How Long to Cook the Juiciest 3 Pound Turkey Breast

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of a perfectly roasted turkey breast filling the kitchen. Whether you’re hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering or craving a comforting Sunday dinner, a succulent 3-pound turkey breast is a delicious and convenient option. But how long should you cook it to ensure it’s juicy and flavorful? Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding the Cooking Time for a 3 Pound Turkey Breast

When it comes to roasting a turkey breast, the cooking time can vary depending on several factors. However, a general rule of thumb for a boneless, 3-pound turkey breast is to roast it at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 90 to 105 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Here’s a breakdown of the approximate cooking times for different sizes of boneless turkey breasts:

  • 2 lb Turkey Breast – roast for 60 to 70 minutes.
  • 2.5 lb Turkey Breast – roast for 75 to 85 minutes.
  • 3 lb Turkey Breast – roast for 90 to 105 minutes.
  • 4 lb Turkey Breast – roast for 2 hrs to 2 hrs and 20 minutes.

It’s important to note that these are approximate cooking times and can vary based on factors such as the shape of the turkey breast, the type of roasting pan used, and your oven’s temperature fluctuations.

Ensuring Juicy and Flavorful Results

While cooking times are essential, there are a few additional tips to ensure your 3-pound turkey breast turns out juicy and full of flavor:

  1. Brine or Marinate the Turkey Breast: Brining or marinating the turkey breast before roasting can help keep it moist and infuse it with additional flavors. A simple brine made with salt, water, and herbs or a flavorful marinade can work wonders.

  2. Use a Meat Thermometer: Investing in a reliable meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your turkey breast is cooked to perfection. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to touch the bone, and remove it from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

  3. Let it Rest: Once the turkey breast is out of the oven, let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful turkey breast.

  4. Baste or Brush with Butter or Oil: Basting the turkey breast with melted butter, olive oil, or a flavored oil (like garlic or herb-infused) can help keep the meat moist and add an extra layer of flavor to the crispy skin.

  5. Roast with Aromatics: Adding aromatics like onions, garlic, herbs, or citrus fruits to the roasting pan can infuse the turkey breast with delicious flavors as it cooks.

Final Thoughts

Roasting a 3-pound turkey breast is a simple and delicious way to enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving or a cozy family meal without the hassle of cooking an entire bird. By following the approximate cooking times, using a meat thermometer, and incorporating techniques like brining and basting, you’ll be rewarded with a juicy, flavorful turkey breast that’s sure to impress your guests or satisfy your cravings.

Happy cooking!

Simple Oven Roasted Turkey Breast


How long does it take to cook a 3 pound Butterball turkey breast?

Cook Time (Unstuffed)
Cook Time (Stuffed)
3-5½ lbs.
1½ -2 hrs.
1¾-2½ hrs.
5½-9 lbs.
2-2½ hrs.
2½-3¼ hrs.
18-22 lbs.
2½-3 hrs.
3¼-3¾ hrs.
22-24 lbs.
3-3½ hrs.
3¾-4¼ hrs.

How long to cook 3 pound turkey at 350?

The simplest way to roast a whole turkey: The most straightforward approach is to roast an unstuffed turkey, breast-side up, for 13 minutes per pound of turkey at 350°. That works out to approximately 3 hours for a 12- to 14-pound bird (a 12-pound turkey is pretty standard).

Is it better to cook a turkey breast at 325 or 350?

2- to 2½-pound bone-in turkey breast half: Roast at 325°F for 60 to 70 minutes. 2½- to 3-pound boneless turkey breast: Roast at 325°F for 40 to 60 minutes. 4- to 6-pound whole turkey breast: Roast at 325°F for 1½ to 2¼ hours. 6- to 8-pound whole turkey breast: Roast at 325°F for 2¼ to 3¼ hours.

What temperature is a 3 pound turkey breast done?

In general, you’ll want to cook a bone-in turkey breast for about 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C), or until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

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