Juicy Brined Turkey Breast Recipe for Thanksgiving Feast

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about what to serve for that special dinner. If you want to impress your family and friends with a delicious meal, then you should definitely try this Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce recipe.

This recipe is perfect if you are looking for something slightly different than the traditional stuffed turkey or if you don’t have the time or space to roast a whole turkey. Instead, this recipe allows you to cook a succulent turkey breast that is bursting with flavor and is guaranteed to receive compliments.

The brine mixture helps keep the meat moist, while the herb roasted butter adds extra flavor and aroma. When combined with a dry white wine pan sauce, this dish becomes elevated beyond your typical holiday meal, making it a surefire hit amongst your guests. Plus, since it’s served with prepared stuffing, it saves you time and effort in preparing an additional side dish.

So why not give this recipe a try and impress your loved ones with a beautifully cooked Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce? They’ll be asking for the recipe long after the dinner party has ended.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce
Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce

As a food enthusiast and a lover of gastronomy, I am delighted to introduce you to this delicious recipe for Brined Roasted Turkey Breast with White Wine Pan Sauce.

This turkey breast recipe is a showstopper that is sure to impress your family and friends. Picture this – perfectly tender roasted turkey breast that is brined to perfection and then smothered with an herb-roasted garlic butter. To top it off, a luscious white wine pan sauce that truly brings out the flavors of the dish. The aroma alone will fill your home with a heavenly scent.

Not only is this recipe delicious, it is also easy to prepare even for beginners. All you need are some basic ingredients like olive oil, kosher salt, fresh parsley, and thyme. The dish can be customized by adding things like stuffing or cranberry sauce on the side.

But why should you make this recipe? For one, it’s a great boneless turkey option that simplifies meal preparation while still bringing all the Thanksgiving feels to your kitchen. Additionally, the wine and herbs add an extra layer of depth to the taste profile of the meat.

As a sommelier, I must emphasize that selecting the right wine for this poultry dish is key. A bottle of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc pairs perfectly with this turkey breast recipe and truly elevates the dining experience.

Ultimately, if you want to impress your guests or just have an incredible meal at home, this Brined Roasted Turkey Breast with White Wine Pan Sauce is a must-try for all foodies out there. Once you try it, you’ll surely come back to it time after time again.

Ingredient List

 Juicy and flavorful turkey breast brined to perfection.
Juicy and flavorful turkey breast brined to perfection.

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 gallons cold water
  • 1 boneless turkey breast (about 4 pounds)

For the herb butter:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

For the roast turkey:

  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the pan sauce:

  • Turkey neck and giblets (excluding liver)
  • Neck and giblets from chicken (optional)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 bottle dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 4 large shallots, cut into small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Herb stems from thyme and rosemary reserved from making the herb butter
  • Cornstarch mixture (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with equal parts cold water)

The Recipe How-To

 Garlic and herb-seasoned turkey breast waiting to be roasted.
Garlic and herb-seasoned turkey breast waiting to be roasted.

Preparing the Brine

  1. Begin by making the brine by combining 1 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of honey and 5 garlic cloves in a large pot over medium-low heat.

  2. Add 8 cups of water, stirring until the salt and honey have dissolved completely.

  3. Stir in a bundle of fresh parsley, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, a few sprigs of rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns.

  4. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow to cool completely.

  5. Once cooled, place 2-3 pounds of boneless turkey breast in the brine making sure it is completely submerged.

  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.

Roasting the Turkey Breast

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove the turkey breast from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Season both sides with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.

  4. In a metal roasting pan, place the turkey breast white side up in the center of the pan with enough space around it for even cooking.

  5. Rub some herb butter on top of the turkey breast meat for added flavor.

  6. Place in preheated oven and roast until fully cooked through, about 1 hour or until an internal temperature thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into thickest part of the breast meat.

  7. Let turkey rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.

Making the White Wine Pan Sauce

  1. Place roasting pan with turkey back on stovetop over medium-high heat (if metal) or transfer to stovetop safe skillet (if using ceramic).

  2. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of water when well combined. Once mixed through, add the mixture to the roasting pan.

  3. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened.

  4. Gradually whisk in 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 2 minced garlic gloves and 2 minced shallots.

  5. Whisk for about 5 minutes, or until reduced by half and slightly thickened.

  6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  7. In a small bowl, mix parsley leaves with tarragon leaves and sprinkle over the sliced turkey before serving.

Enjoy your delicious brined roasted turkey breast with white wine pan sauce!

Substitutions and Variations

 Aromatic brine blend of spices that give a holiday twist to this turkey.
Aromatic brine blend of spices that give a holiday twist to this turkey.

One of the best things about cooking is the flexibility to adjust ingredients based on personal taste and availability. Here are a few substitutions and variations that you can try with this brined roasted turkey breast recipe:

– Herbs: Instead of tarragon leaves, you can use other herbs such as sage, thyme, or oregano to flavor the brine and the herb butter. You can also add more parsley and rosemary for a more flavorful roast.

– Wine: Dry white wine is the recommended choice for this recipe, but you can experiment with different varieties such as pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or chardonnay. Just make sure to choose a wine that’s not too sweet or overpowering.

– Stuffing: If you prefer to stuff your turkey breast, you can use your favorite stuffing recipe or buy a pre-made one from the store. Just make sure to cook the stuffing separately in a baking dish, as it’s not safe to cook it inside the turkey breast.

– Gravy: If you want to make a richer gravy for this roasted turkey breast, you can thicken the pan sauce with cornstarch instead of flour. Make a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, then whisk it into the boiling pan sauce until thickened.

– Boneless turkey breast: If you can’t find a bone-in turkey breast at your supermarket, you can use a boneless one instead. Adjust the cooking time accordingly (about 20-25 minutes per pound) and place it on a greased metal rack over the roasting pan to keep it elevated and evenly cooked.

– Vegetarian version: For a vegetarian-friendly version of this recipe, you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth for the turkey broth in both the brine and the pan sauce. You can also use pressed tofu or seitan instead of turkey breast, and season it with the same herbs and spices for a similar flavor profile.

With these substitutions and variations, you can make this brined roasted turkey breast recipe your own and adapt it to your taste preferences or dietary needs. Experiment with different ingredients and techniques and enjoy a delicious and juicy herb-roasted turkey breast any time of the year!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfectly roasted turkey bathed in white wine pan sauce.
Perfectly roasted turkey bathed in white wine pan sauce.

Once the succulent Brined Roasted Turkey Breast with White Wine Pan Sauce is ready, it’s time to serve it and enjoy its rich flavors. The dish makes an outstanding centerpiece for lunch or dinner table, whether served as a special holiday meal, a Sunday dinner or perhaps just a casual family gathering.

To complete this entrée, I suggest serving it with a variety of side dishes such as roasted vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets or buttery mashed potatoes. Additionally, stuffing the turkey breast with your favorite stuffing recipe can elevate the experience to new heights.

It should come to no surprise that white wine is an excellent pairing choice for this Brined Roasted Turkey Breast. A crisp and refreshing bottle of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc will complement the herbal notes of the brine and provide acidity to balance out the richness of the turkey meat while working beautifully with the white wine pan sauce.

If you prefer red wines, light reds such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais can pair well; they possess a gentle structure that won’t overpower the dish but still provide exceptional taste.

In addition to wine, a bubbly glass of prosecco can be an excellent match. The soft bubbles of this Italian sparkling wine help cut through the savory appeal of turkey meat, making it an ideal partner.

Finally, finishing off with cranberry sauce is a fabulous way to round out a meal, bringing a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness alongside juicy roasted turkey.

Overall, serving Brined Roasted Turkey Breast with White Wine Pan Sauce is an elegant way to share a beautiful meal with friends and family during special occasions that will leave them feeling satisfied and delighted.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A warm, hearty turkey dinner for the holiday season.
A warm, hearty turkey dinner for the holiday season.

This recipe is perfect for planning in advance. The turkey breast can be brined up to three days ahead of time, which not only adds flavor but also ensures that the meat stays moist during cooking. Additionally, the herb butter can be made a day before and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

If you’re hosting a large gathering, you may want to consider roasting two turkey breasts at once. Leftovers can make for tasty sandwiches or salads in the following days.

Storing the cooked turkey breast is simple. Let it cool down to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container and refrigerating it for up to four days.

Reheating the turkey breast is easy too! Simply place it on a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Reheat in a preheated oven at 325°F until warmed through, then remove foil and roast uncovered for another 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Pro tip: for an extra juicy reheat, add a splash of water, chicken stock or white wine to the pan before covering with foil.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Mouth-watering roasted turkey breast ready to be carved.
Mouth-watering roasted turkey breast ready to be carved.

When it comes to making the perfect brined roasted turkey breast with white wine pan sauce, there are a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference. Here are some of my top tips to ensure your bird comes out juicy and flavorful every time.

First, when brining the turkey breast, be sure to use enough salt in the brine. The kosher salt will help to tenderize and flavor the meat, so don’t skimp on this step. Use about 1 cup of kosher salt for every 2 quarts of water.

Next, when roasting the turkey breast, be sure to place it breast side up in a metal roasting pan. This will help the meat stay moist and cook evenly throughout. You can also add some herbs like rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan for extra flavor.

While roasting, baste the turkey breast every 30 minutes with herb butter or olive oil to keep it moist and flavorful. And don’t forget to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer – turkey should be cooked to 165°F.

Once the turkey is finished cooking, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and keep it moist.

Finally, when making the white wine pan sauce, be sure to use a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. This will give the sauce a bright, acidic finish that pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the roasted turkey.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the best brined roasted turkey breast with white wine pan sauce that your family and friends will rave about for years to come.


As you get started with this brined roasted turkey breast recipe, you may have some questions along the way. To help ensure that everything goes smoothly and deliciously, we’re sharing a few commonly asked questions about brining, roasting and serving the perfect turkey breast. Here are some answers to help guide you through the process.

Should I brine a turkey breast before roasting?

Whether or not to brine a turkey is a matter of personal preference. If you’re pressed for time or prefer a more straightforward approach to roasting a turkey, you can skip the brining step altogether and simply use the Simple Roasted Turkey method. While some individuals assert that brining produces the most tender and succulent meat, it necessitates advanced planning.

Is white wine good for cooking turkey?

If you want to take your turkey dinner to a whole new level, try adding an entire bottle of dry white wine to the pan. As the turkey cooks, the wine will blend with the savory drippings, resulting in a rich and flavorful gravy. Not only does the wine impart a tangy brightness to the dish, but it also helps keep the meat juicy and succulent. For best results, opt for a white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.

How to season a pre brined turkey breast?

After being soaked in the brine solution, the turkey breast should be taken out and dried with paper towels. To prepare it for roasting, get a big metal roasting pan and put the quartered onions and smashed garlic in it. Put the turkey breast on top of the onions and sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over both sides.

Is it worth brining a turkey breast?

When it comes to cooking turkey breast, many people worry about it turning out dry and flavorless, especially when it is cooked on its own or as part of a whole bird. However, brining is the secret to achieving juicy and delicious turkey breast every single time.

Bottom Line

This brined roasted turkey breast with white wine pan sauce recipe is simply divine. You’ll love how the brine keeps the turkey breast meat moist and flavorful, while the herb butter coating adds a mouthwatering aroma to the dish. And let’s not forget about that delicious white wine pan sauce that perfectly complements the roast turkey.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can swap out the herbs and spices to your liking, add your favorite stuffing or serve it with a different kind of sauce. Plus, with its easy-to-follow instructions and make-ahead tips, you won’t have to stress about preparing this dish for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion.

So, should you brine your turkey? In my opinion, yes! A well-brined turkey will always win over an unbrined one. But if you’re short on time or prefer a simpler recipe, this brined roasted turkey breast with white wine pan sauce is still sure to impress.

In conclusion, give this recipe a try and don’t be afraid to mix things up. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your own unique spin on this classic dish. Happy cooking!

Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce

Brined Roasted Turkey Breast With White Wine Pan Sauce Recipe

The Washington Post, November 18, 2007 From executive chef Ethan McKee of Rock Creek at Mazza. "MAKE AHEAD: Prepare and refrigerate the brine up to 2 days before you plan to brine the turkey. Debone the turkey breast, reserving the turkey tenderloins and any extra meat for another use, 1 day in advance. Prepare the brine and brine the turkey, allowing 1 hour per pound. (When we deboned a 7-pound turkey breast and trimmed excess meat, the remaining breast and skin weighed a little more than 3 1/2 pounds; we brined it for 3 1/2 hours). The rinsed turkey breast can be stuffed, rolled and roasted, then cooled, covered and refrigerated. The White Wine Pan Sauce (without the pan juices) can be prepared 3 days in advance, covered and refrigerated; just before the turkey breast has finished roasting, reheat the sauce base over medium heat so that it is just below boiling and add the defatted pan juices, stirring to combine." The sodium is wrong - it accounts for all the salt as if eaten.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 336.6 kcal


For the brine

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley

For the turkey

  • 1 lb skin-on turkey breast
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooled prepared stuffing (semolina and root vegetable dressing, see related recipe)

For the sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced or 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 medium garlic cloves, minced or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth, for the slurry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons minced tarragon leaves


  • For the brine: Combine the water, kosher salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and parsley in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  • For the turkey: Invert the turkey breast on a cutting board so the cavity is facing upward and the neck end is facing away from you. Starting at the neck end, use a very sharp boning knife to gently slice the meat away from the bone on one side of the breast, then slice away on the other side. Cut away constricting pieces of skin at the top and bottom of the breast as needed, making sure to keep the skin intact as much as possible. When most of the meat on both sides has been cut from the bone, use short strokes to detach the remaining meat and skin from the backbone on both sides, being careful not to cut all the way through the skin. Once the carcass is fully detached, you should have a large flap of skin with the 2 breasts connected to it (butterflied).
  • Place the deboned turkey in a large brining bag or large resealable plastic food storage bag and add the cooled brining liquid. Seal and place inside a large bowl or pan; refrigerate, allowing 1 hour for every pound of turkey (be sure to calculate using the deboned weight of the bird).
  • When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have ready a large roasting pan fitted with a flat rack inside.
  • Rinse the turkey breast well and pat dry. Season the skin lightly with salt and pepper. Discard the brining liquid.
  • Open the turkey breast and lay it on a clean work surface, skin side down. Spoon 2 cups of the cooled dressing down the center and fold the turkey breast over. Using a 5-foot length of kitchen twine, tie a loop around one end of the turkey, securing it with a square knot. Spiral the twine around and under the turkey breast at 1-inch intervals all the way across; tie at the other end, then tie diagonally from one end to the other. The turkey breast should look compact and neat but not tied too tightly.
  • Place the rolled turkey breast on the roasting rack; lightly grease the skin all over with nonstick cooking oil spray. Roast for about 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of one side of the breast reaches 160 degrees; the skin should be golden brown (the final temperature of 165 degrees will be reached during the post-roast resting period). Transfer the pan to the counter and tent the turkey breast loosely with aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Pour the pan juices into a fat separator measuring cup.
  • For the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium-high; let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup.
  • Add 3 cups of the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, then reduce to medium or medium-low and cook for about 25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 2 cups. (At this point, the sauce can be cooled to room temperature, then covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.).
  • When the sauce has been reduced, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 3 tablespoons of (unheated) chicken broth in a small bowl to form a slurry, or thickener, for the pan sauce. Whisk the slurry into the saucepan; cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until the sauce has become slightly thickened (this is still a relatively thin sauce). Add the reserved pan juices and mix well. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the minced parsley and tarragon. Serve hot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 674gCalories: 336.6kcalCarbohydrates: 27.2gProtein: 22gFat: 12.7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 49.1mgSodium: 9879.8mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 7.8g
Keyword From Scratch, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Meat, Poultry, Turkey Breasts, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found