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Easy Roasted Turkey Leg

Slofoodgroup Team November 15, 2021

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe for Small Groups

Roasted Turkey—the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Dinner, and maybe the trickiest and most time-consuming dish on the table. Preparing a whole roasted turkey can certainly be daunting (starting days earlier with the great "to brine or not to brine" debate). The challenge of perfectly roasting a whole Turkey is to make sure the white meat remains soft and juicy while the dark meat cooks through. Furthermore, if you aren't having a large crowd, then you will have to figure out what to do with a crazy amount of leftover bird (and we know by the time Giving Tuesday rolls around, most of us have had our fill of turkey meat).

So if you are serving a small crowd, are stressed about cooking a whole bird, or simply want to stray from the norm this year, we have a solution. Roast just the Turkey legs instead of the whole bird. There's no need to fuss over that finicky white meat and your guests will be delighted when every bite is tender, juicy and flavor-filled! If you do want to offer white meat for a lighter option, it's easy enough to add in a breast, as well. 

We do prefer Turkey legs as they have more flavor and we don't have to consider whether or not to brine them ahead of time as the meat is juicy enough as it is. A simple salt & pepper rub does the trick and we don't have to fuss over the prep. If you do want to add a kick of flavor to the bird, use our smoked sea salt instead of regular Fleur de Sel. Grinding your own black pepper is a great addition to red meat, so be generous with it!

A whole Turkey leg can feed up to four people so feel free to roast 2 or 3 turkey legs at once if having more guests over. You'll only need 3 ingredients for these Easy Roasted Turkey Legs: butter, salt, and black pepper. This recipe is no fuss and it requires minimal planning. Simply mix softened butter with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Massage the meat very well with the butter and bake at 350F/180C for 1h, 1h, and a half, depending on how big the turkey legs are.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10‘

Cooking Time: 1h - 1h:30’

Additional Time: 15’ 



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. To a bowl, mix the room temperature butter with salt & pepper until homogenous.
  3. Pat dry the Turkey legs with paper towels.
  4. Generously massage the mixed butter all around the turkey legs.
  5. Transfer the seasoned Turkey legs to a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, flip the turkey legs and allow to cook for another 30 or 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170°F/80°C.
  7. Remove the turkey legs from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.