I have to confess: I almost like this slow cooker turkey breast better than the whole bird roasted. I don’t know if it’s the bone-less-ness, or the delicious cranberry sauce that forms at the bottom of the crock… But it’s just so, so good.
We don’t always have Turkey for Christmas, but it’s most definitely a Thanksgiving classic! The kids will eat it cooked this way, too. They just don’t like the cranberry sauce but that’s OK – more for me! I could drink this stuff.
The main reason why I prefer cooking just a turkey breast in the crock pot? It’s just so much easier than doing a full turkey: Quicker defrosting, no brining and way easier to make sure it’s cooked safely. Plus, prep is almost nothing!
How to Make my Cranberry Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot:
- Place all ingredients for the sauce in the crock pot – I layer them in this order: Cranberries, cranberry sauce, onion soup mix and orange juice for best results
- Place the turkey breast on top and season generously
- Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 4-5 or until done
If you would rather make it in the oven, follow the instructions but place everything in a Dutch oven instead.
Cover with the lid and roast in the preheated oven at 325°F for 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
And for leftovers? Try these recipes:
The smells wafting through your home while this turkey breast is cooking in the slow cooker with a delicious cranberry sauce will make you so excited for your comforting meal!
- 1 - 2 cups fresh cranberries (enough to cover the bottom of the crock in a single layer)
- 1 (15-oz) can jellied cranberry sauce, sliced into rounds
- 1 (1-oz) package onion soup mix (see below for homemade)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar (optional for a less cranberry-tart sauce)
- 3 to 4 pound boneless turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons butter, sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
Homemade Onion Soup Mix:
- 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons bouillon granules (beef or chicken both work)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prep: Spray a 5-6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the whole cranberries inside and set the sliced cranberry sauce on top. Sprinkle with HALF of the onion soup mix. Combine orange juice and sugar (if using) and pour in the crockpot.
- Season turkey: Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker and rub all over with the remaining onion soup mix, then dot with sliced butter. Nestle the rosemary sprigs next to the turkey breast.
- Cook: Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then finish cooking on LOW for 4-5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. Remove the rosemary sprigs before serving, and slice the turkey breast. Stir the cranberry sauce together with the juices and serve over the turkey.
Step by Step explanations:
To slice the cranberry sauce, I just open the can, pop it out on a plate and slice it into thin rounds.
I place the whole cranberries underneath the jellied sauce, so that the jelly can melt over the cranberries as it cooks.
Once the cranberries and cranberry sauce are in the crock, I just prinkle 1/2 of the onion soup mix over it and pour the orange juice (plus sugar) over it.
I season the turkey breast right in the crockpot with my homemade onion soup mix. Dotting the top with butter is not optional 😉
I never need to thicken the sauce in the end - it's always nice and bubbly. My husband (the trained chef) says it's not necessary to rest slow cooked meat. If like me it makes you feel better, just do a 5 minute rest before slicing and serving with the cranberry sauce.
Side dish suggestions:
As you can see in the photo above, this is a great reacipe for a holiday meal! Some of our favorite holiday sides:
Frozen meat: Sorry, but you're going to have to thaw the turkey breast completely in the fridge before cooking it in the slow cooker. It's important for food safety! Read more about it on the USDA's website here.
Internal temperature: The turkey breast needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F to be safe to eat. Read more on the USDA's website here.
Slow cooker setting: I cook the turkey breast on HIGH for 1 hour first, then on LOW for the remaining time. This is to give the crockpot a head start to heat up, so the food gets out of the unsafe temperature zone faster.
Serving: If you're serving the sliced turkey breast on a platter, it looks so pretty to garnish with a few fresh rosemary twigs!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 166mg Sodium: 506mg Carbohydrates: 27g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 61g