This post is sponsored by Safeway stores-Safeway, Dominicks, Tom Thumb, Vons, Randalls. Tastier for the holidays!
Mike, Annie, and I always spend Thanksgiving with Mike’s family in Northern California. We love going up and spending time in the Bay Area, but the one bummer about not spending Thanksgiving at home is no leftovers. The leftovers are the best part!!! So two years ago we started “Mini Thanksgiving” where we made smaller portions of all our favorite Thanksgiving fixings: stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie (okay that’s always full-sized), and of course, turkey! I was very intimidated by the idea of making a turkey until one of my friends suggested just making turkey breasts. Then my aunt suggested using our barbecue so we’d have the oven free. But then I remembered my crockpot! I did some googling and came across this recipe on about 80 different websites. I’m not going to lie, at first I gave it the side-eye because I just didn’t know how it could be good – the three ingredients didn’t seem like a natural pairing to me – but it’s AMAZINGLY good and so incredibly easy. I’ve made it three times and it’s come out perfectly every time.
Three Ingredient Crockpot Turkey
1 frozen turkey breast, NOT thawed bone-in (5 pounds) or boneless (3 pounds)
1 14-oz can cranberry sauce
1 packet dry onion soup mix
Combine all the ingredients in your crock pot. Be careful when you open your cranberry sauce can…I might have practically severed my finger.
Cook on high for two hours. Go do something fun! Or go exercise like I did, which was decidedly not fun.
After two hours, reduce your crockpot’s heat to low and continue cooking until the turkey registers 170° F on a meat thermometer. When it hits 170°, the meat is done. Bone-in turkey breasts can take four or five hours to be done, but you should start checking the temperature on boneless breasts after an hour (I always use boneless breasts, and they are usually done two hours after I switch the crockpot to low).
Slice and serve!
Mike is super stoked that he gets TWO Mini Thanksgivings this year.
He could seriously eat all of this turkey.
This recipe is great for small Thanksgiving gatherings, or just when you want to make an easy poultry meal. But I promise – you will love it!
- 1 frozen turkey breast, NOT thawed bone-in (5 pounds) or boneless (3 pounds)
- 1 lb. can cranberry sauce
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- Put all ingredients crockpot, cover, and cook for 2 hours on high.
- Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until turkey registers 170 degrees F on instant meat thermometer. For bone-in turkey breast the turkey should be done in 4-5 hours.
- For boneless turkey breast start checking the turkey's temperature after 1-2 hours.
- Slice turkey breast and serve with sauce.
Oh I’m going to try this this weekend! I love easy crockpot recipes. Does the whole house smell when cooking? Lie you, I work from home, and I LOVE having something yummy cooking all day!
the house smells AMAZING!
Made this this weekend for my daughter, my friend and her son, and they LOVED IT Amazing!!! The kids asked for seconds and even thirds!
This is one of my favorites, too. Except I just use the turkey breast and onion soup mix, and usually leave it on “low” for 6-8 hours while I’m at work. Excited to try the cranberry sauce with it!
I love this idea, especially for tiny families like ours! Thanks Heather!
Did you just use the sauce left over in the crockpot, or make some? Thanks babe!
You use the sauce that’s in the crock pot. When the onion soup mix, cranberry sauce and turkey drippings combine, it’s soooooo good!
Blonde question – but is the turkey breast frozen or thawed when you put it in the crockpot? This sounds yummy and would be super nice for small families too! My cousin always makes turkey and all the fixings the morning of the first day of school for her kids, so when they come home starving, the house smells delicious, they have tons of food and they sit down at the dining room table and talk about the day! I did it last year and loved it!
Frozen! It makes things even easier!
Thanks for the great idea. I just bought a whole duck for our after Thanksgiving feast. I’m going to try it in the crock pot. MMMmmm duck.
That looks delish. Let me share with you a trick to not having to sever any digits while opening (and getting the contents out of) any canned good item. (Not stuff that pours out easily, but things like cranberry relish/sauce, or refried beans… Open one side as normal. Flip it upside-down into your pot or onto your plate, and open the other side as well. It will release the suction around whatever’s inside of the can, and you can just slide the can right off of whatever is in the can. It’s amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!
That’s an awesome idea! Unfortunately for me, this time I practically severed my finger just by touching the wrong part of the lid. Whoops.
THanks, must try!
Yum! I have frozen chicken breasts in the freezer that I wanted to cook for tomorrow night– has anyone tried this recipe with chicken?
My aunt has and said it’s delicious!
Mary In Alpine CA says:
It’s also good with pork. I’ve done pork chops and pork tenderloins.
FYI, you may want to suggest to check for any plastic packets of drippings or giblets some add. I found a big one which would not be good to include in a crock pot….
You had frozen giblets inside of a turkey breast?
Yes! Crazy, I wasn’t expecting it. It was a bag of drippings and giblets, chopped up. I just sprayed it with water until I could get at the bag. After, I just dumped it in to the crockpot. My kitchen is smelling darn good The turkey was from Target and I think was the Market Pantry brand, the only kind of frozen breast I could get there.
I have never seen frozen turkey breasts like that and fresh is usually scarce. I’m going to have to look for frozen next time, looks great!
I had to try this for dinner tonight! I have a husband who swears he hates turkey and and a toddler who is as picky as they come. They both gobbled it up! My husband said he thought it was beef. lol Thank you, Heather, for sharing this!
This may be a stupid question, but do you add water to it? Or does the cranberry sauce provide enough liquid for it to cook okay by itself? We’re going out of town for Thanksgiving, too, so I can’t wait to try this when we get home!
No water! The cranberry sauce and the turkey drippings make enough liquid.
OMG Heather, I made this today after reading it the other day, and it turned out so well! I live in Toronto, so we don’t have Jenni-O products, but I bought a fresh turkey breast (bone-in) and froze it overnight. Took about 5 hours total to cook. My mom couldn’t believe it really only had 3 ingredients, the sauce is so tasty. This is definitely a new staple for us, thank you so much for sharing!
Will have to try All about crock pot recipes since I returned to work!
I took the leftovers and shredded the meat for sandwiches….yum!
Thanks for the inspiration! This sounded so good, I made my own version on the stovetop since I don’t have a crockpot.
I don’t care for the ingredients in soup mixes so I just dumped in a large pot about 2 cups sliced red onions (just what I had in my fridge), Trader Joe’s cranberry relish and a 3 pound skinless bone-in turkey breast (bone side up).
I brought it to a quick boil, turned it to low (1.5 on my electric burner), put the lid on and took a nap! Fortunately, my 3 hour post-Thanksgiving headache nap was the exactly perfect time for the turkey to be done!!
The meat browned nicely and it was sooooo yummy!!
Can u use porkloin to
I’d think so!
This sounds amazing, but unfortunately I have my boneless turkey breasts already thawed in the fridge
Can I still cook it as long in the Crock-pot on low? Or should I cook it on high and cut the time?
Hmm…I’m not sure, to be honest! Poultry cooks pretty fast, so maybe try it on low and keep an eye on it.
Bonnie Johnson says:
Thanks so much for the recipe! I am trying it today. Quick question: Does it matter if you put the turkey in the crock bone side up or down? So far I have it with the backbone up and the cavity down. Thanks again!
Bonnie Johnson says:
Thanks! I flipped it over
Can you do this recipe with more than one breast? If so does the cooking time need to be increased?
Yes, you can! I’ve made it with two. It does take a little longer, but the exactly length of time will depend on how big the breasts are. I usually start checking the chicken every 10 minutes or so after the initial cooking time is up!
MK Wallk says:
My boneless, skinless turkey breast is 1.4 lbs. How long should I cook it? Also, can I use a chopped onion instead of the soup mixture? Thanks