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This baked Turkey Tenderloin Recipe with an easy spice rub is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It's special occasion-worthy, weeknight dinner-friendly, and only takes minutes to prepare.
If you only enjoy a whole turkey once a year, that will all change when you try these oven-baked turkey breast tenderloins. This lean meat is tender, juicy, and easy to make on repeat.
I always hope for leftovers so I can make turkey tacos or turkey sliders the next day!
Hosting a small holiday dinner? Whether you opt for this easy recipe or breaded turkey tenderloins, you're in for a no-fuss dinner full of flavor.
And here's the bonus: tender turkey tenderloins cook quickly, allowing you to roast them alongside your favorite veggies. Everything should finish at about the same time, too.
Here are more reasons you'll love this easy turkey tenderloin recipe!
- It's simple - You don't need to plan ahead because it's not a marinated turkey tenderloin (which is delicious but requires wait time.) A savory spice blend is rubbed into the poultry before searing and baking.
- 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) just one pan or baking dish!
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. Ask if you can't find it so they start stocking it!
Below are the pantry ingredients for a spice blend that creates a paste to rub all over the turkey loin. It's fantastic on any poultry and pork tenderloin, too.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Thyme leaves
- Thyme leaves
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
This dry 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.
Directions with Pictures
Here's how to make this simple turkey tenderloin recipe:
- Pat the tenderloins dry. They are usually very wet when you take them out of the packaging.
- Mix spices and olive oil 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 for a few minutes before slicing.
Tip: Use an oven-safe pan or cast iron skillet to sear the meat so you can transfer it to the oven and finish cooking! See our equipment 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 and moist, and the juices should run clear.
Note that the exact cook time will vary depending on 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 tenderloins?
All your favorite side dishes for occasions like a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas meal pair well with turkey tenderloins; just scale it back if it's the middle of the week! These are tried and true favorites at the holidays:
- Mashed potatoes < These are loaded with cream cheese and sour cream. Make them in a slow cooker.
- Oven-Baked Stuffing < You can make this recipe ahead of time.
- Cranberry sauce < This is our low-sugar recipe!
- Sweet potatoes
- Gravy is always a nice finishing touch.
Below are low-carb side dishes that everyone will enjoy and are perfect for an easy weeknight meal:
More Turkey Tenderloin Recipes
Looking for more delicious turkey dinner recipes that don't take much time? Check these out!
Did you make this recipe?
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Easy Baked Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
- 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 for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!