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Crispy Oven Baked Turkey Legs

Oven baked turkey legs turn out great! With moist tender meat inside and crispy turkey skin outside we love them brined or with our turkey dry rub.

Baked Turkey Legs

What if you don’t want to cook the WHOLE bird this year because all you want is dark meat. NO problem friends, just bake turkey legs in the oven this year. They turn out so good I tell you. Even my picky husband said they were outstanding. 😉 (affiliate links present)

Baked Turkey Legs Wrapped in Foil

If you have only cooked that big bird whole you’re in for a real treat. Did you even know you could dismantle a raw turkey into separate pieces and cook them one by one?? You not only can but it has been our favorite way for the holidays.

Why would you do such a thing?? Well I love that I can make sheet pan turkey with it in just one hour instead of all day long. Also you can choose to cook them in different ways. For lunch you could make these as we will show you below. Maybe for dinner you want to switch things around and make air fryer turkey thighs this way.

Baked Turkey Legs Wrapped in Foil

Each way has it’s uniqueness to it right?? For SUPER moist insides I suggest using the oven but for REALLY crispy skin, I would air fry. Each person will likely have a preference. We use this same method for making our baked Butterball turkey breasts and baked turkey wings too.

The cover, then remove at the end to get that golden crisp skin works great for just the right texture if you ask me. All you need is your meat, foil and a baking sheet or casserole dish that is large enough. You don’t want anything overlapping so adjust the size according to how many you have.

How to Bake Turkey Legs

Almost all parts of a turkey need to slow roast for a bit, and then the outside needs to be crisped if you ask me. Yes it is wonderful in an air fryer or pressure cooked too but there’s something about the “old fashioned” method in the oven right?? Let’s go over this step by step.

How to Bake Turkey Legs

Turkey Legs in Oven

Ok so this is what you’re going to need to get started. If you took apart the whole bird yourself you would only have 2 of them but many times you can find them by themselves at the store in the meat section so you may have more on hand. As long as they don’t overlap you can fit as many as you have on the sheet.

  • Buy turkey legs that are all the same size so they bake evenly
  • A bit of olive oil, or melted butter works too
  • Best if you use one of the following
    • Ideally use our simple brine recipe soaking turkey drumsticks for 6 hours or overnight
    • OR whip up our turkey dry rub, dry outside with paper towels, coat the entire leg, then lift up to allow the excess to fall off and lay on pan
    • For super simple feel free to just sprinkle on seasonings of choice when you lift off the foil
  • Baking sheet, roasting pan or large casserole dish
  • Meat thermometer

Loosely cover top with foil on the pan and non stick aluminum foil for sure on the top so it doesn’t stick to your skin and peel that off.

baked turkey pieces

How Long to Bake Turkey Legs at 300

Remember that they all are different sizes so the cook time will vary ever so slightly. 2 hours is typically perfect though so I say 1 hour 45 minutes to 120 minutes you should set aside. You always want it to rest for about 10 minutes at the end too so figure a good 2 hours with all of that taken into account.

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or casserole dish with non stick aluminum foil.
  • Set legs on top.
  • Drizzle 1/2 of your olive oil on top of all of them, evenly distributed.
  • Cover top with non stick aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until thickest part temp = 165 F.
  • Then uncover the top and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of each one so the skin is nicely coated.
    • If you haven’t seasoned at yet you should sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • There will be a decent amount of drippings on the pan when done so you could make gravy out of that with a little cornstarch thickener too.

Switch oven to boil for another 3-4 minutes or until skin is as browned as you’d like. We do the same with turkey necks too. Remove, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes and then serve. If you’re a dark meat lover you might fall so in love with this roasted turkey leg recipe that you’ll never buy it whole ever again. 😉

How Long to Bake Turkey Legs at 300

How to Cook Turkey Legs

Now if you have turkey legs and thighs still attached leg quarters will take a bit longer. I hope we have answered all of the questions you may have had along the way here. There is a printable recipe card down below you can keep handy or just come back year after year.

I will say that 30 minutes before you take the top off you should start your sides. Increase the temp to 350 degrees to make our corn casserole recipe or mash some taters.

What is the best way to reheat a turkey leg

First off you can make the best leftover turkey recipe here without heating it first. You just remove the meat off the bone, dice it up and make our turnovers. If you do want to just keep as is and heat again to enjoy the next day I would recommend the microwave. To add moisture I would drizzle 1 tbsp of broth over the top first and heat for a minute.

You can also follow directions on how to reheat turkey in air fryer which is identical to chicken really. You just want to add a bit of olive oil and watch closely because the outsides can get pretty brown. I usually just take the protein off and throw it into a casserole to really get it moist and tender again, your best bet.

Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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Baked Turkey Legs

Oven baked turkey legs turn out great! With moist tender meat inside and crispy turkey skin outside we love them brined or with our dry rub.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked, brined, oven, turkey legs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 1068kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2-4 turkey legs brined the night before is best, or use dry rub – one or the other
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste unless you brined or used dry rub, then omit
  • Best if you use one of the following
  • simple brine recipe 6 hours or overnight
  • turkey dry rub coat entire leg, lift to allow excess to fall off

Instructions

  • Best outcome is use our simple brine recipe and soak overnight. If you don't have time to do that you can use our dry rub for turkey on the outside of the skin.
  • Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with non stick aluminum foil. Set turkey legs on top. Drizzle 1/2 of your olive oil on top of all of them, evenly distributed. Cover top with non stick aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until thickest part temp = 165 F.
  • Then uncover the top and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of each one so the skin is nicely coated. If you haven't seasoned at this time at all you can sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Switch oven to boil for another 3-4 minutes or until skin is as browned as you'd like. Remove, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes and then serve.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Baked Turkey Legs
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 1068 Calories from Fat 504
% Daily Value*
Fat 56g86%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Polyunsaturated Fat 13g
Monounsaturated Fat 22g
Cholesterol 481mg160%
Sodium 501mg22%
Potassium 1849mg53%
Protein 132g264%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Calcium 115mg12%
Iron 12mg67%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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