Air Fryer Turkey Breast is golden brown, super juicy, and on the table in 40 minutes! It's so easy, even beginners will conquer turkey dinner with this mostly hands-off method.
Turkey breast in the air fryer is the quickest, hands-free way to make a satisfying entree the whole family loves! It only takes 5 minutes of prep and cooks in half the time of my oven baked breast. It frees up your oven and allows enough time to make mashed potatoes, Brussels Sprouts Salad, and gravy, of course! This turkey entree is perfectly sized for family meals or smaller holiday dinners.
Get ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card below.
- turkey breast - choose a 3 lb. bone-in turkey breast half or a 3 lb. boneless breast (usually sold frozen). IMPORTANT: The height of the meat must be at least 1 1/2" away from the heating element, preferably 2" or more. I have never found a whole, bone-in turkey breast that sits low enough to clear the heating element an any of my air fryers without needing to cut it in half at the breast bone. If you find one that does, you'll need to add 20-30 minutes of cook time and always confirm a minimum internal temperature of 165°F on a quick read the monitor inserted next to the bone.
- olive oil - Feel free to use any cooking oil, or use softened butter. You can even make the herb butter from my baked turkey recipe.
- salt and pepper - Sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorn are my go-to.
- poultry seasoning - I love this for turkey, especially around the holidays. I kept this recipe super basic in case you want to customize the seasonings.
How to cook turkey breast in the air fryer
Get the full instructions in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat the fryer to 370°F and coat the turkey breast with oil and seasonings. You can oil and season under the skin if you like, but I like to leave it alone so it stays in tact during rotation and serving. I do the same with Air Fryer Whole Chicken.
Note: I prefer to let meat rest at room temperature about 20 minutes to remove the chill. It allows the heat to distribute evenly, which results in evenly cooked, juicy turkey.
Step 2: Place it breast side down if using bone-in, or any side for boneless.
Step 3: Air fry 20 minutes, then carefully flip. If using boneless, plan to flip as often as needed to prevent overcooking any one side.
Step 4: Air fry an additional 10-20 minutes for bone-in breast or 40 minutes for boneless breast. The goal for poultry is to always cook it until it registers an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
Note: Boneless breast takes longer to cook because it's thicker. Because of this, it likely sits closer to the heating element. So, check it and flip or rotate as often as needed to promote even browning and prevent burning.
Step 5: Transfer breast out of the fryer, cover, and rest 5-10 minutes to lock in the juices before cutting.
Slice the turkey breast against the grain and to your preferred thickness. Look how tender and juicy this thing is! Also, if using bone-in breast, save the bones and make this delicious turkey bone broth.
What temperature is turkey done?
Whether you're cooking bone-in or boneless breast, it should register 165°F internal temperature on an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part or next to the bone.
Pro tip: You can remove turkey from the heat source when it hits 160°F, cover, and rest, which allows carryover cooking to bring it to 165°F.
- thaw completely - Air fryers cook faster than ovens. Therefore, always thaw frozen turkey for this recipe because the center may not fully cook or reach a safe internal temperature. This applies to bone-in and boneless breast.
- remove the chill (optional) - I always allow uncooked meat to rest at room temperature to promote even heating and cooking efficiency.
- remove moisture - Use paper towels to remove all excess moisture before adding oil and seasoning because it helps achieve a crispier finish.
- seasonings - Use any seasonings you like for this turkey recipe. I kept the recipe super simple for you to customize the flavors, if desired.
- don't overcook - Not all fryers are equal. I encourage you to open the cooker and test the internal temperature at the 30 minute mark (for bone-in) or 45 minutes (for boneless) because the turkey may be fully cooked. Even 5 minutes of unnecessary cooking can result in overcooked meat.
Get the right size turkey breast for your air fryer
A bone-in breast half (what you see in my pictures) is about 9" long and 4" high. It fits in my Cosori XL basket (corner to corner is 10.5"). It fits in my Instant Vortex Pro and the Instant Omni Plus (14" corner to corner mesh tray).
As mentioned earlier, I have NOT found a whole bone-in breast that sits low enough to clear the heating element in any of these air fryers. So, I recommend cutting the whole breast in half right at the breastbone.
I have found that the bone-in breast requires only one flip during the cook cycle. A boneless breast is taller and requires more flipping to avoid burning because it sits closer to the heating element.
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- French Bread
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- 3 lb. Turkey Breast Half (Bone-in or Boneless), thawed
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
- Allow TURKEY BREAST to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes to remove the chill. (optional, but recommended for even heat distribution)
- Preheat the air fryer to 370°F.
- Remove all excess moisture from the turkey breast with paper towels and trim any loose skin.
- Lightly coat the whole surface with OLIVE OIL, SALT, PEPPER, and POULTRY SEASONING.
- Place breast side down in the fryer basket (if using bone-in breast).
- Air fry for 20 minutes.
- Carefully flip the turkey over and air fry another 10 to 15 minutes until it registers 165°F on a quick read thermometer inserted in the thickest part.Note: Boneless turkey breast will take closer to an hour and requires additional flipping as needed to promote evenly browned surface.
- Transfer to a covered dish to rest about 5 minutes.
- To serve, slice turkey breast against the grain and serve warm.
Choose a 3 lb. bone-in turkey breast half or a 3 lb. boneless breast (usually sold frozen). IMPORTANT: The height of the meat must be at least 1 1/2" away from the heating element, preferably 2" or more. I have never found a whole, bone-in turkey breast that sits low enough to clear the heating element an any of my air fryers without needing to cut it in half at the breast bone. If you find one that does, you'll need to add 20-30 minutes of cook time. Always confirm a minimum internal temperature of 165°F on a quick read the monitor inserted next to the bone.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.