Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs

4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

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 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!

Totally tender and crispy roasted turkey thighs in the oven for the easiest Thanksgiving dinner ever!

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.

The easiest and most delicious roasted turkey thighs you'll ever eat and with almost no effort!

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?

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.

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Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs

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!
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 102kcal | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 682mg | Vitamin A: 355IU | Calcium: 3mg
Keyword: Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs
The easiest and most delicious roasted turkey thighs you'll ever eat and with almost no effort! #turkey #thanksgiving #holidays #smallbatch #recipe
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! #turkey #thanksgiving #holidays #smallbatch #recipe

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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    1. Doubled recipes don’t require double the cooking time, but most cook times need to be altered. Generally speaking, you should check for doneness at the time indicated by your original recipe, then every 5 minutes following until the recipe is evenly cooked or baked. When you get a sec, let us know how your Turkey Thighs turned out 🙂

  1. I made this today. Quick and easy. The only thing I did differently was to place 5 fresh sage leaves under the skin after the butter. A tip I picked up from Martha Stewart years ago for roasting a whole turkey. Also, I broiled for a few minutes to crisp the skin.?

  2. I share Sabrina’s preference for dark poultry meat; there have been lots of 4 and even 6 legged turkeys served a my table. I made the recipe as written placing 4 large fresh sage leaves on the butter under the skin. The drippings made just enough gravy.
    I’m looking forward to trying the bacon variation.

  3. Great simple recipe! I heated my oven to 400 then once I put in the thighs turned it down to 350. Put under broiler to make it crispier.

  4. 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!!!

  5. The recommended temperature is 165 and you can remove the turkey at 160 and upon resting it will reach the target of 165.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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!