Trader Joe’s Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast Review

Trader Joe's Brined Bone In Half Turkey Breast fully cooked
Trader Joe’s Brined Bone In Half Turkey Breast fully cooked

Ah, it’s that time of year again. The mad scramble to put a decent looking roasted turkey on the table for the family for Thanksgiving dinner. The hours of slaving away in the kitchen and getting the turkey to be perfectly done. Well, those days are over. You can just buy this heat and serve pre-cooked brined Turkey from Trader Joe’s and have a perfectly cooked turkey breast on the table with enough meat to serve about 4-5 people in about a half hour.

The official long name of this product (as you can see from the front of the bag) is: Trader Joe’s Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast with Garlic Herb Butter Fully Cooked. That’s a mouthful for a pretty simple product. 

Trader Joe's Brined Turkey Breast with herbs
Trader Joe’s Brined Turkey Breast with herbs

Let me back up a little here. As you can see the turkey breast comes in a large bag. The one I picked up was about 3.25 lbs and the price is $7.99 which came out to around $23 for the whole thing which seems rather steep for a turkey breast you could get at Safeway for less than half of that, but Trader Joe’s has supposedly done most of the work for you by cooking it ahead of time.

They say right on the package that it’s “heat and serve” which it is. It’s been “sous vide” which is just a fancy term for putting a turkey breast in a vacuum sealed plastic bag with some herbs, butter, salt, and pepper and cooking it for a long time at a fairly low temperature in a water bath.

The water perfectly controls the temperature and gives you the exact level of doneness that you want. This is particularly useful when cooking a steak or ribs. You can do your own sous vide with an at-home sous vide heater in a large pot. It’s pretty easy!

Anova Sous Vide Heater $99 on Amazon

Since the meat cooks in its own juices and all the seasonings are in the bag it gets infused in the meat and everything turns out perfectly done. But there are downsides to it. The major disappointment with meats like turkey and chicken that have skin is they don’t get browned. The meat turns out perfectly, but no crispy skin to go along. Many think it’s aesthetically unappealing and I kind of agree. But you don’t have to do this with this Turkey breast, Trader Joe’s has done all the hard work for you already!


Trader Joe's Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast
Trader Joe’s Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast

To make this Turkey in a bag, I followed the Conventional Oven method which is the preferred method. You could microwave it to warm it up. Remember you don’t want to really cook it too much more because it’s fully cooked and cooking longer than necessary will make the meat turn tough.

So, to get it warmed up and make it with a semi-crisp skin you bake it in an oven in a shallow pan with all the juices and keep it covered. You are just trying to get it up to a decent temperature for serving without overcooking it. Then you take off the foil and supposedly this will dry out the skin and brown it up.

But following the directions exactly didn’t give me that. Mine still looked like an underdone turkey but with sous vide that’s not possible. It just looks that way. 

Trader Joe's Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast
After the turkey comes out of the oven

If you want some crispy brown skin I suggest that you run it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown it up. The skin on my turkey looked nothing like the one on the outer bag. You could also throw it on the grill to give it a nice grilled flavor. Just keep the heat low, again you don’t want to overcook the meat.

Also, this is bone-in turkey so when you go to cut it there will be bones, keep that in mind. You need to carve it instead of just cutting it straight down.

Trader Joe's Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast
Cutting the Trader Joe’s Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast

The other thing I noticed was the disconnect between the picture on the bag and my turkey breast looks severely underseasoned. I did some hunting around on the internet and looking for other pictures of this product and it seems like I got shortchanged in the herb department on this turkey. If yours looks like mine, I would put some chopped parsley, thyme, and sage on yours to give it some flavor and color.

Turkey Nutrition

Making Gravy for Your Turkey

At the same time this was cooking, I followed their instructions for making the gravy. It was simple but I had so much juice from the turkey cooking that I didn’t need any water. I also used butter instead of olive oil to make the roux. I did add a 1/4 bay leaf, some thyme, and a grind of black pepper to give it an extra flavor boost. As you can see in the picture below, the gravy turned out great. Can’t have Thanksgiving without gravy!

Trader Joe's bone in brined turkey gravy recipe
Trader Joe’s bone in brined turkey gravy recipe

It’s hard to screw up a sous vide turkey breast. The meat is cooked perfectly. Easy to cook. It was tender and well-flavored. So, if you don’t want to make a huge deal about cooking for just a couple of people, I highly recommend using this turkey breast. Get a few of the Trader Joe’s sides like the four cheese scalloped potatoes or the cornbread stuffing that you just pop in the oven with the turkey at the same time. Voila! and you have almost a complete meal if you add some veggies and dessert that Trader Joe’s will be more than happy to provide.

Turkey dinner!

Final Thoughts

How would I rate this Trader Joe’s Brined Fully Cooked Herb Butter Half Turkey Breast? I would give it 8 Bells! I would doctor it up a little if yours looked like mine but that is just for appearances, all the flavor is already cooked in. If I was only going to cook Thanksgiving for a couple of people, I would be proud to serve this!


Conventional Oven (Preferred Method):
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place turkey and all juices from the bag into a roasting pan. Cover tightly
with foil and heat on center rack of oven 25 minutes.
Remove foil; baste and heat until skin is golden brown and turkey is warm; baste occasionally
for an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, baste again, remove from pan, cover
tightly with foil and rest 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
Baste turkey slices with pan juices or make gravy if desired.

Microwave (1200 watt): Microwave cook times may vary depending on oven wattage.
Make a 1 inch slit in the plastic bag near the wing, and place bag on a microwave safe dish,
skin side up. Microwave on HIGH 10 to 14 minutes or until heated through. Allow to rest 5
minutes before carefully removing from bag to slice; save juices in the dish for basting or to
make gravy.






  1. I was looking for reviews, after the fact, and see that my turkey breast came out pretty close to yours. I did get the skin a little bit more browned during the last 12 to 15 minutes, but not sufficiently to want to eat it. I left it on to keep the turkey moist. Not sure how much mine weighed but when I paid $29.84 for it I assumed it was boneless. Wrong. My first serving was just okay, and then I remembered I had neglected to let the turkey sit for 15 minutes so the juices firmed up. My second helping was much better. And like yours, no seasoning at all. Glad you mentioned the garlic. Something I overlooked. My cats got to share in this delight Thanksgiving day and also in leftovers. But they are not supposed to have garlic. Will I buy it again? No. It was weird to slice, and I could not imagine being able to feed it to four or five people. Thanks for your thorough review and instructions.

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