Roasted Turkey Legs

Roasted turkey leg recipe

The Spruce / Emily Baker

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 95 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
  • Yields: 4 to 6 drumsticks

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. The large drumsticks have tender and moist meat with the most wonderful flavor.

This recipe is very simple, so you can change it any way you'd like. Add more seasonings, add some minced garlic or onion, or change the herbs and spices. When you do make a change you like, 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 it 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. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for roasted turkey leg
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  2. Pat the turkey legs dry with paper towels and place them in a large roasting pan. Avoid rinsing poultry in the sink; that will just spread bacteria around your kitchen.

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

    Compound butter
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  4. Rub this mixture over the turkey legs. You can also rub it on the flesh under the skin for even more flavor.

    Rub mixture on turkey leg
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  5. Pour the chicken broth into the pan around the turkey legs. This will help keep the legs moist.

    Turkey leg on tray
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  6. Roast the turkey legs for 1 hour and 30 to 1 hour and 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.

    Turkey leg
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  7. You can serve whole legs or slice the meat off the bones and serve it that way.

    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  8. 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 fresh 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, fine sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can also add minced parsley for a bit of color.​
  • Lemon-y Butter: Combine 1/2 cup butter with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and 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).