Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Herb Citrus Brined Turkey Breast

A Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner For Two - shaved brussels, turkey breast, farro dressing on a white platter.

Moist, tender, and full of flavor... This boneless turkey breast roast gets a herb and citrus brine and a lovely pomegranate and citrus glaze!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 small oranges, sliced
  • 1 small grapefruit, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • fresh sage, rosemary, thyme
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 3 pound boneless turkey breast, (see notes)
  • orange slices, for garnish
  • pomegranate arils, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish

Pomegranate-Orange Glaze

  • 2 slices thick, lean bacon
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 oranges, reserve zest for farro, juiced
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, (see notes)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 generous sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • a few grinds pepper


Brine the Turkey Breast

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the turkey in a large vessel. (See the post photo).
  2. Add the turkey breast. Refrigerate 12 hours. Remove from brine. Place on a rack on a roasting pan.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to roast - several hours is ideal. Drying the turkey prior to roasting yields a better result.
  4. About 2 hours before serving, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place turkey in a roasting pan (rack is optional). Leave the net around the breast to hold it all together. If desired, stuff the cavity (created during the boning process) with citrus and herbs reserved from the brine mixture. When the oven is to temperature, place the pan in the oven, and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees (325 convection).
  5. Make the glaze (see below). After 20 minutes or so, begin brushing the breast with the prepared glaze. Repeat at 10-15 minute intervals. 
  6. After 60 minutes, begin checking the internal temperature of the breast. When your reading is 155-160 degrees, remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and cover with a towel. All the turkey breast to rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
  7. See the post for my "work flow" if coordinating all 3 dishes. Garnish with the reserved crumbled bacon, fresh herbs, orange slices, pomegranate arils, and any remaining glaze (I reheat it prior to drizzling). Enjoy!

The Glaze

  1. In a small saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble, and set aside to garnish the turkey.
  2. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook until transparent but not browned.
  3. Add the sherry, juice from the 2 oranges (don't forget to zest them first!), pomegranate molasses, honey, and thyme sprig. Reduce by about 1/3. Pour through a strainer, add the butter, sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
  4. Brush the turkey breast periodically with the sauce. Any remaining sauce can be reheated, and poured over the turkey breast prior to serving.


The prep/cook time does not include brining and drying in the refrigerator. I start this process at 9:00 am, and finish at 7:00 or so.

You can adapt this recipe to a bone-in turkey breast, but keep in mind the cooking time may be quite different. USE A MEAT THERMOMETER!

Pomegranate molasses is available in the "international foods" aisle of many markets. If you can't find it, try this recipe or order it online.

You will now find Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecorino and Herbed Farro Dressing with Butternut Squash, Dried Cherries, and Pecans in their own posts.

Macronutrients are an approximation from MyFitnessPal.com (and based on 6 servings).

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 49g