Air Fryer Turkey is a quick and easy alternative to roasting and a great way to save some space in the oven too. Turkey in the air fryer takes just over an hour to cook and you get perfectly crispy and juicy turkey with minimal effort.
About this air fryer turkey recipe
Turkey breast in the air fryer is our favourite way to cook it. You get a perfectly crispy outside, whilst the meat is juicy and tender on the inside. No dry turkey here.
Air fryer turkey breast is quicker and easier than cooking it in the oven, and if you are making a big meal like Christmas dinner or thanksgiving, then this saves space in the oven for all the sides too.
Plus, air fryers are much cheaper than ovens to run and we all need to save a bit of money at Christmas.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Turkey - This is an air fryer turkey breast recipe and we used a boneless breast. However, you can use this recipe to make air fryer turkey crown, but it will change the cooking time. When choosing the turkey, just make sure that it is the right size to fit in your air fryer basket (not like we did - it was a squeeze!). It's no problem if it is a little bit squashed.
- Oil - We used a good quality olive oil and it helps everything get nice and crispy.
- Herbs - We used thyme and rosemary and fresh is always best. You can use dried herbs if you prefer.
- Salt - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make air fryer turkey - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes to 180°C.
One: Pat the turkey dry. Drizzle over the oil, salt and herbs. Rub it all into the turkey.
Two: Put the turkey into your air fryer basket - careful, it
Three: Cook at 180°C for 45 minutes.
Four: Carefully flip the turkey over and add more chopped herbs.
Five: Continue cooking for a further 30 minutes.
Six: Remove the turkey from the air fryer and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
Once the air fryer turkey is cooked to perfection, it's time to serve it up with some delicious sides. Here are a few serving suggestions to complement that juicy turkey:
- Roasted Vegetables - Is there anything better than roasted vegetables? Getting them nice and crispy really brings out the flavour. Why not try our Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables?
- Potatoes - Creamy and buttery mashed potatoes are a must-have with turkey. Try our Mustard Mashed Potatoes or if you want to save some time on the big day, our Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are a great option. Or for a real treat, try our Duck Fat Roast Potatoes.
- Cranberry Sauce: Tangy and sweet cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey. You can make your own or buy it pre-made. We recommend this Cranberry Sauce Recipe. To keep it traditionally British, serve it with Bread Sauce.
- Stuffing: Stuffing is a staple at any Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Whether you prefer it inside the turkey or cooked separately, it's a must-have addition to your meal. Why not try our Sage and Onion Stuffing or Air Fryer Stuffing Balls?
- Gravy: No turkey dinner is complete without gravy. Pour it over your turkey and mashed potatoes for that delicious finishing touch. Try making it yourself with our Easy Onion Gravy.
Remember to let your turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving to ensure juicy and tender meat.
Store: You can wrap up slices of air fryer turkey breast and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure you don't leave the turkey out at room temperature for more then 2 hours.
Freeze: Slices of turkey actually freezes really well and it's a good way to make something in advance for Christmas. Wrap slices of turkey and put them in a freezer bag and they will keep for 2 months.
Defrost: To defrost the turkey slices, put them on a plate in the fridge overnight until fully defrosted. We reheat them just by adding hot gravy to them.
Leftovers: If you have loads of leftovers, then we have plenty of leftover recipes so nothing goes to waste. Why not try our Turkey Pasta Bake, Leftover Turkey Soup, Leftover Turkey Curry, Turkey Pie, Leftover Turkey Pasta, Turkey Grilled Cheese or Leftover Turkey Sandwich?
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use a frozen turkey and these are more widely available throughout the year. However, you will need to defrost it thoroughly before using it.
Yes, you can use this recipe to cook turkey breast or turkey crown, but cooking times will vary.
The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your turkey and also your air fryer, as they all cook at different rates. We used a 1.9kg turkey breast and it cooked in around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The best way to check that turkey is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for cooked turkey is 74°C/165°F. It should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat, not touching any bone (if you are using a turkey crown).
No, it is not recommended to stuff the turkey before cooking it in an air fryer. The air fryer cooks the turkey from all sides, including the inside, which can cause the stuffing to become overcooked or dry. It is recommended to cook the stuffing separately.
More turkey recipes
Air Fryer Turkey
- 1.9 kg (4.25 lb) Turkey breast
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 sprig Rosemary - leaves only; finely chopped
- 3 sprig Thyme - leaves only; finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes to 180°C.
- Pat 1.9 kg Turkey breast dry. Drizzle over the 3 tablespoon Olive oil.
- Add 1 teaspoon Sea salt, leaves from 3 sprig Rosemary and 3 sprig Thyme. Rub it all into the turkey.
- Put the turkey into your air fryer basket - careful, it will be hot!
- Cook at 180°C for 45 minutes.
- Carefully flip the turkey over and add more chopped herbs.
- Continue cooking for a further 30 minutes.
- Remove the turkey from the air fryer and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Remove your turkey breast from the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to put it in the air fryer.
- Pat the turkey very dry first. This is important as it helps the herbs stick and the skin to crisp.
- It is important to leave enough space between the turkey and the sides of the basket to allow for proper air circulation. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and a turkey that is not fully cooked. If it does touch the sides like ours did, then you might need to cook it a bit longer.
- If your turkey starts to get a little too dark on top, you can add some foil on top for the last 15 minutes.
- Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure that the turkey is moist and tender.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.