Grilled Split Turkey Breast

5 from 3 votes

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A flavorful marinade gives the turkey amazing flavor and allows it to grill up perfectly moist and tender.

Grilled Split Turkey Breast

It’s a no-brainer to think about cooking turkey during the end-of-the-year holidays, but to not prepare it year-round is to be missing out completely. Turkey is every bit as versatile as chicken, and every bit as easy to cook. And when you cook a whole or half breast on the grill not only will you be in for a fantastic dinner, with luck you’ll have leftovers for making awesome sandwiches all week long.

For this recipe, you’ll be looking for a split bone-in turkey breast weighing about 3 pounds. These should be available in the market all throughout the year.

Slices of Grilled Split Turkey Breast on a plate with pasta salad and greens.

Marinade for Grilled Turkey 

In this case, we can skip the brining in favor of a flavorful marinade, which gives the turkey amazing flavor and allows it to grill up perfectly moist and tender. The marinade contains a blend of melted butter and olive oil, plus some cider vinegar for acidity, shallots, garlic, and splashes of Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and thyme.

You can marinate the turkey in a container or in a large, sturdy zipper-top sealable plastic bag. Marinate the turkey between 6 and 36 hours; the longer it marinates, the deeper the flavor will be.

Woman slicing a Grilled Split Turkey Breast.

Cooking Turkey Breast on the Grill

You’ll want to use a two-zone grilling system for cooking turkey, or most large pieces of meat. This will allow the turkey skin to crisp up nicely, and the whole piece of meat to cook evenly.

Heat half of the grill to medium, and leave half at medium-low, which will be the indirect heat zone. Place the turkey breast over the medium heat zone, and grill for about 5 minutes on each side (you may only be able to get the breast to lay flat on two or three sides, which is fine).

After about 15 minutes, transfer the breast to the indirect heat zone of the grill, cover, and allow to cook for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on how large your grill is and, therefore, how intense the indirect heat is. Check starting at 45 minutes with an internal thermometer, and pull the turkey from the fire when the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 165 degrees F. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Split Turkey Breast on a grill.

What to Serve With Grilled Split Turkey Breast

Plate of Grilled Split Turkey Breast, greens, and pasta salad.

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5 from 3 votes

Grilled Split Turkey Breast

A flavorful marinade gives the turkey amazing flavor and allows it to grill up perfectly moist and tender.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinating Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 split bone-in turkey breast half (about 3 pounds)

For the Basting Sauce

Instructions 

  • Make the marinade: In a container with a lid large enough to hold the turkey breast, combine the butter, olive oil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place the turkey in the container and turn it so that it is well coated with the mixture. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 6 to 36 hours, turning it occasionally as you are able.
  • Heat half of the grill to medium, and leave half at medium-low, which will be the indirect heat zone. Carefully oil the grill grates. Place the turkey breast over the medium heat zone, and grill for about 5 minutes on each side (you may only be able to get the breast to lay flat on two or three sides, which is fine).
  • After about 15 minutes, transfer the breast to the indirect heat zone of the grill, cover, and allow to cook for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on how large your grill is and, therefore, how intense the indirect heat is. Check starting at 45 minutes with an internal thermometer, and pull the turkey from the fire when the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 165 F. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Arrange the sliced turkey on a platter and tuck a variety of fresh herb sprigs amidst the sliced meat for a pretty presentation.

Notes

You’ll want to use a two-zone grilling system for cooking turkey, or most large pieces of meat.  This will allow the turkey skin to crisp up nicely, and the whole piece of meat to cook evenly.  

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 666mg, Potassium: 479mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 433IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. MARY ANNE says:

    I was searching for the perfect way to kick off summer grilling and this recipe is simply the BEST! My family loves turkey all year round, but we weren’t thinking of grilled turkey breast. This recipe is magical, easy and delicious! A real entertaining hit!