Baked Turkey Thigh Recipe

Posted on

Baked Turkey Thigh Recipe



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving! A succulent baked turkey thigh is a versatile dish that can grace your dinner table on any occasion. Turkey thighs are flavorful, tender, and easier to cook than a whole turkey. This recipe will guide you through the steps of creating a delicious and memorable meal that your family and guests will love.


2 turkey thighs, skin on, bone-in
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped


Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Turkey

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is heating, rinse the turkey thighs under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps the skin get crispy while baking.

Season the Turkey

In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the turkey thighs, ensuring you cover both the skin and the underside.

Prepare the Baking Dish

In a roasting pan or a large ovenproof skillet, lay out the sliced onions, chopped carrots, and celery. These vegetables will serve as a bed for the turkey thighs and will add flavor to the dish as they cook.

Bake the Turkey

Place the turkey thighs on top of the vegetables, skin side up. Pour the chicken broth around the thighs. This will help keep the meat moist and create a delicious gravy as it cooks.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C). If you notice the skin getting too dark, you can cover the thighs with aluminum foil.

Rest and Serve

Once cooked, remove the turkey thighs from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the meat even more tender.

Optional: Make a Gravy

While the turkey is resting, you can make a gravy with the pan drippings. Strain the drippings into a saucepan, skim off excess fat, and bring to a simmer. You can thicken it with a mixture of cornstarch and water if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the baked turkey thighs with a side of mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a simple salad. Don’t forget to drizzle some of the homemade gravy over the turkey!

Baked turkey thighs are a delightful and easier alternative to cooking a whole turkey. They are perfect for a cozy family dinner or a festive gathering. The combination of herbs and spices in this recipe ensures that each bite is packed with flavor, while the veggies add an extra layer of taste and nutrition. Enjoy this hearty and delicious meal with your loved ones!

Nutritional Benefits

Turkey is known for its high-quality protein, essential amino acids, and low saturated fat content, making it a healthier alternative to red meat. Turkey thighs, in particular, are rich in nutrients like selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. By including vegetables in this dish, you’re also adding fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meal.

Tips for Perfect Baked Turkey Thighs

Choosing Turkey Thighs: Look for well-marbled thighs as they tend to be juicier and more flavorful. The skin should be intact and without bruises.

Room Temperature Meat: Take the turkey thighs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. This helps them cook more evenly.

Herbs and Spices: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices. Fresh herbs like sage and rosemary can add a fantastic flavor.

Checking Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey has reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

Resting the Meat: Resting the turkey thighs is crucial for juicy meat. It allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it tender and flavorful.

Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They make great additions to salads, sandwiches, or soups.

Versatility of the Dish

The beauty of baked turkey thighs lies in their versatility. They can be served in a traditional setting with classic sides or can be given a twist with international flavors like a Mexican rub or an Asian-inspired glaze. They’re also perfect for meal-prepping as they reheat well and can be used in various dishes throughout the week.

Pairing with Wines

If you’re considering a wine pairing, baked turkey thighs go well with both white and red wines. A Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir can complement the flavors of the turkey and the herbs used in the recipe.

Baked turkey thighs are not only delicious but also a practical and versatile choice for any cook. This recipe shows that with just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can create a meal that’s both satisfying and nutritious. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just a regular weeknight, this dish is sure to impress. Enjoy the rich flavors and the simplicity of this delightful recipe!

FAQ About Baked Turkey Thighs

How do I know when the turkey thighs are fully cooked?

The most reliable way to check for doneness is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. The juices should also run clear when pierced with a fork.

Can I make this recipe with skinless, boneless turkey thighs?

Yes, you can use skinless, boneless turkey thighs, but the cooking time may be shorter since the bone helps slow the cooking process and the skin helps retain moisture. Keep a close eye to prevent them from drying out.

How can I make sure the skin gets crispy?

Pat the turkey thighs dry before seasoning and make sure your oven is fully preheated. Cooking at a steady heat and not overcrowding the baking dish are key. For an extra crispy skin, you can broil the thighs for a few minutes at the end of cooking, but watch them closely to avoid burning.

What sides go well with baked turkey thighs?

Classic sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad pair beautifully. For a more unique twist, try serving them with a quinoa salad, roasted sweet potatoes, or a wild rice pilaf.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

You can season the turkey thighs and prepare the vegetable bed a day in advance. Keep them covered in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before baking. The cooked turkey thighs can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated.

What can I do with leftovers?

Leftover turkey thighs can be sliced and used in sandwiches, salads, wraps, or stirred into soups and stews. You can also shred the meat for tacos or sliders.

Are turkey thighs healthier than other cuts of turkey?

Turkey thighs are slightly higher in fat than turkey breast, but they’re rich in nutrients and provide a good source of protein. The darker meat of the thigh is also richer in iron and zinc.

Can I freeze cooked turkey thighs?

Yes, cooked turkey thighs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap them tightly in freezer-safe packaging to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Is this dish suitable for a gluten-free diet?

Yes, this baked turkey thigh recipe is naturally gluten-free. However, if you’re making a gravy, be sure to use gluten-free flour or cornstarch as a thickener.

Can I use this recipe for a larger gathering?

Absolutely. You can easily scale up the recipe for more servings. Just make sure to use a larger baking dish or multiple dishes to accommodate the additional thighs without overcrowding.

This recipe for baked turkey thighs is not only delicious but also adaptable and suitable for many dietary preferences. Enjoy experimenting with it and making it a staple in your cooking repertoire!


Baked Turkey Thigh Recipe / Beginner-friendly recipes / Beverages / Coffee Recipes / Easy Recipes / foods / Quick recipes / recipe / Recipe collections / Tea recipes

You might also like these recipes