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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless, split turkey breast
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 TBSP milk
- 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
- 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.
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Pour onto a shallow plate and set aside.
- Whisk together the egg and milk. Pour onto a shallow plate and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- If needed remove skin and bone from the turkey breast. Pat dry with a clean towel.
- 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.
- Place the crusted turkey on your roasting rack. Insert thermometer (if using) and place in the middle rack of the oven.
- 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.
- 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.