Sometimes you want turkey but you don't want to cook a big oven roasted turkey dinner. And this is one of those times. Actually, this is one of those years...
Like most people, we're not only sticking closer to home, we're having smaller gatherings this year. And for us, Christmas dinner will be substantially smaller. This Slow Cooker Turkey breast with Quinoa Cranberry Dressing is the perfect special meal for a small gathering. It feeds up to 6 people, but it's perfect for 4 if you want leftover turkey sandwiches (and who doesn't?!) Or you can cut the recipe in half and it's ideal for 2. It's also a healthy dinner that's both Weight Watchers friendly @ only 6 WW points on the blue plan and gluten-free!
We're Canadian, so we celebrated Thanksgiving in October. But for my American friends, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This slow cooker turkey breast makes a great Thanksgiving meal. This is my version of a recipe I found in a very old mini crockpot cookbook called "Crockstar." I don't know where it came from or even what year it was published, but it' s a great recipe. Of course I changed some things to make it more practical, modern and gluten- free. The original recipe used barley and a bone in turkey breast. Quinoa is a lot more palatable to most people and gluten-free so I changed that up. And I opted to use a boneless turkey breast, as it was easier to find. However, if you prefer, you can use bone in. Either way, it makes a great Thanksgiving meal that's made in one pot and ready in under 4 hours.
Slow Cooker Turkey
If you've been following along with me for a while you already know how much I love my slow cooker. The idea of being able to put everything into one pot, walk away and have that wonderful little appliance do all the work, especially an entire holiday dinner, is simply magical! And slow cooker turkey breast is such a simple and delicious way to make a festive holiday dinner! It's an easy meal in one pot that only takes a few minutes to prepare and you won't believe how incredible it tastes! If you also love your slow cooker as much as I love mine, then check out my other Slow Cooker Recipes!
In my family, the holidays are not the same without a turkey dinner. Even when it's just the 4 of us and I suggest doing something different, I get resistance; they want the turkey dinner! Turkey dinner is not only comforting, it's tradition. And when you can't have normal, like our big family holiday dinners, tradition is even more important.
And if you don't want to go all out and make the big oven roasted turkey dinner, this is the perfect alternative! I made this turkey dinner with Roasted Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots from Recipe Tin Eats (pictured above.) But however healthy and delicious those carrots are, they aren’t particularly WW friendly (about 8 WW points per serving.) So if you're looking for WW friendly side dishes to go with this recipe, then check out my Green beans and Mushrooms (pictured below - 4 WW points on blue.)
Boneless Turkey Breast Recipes
Boneless turkey breast recipes that are as flavorful as this are not that easy to come by. Turkey can dry out very easily. But browning it, then cooking it in the slow cooker, locks in the juices and keeps it moist.
How to tell when your turkey is done:
The very BEST way to make sure turkey is done is by taking its temperature. You want to cook it until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees F. It takes about 3- 4 hours. I use this Thermapen - Instant Read Thermometer (affiliate link.) I searched for years to find a great quality and reliable meat thermometer and finally found this one. And it's not only great for meat, it's an all-in-one thermometer for candy, casseroles, desserts, breads, doughs, drinks and more! You can even use it to check the temperature of your bath water haha.... You (or the cook in your life) will LOVE this kitchen tool!
If you're looking for desserts to accompany your holiday dinner, then check out the desserts at the bottom of this post (underneath the recipe card)! This Weight Watchers Crustless Pumpkin Pie (2 WW points on the blue plan), makes a great dessert if you're looking to keep things light!
Happy holidays and healthy eating!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Quinoa Cranberry Dressing
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast almonds: spread in a single layer on baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 4-6 minutes) stirring frequently.
- Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and and brown turkey breast on all sides (I do this on high for about 3 minutes on each side).
- Spray bowl of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and add browned turkey breast to bottom of the slow cooker bowl.
- Add quinoa, cranberries, toasted almonds, onions, garlic, parsley and poultry seasoning on top of turkey, then pour chicken stock over everything.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (see NOTES) or is cooked through (no longer pink.) * This will depend on how thick your turkey breasts are.
- Stir fresh parsley into stuffing mixture and garnish with fresh parsley as desired . Slice turkey and serve with stuffing and vegetable side of choice.
This recipe is part of The Country Cook Weekend Potluck