If you’re cooking for just yourself and a significant other this Holiday Season, my Herb Butter Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy for Two is the only one-pan Thanksgiving & Christmas turkey recipe you’ll need! And, as an added bonus, the gravy and vegetables are made as it roasts. How can you beat that?

An overhead view of a herb roasted turkey breast on a sliver tray garnished with herbs and cranberries

This delicious turkey feast is my go-to holiday meal, but in a scaled-down version. A roasted chicken is one of my favorite dishes. And just as I do when I do my chicken roasting, I always add a bed of vegetables under the meat before the roasting starts, along with chicken stock. Why? Because this is when the gravy is made and these wonderful juices also cook the veggies at the same time.

A half turkey breast coated with herbs roasted on a bed of carrots, celery, onion, parsnip and garlic

Why I choose these particular vegetables: I use a specific selection of vegetables when I make my chicken stock. I add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and parsnips to produce a symphony of flavors. In a similar fashion to this, when roasting the turkey, I add a little stock to the vegetables. When the meat drips its juices and in combination with the veggies, these delicious drippings make a flavorful stock for gravy.

The gravy is made after the turkey comes out of the oven and resting before slicing. The vegetables and juices are separated (the veggies are kept warm in the oven) then the stock is added to a pan and thickened with flour or corn starch, for a gluten-free gravy.

A perfectly browned roasted turkey breast covered with herbs on a serving tray with herbs and cranberries with sweet potato casserole in the background

I used a split (or half) turkey breast that weighs 2 1/2 lbs (1-1.3 kg). You can also use a full turkey breast (or turkey crown), but it will take longer to roast and that is more than you need for two people. As it is, there is plenty of leftovers even from the half breast.

Fresh herbs are one of the best ways you can add delicious flavors to a turkey breast recipe. And it starts with the herb butter.

Good, creamy, salted butter (I like Irish) is first softened and a mix of fresh rosemary, sage, parsley, salt and pepper is added. You can also add thyme or any herb combination you like.

To add flavor to the meat and skin (because I do love a good crispy skin – and who doesn’t?), the herb butter is spread all over the turkey breast as well as under the skin.

How long do you cook a turkey breast?  This depends on how your oven is calibrated and how big the piece of turkey meat is. As a gauge, I like to start the oven hot at 400°F/200°C, then turn it down to 350°F/175°C.  At this temperature, a 2 1/2 pound breast takes about 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, but to be certain it is properly cooked, it is always best use a meat thermometer. I like to remove the meat from the oven a few degrees below 165°F/74°C, cover with foil to rest and carve when it reaches a minimum of 165°F/74°C.

Carving slices of a roast turkey breast with carrots in the background and a sweet potato casserole

So let’s get to everyone’s favorite part of the meal… the sides. To speed things up in the kitchen, they can all be made a day ahead so all you have to do is roast the turkey!

In 2 days, I’ll be posting my newest recipe, Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Sage Butter with a pecan topping. This is a must-make side dish that will blow your mind.

Keep reading for more side dish ideas.

Stuffing: My favorite is Cornbread Sage and Onion Stuffing. If you’re not a cornbread fan, you can use leftover crusty bread.

Cornbread, sage & onion stuffing in a roasting pan with a roast turkey behind

Quick Cranberry Orange Sauce takes only a few minutes to make from fresh cranberries. Picture below.

A closeup of cranberry orange sauce in a bowl that is very chunky

Dessert: How about a Mini Chocolate Cake for Two? The perfect sized layer chocolate cake with frosting.

A side view of the cake showing the chocolate frosting

And that completes my Herb Butter Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy for Two. Any of the recipes can be halved to achieve the same delicious results.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I am always available by email to answer. Enjoy!

Yield: 2

Herb Butter Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy for Two

A full roast turkey dinner with a turkey breast on a serving tray with carrots in a white bowl, sweet potato casserole and a small container of gravy

Fresh herbs are mixed into softened butter that is rubbed onto a turkey breast and roasted over a bed of vegetables.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the herb butter:
  • 1/4 cups (55 grams) unsalted butter, softened * see note
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 bone-in turkey breast/crown
  • For the gravy:
  • 8 carrots, peeled and ends removed
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and ends removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) low sodium chicken stock or broth, warm * see note
  • 1 tablespoon flour (or corn starch for gluten free)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Dry the outside of your turkey breast.
  3. For the herb butter:
    To a bowl, add the softened butter, rosemary, sage, parsley, salt and pepper, mix well.
  4. For the turkey:
    Lift the skin of the turkey breast and spread some of the butter between the meat and the skin. Spread the rest of the butter all over the turkey. Wash your hands well after handling raw meat.
  5. To the bottom of your roasting dish, add the carrots, celery, parsnips, garlic, onion and bay leaf in an even layer, pour the warm chicken stock. Lay the turkey breast, skin-side up on top of the vegetables.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes, turn down the heat to 350°F/177°C, then continue to roast for a further 20-30 minutes. The duration of last part of roasting will depend on how hot your oven runs. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer and remove from the oven when the temperature at the thickest part of the meat is 162-165°F. It will continue to cook when resting.
  7. Take the turkey breast out of the pan and set on a cutting board, cover lightly with foil. Remove the vegetables and add to an oven-proof dish put them back in the oven (turned to very low) to keep warm.
  8. Strain the turkey drippings into a small saucepan and add more stock to make 1 cup (236 ml) if needed.
  9. Sprinkle flour or cornstarch into a small bowl and whisk in a little chicken stock until there are no lumps. Bring the turkey drippings to a simmer and slowly add the flour mix while whisking. Simmer until thickened, taste for salt.
  10. Slice the turkey and serve with the gravy and your favorite sides.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 328Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 30mgSodium 1142mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 11gSugar 18gProtein 18g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.