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Roast Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney (Bone-In)

A simple succulent, bone-in roast turkey breast with homemade pear chutney makes a surprisingly no-fuss, delicious family or holiday dinner. Easy, elegant and perfect for a small gathering any time of year.

The turkey recipe can stand on its own with a couple of sides or you can marry it with the typical turkey fare like stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie. The actual hands-on cooking time is less than 30 minutes.

sliced roast turkey with pear chutney on cutting board with parsley and chutney on the side.

What to expect

A turkey breast is more manageable than a whole turkey with a lot less waste. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive per weight, but with little waste, the cost is pretty close.

A bone-in turkey breast is more flavorful than a boneless turkey breast and it’s pretty easy to remove the bone after it’s roasted for uniform slicing.

The pear chutney pairs beautifully with the turkey, adding sweetness, a bit of tang and warm spices. It can be made several days ahead.

Finally, the turkey breast makes a lovely centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner, Easter dinner or a simple dinner with friends and family.

Ingredient notes – tailored to your taste

half bone-in turkey breast, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, fresh rosemary, onions not shown.

Turkey: Buy a half bone-in breast that weighs 2-3 pounds/0.9-1.4 kg. If you can’t find one, substitute a full bone-in chicken breast (both halves). You can also use a boneless turkey breast, but you will have to adjust the cooking time and temperature (see recipe notes).

Pear chutney: is made with pears, apple cider vinegar, cranberries, green onion, garlic, maple syrup, cinnamon and optional orange zest. Substitutes:

  • apples instead of pears or try our peach chutney
  • raisins or chopped prunes instead of dried cranberries
  • honey or brown sugar instead of maple syrup

Gravy (optional): I included a quick gravy recipe using the turkey drippings, broth and flour. Or try our 5-minute Better Than Bouillon gravy.

Step by step instructions

roasted half turkey breast on foiled pan.

Season the turkey breast. Lay it on sliced onions in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 155F/68C. It will rise 5-8 degrees f when resting.

pear chutney cooking in skillet.

Make the pear chutney while the turkey is roasting. Sauté green onions, then cranberries. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until most of the juices are absorbed.

sliced turkey breast with pear chutney on cutting board.
Slice and serve with pear chutney on top or on the side. Add gravy if you like.

Tips

Brine the turkey for maximum moistness and flavor if you have the time. It’s easy and the instructions are in the recipe notes. Alternatively, use a shortcut and buy a kosher turkey breast or butterball turkey breast, already brined.

Don’t overcook the turkey or it will be dry and stringy. Use an instant-read meat thermometer. or a probe thermometer.

Shortcut

  • Buy pear, mango or peach chutney from your local farmer’s market or specialty food store.
  • Or just serve the turkey with cranberry sauce or our fresh 5 minute cranberry-orange relish.

Make Ahead 

  • Roast turkey up to 40 minutes ahead and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Slice before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Turkey can be frozen for up to 3-4 months.

Recipe FAQ

How do you make a moist juicy turkey?

Don’t overcook the turkey. Brine the turkey. Leave the skin on while roasting. Let it rest before carving (very important).

Is a butterball turkey breast pre-brined?

According to Butterball, a butterball turkey is pre-brined to produce a moist, juicy turkey breast.

How much turkey breast do I need per serving?

For a bone-in turkey breast, figure about 3/4 pounds/340 grams per person. For a boneless turkey breast, count on 1/2 pound/227 grams per person.

What to serve with roast turkey breast

The options are endless, but here are a few that go really well with turkey.

Or check out our Thanksgiving side dishes which include the above and many others. 

sliced roast turkey with pear chutney on top on cutting board

More turkey recipes

Salt is king when it comes to flavor enhancers. Check out our article on what experts say about the best salt for cooking (and what you should know).

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

sliced turkey breast with pear chutney on board
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Roast Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney (Bone-In)

A simple succulent, bone-in roast turkey breast with homemade pear chutney makes a surprisingly no-fuss, delicious family or holiday dinner. Easy, elegant and perfect for a small gathering any time of year.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Rest time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2.75 pounds half turkey breast, bone in, skin on, Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and black pepper (use more salt if turkey is not brined)
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced

Pear Chutney (Note 2)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (or onions)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 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)

Instructions

  • BRINE TURKEY (OPTIONAL): Note 3
  • PREHEAT OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 450F/212.8C. Line a roasting pan with tin foil and spray with oil for easy clean up.
  • PREPARE AND ROAST TURKEY: Put onions in center of pan. Mix oil (or butter), thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl. Brush turkey breast all over with seasoning mixture, 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 155F/68.3C. Temperature will rise to 160F.  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 4 to make gravy.
  • MAKE CRANBERRY-PEAR CHUTNEY: While turkey is roasting, heat oil on medium-high heat in medium or large skillet. Add onions and sauté 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 heat. 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: Transfer turkey to cutting board. Remove turkey meat from bone in more-or-less one piece, slice breast meat horizontally with sharp knife and place on serving platter. Serve with gravy (if using) and pear chutney on top or on the side.

Recipe Notes

  1. Turkey options: If you can’t find a half bone-in turkey breast, you can use a boneless breast (see cooking instructions below) or a full chicken breast (both halves). Tip: a kosher or butterball turkey breast is already brined, making it juicier and more flavorful. 
  2. Substitutes and variations for pear chutney:
    • apples instead of pears or try our peach chutney
    • raisins or chopped prunes instead of dried cranberries
    • honey or brown sugar instead of maple syrup
    • shortcut: buy a peach, apricot, apple or mango chutney.
  3. Brining turkey breast: 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 with paper towels. Proceed from there. 
  4. To make gravy: Heat 3 tablespoons grease drippings from turkey (or oil if there isn’t enough) in a saucepan to medium heat. 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. Alternatively, try this make-ahead no drippings 5-minute gravy
  5. To roast a boneless turkey breast: Heat oven to 350F/177C. Season turkey with oil and spices. Add onions and 1 cup/237 ml broth in roasting pan. Add breast on top. Bake uncovered for approximately 30-35 minutes per pound/450 grams until internal temperature reaches 160F/71C. Rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. 
  6. Make Ahead:
    • Roast turkey up to 40 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. 
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
    • Freeze the cooked turkey, well sealed, for 3-4 months. 
 
Nutrition Values include the pear chutney on the turkey.

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 938mg | Potassium: 976mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg
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The pear chutney part of the recipe was adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

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