Baked Turkey Tenderloin coated in an easy spice rub is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It's an easy weeknight dinner that's special occasion worthy and takes minutes to prepare.
If you only make turkey once a year, then that will all change when you try these turkey breast tenderloins baked in the oven. This lean meat is tender, juicy, and perfect for leftovers the next day!
Why you'll love this recipe!
- It's easy - You don't need to plan ahead because it's not marinated. A savory spice blend is rubbed into the meat before it's seared, and baked. It's the same tried and true technique used to make baked blackened chicken!
- The ingredient list is simple and you probably already have everything (except for the turkey tenderloin!)
- It's low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free.
- You'll use (and clean-up) just one pan!
What is a turkey tenderloin?
Turkey tenderloin is a boneless, skinless part of the turkey. It's a thick strip of meat between the turkey breast. So, it's not the same thing as turkey breast.
The meat is tender because that part of the bird doesn't get much exercise. It's considered a lean, healthy white meat.
This cut of turkey is very versatile and is used as an alternative to chicken breasts in many recipes.
You'll usually find it in 1-2 pound packages containing two tenderloins in the meat section of the grocery store. If you can't find it, ask, so they start stocking it!
Below are the pantry ingredients for a spice blend that creates a paste to rub all over the meat. It's fantastic on any type of poultry.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Thyme leaves
- Thyme leaves
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
This rub is good for up to 2 pounds of meat. Make it thinner or thicker depending upon your preference by adding more or less olive oil.
You may even have a blend you love on hand. Combining it with olive oil and you're ready to go. We use the same technique to make steak fajitas.
This is a very easy method to cook turkey tenderloins:
- Pat the tenderloins dry. They are usually very wet when you take them out of the packaging.
- Mix spices and olive oil together in a small bowl to create a thick paste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey tenderloins on both sides. I used my hands, but it can be brushed on as well.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the turkey tenderloins on each side for a minute or two. This helps lock in the moisture.
- Bake the tenderloins in the oven at 375 °F for about 25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 °F. Let the meat rest a few minutes before slicing.
Tip: Use an oven-safe pan to sear the meat so you can just transfer it to the oven and finish cooking! See our suggestions in the recipe card below.
When is turkey tenderloin done?
According to the FDA, turkey is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F. The best way to tell when it's done is to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the poultry.
It's particularly important to watch the temperature when cooking turkey tenderloins because they have very little fat. Overcooking will make them dry.
When you cut through the meat it should be white, moist, and the juices should run clear.
Note that the exact cook time will vary depending upon the thickness of the tenderloins and your particular oven. So, use a meat thermometer!
Store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container or bag for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.
What to serve with turkey?
All the fixings for occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner pair well with turkey tenderloins, just scale it back if it's the middle of the week!
- Mashed potatoes
Or any of these low-carb side dishes:
Did you make this recipe?
Please leave a rating and tell us how you liked it!
Easy Baked Turkey Tenderloin
- 1.5 pounds turkey tenderloins patted dry
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ Tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 Tablespoon is used to sear the meat
- Preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Pat turkey tenderloins dry with a paper towel.
- Mix spices and 1 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil together in a small bowl to create a thick paste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey tenderloins on both sides. I used my hands, but it can be brushed on as well.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the turkey tenderloins on each side for a minute or two to lock in the moisture.
- Bake the tenderloins in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a meat thermometer for the best result.
- Let the turkey meat rest a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!