In the mood for turkey but don’t want to roast an entire turkey? Try this Easy Roasted Turkey Leg recipe! It’s easier, faster, and just as tasty, if not more. Perfect crispy skin and moist juicy meat, this roasted turkey leg is perfect for both a small holiday dinner or weekend dinner.
With a few simple ingredients, you can turn a plain turkey leg into a recipe worthy for any holiday spread. This easy roasted turkey leg is bound to turn some heads as the skin is perfectly crispy and the dark turkey meat is beyond delicious. Even better, you don’t even have to carve the turkey once it’s done!
No need to spend days thawing, brining, and prepping, this easy roasted turkey leg is a perfect low fuss alternative to roast a whole turkey and for all the dark meat lovers too. I also like it for an easy dinner since a whole turkey leg can easily feed between four to six people.
If you want another easy recipe idea, try my Garlic Butter Turkey Breast Recipe (for the white meat lovers), Easy Roasted Turkey Breast, Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs or Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken. They’re effortless recipes that the whole family will enjoy.
How to make Roasted Turkey Legs
- Lemon slices — the lemon gives off a deliciously bright flavour to the turkey legs. You can use lemon juice if you prefer.
- Aromatics — the onion and garlic cannot be skipped. You’ll love the flavours given off by the aromatics.
- Fresh herbs — not only do fresh herbs make for a beautiful garnish, it adds so much flavour to the turkey legs. Rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme are my favorite ones to use in this recipe.
- Turkey legs — I use bone-in, skin-on, turkey legs with thighs attached. I like using free-range and organic turkey legs whenever possible. You can also make this recipe with drumsticks.
- Olive oil — you can also use a different neutral oil of your choice or melted butter.
- Seasoning: I use paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper to season the turkey legs.
Prepare the Equipment
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit (175º Celsius).
- Line a roasting pan with parchment paper or foil, and spread red onion slices, lemon slices, rosemary, and garlic cloves over it.
Prepare the Turkey
- Pat dry and rub the turkey leg with olive oil on both sides.
- In a small glass bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Rub the seasoning mix all over the turkey legs.
Roast the Turkey Legs
- Place the turkey leg on top of the slices of onions, lemons, rosemary, and garlic, skin side down and roast for 30 minutes.
- Turn the legs over, skin side up, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C).
- Remove the turkey from the oven, wrap it with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
- The turkey is ready once the internal temperature reaches 165°F. The easiest way to make sure the temperature is right is to use a meat thermometer.
- Don’t skip letting the turkey legs rest as doing so gives the juices inside the legs time to redistribute. Cut too early and all the juice runs outs.
- If your turkey gets brown too quickly, cover it with foil to avoid the skin burning before the inside is cooked through.
- Make sure you pat dry your chicken first. The moisture on the skin from thawing it or taking it out of the fridge will make it difficult for your skin to crisp up.
- Feel free to change up the fresh herbs if you have different ones on hand.
- Depending on the size of your turkey legs, it may take longer or quicker for yours to roast.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe if you’d like to feed a larger crowd.
- Feel free to garnish this however you like! I added pomegranate for a pop of colour but you can add any fruits or citrus such as cranberries or orange slices.
Can I make this in advance?
You can! Make these roasted turkey legs a day or two in advance and keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, reheat in the oven until the turkey legs have warmed through. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days as well.
Can I freeze leftovers?
Leftover roasted turkey legs can be kept in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Side dishes serving suggestions
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe: This Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe is the best mashed potato recipe you’re ever going to make, perfect for any holiday spread.
- Potatoes au Gratin: Rich and creamy, this Potatoes au Gratin recipe is a decadent side dish that is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday.
- Gluten Free Cornbread Recipe: Soft and fluffy, this Gluten Free Cornbread Recipe is so easy to make! It is so moist, tender, and sweet! The perfect side dish for the holidays to go with this roasted turkey leg!
- Garlic Butter Green Beans Recipe: This green beans recipe makes a quick and delicious side dish for any meal. Fresh green beans soak up the flavors of garlic and butter, so make a double batch; you will want a second helping!
- Cranberry Sauce: Delicious and only five simple ingredients required.
- Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce: A delicious appetizer perfect for any cheese lover.
More Turkey Recipes to Try:
- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers
- Easy Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
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- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit (175º Celsius). In a roasting pan, line with parchment paper or foil and spread red onion slices, lemon slices, rosemary, and garlic cloves over it.
- Rub the turkey leg with olive oil (both sides).
- In a small glass bowl, add paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt and pepper and mix well to combine all the ingredients together.
- Sprinkle the spices mixture over the turkey on both sides.
- Place the turkey leg on top of the slices of onions, lemons, rosemary and garlic, skin side down and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the legs over, skin side up, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F.
- Remove the turkey from oven, wrap with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!
- The easiest way to make sure the turkey is cooked is by checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F.
- Avoid slicing into the turkey legs immediately as the juices will run right out onto your cutting board. Let the leg rest before slicing.
- Cover the turkey legs with tin foil if the skin is browning too quickly.
- To store: Put leftover turkey into an airtight glass container and keep them for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- To reheat: Rewarm leftover turkey in the microwave. If you want to keep the skin crispy, reheat it in the oven or a toaster oven.
- To freeze: Place the leftover cooked turkey in a freezer-safe container or bag once it has cooled. Then, freeze the cooked turkey for up to 4 months. You can shred the turkey beforehand so it’s easy to throw in some soup or salad later.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.