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Grilled Turkey Breast Recipe

In this post I am sharing how to make a Grilled Turkey Breast that has been brined. This turkey breast is juicy, delicious and perfect for a small Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

A turkey breast is a great option for intimate holiday meals. They don’t take up valuable oven real estate either.

There are many great options for cooking a turkey breast that include roasting, grilling (like in this post), instant pot or slow cooker.

How to Brine a Turkey Breast

White meat of turkey or chicken tend to dry out easily. To ensure you’ll be serving up a moist turkey breast, brine it. The brine adds extra moisture to the turkey meat as well as seasons within. Every bite will be more flavorful.

The brine itself does not have to be anything fancy at all. Since I season the outside of my turkey I use a simple basic brine of salt, sugar and water. Feel free to add herbs, peppercorns and other seasonings to your brine if you like.

Prepare the brine and add your thawed turkey breast the refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Vegetables and aromatics for cooking a turkey

Grilling your turkey breast on a gas grill is really easy. One of the features that I really like about our grill is that there is a temperature gauge, so for me it’s like an outside oven basically.

I begin by pre-heating the grill by turning on all burners to high, closing the lid and going to prepare the turkey breast.

Grilled Bone In Turkey Breast

Remove the turkey breast from the brining liquid and place into a roasting pan. I add a couple of vegetables, such as carrots and a few stalks of celery so that my turkey breast is not resting on the bottom of the pan.

Discard the brining liquid. Use paper towels to completely dry the turkey breast.

Add a few aromatics to the cavity of the turkey breast, this add even more moisture during cooking as well as flavor. My favorite aromatics include a lemon, an onion, a stalk of celery, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage.

The neighbors are going to be peeking over to see what you’re grilling because it’s gonna smell so good as it cooks. Okay, if it’s Thanksgiving they’ll probably guess turkey but they’ll still enjoy the tasty fragrance floating through the air.

Before anyone smells anything let’s get the bird on the grill. Use room temperature butter and coat the turkey, under the skin and outside all over. Season according to taste with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, onion powder, poultry seasoning and paprika.

Add a fair amount of paprika, it gives the turkey (or any poultry) a beautifully browned skin.

Grilling a turkey breast in a roasting pan

Grilled Brined Turkey Breast

Place the roasting pan with the turkey on the grill. You want to cook the turkey over indirect heat. Our grill has four burners so I turned off the two in the center of the grill and left the two outer burners on.

I adjusted the heat until the thermostat on the grill read 325°F.

The turkey breast will cook at this temperature for one to one and a half hours, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.

I do recommend that you have a meat thermometer for testing meat doneness. There is nothing worse than a dry over-cooked turkey. Does the Griswold turkey come to mind? Nobody wants a Griswold turkey!

When the turkey reaches temperature, remove it from the grill and cover with foil. Allow the cooked turkey breast to rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Grilled turkey breast for Thanksgiving dinner

More Recipe Ideas for a Small Thanksgiving Dinner

Breaded Turkey Breast CutletsSlow Cooker Ham with Pineapple Glaze
Stuffin’ MuffinsNew Potatoes with Parsley Butter Sauce
Baked Pineapple CasseroleRoasted Carrots
Southern Candied YamsSweet Potato Pie
Vintage platter of holiday turkey - Best Grilled Turkey Breast - Easy
Sliced turkey breast with beautiful browned skin and garnished with fresh cranberries and rosemary

Printable Recipe Card

Yield: 1 Grilled Turkey Breast

Grilled Turkey Breast

Platter of sliced grilled turkey breast for a small and easy dinner

An easy grilled bone in turkey breast that is moist and delicious, perfect for intimate holiday gatherings.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 50 minutes


Brine for Turkey Breast

  • 1/4 c Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 c Granulated Sugar
  • 2 c Water, for diluting salt and sugar
  • 3 c Ice
  • 1 Gallon of Cold Water

Turkey Breast for Grilling

  • 4-5 lb Bone In Turkey Breast
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Small Onion, peeled and halved
  • Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Sage)
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter, room temperature
  • Seasonings (Kosher Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, Poultry Seasoning, Onion Powder and Paprika)


  • Foil Roasting Pan
  • Gas Grill



  1. Add the salt, sugar and 2 cups of water to a large pot over medium heat and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved (no need to boil) Remove from heat immediately.
  2. Add the ice and stir to cool.
  3. Add the thawed turkey breast then add a gallon of cold water.
  4. Cover the pot and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Grilling the Turkey Breast

  1. Preheat the gas grill by turning all burners on high and closing the lid.
  2. Place a couple of carrots and celery stalks on the bottom of a roasting pan.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brine solution and pat dry with paper towels, until the outside is completely dry.
  4. Discard the brining solution.
  5. Add a cut lemon, onion, stalk of celery and sprig of rosemary, thyme, and sage to the cavity of the turkey breast.
  6. Next, use room temperature butter to spread under the turkey skin and all over the outer skin of the turkey breast.
  7. Next, season according to taste using kosher salt, cracked black pepper, onion powder, poultry seasoning and paprika.
  8. Adjust burners so that the roasting pan with the turkey breast will sit over indirect heat.
  9. Close the grill lid and adjust heat setting until the grill thermometer reads 325°F.
  10. Grill the turkey breast 1 to 1.5 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads the internal temperature of the turkey breast reads 165°F.
  11. Remove the turkey and cover with foil to rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Resting meat is important, don't short cut this step.


If you're searching for an easy brine for a whole turkey:

1 c Kosher Salt

1 c Sugar

2 Gallons of Cold Water

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 Slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125

See this recipe shared at Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck

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