Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

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We all know that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The one where he cuts into a seemingly perfect Christmas turkey only to have the severely overcooked bird pop open with an audible puff of smoke, its insides completely obliterated.

Sure, it’s hilarious and iconic, and a classic move in any holiday comedy. Until it’s your turn to cook Thanksgiving dinner, that is. This scene haunts the dreams of anyone who has ever had to cook a holiday meal. Sure, it’s a huge exaggeration, it would be pretty hard to literally cook a turkey’s insides to a crisp. But the threat of listening to your guests gnaw uncomfortably on overdone meat is all too real.

It may be an all-American, homestyle classic, but cooking a turkey is no simple feat. Between overcooking, undercooking, and the yearly roundup of deadly turkey frier horror stories, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

The easiest way to avoid these holiday kitchen nightmares? The slow cooker. Yep, this simple kitchen gadget is your key to perfect, juicy turkey. Now, this recipe won’t get you a full holiday bird with all the trimmings. But this juicy slow cooker turkey breast is an easy and delicious way to serve turkey any time.

Perfect for a weeknight meal, turkey breast sandwiches, or a low-key Thanksgiving dinner with friends, this recipe will get you perfectly cooked turkey every time. And whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an expert chef, this recipe comes in handy.

Oven-roasted may be the staple when it comes to turkey and chicken, but more and more people have turned to the slow cooker to get the job done. Why? Because the slow cooker guarantees the moist, juicy meat everyone craves. Finding that elusive balance between well-done and juicy was once an impossible secret our grandmothers lorded over us. Now, with this juicy slow cooker turkey breast recipe, you have your own dirty little secret.

This recipe uses traditional spices and flavor, like onions, garlic, and thyme for that classic Thanksgiving day taste. However, this recipe is a year-round staple, with plenty of opportunities for leftovers. Serve as an entrée, slice up for sandwiches, or shred for our hearty Turkey Sweet Potato Stew. If you’re really feeling the Thanksgiving inspo, however, serve this juicy turkey with a side of our Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Herb Gravy. And if you’re looking for more updated ways to serve a classic holiday meal, we’ve got you covered with a full holiday dinner menu.

So, whether you’re in charge of Friendsgiving this year or just looking for a new way to do turkey, this juicy slow cooker turkey breast is a must-have recipe. Not only does opting for turkey breasts make things much easier, but it’s also far more cost-effective. Why put all the money and effort into cooking a full bird when you can easily slow cook perfect, juicy turkey breast? And if National Lampoon’s dry turkey gag still has you haunted, allow the slow cooker to buy you some peace of mind.

Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Yields: 8 servings | Serving Size: 6 ounces | Calories: 292 | Total Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 535mg | Carbohydrates: 15g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Protein: 40g | SmartPoints (Freetyle): 1


  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large (about 4 pounds) boneless and skinless turkey breast


  1. Add chicken broth to the slow cooker. Place the garlic and onion halves in the bottom of the slow cooker to create a "shelf" for the turkey breast.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir to make a paste and coat all sides of the turkey breast with the rub. Place the turkey on top of the onion and garlic halves in the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook 7 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high or until turkey breast is cooked through. Pour drippings over turkey breast before serving.

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18 Comments on "Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast"

  1. angela  January 14, 2018

    maybe a silly question….do you peel the head of garlic first before cutting it in half and resting the turkey breast on it??

    • Jennifer Hanford  January 15, 2018

      Not a silly question at all, Angela. You will want to peel the garlic first. Thanks!

  2. Dana Webb  January 15, 2018

    Can you use a bone in turkey breast?

  3. LAW  February 12, 2018

    5 smart points seems like a lot for just turkey breast?

    • Gale Compton  February 12, 2018

      We’re changing over to the Free Style system. Coming soon! 🙂

  4. Kathy  June 27, 2018

    My supermarket just has them in 2 1/2 lb. weights. Can I put 2 in slow cooker?

    • Nichole Furlong  July 1, 2018

      Hi Kathy! Yes, you can put two smaller turkey breasts in the slow cooker instead of one large breast.

  5. Barbara Calhoun  July 30, 2018

    Every slow cooker turkey breast recipe I have tried came out tasteless and anemic looking. Your picture shows a nicely browned breast. What’s the trick?

    • Gale Compton  August 1, 2018

      Barbara, You can now purchase slow cookers that also brown. However, if you don’t have a browning slow cooker, place the turkey under the oven broiler for a few minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the turkey so it doesn’t burn. 🙂

  6. Karen  November 20, 2018

    You must mean place turkey breast under broiler after cooking in crockpot . Right ?

  7. Patty  November 20, 2018

    I have a 6 3/4 pound bone in skin on Turkey breast to cook. Would the amount of time be the same on Low?

    • Nichole Furlong  November 24, 2018

      Because your turkey breast is on the large side, it will most likely take longer to cook. I would recommend cooking on high instead of low.

  8. Tori  August 25, 2019

    Hi! Husband is allergic to thyme and rosemary, what can I use as a substitute? Thanks!

    • Nichole Furlong  August 28, 2019

      You can substitute additional sage and oregano.

  9. Leeann McVarnock  December 21, 2019

    How long would you recommend cooking a 2lb turkey breast in the slow cooker on low?

    • Nichole Furlong  December 21, 2019

      About 5 to 6 hours.


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