Roasted Turkey Thighs

Roasted turkey thighs are the perfect Thanksgiving dinner solution when you have a small family to feed. They’re easy to prepare, juicy, and delicious!

Thanksgiving is a mere 2 1/2 weeks away and that could only mean one thing, its Turkey Time! Wonderfully juicy, perfectly roasted turkey. For many people this means a big 10 or even 20 pound bird. However for those that are having a smaller gathering. Or for those, like me, who really prefer the dark meat, these roasted turkey thighs are the perfect option.  The meat is succulent and flavorful, everything I look for in my Thanksgiving turkey.

I have a small confession to make. I will not be making Thanksgiving dinner this year. The size of my apartment and the distance from family just doesn’t allow for it. But I for one love all of the comforts that go along with Thanksgiving food, so I have been making various Thanksgiving recipes for the past month. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and the rest of the classics.

These roasted turkey thighs were my first experimental Thanksgiving recipe.

I found them at my local grocery store, near the ground turkey and turkey cutlets. Once I got them home I simply brushed them with melted butter, rubbed them with a few seasonings and popped them in the oven. Soon after, I was salivating at the wonderful smell of roasted turkey. Before I knew it I sat down to a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. The fact that it was right smack dab in the middle of October is a minor detail.

I hope you have an opportunity to make roasted turkey thighs, too!

Roasted Turkey Thighs

Here are more delicious turkey recipes to try:

Turkey Brie Crostini

Turkey Apple Butter Grilled Cheese

Roasted Turkey Thighs Recipe

Serves 2 - 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds turkey thighs (about 2 thighs)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2

Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of the turkey thighs with melted butter.

3

Mix together salt, garlic powder, pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme and paprika. Rub seasoning mixture over both sides of the thighs.

4

Drizzle with any remaining butter. Transfer to a roasting pan. Cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 and continue to cook for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted reaches 180 degrees. Spoon pan juices over the top every 30 minutes. Note: If you notice the skin getting too crispy, loosely cover the thighs with aluminum foil.

5

Remove turkey thighs from the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

Notes

Be sure to check back over the next couple of weeks as I share more comforting Thanksgiving recipes. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Julie Rivard
    April 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

    This recipe is outstanding!!! Made thighs several times with it and they are delish. 😍 Make sure to baste along the way. I even add diced potatoes and carrots in the roaster which add such flavor to juices. Highly recommend!!

    • Reply
      Des @ Life's Ambrosia
      April 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I am so happy to hear that Julie! :)

  • Reply
    leslieloud
    January 11, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I roasted for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then when I went to baste after 30 min at 325 degrees they were done, and the smaller thigh was over cooked.

  • Reply
    Darrell Kahoalii
    December 1, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I have two turkey thighs weighing about 1.25 lb per thigh. Would it take 2 to 2 1/2 hours to roast? It seems to be really long for just two thighs? Am I missing something? Thanks for any info

  • Reply
    Nechama Fiddle
    July 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Is the roasting pan supposed to be covered or uncovered?

    • Reply
      Des @ Life's Ambrosia
      July 14, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Nechama,
      The pan is uncovered, unless the turkey thighs begin to get too dark, then you can loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

  • Reply
    Dani
    November 25, 2014 at 7:31 am

    How do I safely transport cooked turkey leg/thighs? I have about 2 hours from cooking to eating

    • Reply
      Deseree
      November 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      The cooked turkey would need to be kept above 140 degrees during transport to keep it out of the danger zone (40 – 140 degrees), which might be hard to do for two hours. Would it be possible to cook, then cool completely then reheat once you get to your destination?

  • Reply
    Simone Genovese
    November 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Excellent recipe!!!. My turkey legs turned out delicious. Moist, tender, and tasty.

  • Reply
    JANE GUSTAR
    February 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I ONCE TRIED TO BAKE TURKEY THIGHS AS I PREFER DARK MEAT, BUT THEY TURNED OUT TO BE VERY DRY. I ASKED AROUND AMONGST MY FRIENDS AND IT SEEMS THAT NO ONE HAD EVER TRIED TO ROAST THEM. IT’S STRANGE, BECAUSE THESE SAME FRIENDS TALKED ABOUT LIKING DARK MEAT VS BREAST AND IT WAS A FLUKE THAT MY FAMILY FOUND BOTH BREASTS AND THIGHS PACKAGED SEPARATELY IN THE MEAT SECTION OF THE GROCERY STORE. THAT MEANT THAT WE COULD PURCHASE BOTH/EITHER AND SATISFY EVERYONE WITHOUT HAVING TO BUY A WHOLE TURKEY. THAT MEANT FOR US THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE A WASTED CARCAS (NO ONE LIKES TURKEY SOUP). THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

  • Reply
    Abigail
    December 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I made this receipe for Thanksgiving, along with a small, frozen turkey breast. Very nice dinner for 2 of us. The thighs are so good, that, as I type this, two more thighs are roasting happily in my oven. The flavor is AMAZING.

    Now I need to peruse your site to see what else you cook. Oh yes, and sign up for your new recipes.

  • Reply
    Susan
    November 14, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Oh my that looks delicious. I will be making these roasted turkey breasts for my boyfriend and I for Thanksgiving since we will be alone here without family near us!

    Can you suggest a good turkey gravy recipe?

    • Reply
      Deseree
      November 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

      I hope you enjoy them Susan! Keep in mind if you do use breasts instead of thighs that the times may vary. Generally with turkey breasts its 20 minutes per pound. As for the gravy recipe, I plan on posting one this week. After all you can’t have Thanksgiving without it! :)