A simple succulent, roasted bone-in turkey breast with pear chutney makes for a surprisingly no-fuss, healthy and delicious family or company dinner.
This turkey recipe is simple to make yet looks and tastes elegant. It can stand on its own with a couple of sides or you can marry it with the typical turkey fare like stuffing and gravy. The actual hands-on cooking time is less than 30 minutes.
About the turkey: I recommend brining the turkey (or using kosher turkey which is already brined) for maximum flavor and juiciness. Brining a half turkey breast is easy if you have the time. Even an hour of brining at room temperature makes a difference. Instructions are in the recipe. Using bone-in turkey adds flavor as well and the half breast is pretty easy to bone after it’s roasted for uniform slicing.
The pear chutney enhances the turkey with sweetness from the pears and raisins (or cranberries), tang from the cider vinegar and lemon, and depth from the cinnamon, garlic and onion. It can be made several days ahead.
I have to admit that I still love gravy on my turkey no matter what, so I included a quick gravy recipe using the turkey drippings.
Great Side dishes with oven roasted turkey breast
The options are really endless, but here’s a few that go really well with turkey.
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplant and Apples;
- Vegetable Quinoa Stuffing
- Creamed Spinach
- Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots and Beets;
- Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash Salad;
- Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Veggie Rice
Or check out our 44 Thanksgiving side dishes which include the above and many others.
Tailor To Your Taste
- You can use apples instead of pears in the chutney or try our peach chutney
- Replace the raisins with dried cranberries or chopped prunes.
- Use a full bone-in chicken breast instead of the half turkey breast.
- Buy pear, mango or peach chutney from your local farmer’s market or specialty food store.
- Roast turkey up to 40 minutes ahead and cover with tin foil to keep warm. Slice before serving.
Steps to make a bone-in turkey breast with pear chutney
Bone-In Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney
- 1 half turkey breast, bone in, skin on (about 2.5-3.0 lbs) preferably brined (Note 1) or kosher (which is already brined)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or softened butter
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper (use more salt if turkey is not brined)
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup (17 grams) chopped green onion (or onions)
- 1/2 cup (72 grams) raisins or dried cranberries
- 3 pears, diced (about 1/3-1/2 inch/1 cm cubes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon EACH of cinnamon, sea salt, pepper and paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- PREHEAT OVEN TO 450F/212.8C.
- PREPARE AND ROAST TURKEY: Line a roasting pan with tin foil and spray with oil for easy clean up. Put onions in center of pan. Mix oil (or butter), thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl. Spread all over turkey breast including under skin. Place turkey on top of onions. Place pan in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 325F/162.8C. Roast for about 60-65 minutes until instant thermometer or oven probe reads 160F/71C. Temperature will rise to 165F. Loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. This is important to maintain moist, juicy meat. If you are making a gravy, pour 3 tablespoons of grease from the pan into a small saucepan. See Note 2 to make gravy.
- MAKE PEAR CHUTNEY: While turkey is roasting, heat oil on medium high in medium saucepan. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Add raisins and cook for another 2 minutes. Add rest of chutney ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Uncover, increase heat to medium high and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes until juices absorb. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (lemon, sugar, salt, cinnamon). Grate some orange zest in if desired.
- FINISH AND SERVE: Remove turkey meat from bone in more-or-less one piece, slice meat horizontally and transfer to platter. Serve with gravy (if using) and pear chutney on top or on the side.
- To brine the turkey: Place 3 cups room temperature water in a ziploc bag or container along with 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, a clove of garlic, 5-6 peppercorns and some rosemary (if desired). Seal and squish around until salt is dissolved. Add turkey and seal bag/container. Brine for 2-3 hours in fridge or, if short on time, for 40-50 minutes at room temperature. When ready to use, rinse turkey and pat dry. Proceed from there.
- To make gravy: Heat 3 tablespoons grease drippings from turkey (or oil if there isn't enough) in a saucepan to Medium. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add 2 cups chicken or turkey broth (including any broth from pan if there is any). Cook for a few minutes whisking until gravy thickens and becomes smooth. Season with thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
- Make Ahead:
- Roast turkey up to 4o minutes ahead and cover with tin foil to keep warm. Slice before serving.
- To make turkey breast a day ahead, follow the instructions for reheating in our Tips for Keeping Foods Warm.
- Pear chutney can be made several days ahead and stored in the fridge in a sealed container.
The pear chutney part of the recipe was adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.
Instead of turkey, try this roast chicken breast recipe:
Or try a sous vide turkey:
This post, originally posted Feb 2017, has been updated with new pictures and information. The actual recipe has not changed.