Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Recipe of the Day: How to Cook Turkey Breast in a Slow Cooker

If you're scaling back your Thanksgiving dinner, this is the recipe for you
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Food brings people together, and no holiday displays that sense of togetherness better than Thanksgiving. But if you're scaling back your turkey day feast this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, you might not want to go all out. To keep your dinner small, but still have one of the best-ever turkey recipes on your table, try out this slow cooker turkey breast recipe instead of cooking a whole bird. 

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey? And Other Thanksgiving Questions, Answered

Besides a classic stuffing recipe and some sort of mashed potato dish, few things are as essential during Thanksgiving as the turkey. The flavorful protein is the centerpiece of holiday dinners across the country. This recipe scales down the timeless dish by using just turkey breast and slow cooking it for a few hours — a technique that conveniently also saves room in the oven. 

To make the recipe, start by seasoning a 4 to 6 pound boneless turkey breast with salt and ground pepper. Place the turkey, skin side up, in a slow cooker and pour Madeira wine over it with an onion, thyme, clove and honey. Cook the turkey breast on high for about four hours, or until it's tender. 

Once the turkey is done, remove the grease from the broth, strain it into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the turkey slices to a plate and spoon the broth over it. Serve the dish alongside casseroles, potatoes and more of our best Thanksgivng recipes ever

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast


4 to 6 pounds boneless turkey breast
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Madeira wine
1 onion, preferably Vidalia, sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon honey


Season a 4- to 6-pound boneless turkey breast with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the turkey, skin side up, in a slow cooker.

Pour over 1/4 cup Madeira wine; add 1 onion, preferably Vidalia, sliced; 1 sprig thyme; 1 garlic clove; 1 tablespoon honey.

Seal with the lid.

Cook on high heat, turning once, until tender, three to four hours.

Transfer to a cutting board; cover with foil.

Let the turkey rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Pour the broth into a fat separator or remove the grease with a spoon.

Strain broth into a small saucepan; heat to a boil.

Taste; adjust seasonings.

Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Spoon broth over turkey slices.


This recipe by Virginia Willis appeared in the Chicago Tribune.