Roasted Turkey Thighs

Roasted turkey thighs are not only plenty of meat on their own, but they are fatty, rich, and easily the tastiest part of the turkey!

roasted turkey thighs on a stack of white plates
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Cooking a whole turkey can sometimes be a bit too much effort, so why not try just making the best bit? Roasted turkey thighs are not only plenty of meat all on their own, but they are fatty, rich, and easily the tastiest part of the turkey!

Why not learn How to Make Turkey Stock that you can then use when making your roasted turkey thighs? You could also try making your own Turkey Seasoning to use in this recipe!

roasted turkey thighs on a stack of white plates

Roasted Turkey Thighs

Turkey is often considered the poultry you only get when it is the holiday season, mostly because it seems to take so long to cook!

However, if you break a turkey down and up with some tasty turkey thighs, you not only get to enjoy the very best part of the bird, but you also make it a lot faster and easier to cook, making a perfect late weeknight meal!       

roasted turkey thighs ingredients in small clear bowls

How To Loosen The Skin Of Your Turkey Thighs

One critical step of making turkey thighs, or really any poultry, is loosening the skin on top of the meat to allow you to spread the butter mixture more more easily.

If you don’t do this, most of the butter will just run off and burn in the pan, never getting a chance to flavor the meat at all.

However, one constant problem with loosening skin is that it is only too easy to tear it while trying to get it separated from the meat.

The secret to doing it just right is to use a spoon! Using the underside of the spoon facing upwards, wedge the spoon in between the meat and the skin and pry them apart. The spoon will avoid cutting or tearing anything, resulting in a cleanly separated skin and absolutely no massive tears in your meat!

roasted turkey thighs seasoned and in a baking pan with vegetables

Is There A Right Size For The Chopped Vegetables?

One frequently seen problem with recipes is that they ask you to chop vegetables but don’t really provide any help as to just how big those vegetables should be.

Should they be minced finely? Or just cut it into thirds?

Well, for this recipe, while you do want to break the carrots and onions down a little bit, you really don’t want them to be too small.

If you cut the carrots and onions too finely, they might burn in the oven while the turkey thighs are still cooking!

For the carrots, try cutting them into rough pieces, only cutting the individual pieces in half if they are really big.

For the onions, you can probably get away with just quartering them after removing their ends and the skin.

The thicker size will ensure that they don’t burn in the oven while also providing a good heat sink for your turkey thighs!

roasted turkey thighs with gravy being poured over top

Could You Use Turkey Breasts Instead For A Healthier Dish?

When it comes to saving calories, there is always a temptation to consider substituting breast meat for thigh meat, as it is generally lower in calories.

However, if you tried to use turkey breasts in this recipe instead of thighs, you would probably have a pretty bad time.

Partly because of the long cooking time but also because turkey breasts aren’t particularly tasty, this recipe would be pretty much tasteless and unappetizing without the thighs.

You need to use thighs because they have a ton of fat and connective tissue inside them, allowing for it all to be slowly rendered over the long cooking time. If you tried using turkey breasts, they would turn chalky and pretty flavorless.

Don’t worry, though – turkey thighs are honestly not that bad when compared to things like red meat anyway, so you really aren’t consuming too many calories.

roasted turkey thighs on a white platter with sliced cooked carrots around

Best Side Dishes To Pair With Roasted Turkey Thighs

While this dish is definitely a great main course, you might be looking for a good dish for this recipe. Luckily, not only is it easy to make, but it is also super customizable with side dishes as well.

  • Roasted Carrots

While there are carrots in this recipe already, the addition of a little bit of roasted carrots cooked in fat, and maybe served in a sauce, make for a delicious complete meal, as the sweetness and earthiness of the carrots work perfectly to balance out the turkey thighs meatiness.

  • Brussels Sprouts (For a Christmas vibe)

Though not everyone’s favorite, some simple Brussels sprouts make for a  really tasty and delicious side dish when cooked properly!

  • Roasted Potatoes

Another great classic, some simple roast potatoes not only provide a great carby base for a solid dinner, but their flavor pairs perfectly with the fatty and rich turkey thighs, making something almost fit for Christmas dinner!

Looking for more delicious Poultry and Turkey recipes? Try these out:

Baked Turkey Wings

Turkey Ala King

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Happy Cooking




Roasted turkey thighs are not only plenty of meat on their own, but they are fatty, rich, and easily the tastiest part of the turkey!

Roasted Turkey Thighs

Roasted turkey thighs are not only plenty of meat on their own, but they are fatty, rich, and easily the tastiest part of the turkey!
5 from 2 votes
roasted turkey thighs on a stack of white plates
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3 turkey thighs (1-pound bone-in skin-on )
  • 1/4 cup 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Turkey seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup turkey broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (chopped)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Pat the turkey thighs dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, add the softened butter, turkey seasoning, garlic, and mix well.
  • Loosen the skin from the meat, pat it dry again if needed with paper towel and rub some of the butter mixture between the skin and the meat. Smooth the skin back over and rub the remaining butter mixture on the top of the skin.
  • Place the thighs in a roasting pan and pour the broth around the turkey.
  • Add the chopped carrots and onions around the turkey thighs.
  • Roast the turkey thighs for about 60 to 70 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°.
  • Remove the thighs from the oven, cover the pan tightly with foil or use the pan lid, and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 181mg, Potassium: 184mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 7303IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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