Hosting a smaller crowd for Thanksgiving? Not a fan of dark meat? Make this Honey Maple Turkey Breast instead of a full turkey. A five-pound turkey breast will serve at least 6-8 people, and it is so much easier to prepare and serve (and store in your fridge). And don’t worry, you can still make gravy.
Preparing a whole turkey can be a complete headache. You have to make sure it defrosts in time – a process which can take 3-4 days. It can be a challenge to keep the white meat moist while making sure the dark meat cooks all the way through. It takes hours to cook. It’s not the easiest to carve. Turkey breast cooks more quickly and carving it just requires cutting even slices of the meat. It takes some of the stress out of the holiday.
Another benefit to making turkey breast is that it takes up much less space in the oven, making it possible to cook (or reheat) side dishes while the turkey cooks. Is it just me or is oven space always a major issue on Thanksgiving?
We loved this recipe. The turkey came out perfectly moist and the maple syrup and honey gave the gravy a sweetness that contrasted with the mustard and spices.
If you are expecting a big crowd on Thanksgiving, you might want to consider cooking a turkey breast in addition to a full bird. You can probably fit the turkey breast in the oven alongside the full turkey while fitting two whole turkeys in one oven is probably impossible.
If you are looking for more Thanksgiving recipes – here are a few of my favorites: Blue Cheese Potatoes Au Gratin, Thanksgiving Corn, Dill Cottage Cheese Rolls, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pecan Pie with a Shortbread Crust, and Bourbon Butterscotch Pie.
15 minPrep Time
2 hrCook Time
2 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 Turkey Breast
- 2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 2-4 cups Chicken Broth
- For the Gravy:
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 1 tablespoon Flour
- 1/2 cup White Wine
- Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Remove the turkey breast from its packaging and leave the string netting on, this holds the turkey breast together as it cooks.
- Place the turkey breast in the center of a roasting pan. Rub the butter all over the turkey breast. Then mix the maple syrup, honey, mustard, smoked paprika, onion salt, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper together. Spread a thick layer of the maple syrup and spice mix on the turkey.
- Pour enough chicken broth in the bottom of the pan to coat it, this prevents any pan drippings from burning. This is important since you need the pan drippings to make gravy.
- Roast the turkey breast at 325 degrees. Baste the turkey with the maple syrup and spice mixture every 30 minutes, and add more chicken broth to the pan as necessary. Continue this process until the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove the turkey breast from the oven, and place it on a serving dish to rest while you prepare the gravy.
- Scrape all of the pan drippings into a glass container (like a mason jar).
- Melt the butter in a skillet and whisk in the flour. Then using a baster, suck up the pan drippings below the line of fat that rises to the top of the jar. Whisk all of these juices into the flour and butter. Whisk in the white wine. Bring to a simmer, and let the gravy thicken. Once thick, taste test and add salt and pepper if necessary. Strain the gravy to remove any lumps.
- Remove the string netting around the turkey breast. Slice the turkey breast and serve it with the gravy.