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turkey breast cut in slices on cutting board
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4.67 from 15 votes

Grilled Turkey Breast

Grilled Turkey Breast is perfect light summer fare when you're lazing in the backyard or don't want to heat up your kitchen with the oven.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Optional brining: 3 hrs; Resting: 15 minutes3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 3
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 half turkey breast, bone in with skin. about 2 1/4-2 1/2 lbs

Brine (optional - Note 1)

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1 tbsp sugar, fresh or dried herbs, 1 clove garlic cut in half

Seasoning Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon) or 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper


  • BRINE TURKEY BREAST (OPTIONAL): Place [not too cold] water, salt (and herbs, sugar, garlic if using) in a large ziploc bag. Massage bag to help dissolve salt. Add turkey breast. Seal bag and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. If in a rush, let sit on counter for an hour.
  • HEAT BBQ GRILL to medium high (about 450F/232C). Note 2 - adding wood smoke.
  • MAKE SEASONING MIXTURE: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • SEASON TURKEY AND GRILL: Smear seasoning mixture all over turkey including under the skin (gently separate skin from flesh).
    Place turkey breast on one side of grill and turn off the heat/burner under the turkey. Grill with lid closed. Adjust temperature of BBQ to achieve 350-375F (176.7-190C). After 30 minutes, turn breast 180 degrees to allow other side of turkey to be closer to the heat (for even cooking). Grill for a total of 45-60 minutes (depending on size of turkey). An instant thermometer should read 160F/71C in thickest part. In the last 2-3 minutes, turn turkey breast skin side down on heated part of grill to further brown skin if desired.
  • REST, SLICE AND SERVE: Transfer turkey breast to cutting board to rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Very important for juicy turkey! The temperature will rise to 165F/73.9C which is the temp you want. Slice all the turkey meat away from bone. Then slice horizontally into 1/4-1/2 inch (0.63-1.27cm) slices. Serve with Savory Peach Sauce, mango Sauce, peach chutney, Herb Sauce or Cranberry Relish.


  1. Brining turkey breast: Although this is an optional step, I do recommend it for greater flavor and juiciness. Or, to save yourself time, buy a kosher turkey breast which is already brined. 
  2. To add wood smoked flavor: Place 1 1/2 - 2 cups of wood chips (apple or cherry is best for turkey) in tin foil. Roll the foil over the wood chips to make a cylinder. Poke lots of holes in the foil to let the smoke through. Place the wood chips on the hot side of the grill for 5-8 minutes before you add the turkey or until it begins to smoke. Leave it there while cooking the turkey.
  3. Make Ahead: The entire recipe can be made ahead (not sliced), cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, slice and serve cold or at room temperature on a buffet table, in sandwiches or chopped in a salad. 
Nutrition values are estimates. 
Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 67g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 893mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg