Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs make a small Thanksgiving meal a one oven dinner. Tender, browned, crispy skin and easy to make, they’ll cook quickly!
Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs
Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs cook in a single baking pan alongside three other dishes in one oven making your whole Thanksgiving meal easy enough to cook in one oven.
I love easy Thanksgiving meals, one of my first was Slow Cooker Turkey with Gravy, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Green Peas which was just 7 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) in the entire meal.
Then this year I released the whole thanksgiving dinner in 1 slow cooker post: Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner (for 2!) with more than 7 ingredients but it includes stuffing!
This dish is meant to be an easier way to make your Thanksgiving turkey! I already have posts for Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast and Crispy Slow Cooker Turkey Thighs that can help when you don’t have oven space, but this easy roasted turkey thigh is the perfect oven cooked option for a small Thanksgiving gathering.
Cooking turkey parts instead of the entire bird serves a few purposes. First it cuts WAY back on the cooking time. Second it allows you to cook more of your favorite pieces. Breasts and wings are generally considered white meat, turkey thighs and turkey legs are dark meat.
Roasting both dark meat and white meat works well, but with turkey thighs you’re able to roast longer and have a deeper browning without losing the moistness you’d want in your turkey.
Looking to bump up the flavors? Yes, I stick to Kosher salt and pepper here for a reason, I want you to have the basics so you can decide how you want to season your turkey. Here are some flavor options for your turkey thighs:
- Lemon, garlic and rosemary: lemon zest, kosher salt, black pepper, minced fresh garlic and minced fresh rosemary will make a delicious bird, just be careful the rosemary smell can take over anything else in the oven with the turkey.
- Orange, cranberry: orange zest, minced cranberries, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, kosher salt and black pepper. This dish will play nicely with any oven neighbors.
- Truffle Butter, fresh thyme: Kick up the flavor (Trader Joe’s has $2.99 truffle butter right now too!) and slather the turkey in truffle butter, kosher salt, black pepper and chopped thyme for a rich umami flavor.
- Bacon: Drape the turkey in bacon along with your Kosher salt and black pepper for a smoky flavor.
- Tarragon, Shallots, Lemon: Fresh minced tarragon and shallots with lemon zest, Kosher salt and black pepper, this dish will perfume the rest of the oven.
See that extra browned bit by the bone in the bottom of that last picture? Thats the best part of the whole thigh! Super crispy and flavorful. My husband and I both reached for it at the exact same time. I let him win 😉
Looking for more side dishes?
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Mushroom Rice
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Roasted Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- How To Cook Spaghetti Squash (The Ultimate Guide)
Tools used in the making of this Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs:
9×13 pan: Keeps the liquids the turkey releases from ending up on the bottom of the oven and browns great.
Oven Thermometer: Easy to test if your turkey is done and safe to eat without opening the oven to check and slow down the cooking.
- 2 1-pound turkey thighs bone in and skin on
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt *
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Lift the turkey skin and stuff it with the softened butter, then pat it down in an even layer (gently).
- Place the thighs in the baking pan.
- Roast the turkey thighs for 50-60 minutes or until the thermometer shows the turkey is cooked to 170 degrees.
- * Please see additional flavor options above in the post for more variety.
I have been buying & oven roasting bone-in turkey parts for my family all my adult life (61 now) as my mom and grandmother also did for our family growing up. I can purchase the parts at my local grocery store; they sell thighs, drumsticks, breast and wings. I often roast the wings to make soup & stock and roast the other parts for supper meals. Roasting just the turkey parts are a delicious and easy alternative any time you want turkey but don’t want to cook a full turkey. I am roasting turkey thighs this evening with just salt, pepper and summer savory for the seasonings. I will make corn starch gravy from the turkey thigh drippings and have mashed potatoes and steamed carrots for the sides…delicious!! Hubby says his mouth is watering from the savory aroma of roasting turkey…mmmmm…can’t wait to have turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and carrots for Monday night supper without all the fuss & muss of roasting a full turkey!!!
The recommended temperature is 165 and you can remove the turkey at 160 and upon resting it will reach the target of 165.
We prepare these all the time. They always come out juicy and tasty. For a bit of a flavor variation we sometimes rub the skin with some smoked paprika, crushed fresh garlic and dried Rosemary in addition to the salt and pepper. An easy and flavorful dinner.
Turkey thighs and drumsticks are on the menu for Thanksgiving this year. Do I have to make any adjustments if I roast turkey drumsticks at the same time? Same temp and timing?
I also added some soft butter on the outside of the skin too. Dusted with Greek Seasoning. salt and pepper. Went with more pepper than salt because of the Greek Seasoning. WOW good! Reached temp in 55 min.
Made this recipe for dinner tonight. Delicious! Hubby definitely approved. He loves mashed potatoes and gravy and there were plenty of good roasted bits on the bottom of the pan for some boiling water to loosen for gravy. If people think that 1 hour for 2 one pound thighs is not long enough, please advise them to get a good oven thermometer and check just how accurate their ovens are heating. Mine turned out beautifully browned and definitely fall off the bone done. Thank you for a great recipe!
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