One of my favorite things is Instant Pot turkey.

I love turkey. It happens to be one of my favorite meats, partially because it tastes so good but also because it just gives me those warm and cozy holiday feels. Mike and I actually eat turkey a lot, at all times of the year, because instant.

A couple of years ago, we did a whole Instant Pot Thanksgiving, just to see if we could. Spoiler alert: we did it! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sprouts, the Instant Pot did it all. The thing I was most impressed with was the turkey. It was juicy and incredibly fast. No basting, no guessing, just super simple juicy turkey.

instant pot thanksgiving |

Instant Pot Turkey?!

Absolutely yes! We made a little skin-on boneless turkey breast roast rubbed with butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage. All the classic turkey flavors you know and love. And bonus, you’ll even get some drippings to make turkey gravy.

How to make turkey in an Instant Pot

  1. Get your turkey. Decide if you want turkey breast or turkey legs. I went with turkey breast because when breast is done right, breast really is best. There’s way more meat with breast compared to legs. If you’re a dark meat lover, legs are good too, the Instant Pot will make turkey legs super tender and juicy.
  2. Make herbed garlic butter. Mix together soft butter with chopped herbs and garlic. Classic poultry herbs include sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, and parsley. Pro tip: they sell little fresh packs of poultry blend herbs in the fridge section at the grocery store.
  3. Season the turkey. Lightly pat your turkey dry, season generously with salt and pepper, then rub the herbed garlic butter all over.
  4. Instant Pot time. Pour a bit of chicken stock into your Instant Pot then put in the steam rack that it came with. Arrange the turkey on top and cook on high pressure (see below for times).
  5. Broil. When the turkey’s done and the pressure has been released, you can give your turkey a quick blast of heat for color, then you’re ready to eat!

How long to cook Instant Pot turkey breast

The magical ratio is: 6 minutes per pound of boneless turkey breast at high pressure.

Six minutes per pound will give you supremely juicy turkey without that weird stringy texture you get when you cook poultry for too long. With turkey breast you want to quick release right away and take the turkey out of the Instant Pot so it doesn’t continue to cook and get dry.

instant pot turkey |

What about Instant Pot turkey legs?

If you’re a dark meat fan, cooking turkey legs in the Instant Pot makes the meat tender and fall off the bone. Cook the turkey legs for 20 minutes on high pressure, let it natural release for 10 minutes so it can continue to get tender, then release the pressure and take the legs out.

Crispy golden brown skin

After you’re done, give your turkey a blast of heat in the oven. Just 2-3 minutes under the broiler will give you the classic golden brown skin that you associate with a good bird. If you don’t have a broiler or don’t even like turkey skin (you monster!), then you can skip that step all together.

broiled turkey breast |

Instant Pot turkey ingredients

This is the simplest recipe with the smallest ingredient list: turkey, butter, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and chicken stock.

You get turkey gravy too!

Good news: you can make a super simple gravy with the drippings and stock that are in the Instant Pot.

Measure out the drippings. Pour the drippings into a liquid measuring cup and top it off with more chicken stock (or water) so you have 2 cups of liquid.

Make a roux. Melt some butter over medium low then stir in some flour to make a roux. Cook the mixture, stirring, until it is light golden and smells toasty.

Add the liquid. Slowly stream in the liquid while stirring. Let everything come to a simmer and reduce slightly. Taste and season.

instant pot turkey breast |

What size Instant Pot do I need?

This Instant Pot turkey will work in an 8 quart Instant Pot and a 6 quart Instant Pot. It could work in a 3 quart, but it would be a very tight squeeze, unless you find a very small turkey breast roast. The cooking time remains the same across all Instant Pots, the only difference is that smaller Instant Pots come to pressure faster.

What to serve with this

Since you probably only have one instant pot, here are some ideas for non-instant pot yet quick and easy sides:

Happy mini turkey dinner-ing!
xoxo steph

instant pot turkey breast |

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Twenty minutes, five ingredients, and one awesome turkey breast. 
Serves 4
4.54 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp butter room temp
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp herbs chopped, herbs of choice, see notes
  • 2.5-3 lb boneless skin-on turkey breast roast see notes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock low sodium preferred

Turkey Gravy

  • 2 tbsp butter room temp
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup drippings from above
  • 1.5 cup chicken stock low sodium preferred

Special Equipment


  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, and herbs.
    garlic herb butter for turkey |
  • Season all sides of the turkey breast generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Rub the turkey with the herb butter. Pour the chicken stock into the Instant Pot insert and set the steam rack that came with the pot inside. Place the turkey on the rack and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes per pound of turkey. Quick release when done. Carefully remove. If desired, broil in the oven on high for crispy skin, about 2-3 minutes.
    broiled turkey breast |
  • After you remove your turkey from the Instant Pot, you’ll probably only have a little bit over 1/2 cup of stock. If your instant pot has inner volumetric markings, top it off with chicken stock until you have 2 cups. If not, transfer to a liquid measuring cup and top off. Set aside.
    chop suey sauce |
  • Melt the butter over medium low heat then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring occasionally until lightly golden brown. Slowly stream in the stock/drippings while stirring. Bring to a simmer and let reduce and thicken slightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then serve with your turkey.
    instant pot turkey breast |


Our turkey breast was 2.3 pounds and we used a package of poultry herbs that had thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Gravy made with butter instead of roasted fat tends to be on the lighter side – if you want a classically brown gravy, you’re going to need to boost this with a little bit of roasted fat. I simply deglazed the sheet pan that the turkey was broiled on with a bit of hot water and added it to the gravy for a bit of extra color.
Turkey is shown served with instant pot mashed potatoes.
Estimated nutrition is for turkey and gravy.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 532 Calories from Fat 248
% Daily Value*
Fat 27.6g42%
Saturated Fat 11.8g74%
Cholesterol 190mg63%
Sodium 251mg11%
Potassium 699mg20%
Carbohydrates 3.7g1%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 0.3g0%
Protein 63.6g127%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Dianna says:

    Was this turkey frozen or thawed?

    1. Stephanie says:

      thawed :)

  2. Angela Leo says:

    Delicious! But FYI- it took nearly an hour for my 2 pound turkey breast.

    1. Marigold says:

      I just cooked one, 5.6 pounds for 45 min/natural release and it was SO very dry. I’m def gonna try this 6min rule/quick release. I think this is more like it.

      Did you take yours out and find it was under cooked and kept cooking it?

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