Oven-roasted turkey legs – Cooked simply with a tasty marinade of garlic, spices, and fresh winter herbs, this is a show-stopping meal perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or weeknight. So easy dinner, so delicious, and no sweat!
OVEN-ROASTED TURKEY LEGS (DRUMSTICKS)
Want to see your family and friends flock to the dinner table like mine? Try serving these oven-roasted turkey wings—they’re juicy, tender, and crispy, all at the same time. Plus, it’s an easy recipe that only requires pantry ingredients and a few minutes of preparation time before popping them in the oven to cook. Follow this recipe, and you’ll have a winner on your hands!
This wonderful oven-roasted turkey legs recipe saves time and stress without compromising at all on flavor. Just marinade the turkey legs with my magical blend of elevating flavors and pop them in the oven. You are then free to spend precious time with your family as the house fills with mouth-watering aromas.
There is also the option to cook these oven-roasted turkey legs in the air fryer if you have one, leaving plenty of room in your oven for everything else.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE THESE OVEN-ROASTED TURKEY LEGS?
As you are using just the legs of the turkey and not the whole bird, your beautiful centerpiece will be ready in just 45-50 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to produce juicy flesh and divine crispy skin.
If you are using an air fryer, they will take even less time, around 40 minutes in total with a quick flip halfway through.
WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED TO MARINADE THE ROASTED TURKEY DRUMSTICKS?
The seasoned marinade I use is uncomplicated, but it’s loaded with a punch of savory, seasonal flavors. You will need;
- Fresh garlic for a deep, rounded flavor and aroma
- Herbs: I used Rosemary and Thyme.
- Cumin, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika for earthy tones, and an excellent burnished color on the skin.
- Fresh lemon juice, which will brighten the dish and help tenderize the meat as it cooks.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
HOW TO OVEN ROAST TURKEY LEGS
- Step 1 Preheat your oven – It’s important to preheat your oven so that it has a chance to get hot before you start cooking.
- Step 2 Prepare the turkey legs – While it’s optional for some to rinse their meat, I like to rinse mine thoroughly with water and vinegar or lemon. Whether you choose to rinse or not, be sure to pat the legs dry thoroughly before adding the seasoning so that you don’t end up with steamed legs.
- Step 3 Add seasoning – Drizzle with oil or butter, season them well and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Step 4 Place your turkey legs in the oven – Now that you have all your turkey legs ready, it’s time to oven-roast them. Cooking time can vary based on the size of the legs. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- Step 5 Enjoy!
CAN I USE TURKEY BREASTS INSTEAD OF LEGS?
Yes, if you prefer, you can use turkey breast instead of legs. However, do not follow this oven-roasted turkey legs recipe as the timings and methods are different. Also, Turkey breasts are a little more prone to drying out than turkey legs, so they need special attention. So go ahead and check out my perfect juicy oven-roasted turkey breast recipe instead.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH OVEN-ROASTED TURKEY?
This is a very versatile recipe that can be served with anything that matches the occasion you are cooking for. these are my suggestions;
- Smooth, sweet, and savory mashed sweet potatoes.
- Garlic roasted potatoes with rosemary.
- Gomen wat – Ethiopian collard greens.
- Turkey gravy made from scratch using drippings.
- No-knead soft dinner rolls.
- Easy homemade cranberry sauce.
Here are some similar recipes from my archives that you might also enjoy.
- You can experiment with the marinade for the oven-roasted turkey legs as much as you wish. For example, adding a touch of cinnamon would bring an even more festive warmth and aroma to the dish.
- Use as little or as much cayenne pepper as it works for you and your guests. I do recommend using a tiny sprinkle even if you do not want true heat, as it will imbue you and your guests with coziness from the inside.
- We are using turkey legs here, so they will not need to rest for as long as turkey breast or a whole turkey would. The juices they produce will naturally baste them throughout the cooking time. They will need to rest for only a few minutes before you can tuck in.
Oven-roasted turkey legs
- 2 turkey legs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme or 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl except the oil. Mix well
- Score the turkey legs about 3 times on each side.
- Rub the oil all over the turkey legs, then sprinkle the seasoning all over the legs and massage very well, making sure you reach every part.
- Refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least one hour. (If you have the time).
- Set oven to 350F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or till the internal temperature reaches 180F (82C)
- Leave to rest for a few minutes before digging in.
Air fryer option
- Set air fryer to 400° and cook for 20 minutes
- Flip the legs to the other side and leave to cook for another 20 minutes
- Leave to rest for few minutes before digging in.