Grilled Chili-Rubbed Turkey Breast

by Anne Bennett on August 28, 2009

My mother always insisted upon eating well, but as she got older she learned to exert the least amount of effort in the process. One of her stand-bys was a roasted turkey breast, which she simply plunked into an old, well-worn baking pan, sprinkled with seasoned salt and placed into a 325 degree oven for an hour or so.

Whenever we visited her, we invariably came into the kitchen to see a turkey breast cooling on the counter. The next day it made the best sandwiches on sourdough bread with cranberry sauce, mayonnaise and lettuce. I was always watching my weight, so the lean turkey was a welcome site! I learned from Mom to default to turkey breasts whenever I needed an easy, healthy entree that would last for multiple meals. Turkey–it’s not just for Thanksgiving.

This recipe is adapted from a Weight Watcher cookbook on grilling. The original recipe called for a whole 6-lb. turkey breast, but because I’m playing bachelorette this week, I chose a half-breast, which will serve two people well for several days. Directions for a whole breast are below. I hadn’t tried seasonings like this before on a turkey breast, but I’ll be doing this from now on. There’s just a hint of heat, but also sweetness from the brown sugar. And the red seasonings help to color the turkey to a beautiful brown.

turkey-closeup2 t. chili powder
2 t. salt
2 t. packed brown sugar
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 half turkey breast (2 1/2-to-3-lbs.)
Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl. Spread rub over the breast, loosening the skin with your fingers and getting rub onto the flesh as well.

Heat grill and, if using a gas grill, turn off the heat over the center burner. Place turkey breast on center cool spot of grill, cover and adjust heat to about 325 to 350 degrees. Cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 to 170 degrees, about an hour to 1 1/4 hours. Or do what Mom did and roast this in a 325 degree oven in a baking pan.

Servings: 5

If you opt for a whole breast, which is a good option for a family or for a week of quick meals, use the following measurements:

1 T. chili powder
1 T. salt
1 T. packed brown sugar
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1 t. garlic powder
1 whole turkey breast (5 1/2 to 6 lbs.)

A whole breast serves 10.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

judy foster September 1, 2009 at 6:14 am

I’ve often done turkey breast in my slow cooker. I wonder if this would work cooked that way. It sounds wonderful! Thanks Judy

Marcie September 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Anne, I was planning on making a turkey breast I had seen in a Kraft Foods magazine this upcoming week. I have a daycare in my home and need to plan out menus a week in advance. Am always looking for healthy meals (WW) that will serve many picky little eaters. Thought I would give your recipe a try, as my sig. other would enjoy the flavors much more than a plain old turkey breast!! Thanks for the idea :-} See ya Sat. morn 10:15

Courtney September 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I made the turkey breast this afternoon. It is delicious! My only suggestion is that you pack up the extras pronto – I was tempted to keep picking off bites here and there as it cooled! I have so many servings I’ll need to freeze some for later. I know we discussed the meat was pricey at Whole Foods however, I think it is totally worth it for the number of servings.

admin September 7, 2009 at 6:17 am

Helllooo, what is that pesky phrase we mention all the time at WW meetings? Portion Control! I know what you mean, though. When the turkey is fresh and still juicy, it’s hard to stop nibbling! Get it into the fridge ASAP. Great sandwiches all week!

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