Eek! November is here, and this means the holidays are right around the corner. My favorite day of the year to cook is by far Thanksgiving Day! I always have family in from all over the United States, and we have a rather large Thanksgiving feast. This year, I’ll be hosting 13 family members, and I couldn’t be more excited. I pretty much always stick with my tried and true menu. My family doesn’t like dark meat, so I always make 2-3 bone-in turkey breasts plus the traditional sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, fresh cranberry relish, green bean casserole and roasted carrots.
If you’re not hosting a large group like me, and also only prefer the white meat, I’m so excited to share my recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast! Now, for those who don’t know what an Instant Pot is … it’s an electronic pressure cooker. It has multiple modes and can cook food in the matter of minutes vs. hours. It seriously is a life-changing kitchen tool and my go-to cooking method at least four out of the seven days of the week.
This recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast With Carrots and Homemade Gravy not only has your turkey breast done within an hour’s time, but it also gives you a side of fork-tender carrots and the most delicious from-scratch gravy. While the turkey and carrots cook, you can work on your mashed potatoes and any other sides you might want to serve at Thanksgiving. Or, you can run over to Earth Fare a few days prior (by the way – they are currently taking Thanksgiving meal orders) and pick up a few of their from-scratch side dishes. The mac and cheese is pretty amazing … just saying.
I’ve tested this method of cooking the turkey breast two times now and feel very confident with it, especially since my husband proclaimed this recipe to be better than my oven-roasted recipe. Your cooking times will vary a little bit depending on the size of your turkey breast. You can cook a 5.5-pound turkey breast for 20 minutes with a 10-minute rest time. Now, remember, you are using a pressure cooker and need to count on an additional 20-30 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before the countdown of the 20-minute timer begins. I like to start this recipe 1.5 hours before I want to serve dinner. Also, another tip I must give you is to let your turkey rest while the gravy is being made. Then, once the gravy is made, you can carve the turkey.
If you’re like me and always trying to find ways to simplify your meals, you will definitely want to try this recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast With Carrots and Homemade Gravy.
Instant Pot Turkey Breast With Carrots and Homemade Gravy
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
- 8 large carrots
- 5 1/2 pound turkey breast, bone-in
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup water
For the Gravy:
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cut carrots in half. Place half in the Instant Pot and leave the other half out.
- Rinse and pat dry turkey breast (remove interior packaging if your bird has that). Place the turkey breast into the Instant Pot. Drizzle on the melted butter. Then, in a small dish, combine the black pepper, salt, dried ground sage, dried thyme leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Mix together.
- Then massage the rub onto the exterior of the bird. Tear open the skin and massage in the inside as well. Position the bird so it fits inside the Instant Pot. Then place the remaining carrots around the turkey. Pour 1/2 cup water in the Instant Pot and add the fresh thyme around the turkey breast.
- Close the lid and seal the pressure valve. Select “manual” and then press the up arrow button to 25 minutes. It will take 25-30 minutes just to get to pressure. Once the Instant Pot is done and beeps, let it sit for 10-15 minutes before releasing pressure. Carefully remove the turkey and the carrots and let rest on a serving platter for an additional 10 minutes (while you’re making the gravy, tent the turkey breast with aluminum foil).
- To make the gravy: Place the Instant Pot on “sauté” mode. Let the turkey drippings begin to come to a boil. Make the slurry of cornstarch and water. Mix well and then begin to add the slurry to the Instant Pot, whisking in until thickened to your desire. Taste the gravy and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Cut the turkey with a carving knife and serve with carrots and homemade gravy on the side.
Note: If you have less than a 5.5-pound boneless turkey breast, you can reduce the cooking time by five minutes.
Katie Jasiewicz is a full-time food blogger and recipe developer at KatiesCucina.com, a recipe blog that provides family-friendly, easy-to-make recipes that anyone can make. Join her on her culinary adventure, where life always tastes good.