Perfect Turkey Legs

Who doesn’t love roasted Turkey Legs? Tender, juicy, and packed with flavor, it’s fun to chow down on a meaty leg, but they’re so easy to overcook! Not with my tried-and-true method for making the most perfect Turkey Legs every time!

Two roasted turkey legs on a silver plate with floral trim

Oven-roasted Turkey Legs are a great alternative to the whole turkey for Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy turkey when you cook a batch of turkey drumsticks! 

Meaty and flavorful, roasted Turkey Legs are easy to make and fun to eat. Pass the napkins around and watch as people devour the succulent dark turkey meat on these perfect legs. Pair them with your favorite sides for a delicious meal everyone will love!

Plus, this turkey drumstick recipe is easy to double or triple! It’s written for 2 people, but you can make as much as you need for any number of guests. Just count on 1 leg per person and adjust the seasonings and butter, and everyone will be happy with this fabulous hands-on meal!

The inside meat of a turkey leg


  • Turkey legs – They can be fresh or frozen and thawed.
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika – Smoked paprika gives them a lovely bit of smoky flavor.
  • Black pepper
  • Melted butter – Or olive oil if you’d like dairy-free turkey legs.

You’ll Also Need

  • Baking sheet with a wire rack
  • Aluminum foil

How To Make The Best Turkey Legs

Seriously, y’all, this is such an easy Turkey Leg recipe, and if you follow it, your meal will be moist, tender, and juicy!

  1. Preheat your oven to 450-F.
  2. Combine the garlic salt, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place your turkey legs on the wire rack above the baking sheet, then baste your turkey legs all over with the melted butter. 
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly over the turkey legs – get all sides.
  5. Bake the turkey legs at 450-F for 25 minutes, uncovered. Then, cover the legs with aluminum foil and return to the oven for another 30-40 minutes or until the legs reach an internal temperature of 165-F with a digital meat thermometer.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes without peeking! This will allow them to finish cooking without overcooking.
Roasted turkey legs on a wire rack in a baking sheet

How Long Does It Take To Cook A Turkey Leg?

This is not a quick recipe; cooking turkey legs in the oven with my method will take you about an hour. The turkey needs that time for them to become juicy and tender.

Recipe Tips

  • Use any seasoning that you like! My suggestions make a good all-purpose seasoning for the turkey legs, but you can use Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, Italian blends, or whatever you like. The secret here is in the cooking method.
  • A pastry brush or silicone basting brush will help get the butter on evenly.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne or chipotle powder to add a bit of spice to your oven-baked turkey legs.
The inside meat of a turkey leg on a blue plate

Serving Suggestions

These are totally kid-friendly Turkey Legs, and when you’ve got a house full of kids, put out a dish of my best-ever mac and cheese with them! Creamy mashed potatoes are also delish with these legs or opt for a saucy casserole. Turkey legs are also fabulous for Thanksgiving or Christmas, if you don’t want to serve a whole turkey. In that case, pair the legs with cranberry sauce and all your favorite holiday side dishes.


Store any leftover Turkey Legs in a resealable plastic bag or container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the microwave or wrapped in foil in the oven.

Two roasted turkey legs on a silver plate

Perfect Turkey Legs


  • baking sheet with fitted wire rack
  • aluminum foil


  • 2 turkey legs
  • 1.5 Tsp garlic salt
  • 1.5 Tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp melted butter


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine the seasonings in a small bowl.
  • Place your turkey legs on a wire rack fitted inside of a baking sheet. Baste the turkey legs all over with the melted butter & season on all sides with the seasoning.
  • Cook the turkey legs on 450 uncovered for 25 minutes. Then, remove the turkey legs from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Return to the oven and cook for another 40 or so minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Do not lift the foil, even for a peak! This step is very important. This will ensure that your turkey legs are perfectly cooked.

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