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Hazelnut Crusted Turkey Breast

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This tender, juicy, oven roasted turkey breast is wrapped up in a crispy, crunchy, hazelnut crust. With the essence of orange, sage, garlic, and parsley, it’s got all the flavors of a classic Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, but it comes together in a fraction of the time. It’s boneless and skinless, and ideal for families that prefer white meat only. This Thanksgiving it’s time for something different! Happy Thanksgiving!

Hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast sliced on a cutting board with parsley, hazelnuts, and orange around it. With a black background.

As we settle into life here in the pacific northwest, the reality of hosting a huge family gathering for Thanksgiving is small. However, our desire to thoroughly enjoy that huge meal remains the same. Bring on the turkey and all the sides!

Okay, maybe not all the sides. To be honest, it’s a lot of work for just two people and we get sick of all the leftovers before we eat them. Instead, I want to keep all the flavors of fall but reduce the amount of work I have to do in the kitchen starting with the Thanksgiving turkey.

Since we prefer the white meat, this hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast is perfect for us. It has all the flavors you’d expect at the Thanksgiving table: sage, garlic, parsley, and orange, tied in with the flavors of a roasted hazelnut stuffing. It’s literally like having your turkey and stuffing in one.

Try serving it with garlic mashed potatoes, oven roasted root vegetables, orange cranberry sauce, and screaming skillet green beans. Follow it up with my butterscotch apple crisp or blackberry crumble pie for a feast you won’t soon forget.

Overhead shot of hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast on a cutting board with parsley, hazelnuts, and orange around it. With a black background.

Boneless Skinless Turkey Breast

For this recipe you are looking for boneless and skinless split turkey breast.

Split means that it is just one side and not the whole breast. The goal is to feed three to four people, not half a dozen.

Skinless, so that the hazelnut crust can adhere directly to the meat. 

Boneless, to cut the cook time and the presentation at the table. Removing the bone before cooking lets you slice through the meat and preserve that perfect ring of hazelnut crust.

Often the split turkey breast you find in the store is bone-in with the skin. While it’s fairly easy to remove the bone and skin, it’s even easier if you ask your butcher to do it for you. The bone can be roasted separately then boiled to make a stock, which makes a delicious homemade gravy.

Ingredients for hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast: turkey breast, naval orange, hazelnuts, garlic, panko, parsley, salt.

Breading Turkey with a Hazelnut Crust

The hazelnut crust is definitely what makes this oven roasted turkey breast recipe different than your average Thanksgiving turkey recipe. It’s a thick, crunchy, crust that is loaded with the flavors of hazelnut, garlic, sage, parsley, and orange. We use a traditional three step dredging process consisting of layers of flour, egg, then the herbed hazelnut crust.

The crust is made in two steps – first in a food processor or blender, then by hand. Do not just throw everything in the food processor and blend. The panko will get too fine and the crust won’t adhere as thickly.

You’ll also notice that we add olive oil to the crust mixture. This makes the mixture the texture of wet sand, which also helps it to adhere more thickly.

The crust is also the reason we start with a low oven temperature then increase it at the end. Hazelnuts themselves are tasty, but when they are roasted and crunchy they are amazing. The lower roasting temperature prevents them from burning while the higher final cooking temp really toasts the hazelnuts to bring out their maximum flavor.

Dredging station for hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast: turkey breast, flour dredge, egg wash, hazelnut panko crust.

Roasting Boneless Skinless Turkey to the Right Temperature

The most important thing about cooking meat, poultry, or fish is cooking it to a safe serving temperature without over cooking it. Over cooking it leads to dry, tough turkey – not what you want to serve for Thanksgiving dinner.

For a 325º oven I’ve seen recommendations to cook turkey between 16 and 35 minutes per pound. While those seem to vary widely, the smaller your cut of meat, the longer it’s going to take per pound. A full turkey may need only 16 minutes a pound, but just the breast or leg cuts will take longer to 35 minutes per pound.

Crusted turkey breast with a temperature probe ready to be roasted.

I made a 1.5lb split boneless skinless turkey breast, which is the size the recipe is written for, and it took about an hour and 15 minutes to reach 165 degrees. I also tested a 2.5lb split boneless skinless turkey breast and it took just under 2 hours to reach 165 degrees.

To get it just right use a good probe style thermometer. Some ovens have them built in – mine does – but you can also buy an aftermarket model. I received one as a wedding gift and use it all the time in my grill. I’ve linked to the current version of it below. You can set it to alert you for the initial 150 degrees and again for the 165 degree final cooking temperature.

Sliced hazelnut crusted turkey breast on a wooden cutting board.

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Hazelnut Crusted Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

Hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast has a thick, crunchy hazelnut crust loaded with the flavors of garlic, parsley, sage, and orange. It’s like having your turkey and stuffing in one. Made to serve 2 – 4 people, this all white meat turkey recipe is perfect for a smaller holiday gatherings that want all the flavor without all the leftovers. Serve it with all of your fall favorites for a delicious Thanksgiving treat.

To plan your complete Thanksgiving menu check out the rest of my Thanksgiving recipes.

If you like this recipe, please give it a FIVE STAR rating and share it on your favorite social channel!

Hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast sliced on a cutting board with parsley, hazelnuts, and orange around it. With a black background.

Hazelnut Crusted Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Hazelnut crusted oven roasted turkey breast. With a thick, crunchy hazelnut crust and the flavors of garlic, parsley, sage, and orange, it's like having your turkey and stuffing in one. 

Ingredients

Turkey

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless, split turkey breast

Dredging Flour

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 TBSP milk

Hazelnut Crust

  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted hazelnuts
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 TBSP orange zest , about 1 naval orange
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prep a roasting pan fitted with a rack. I used a cookie sheet with a cooling rack, as my roasting pan is only good to 400 degrees.

Dredging Flour

  1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Pour onto a shallow plate and set aside.

Egg Wash

  1. Whisk together the egg and milk. Pour onto a shallow plate and set aside.

Hazelnut Crust

  1. Trim garlic and remove woody stems from herbs. In a food processor combine the hazelnuts, garlic, sage, and parsley. Pulse to chop until hazelnuts are the same texture as the panko bread crumbs. 
  2. In a small bowl combine the hazelnut, garlic, sage and parsley, with the panko, orange zest, and salt. Mix to combine, then stir in the olive oil. Pour onto a shallow plate and set aside.

Turkey

  1. If needed remove skin and bone from the turkey breast. Pat dry with a clean towel. 
  2. Dredge the turkey in the flour, ensuring it is completely covered. Dip it in the egg wash. Roll it in the hazelnut crust, pressing the mixture to adhere. 
  3. Place the crusted turkey on your roasting rack. Insert thermometer (if using) and place in the middle rack of the oven. 
  4. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees - about 45 minutes to an hour. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to roast to an internal temperature of 165 degrees - about 7 - 12 minutes. Check after 5 minutes to ensure the hazelnuts on top aren't burning. If they are lay a piece of foil on top of the turkey to shield the direct heat while allowing the rest of the hazelnuts to roast. 
  5. Remove turkey from the oven and allow to rest 7 - 10 minutes before carving. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 563mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 40g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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By on November 5th, 2019

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34 Comments on “Hazelnut Crusted Turkey Breast”

    • No. You need something that creates a hot dry environment, a crockpot creates a moist environment which works against having a crunchy crusted topping. Do you have an airfryer or countertop oven? Not to sound crazy, but can one of your guests bring one?

      Reply
  1. I like to cook turkey breast sous vide. Can I use this crust by coating the cooked breast and finishing in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes??

    Reply
    • Hi Greg!

      I’m so glad you stopped by and stayed to leave a comment! Let me preface this by admitting that I am not the expert on sous vide, as I have an aversion to the idea of cooking food in single-use plastic bags. However, I think that you could try it.

      Roasting it in a 400º oven just isn’t going to cook the topping fast enough to prevent over cooking the turkey breast, but using the broiler should work great. I would say to sous vide it to about 145º, then add the topping and broil it to finish cooking the turkey to 165º while also cooking the topping. Use an oven safe probe thermometer to prevent over cooking the turkey and keep a close eye on it, as we all know how quickly broilers can go from underdone to charcoal.

      If you are planning this for Thanksgiving, you may want to try it out on a chicken breast as a trial run before the big day. If you do try it, I would love to hear how it turns out for you!

      Renee

      Reply
  2. I bought a small boneless turkey breast ( just over a pound) and looked for a recipe. So happy that I found this. Delicious! Turkey and it’s not Thanksgiving!! Highly recommend. Hazelnuts can be expensive; wondering if any other nuts have been tried

    Reply
    • I have tested it with pecans and cashews with really good results. I think it would also work with macadamias and maybe walnuts. I find that many nuts can be expensive, but they can often be used interchangeably in cooking.

      Reply
  3. I’m normally a dark meat lover but it’s even harder to find a turkey leg or something at the grocery store than it is a breast! And I think if cooking for two for a holiday even I would look forward to this white meat dish. It’s beautiful and the flavors sound amazing!

    Reply
    • You know what’s crazy? One of my local stores has turkey pieces available most of the year, but they disappeared when they brought out the full turkeys. I’m a firm believer that all turkey tastes better when it’s not cooked as a single roast. There is just something fun about eating a full turkey leg!

      Reply
  4. This Turkey Breast sounds mouth-watering with the hazelnuts on top! Love that it bakes so much faster than a whole turkey. Perfect for when you want to eat turkey but don’t want to go through all the fuss.

    Reply
  5. You are guys are going to have a GREAT Thanksgiving!! As for this recipe – YES! I’m printing this off because we have a HUGE Thanksgiving with family…but after the holidays my hubby likes me to make us a homemade Thanksgiving dinner…and I’m SO using this recipe!! Thank you so much for posting this! They are going to love it!

    Reply
  6. Such a great idea for Thanksgiving dinner if it’s only a small group or a couple people! I love hazelnuts on and in EVERYTHING so this looks great to me!

    Reply
  7. When I visited Oregon I couldn’t believe all the hazelnut trees everywhere! Thank goodness because I am loving the sound of this crusted turkey breast recipe. It must be the perfect crunch to the juicy turkey breast. Sounds perfect for smaller thanksgiving get togethers too!

    Reply

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