BBQ-Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

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This Crockpot Turkey Breast recipe is ridiculously simple and flavorful. BBQ-rubbed with a simple blend of seasonings and spices then tossed in the slow cooker, it’s perfect for a holiday meal when you need to feed a smaller crowd. Let your crock pot do all the work for a busy weeknight meal, or make it on the weekend and use the leftovers for quick and easy dinners all week!

BBQ Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe image with title

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I am the queen of “repurposing” leftovers. Sometimes it is as simple as an omelet or egg muffins using whatever I have in the fridge. Or just pulling out all the odd and ends, then shaking up some creamy balsamic dressing for Salad Bar Night.

Other times, though, I do make a meal with the intention of having leftovers to use during the week, especially on busy nights.

One thing I like to do is to buy a chicken or turkey breast that is larger than I actually need. Or I will even buy two, since, whether you are roasting chicken, smoking a turkey breast, or even buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at Costco, once you are cooking and carving one, it is only a teensy bit more work to cook a second one at the same time.

Especially when you are making something as simple as this slow cooker turkey breast recipe.

How to make turkey breast in crockpot

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

This BBQ-Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe seriously could not be any easier. All you need is:

  • One turkey breast – bone in, and about 4 to 7 pounds with any giblets removed
  • Your favorite barbecue rub – this can be store-bought or homemade. In the recipe below I’ll share the one I used. Make a big batch so you can sprinkle it on any meat, seafood, or vegetables before grilling or roasting.
  • Onion – cut into chunks that you can place underneath and inside the turkey breast.

And you’ll need a crock pot, obviously.

BRIANNE RECOMMENDS:

I like to use my Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Slow Cooker. It is large enough for a nice-sized turkey breast, and it comes with a temperature probe that I cam use to make sure the meat is fully cooked through to 165°F, but doesn’t overcook and dry out.

What to do

  1. Coat the turkey breast inside and outside and even under the skin with the rub.
  2. Place some pieces of onion inside the cavity and on the bottom of the slowcooker.
  3. Set the bird inside, cover, and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.

The flavor of the rub just infuses through the meat, and it creates all of its own moisture. You don’t get the crispy skin, so if that’s your thing, then you’ll need to roast it. But if you are like me and toss the skin out regardless, this is totally the way to go.

Red plate with slow cooker turkey breast slices served with sweet potato and broccoli

What can you make with leftover turkey?

Remember how I mentioned being a Leftovers Queen? Here’s my tip. If you have a family that claims to hate leftovers, turn them into something completely different!

Sure, reliving Thanksgiving dinner a few times over the holiday weekend is fun, but on a regular basis, do you really want to have the same meal on Tuesday that you had on Sunday?

No! So switch it up – put the meat in a soup or pasta sauce, make some paninis or fancy pants grilled cheese, add it to pasta, or toss it into a frittata There are endless leftover turkey recipes and even recipes for leftover chicken that totally work if you swap in turkey breast instead.

Here are some ideas for leftover crock pot turkey breast:

How do you make crockpot turkey stock?

Whether you’ve made a slow cooker chicken or this turkey breast recipe, you can make poultry stock right in the same crockpot.

  • After carving the bird, toss all the boned back in the slow cooker.
  • Add carrots, celery, onion, and ant fresh or dried herbs you have around.
  • Cover with water
  • Set it on low and cook for 6-12 hours.
  • Let cool, strain out the bones and other bits. Use a spoon to skim off some of the excess grease, then use as desired.

If you turn it on at night after dinner, the next morning your whole house will have the aroma of the most incredible stock. You can then freeze in 1 cup portions for use in other recipes. It makes cooked brown rice or quinoa more flavorful. And you can use it in soups like:

Pieces of Crock Pot Turkey Breast with sauce on a red plate

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Pieces of Crock Pot Turkey Breast with sauce on a red plate

BBQ-Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

You just need a turkey breast, onion, your favorite rub and a crockpot for the easiest and most flavorful meat ever.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 hrs
Servings: 8 people (varies based on size of turkey breast)

Ingredients

For the turkey breast:

  • One 4 to 7 lb turkey breast, thawed and giblets (if any) and excess fat removed
  • About 1/2 cup of All-Purpose Red Rub, or your favorite store-bought or homemade barbecue rub
  • One large onion, cut into chunks
  • Gravy, Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing, or Barbecue Sauce for serving

For the All-Purpose Red Rub:

Instructions

For the turkey breast:

  • Coat the turkey breast thoroughly with the barbecue rub, inside and out, pressing it to stick it to the meat and pushing some under the skin.
  • Place the onion chunks inside the cavity and place the turkey skin side up in your slow cooker.
  • Cook on Low for 5-7 hours, or until it reaches 165°F internal temperature.
  • Serve with gravy, maple Dijon or honey mustard sauce, or barbecue sauce.

For the All-Purpose Red Rub:

  • Combine all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly in a large bowl, plasting storage bag, or storage container.
  • Can be stored in a cool, dark place for months. Sprinkle over meats or veggies before grilling or roasting.
Nutrition Facts
BBQ-Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Amount Per Serving (3 oz., cooked)
Calories 258 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 526mg22%
Potassium 617mg18%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 55g110%
Vitamin A 51IU1%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

More amazing meals with built-in leftovers:

30 Comments
  1. The bbq turkey breast, broccoli and sweet potato you have going on here are one of my ultimate favorite meals! I need to invest in a slow cooker to try this, because this would be so easy to whip together and enjoy leftovers throughout the week.

  2. Love the idea of using the crockpot to do the stock overnight. I usually save the bones for making stock later, but then I often forget about them in the freezer and end up throwing them out anyway. Doing it right away would be so much better!

  3. This sounds delicious, Brianne, and I am right there with you, I would never pass up the opportunity for a free bird (or ham) during the holiday season. This looks so moist and delicious…the possibilities are swirling in my head!

  4. Ah, the miracles of the slow cooker. Your family is very lucky to have such scrumptious meals served to them.

    Also, your husband must be grateful you are his wife, Brianne. You’ve inspired me to save more money and take advantage of those free Thanksgiving turkey offers =)

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