A simple succulent, roast turkey breast with pear chutney makes for a surprisingly no-fuss, healthy and delicious family or company dinner.
This light, healthy turkey preparation 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 of stuffing and gravy. The actual hands-on time is less than 30 minutes.
I recommend using kosher turkey or brining it yourself for maximum flavor and juiciness. Bone-in turkey adds flavor as well and the half breast is easy to bone after cooking for uniform slicing.
The pear chutney enhances the turkey with sweetness from the pears and raisins, 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.
Try one or two of these sides along with the turkey and pear chutney:
- Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots and Beets;
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplant and Apples;
- Savoury Stuffing;
- Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash Salad; or
- Roasted Honey-Thyme Carrots.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use apples instead of pears in the chutney.
- Use dried cranberries or chopped prunes instead of raisins.
- Use chicken instead of turkey.
- Buy the pear chutney (or mango chutney) from your local farmer’s market or specialty food store.
Roast Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney Recipe
- 1 half turkey breast, bone in (about 3.5 lbs) preferably brined (Note 1) or kosher (which is brined)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or softened butter
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp each, salt and pepper (use more salt if turkey is not brined)
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion (or onions)
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 3 pears, diced (about 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey or sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic (1 clove or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/4 tsp EACH of cinnamon, sea salt, pepper and paprika
- PREHEAT OVEN TO 450F.
- PREPARE AND ROAST TURKEY: Line a roasting pan with tin foil. Spray with oil. Put onions in the centre. Mix oil (or butter), thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread all over turkey breast including under the skin. Place the turkey on top of the onions. Place pan in the oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 325F. Roast for about 60-65 minutes until instant thermometer reads 160F. Temperature will rise to 165F. Loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. 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 a medium saucepan. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Add raisins and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rest of the chutney ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 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. The chutney can be made a few days ahead and served hot or cold.
- FINISH AND SERVE: Remove turkey meat from bone in more-or-less one piece and slice. 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 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 (a minute or so). Add turkey and seal the bag. Brine for 3-6 hours in the fridge or, if short on time, for 50-60 minutes on the counter. 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 2-3 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.
The pear chutney part of the recipe was adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.
Instead of turkey, try this roast chicken breast recipe:
Easy Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy get the recipe
Or try a sous vide turkey breast:
Sous Vide Turkey Breast get the recipe