Roasted Turkey Legs

Roasted Turkey Leg
The Spruce
  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 95 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 Drumsticks (4 to 6 Servings)

Roasted turkey legs are a great choice for Thanksgiving for smaller families where dark meat is the favorite. You can usually find this product in supermarkets around Thanksgiving in the United States. Other times of the year, you may have to ask the butcher for them. These large drumsticks have tender and moist meat with the most wonderful flavor.

This recipe is very simple, so of course, you can change it any way you'd like. Add more seasonings, add some minced garlic or onion, or change the herbs and spices. And when you do make a change, be sure to write it down so you can reproduce the recipe the next time you want to make it.

Poultry seasoning is a very useful product. It is made of a combination of herbs, usually including sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, salt, and pepper. You can buy it in the supermarket, or make your own using your own combination of herbs and spices.


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  • 4 to 6 turkey legs or drumsticks, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or turkey broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Roasted turkey leg ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Pat the turkey legs dry with paper towels and place them in a large roasting pan. Never rinse poultry in the sink; that will just spread bacteria around your kitchen.

  4. Create a compound butter by mixing the softened butter, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and thyme in a small bowl.

    Mix ingredients together for roasted turkey seasoning
    The Spruce
  5. Rub this mixture over the turkey legs. You can also rub it on the flesh under the skin for even more flavor.

    Rub mixture over turkey legs
    The Spruce
  6. Pour the chicken broth into the pan around the turkey legs.

    Add chicken broth in pan and on turkey legs
     The Spruce
  7. Roast the turkey drumsticks for 1 hour and 30 to 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170 F. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, cover it with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.

    Roast turkey drumsticks in oven
    The Spruce
  8. You can serve whole legs, or slice the meat off the bones and serve it that way.

    Serve roasted turkey legs
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Mix up the flavor by making these roasted turkey legs with one of the below compound butter recipes:

  • Beurre Maître d'Hôtel: Combine 1/2 cup butter with 1 tablespoon minced parsley and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Add fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Basil Butter: Use about 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves for every 1/2 cup butter. Add a clove of minced garlic, if you like, and/or a grating or two of lemon zest as well as fine sea salt to taste.
  • Cilantro Lime Butter: For each 1/2 cup of butter, use 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, and 2 teaspoons lime zest. Add a bit of green chile sauce (or green Tabasco) if you're so inclined.
  • Garlic Butter: Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1 clove minced garlic, and fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can also add minced parsley for a bit of color if you like.​
  • Lemon-y Butter: Combine 1/2 cup butter with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juiceand 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest(just the yellow part of the peel, being sure to avoid the bitter white pith beneath when you grate).