This one pan Roasted Turkey Thighs and Drumsticks is perfect for a small gathering. Short on time? Feeding a small crew? In just a couple of hours you can put a delicious Thanksgiving dinner on the table. Mix and match a few of your favorite side dishes and you’re all set!
Roasting a whole turkey can be intimidating. I would know, I had to roast a huge 24 pound turkey a couple of years ago and I was a nervous wreck about it. Luckily my mother-in-law only needed me to host that one year, because my in-laws were remodeling their kitchen. However that one time was enough for me. After that year’s Thanksgiving, I had a whole new appreciation for my mother-in-law and the work she goes through to put on Thanksgiving dinner every year. And she roasts TWO turkeys!
Now this roasted turkey thighs and drumsticks recipe is more my speed. My grocery store sells turkey thighs and drumsticks separately (I was hoping they had a bone-in breast too, but they do not) and I had this idea of making a one-pan thanksgiving jam. I roasted the turkey thighs and drumsticks similar to how I roast chicken, while somewhat following how my own mom roasts a whole turkey.
Aka with lots of butter.
It only take a couple of hours in the oven and yet my whole house smelled like Thanksgiving Day.
To Make This Roasted Turkey Thighs and Drumsticks You Will Need:
- turkey thighs and drumsticks
- unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- poultry seasoning
- baby Yukon gold potatoes
You can roast as little or as many turkey pieces as you need. I’m roasting 5-1/2 pounds. Three pounds in thighs and 2-1/2 pounds in drumsticks, this would probably feed a family of 4 or 5 easily. But if you have a large roasting pan, you could definitely roast more, just adjust the butter and seasonings amounts.
I find it easy to prep everything on a metal, rimmed baking sheet. You don’t want to actually roast the turkey on this, there will be way to much liquids it will overflow.
Start by patting the turkey dry with paper towel.
Insert your finger underneath the skin and gently but firmly pull the skin away from the flesh. Using super soft butter, massage a little butter under the skin and into the turkey meat. Then rub the entire outside of each piece of turkey with butter.
Place the turkey pieces into your lightly oiled roasting pan and season with kosher salt, black pepper and poultry seasoning. Cover your pan tightly with aluminum foil and slide the roasting pan onto the middle rack of your preheated 350° oven. Roast [covered] for 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through.
Use oven mitts to tip the pan a little and use a spoon to baste the turkey pieces generously with the pan drippings.
Then arrange halved Yukon gold baby potato around your turkey pieces and use the pan drippings to drizzle over the potatoes as well.
Next season the potatoes with kosher salt and black pepper before sliding back into your oven [uncovered] for 20 minutes. Then remove and baste. Roast for 20 more minutes and repeating this step one more time. For a total of 40 to 60 minutes.
Or until the potatoes are tender and the turkey is fully cooked and the skin is deliciously crisp and brown.
I really wish you could smell this!
I served the turkey on a giant platter along with the potatoes. Then, if making this for Thanksgiving, I’d serve it with some of my favorite side dishes, like broccoli casserole, green bean almondine, maple balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts or bacon and leek stuffing.
Also, you can use the pan drippings to make an excellent gravy.
Skin so crispy and perfectly seasoned I could just die.
Enjoy! And if you give this Sheet Pan Roasted Turkey Thighs and Drumsticks recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
Easy Roasted Turkey Thighs and Drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 turkey thighs, about 3 pounds
- 3 turkey drumsticks, about 2½ pounds
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- poultry seasoning
- 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 350° and drizzle olive oil into the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Pat the turkey thighs and drumsticks dry with paper towel.
- Insert your finger under the neat the skin of all turkey pieces, gently separating the skin from the flesh. Rub softened butter underneath the skin and over top of each turkey piece.
- Season with salt and pepper and place into your prepared roasting pan.
- Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
- Roast the turkey on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil, and using oven mitts, tip the roasting pan and baste the turkey pieces with the pan juices.
- Add in the potato halves, baste, season with salt and pepper and continue to roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Totally 40 to 60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the turkey is fully cooked and the skin is deliciously crisp and brown. I use an instant read thermometer and insert it into the thigh (avoiding the bone) to get an accurate temperature of 165°F.
- Once roasted, remove the turkey thighs and drumsticks from the pan and place on a platter and scatter with potatoes. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes or so tented under foil before serving.
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Going to try this tomorrow for lunch with a friend, any special tips or tricks/ things to watch for?
Hi E! I would just be sure to not overcook the turkey. I know that goes without saying and is pretty obvious, but every oven is different and the sized of the turkey pieces may vary, so just gauge it and adjust the time accordingly [1-1/2 to 2 hours should be good]. And if possible make a gravy out of the pan drippings – delicious! Enjoy!
One last thing, let the turkey rest a few minutes before serving. I’ve added it into the recipe printable. 🙂
Thank you for all the tips! Working on it right now.
Disaster though: I moved this summer and managed to misplace your BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I have no recipe for the poultry seasoning and am out of previously done mixes. We’re looking for the book as we speak and hope it surfaces. Will let you know how it goes!
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! We have found it! Crisis averted.
Just realized our friend does not eat dairy, so I will try to substitute margarine to butter… Hopefully that works.
Oh my, Laurie – this looks so wonderful that my mouth is watering!
I would like to try this for Thanksgiving, but would like to add white meat as well. Can you please provide guidance on how to go about doing so? I realize that it will probably include not roasting the potatoes in the same pan and if so, that’s fine. Thanks 🙂
I haven’t tried roasting a bone-in turkey breast, but I agree that the potatoes would need to be roasted separately. I would also assume that it will take the same amount of time, but I would use a instant read thermometer and remove the turkey when it reaches 160 degrees, to be safe. Enjoy!:)
If I substitute chicken thighs/legs, how long should I cook it? Thanks!
Hi Diane! I would follow this recipe if using chicken. Enjoy! http://www.simplyscratch.com/2011/10/homestyle-baked-chicken.html
This recipe was great! I googled for recipes, as I had just happened to buy one turkey thigh and leg, and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. We used sliced sweet potato instead of Yukon Gold. I also made a soup before dinner with chicken broth, dried porcini mushrooms (and the reconstituted broth), onions, garlic and organic red dandelion greens. Add a salad, and it was a GREAT, and healthy, easy winter weekend supper! THANK YOU for posting this.
I used skinless breasts and thighs (with skins) and didn’t change a thing. No one can possibly like the same thing!
Super easy and really good!
But we need a pan gravy recipe!
Hi Betsy! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! As for gravy, you can use either of the top two links here: https://www.simplyscratch.com/?s=turkey+gravy Enjoy!
I tried this yesterday. I also added my carrots – it was a big hit with my 3 boys. I am now going to do this every year. Thank you for posting this
I’m SO glad to hear it, Heather! Thank you for taking the time to make this recipe. It’s greatly appreciated!
The temperature on this recipe is a bit low, cooked it for the specified amount of time, found that pieces were still a little undercooked in the end should have been at 400° f at least
Hey John! Actually it’s not too low. In the recipe instructions, I mention roasting until the turkey has the internal temp of 165 degrees. It’s possible, your turkey thighs and drumstick were on the larger side and needed more time in the oven. A higher temp could risk burning the skin.
Could you possibly brine the turkey before roasting the turkey your way?
Thank you for this! Worked perfectly… I used a roasting pan and then made pan gravy on the stovetop while the turkey was resting. This was perfect for our two-person Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m considering using the recipe. It looks tasty in the photos.
Some of the amounts on the Nutrition Information seem high. Are they all accurate?
Hi Mary! The calculations are a guideline. Basically it’s a plug-in in the recipe card that calculates by the ingredient list. So if I list “kosher salt” without a precise measurement, sodium levels will be off etc. I hope that helps!
You wanted the legs, thighs and breast? Why not just butterfly it and save some money?