These oven roasted turkey legs are rubbed with the perfect blend of spices, then baked until plump and juicy, for those who always want the turkey legs!
Oven Roasted Turkey Legs Recipe
When turkey is on the menu, are you always fighting over the dark meat? Why not skip the whole turkey this year and make Roasted Turkey Legs instead?
Dark meat lovers will rejoice when they are served up with a plump, juicy turkey leg that has been rubbed down with a piquant blend of seasonings.
We're cooking the turkey legs in the oven to get a beautiful golden brown color on them. They're deliciously moist on the inside, and so satisfying.
I am able to buy turkey legs from my butcher, but you'll often find them available at most grocery stores around the holidays. They can also order them up for you.
This recipe is a perfect holiday meal option for those who don't want to cook a whole turkey, and prefer dark meat to the more commonly served turkey breast.
I'm also sharing a simple yet amazing pan gravy option that I think you will love.
Let's talk about how to make roasted turkey legs, shall we?
Roasted Turkey Legs Ingredients
The full ingredients list with measurements is listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Turkey Legs/Drumsticks. Sizes vary for turkey legs. Mine were 1 pound each legs, though they are often smaller.
- Seasonings. Sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried sage, black pepper, cayenne. Or try my turkey rub recipe.
- GRAVY OPTION
- Turkey Leg Drippings. Save 1 cup from the roasting pan.
- Chicken Bouillon. I love Knorr brand.
- Corn Starch Slurry. To thicken the gravy.
How to Roast Turkey Legs - the Recipe Method
The Spice Mix. Mix the oil and spices together, then rub down the turkey legs. Get it all rubbed in there, even under the skin if you can manage it.
This is our flavor builder. The selection of spices is very important.
The First Roast. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C) and bake the turkey legs in a roasting pan with a roasting rack at the bottom. This will allow the turkey drumsticks to cook evenly, and let you save the drippings.
You can also roast them on a wire rack with a baking sheet set below to catch the drippings.
Roast the turkey drumsticks for 25 minutes, until nicely browned.
The Second Roast. Next, loosely cover the turkey legs with aluminum foil and cook the turkey legs until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74C), 20 to 30 minutes or so.
Since turkey legs can vary in size, it is best to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature, as cook times can vary.
I like to use my Thermapen meat thermometer from ThermoWorks (I'm an affiliate). Works great! Looks like it is done cooking!
Rest the roasted turkey legs and serve them up! Do you want gravy with them? Check it out!
TURKEY LEG GRAVY OPTION
Strain the Pan Drippings. Strain 1 cup of the drippings from the roasting pan into a small saucepan or pot and heat it up.
Thicken the Gravy. Swirl in the bouillon cube (if using) and cornstarch slurry over heat tot thicken it up to your liking. Whisk in a bit of butter at the end.
Boom! Done! Your baked turkey legs are ready to serve. Do you want mashed potatoes and gravy with this? Or will you serve them with your favorite side dish? I'd love to hear! Feel free to get crazy!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Crisp Skin Turkey. For crispy skin, remove the aluminum foil then bake a few minutes more at the end, or use your broiler.
- Basting the Turkey. Consider basting the turkey legs with the pan juices during roasting to keep them moist and flavorful.
Serving Turkey Legs
What can you serve with roasted turkey legs? We love serving them with mashed potatoes and pouring over the easy gravy made from the pan drippings. But here are a few other ideas.
Leftover roasted turkey legs will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can easily warm them again in the oven to enjoy.
You can also freeze them for 2-3 months. I like to pick the meat from any leftovers and freeze it for using in soups, stews, or sandwiches.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my roasted turkey legs recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Oven Roasted Turkey Legs Recipe
- 4 turkey legs/drumsticks about 1 pound each
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil or use butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika I like hot or smoked
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional, for spicy
- 1 cup turkey leg drippings from roasting pan
- 1 chicken bouillon cube optional, for extra flavor
- 2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons water to form a slurry
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt to taste if needed
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).
- Mix the oil and seasonings in a small bowl until well combined.
- Rub the turkey legs down with the spice mixture. Be sure to get well rubbed in.
- Set the turkey legs into roasted pan with a roasting rack placed at the bottom of the pan. This will allow drippings to drip away from the turkey legs.
- Roast the turkey drumsticks for 25 minutes, until nicely browned.
- Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil, then continue to roast for 20-30 minutes more, or until the turkey legs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74C).
- Allow the roasted turkey legs to rest 5-10 minutes. Serve.
- Strain the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan into a bowl.
- Pour 1 cup of the strained drippings into a small saucepan or pot. Heat to medium.
- Swirl in the bouillon cube (if using) and cornstarch slurry. Stir for 1-2 minutes to chicken.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Adjust for salt and serve.