicken. Then, whisk in the stock, continuing to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the Worcestershire sauce and then set the gravy aside.
  6. Turn the turkey breast back over so that it is once again skin-side up. Baste again with the juices from the bottom of the air fryer drawer and air-fry for another 10 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
  7. Place the turkey breast on cutting board and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. While the turkey rests, pour the juices from the bottom of the air fryer into a measuring cup or fat separator. Let the juices sit for 10 minutes and ladle or pour off the grease that rises to the surface. Strain the drippings and either add them to the gravy or just pour the juices over the sliced turkey breast.
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Comments (26)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipes, Meredith!! I’m getting a GoWise air fryer oven with a rotisserie and revolving basket/kebab setup. Could I use the rotisserie for the turkey breast, and if so, would there be a temperature or time difference compared to your recipe above? What about using a turkey thigh on the rotisserie? We love turkey and my brother usually fries it but I’m hoping to have it far more often than once or twice a year…lol!

    In the meantime, I’ve copied your coconut shrimp, sweet and sour pork, blooming onion, cajun fries, and salt and pepper shrimp to the lineup of dishes I want to make…and I’ve just started looking at your site! Thank goodness for your vast experience in all things cooking! I don’t see you much on QVC anymore but I’m thrilled to find your website.

    1. Hi Dianna. I haven’t used the GoWise hair fryer oven, but as long as it fits inside and can rotate without hitting the sides of the oven or the heating element you should be able to do it. I’d keep the temperature and time the same, but you won’t have to rotate the turkey. Thanks for finding me and my website! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Meredith, I am looking forward to making this recipe. It is just like you, to make sure the rest of us has a turkey as good as the one that you, yourself will make. (And, to assure that it should turn out as great!) As Thanksgiving comes, I would like to show my appreciation for you, and all that you do for me, and family!!! Love You!!!

  3. I have the PowerAirFryer Pro. Would I place the turkey on a rack into a pan that fits in the airfryer. Love your recipe even if I hae to do it in a regular oven

    1. Hi Kathy. Yes – I would put the turkey on a rack and pan that fits your air fryer. The pan will catch the drippings and the rack will keep the turkey out of the fat.

  4. 5 stars
    I can’t believe how beautiful, moist, tender and delicious my turkey breast turned out using the fabulous recipe. It’s the best one I have ever made. Even turkey haters, enjoyed it!

    1. Hi Judy. You can use a boneless breast, but a boneless breast of the same weight will take a little longer than the bone-in breast. Plan on another 15 minutes if the same weight.

  5. 5 stars
    This turkey breast was so juicy and tender. I used a 3 lb boneless “roast”. I removed the netting so I could get the butter under the skin then put it back together without the netting in the air fryer. I cut the second fryer time down to 12 minutes then flipped the pieces over again for the last 10 minutes as called for in the recipe. Wonderful! Crispy skin, juicy meat great seasoning.
    I just love your recipes!

  6. 5 stars
    I am new to the air fryer game so it’s sort of been “learn as I go” Since it is just the 2 of us at home now I will try to get the butcher to cut the breast in half. I will adjust the butter and seasonings accordingly but what about the temp and time ? PS this is the most useful site I’ve found so far. Thank you

    1. Thank you Janet! If you are only cooking a half breast you can keep the temperature the same but it should only take about 30-40 minutes to cook. A little less if you are using a boneless turkey breast.

  7. 5 stars
    I make this recipe every year. It is so good. I an also addicted to the air fryer because of you first introducing it on QVC. I use it every night with many of your recipes. Thank you for all of your excellent knowledge to make delicious and easy foods. I am a fan! You have taught an eighty-three year old ,new tricks.

  8. Can you substitute dried herbs in place of fresh? I live on fixed income and I already have the dried herbs you recommend.

    1. Hi Dottie. I wouldn’t usually suggest making a compound butter with dried herbs, but since this herb butter is going to get cooked, I think using dried herbs is fine, but only use 1 teaspoon, not 1 tablespoon. When a compound butter is put on a dish after it has cooked – as it is with a grilled steak with herb butter, fresh herbs would be important.

    1. Hi Lisa. You can make this in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF then put the turkey breast in and reduce the temperature to 350ºF. Cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound.

    1. Sure. Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF then put the turkey breast in and reduce the temperature to 350ºF. Cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound.

  9. 1 star
    Billows of smoke from my air fryer. This technique didn’t work and I followed instructions exactly. I trimmed the turkey breast. It easily fit in my Philips Air Fryer and I put the butter under the skin. I made sure my air fryer was clean. I would say within 10 minutes of air frying the turkey, smoke came out of the unit. I think it was the butter that melted into the bottom section. Finally, I just cooked the breast in my large oven on convection roast.
    So much work cutting off the bottom of the ribs so it would fit. Never again. Very disappointed.

  10. I would like to make this turkey breast to take to my daughter’s house on Thanksgiving. Can I partially bake it the day before and then how long would I bake it at her house? Would this work?

    1. Hi Robin,
      I don’t recommend partially baking the day before. That puts the turkey in an unsafe temperature zone for too long and also would result in an unevenly cooked turkey. The only way I could see making it ahead of time would be to fully air-fry it the day before, cool it and refrigerate it overnight and then re-heat it the next day. To re-heat it, I would put it in the oven covered with foil at 350˚F until it reaches 155˚F (how long it takes will depend on the size of the turkey breast) and then remove the foil to crisp the skin back up for 15 minutes or so. The best result will come from making it the day it is served.

  11. I am going to try to air fry your turkey breast recipe. My husband likes dark meat but I think he will enjoy this. I like the fact that this recipe uses ingredients that one would probably have on hand and it is a simple recipe. I miss seeing you as a regular on the Q but since they have gotten rid of hosts I liked I am not watching although I will watch ban sometime since they are fairer with their prices and U started watching hen before the Q came along I spent a great deal of money on the Q but when they bought HSN is went down hill. Hopefully things will in time turn around hope so. I enjoy watching you on Facebook and keep up with the easy recipes.

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