Perfect and Easy Oven Roasted Turkey Legs

When someone asks me what my favorite holiday is, I always tell them Thanksgiving. For me, Thanksgiving is the perfect mixture of friends, family, and food. I have no shame in admitting that I squeal in delight when the beautiful golden-brown turkey makes it way to the table. And while many of my family members fight over the white breast meat, I always go straight for the legs. I’m a dark meat type of guy, and nothing channels my inner caveman more than using my hands and chomping down on the leg of a turkey.

Now, I am of the belief that there’s no reason to eat roasted turkey once a year. Whenever I’m feeling tired of chicken or beef, I always head to my grocery store in search of something that will change up my protein game for a few days. Some days it’s lamb, other days it’s pork. Yesterday, it was turkey.

As I was glancing through the meat section, I came across an unbeatable deal on turkey legs. Take a look:

turkeyleg1

Two beautiful, meaty turkey legs for $4.88. You just can’t beat that! It’s almost $10 to get a single turkey leg at the State Fair, so I knew that I wasn’t going to pass this deal up. I decided to bring those legs home and cook them for dinner that night.

If you’re like me, you prefer recipes that are not only quick and easy, but also effective. Roasting turkey legs is just that – easy and effective. Let’s not make it harder than it has to be.

Today, I’ll tell you how to roast the perfect turkey leg with only 3 ingredients. Let’s get started:

What you’ll need:

  • Turkey legs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter (softened at room temperature)

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350F. While waiting for the oven to heat, remove your turkey legs from the package and rinse them under cold water. When finished, pat the turkey legs dry with a paper towel and place them on a plate or cutting board:

turkeyleg2

Step 2: Take your softened, room-temperature butter and spread the butter all over the turkey legs using your hands. Massage the butter into the turkey meat and under the skin if possible. Try to cover the turkey legs with even amounts of butter, being sure to use only as much butter as needed. When finished, the legs should look like this:

turkeyleg3

Step 3: Sprinkle your desired amount of salt and pepper onto the turkey legs. Be sure to cover the legs evenly with salt and pepper:

turkeyleg4

Step 4: Place the turkey legs onto a wire rack over a baking/roast pan. This method is useful to catch the turkey drippings. I actually use a cooling rack and a cake pan:

turkeyleg5

Step 5: Place the turkey legs into your 350F heated oven. Cook for 45 minutes and then flip the turkey legs over to cook for an additional 45 minutes. Total cook time is 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, the turkey legs should come out looking like this:

turkeyleg6

Mmm…golden brown turkey legs with crispy skin to boot! Pro-tip: Use a meat thermometer to measure the heat in the center of the turkey leg, which should be 180F. If the center of the turkey leg is not 180F, place them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and try again.

When you do remove the legs from the oven, be sure to let them stand and cool for at least 10 minutes. Not only will they be piping hot, but leaving them to stand before eating allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, leaving you with more succulent and tender turkey legs.

Now stop waiting for Thanksgiving and go find yourself some turkey legs to roast!

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8 thoughts on “Perfect and Easy Oven Roasted Turkey Legs

  1. Sunny Stallings

    The other recipes I found were entirely too complicated! Thanks for simplicity of your recipe! Trying it this afternoon…

    Reply
  2. Lala

    OMG!! I cooked turkey once and they turned out all dry and blah. Followed your recipe and BAM! Perfection. Thanks for sharing this😊

    Reply
  3. cathy

    These were amazing, I normally cook wings or turkey breasts but today I decided to cook the turkey legs and found your recipe and I am so glad I did… Love Love Love it… they were juicy and tender and delicious.. 🙂 thank you for the recipe..

    Reply
  4. Ron

    I follow this approach, but add this: tent the legs under aluminum foil and put a half can of Ginger Ale or hard cider in the pan. delicious!

    Reply
  5. Megan Smock

    Mine were a little dry. I asked my neighbor who is a professional chef and he said cook it to 150-155 degrees. It will come up to temp while resting.

    Reply

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