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sliced turkey breast with pickles on cutting board

Turkey Breast Brine Recipe

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes*
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American


Who would have thought that pickle brine could produce a flavorful, perfectly spiced, moist turkey breast?


Units Scale

34 lb fresh bone-in turkey breast

1 c pickle brine (your choice, but choose one you like and isn’t too sweet)

1 c water

2 T kosher salt

2 T Dill pickle salt or use more kosher salt

1 1/2 T brown sugar

1/2 t mustard seeds

1/2 t black peppercorns

1/2 t celery seeds

To Bake The Turkey Breast:

1 quartered onion

1 quartered lemon or orange or some of both

5 cloves of peeled garlic

1 stick butter

Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, dill, Italian parsley


To make the brine:

Combine pickle juice, cold water, kosher salt, dill pickle salt and brown sugar in a gallon sized zip lock bag. Add mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and celery seeds. Make sure mixture is well combined and then add the turkey breast until fully submerged. Place bag in a large bowl and place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 425.

Remove turkey breast from the brine and dry well.  Gently loosen skin from breasts and rub softened butter under skin and all over outside of breasts and bottom, season liberally with salt and pepper.

Scatter thyme and rosemary sprigs and crushed garlic cloves, onions and lemon or orange over a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange turkey breasts, skin side up, on top.

Roast turkey breasts, turning halfway through, until skin is crisp and golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breasts. You will want to cook the turkey breasts to a lower internal temperature than when cooking the whole bird. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes.

Transfer turkey breasts to a platter and let rest 10 minutes, before carving.

Serve turkey breasts with pan dripping.


Thanks Bubbie’s for this great recipe! And great pickles!

*Does not include brining time.