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!
Related Recipe: Herb Crusted Turkey Tenderloins
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!
This recipe was delicious! J didn’t change anything. It was juicy and tender. Served with mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole for early Holiday dinner with friends. Very nice recipe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Did not change anything about recipe. So good. Second time making it.
Thanks for recipe!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂
Great way to prepare tenderloin. Everyone loved it!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
This was ridiculously easy. I have a second home so I hardly ever have on hand anything other than onion powder, thyme, garlic powder and paprika. First I made this for my husband. Second I served thinly sliced pieces at a cocktail party: everyone was asking me what it was. Then I went to someone else’s house and asked what I could bring. she asked me to bring the turkey tenderloins! Today I’m making dinner for some friends and I’m back to the turkey tenderloin
I'm so happy you liked it! Thanks so much for sharing. Also, I tried the exact same recipe on pork tenderloin the other night! Worked like a charm. Will be posting that soon.
I'm going to cook 2 of the Jenni-O Turkey Tenderloins tonight. Total weight is 24 oz.. The pkg says to bake at 350 for approx 60-70 minutes, but that seems excessive to me. I've cooked similar size pork tenderloins and they are typically done in about 25-30 minutes. I think I'll sear these 1st as per your recipe and then take them out just before they hit 165. Would very much appreciate your thoughts about total bake time so I can better plan timing for side dishes. Thank You !
Hi! Your timing sounds about right. Use a meat thermometer if you can. Enjoy!
Can I season and marinate in the fridge before cooking?
Absolutely! It's a great make-ahead meal prep strategy. You can freeze it that way too!
Easy and delicious!
Great recipe. Can I make gravy out of the pan while turkeys are resting.
Absolutely! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This was delicious! The turkey was flavorful and moist. I had a little over a pound of turkey and made the rub as described with just a little less oil. It was terrific! Thanks!
Delicious, very tender and moist. There were no leftovers at all!
I followed this recipe and my husband loved how the turkey turned out..It had a wonderful taste and so juicy.
Seared a 1.53 pound partially thawed turkey tenderloins in an iron skillet as instructed . Two minutes on both sides and went into a preheated oven at 375 degrees. After twenty-five minutes checked with cooking temperature one tenderloin was at 165 and the other at 168. Nice quick and easy way to cook turkey tenderloin. Enjoyed the sear and moistness of the turkey.
Wonderful recipe, juicy and tender. My family really enjoyed it!
Easy and delicious!
Would it work as well to sear them in advance then put them into a baking dish in the fridge until about 30 minutes before baking? Or are they better going straight from the stove to the oven in the same pan?
Hi! It's best to sear and cook right away, which also is the best practice according to the USDA.
Wonderful recipe, easy and tasty!
Delicious, but I left the salt out of the rub. It didn’t need it, and the end result was fabulous. Here’s what I found: Most turkey tenderloins (as well as Turkey Breasts) that I can purchase are injected with a dextrose-sodium solution prior to packaging, even though they are sold as “fresh.” A check of the major brands online indicates most have about 110 milligrams sodium per ounce, or 440 milligrams per serving. Adding the salt in the rub would make the recipe total about 750 milligrams per portion. That’s a little high for us. But, it’s a great (and healthy) recipe without the added salt -we enjoyed it very much!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks you for sharing your research. It will be very helpful to many!
Made this a week ago. Big hit. Did not have thyme on hand, used a bit of oregano. Turkey was juicy and very tender. Will make again.
I loved this recipe. But I was wondering if the rub recipe can also be used with chicken pieces (thighs, boneless, skinless)?
I'm so happy you enjoyed it. This rub is fantastic on chicken too. Enjoy.
My husband bought this meat in error. Turned out to be the best dinner we’ve had in a long time. Followed the recipe instructions, and it was absolutely perfect and tender. Adding it to my rotation of meals
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Super easy, wish I cooked double for sandwiches. Moist and delicious. Made my own spice blend with what I had using your amounts. Seared in hot cast iron 2 minutes a side and was perfect in 25 minutes. Let it sit 5 before slicing.
Are you supposed to cover it once it’s in the oven?
Hi! You do not need to cover it!
Just made this and it turned out great! Very easy and delicious. I went strictly with the recipe…didn’t charge anything. Thanks!
Great recipe. I was looking for a tenderloin recipe that was not stuffed. I like the one I do that is stuffed but just wanted it to be plain this time. This cooked perfectly. I had 1.5 pound of tenderloin and I cut the oil back to two teaspoons of a tuscan flavored oil plus used all of your spices plus a dash of sage and rosemary. It was perfect. My husband said don't make it any other way now. Thank you!
This recipe is amazing. Here it is Easter day 2023. I and my family moved to a new place the last 2 days, yes today also. I cooked these with butter instead of oil cause that's all I had. Couldn't brown on stove since pans aren't unpacked. Other changes too because not unpacked stuff but they came out phenomenal! Great Easter dinner!!
Happy Easter! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Quick and easy dinner. Used a twelve inch iron skillet to sear the turkey tenderloins. Then into the three hundred and seventy-five degree oven for twenty-five minutes. Served with yellow mashed potatoes, green beans with sliced carrots, cranberry sauce, and braided Easter bread.
I had the turkey already but had never cooked these before.... this was juicy, delicious, easy and really fast. Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I do not normally leave comments for recipes. However, my guys loved this turkey. It was moist and abounded with flavor.
Easy and delicious
Perfection: simple, healthy, delicious