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Turkey Tenderloin Recipe • Best Turkey {Video} • Two Purple Figs

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Once you make this Turkey Tenderloin Recipe, you’ll never go back to making turkey any other way! The turkey tenderloin is the utmost softest, juiciest part of the turkey breast and as a bonus it cooks in less than an hour! It’s been such a crowd pleaser and every single guest has fallen in love with it! Sharing all the tips and video for turkey tenderloin recipe below.

close up of one turkey tenderloin recipe sliced up and served with orange slices around

We love turkey beyond Thanksgiving, and thanks to this fabulously easy, delicious, juicy and quick turkey tenderloin recipe–cooking turkey is a breeze! While we share so many ways to cook turkey here, they’re all turkey breast recipes. We certainly favor the turkey breast and ever since we tried the turkey tenderloin, we decided never to go back!

A large thanksgiving table setup with turkey tenderloin sliced on a board, surrounded by cranberries, mashed potatoes and green beans casserole

Some of our best turkey breast recipes which you need to try, Succulent Dry Brine Turkey Breast –the ultimate way to brine turkey breast! Turkey Breast Recipe On the Stove -the most GENIUS way to cook turkey breast and ensure a succulent juicy turkey! Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich — our favorite leftover turkey sandwich with a Mediterranean twist of course 🙂

 

Well for today, we’re tackling turkey tenderloin and everything you need to know about it!

What is Turkey Tenderloin

The turkey tenderloin is a boneless skinless part of the turkey breast. It’s the area of the turkey breast that has the most underused muscle and hence, the turkey tenderloin is the most tender part of a turkey. It’s similar to its chicken counter part–the chicken tender. 

Turkey tenderloins on a sheet pan defrosted and ready tp cook

Turkey tenderloin is super versatile and can be cooked in so many ways. It’s used in a variety of cuisines and cultures so you can really flavor it endlessly.

Because of how tender the tenderloin is, it cooks very fast. It’s also smaller in size compared to a turkey breast, so keep in mind you’ll need at least two turkey tenderloins to make up for one turkey breast.

In terms of taste, turkey tenderloin has the same flavor you crave in a turkey breast, only more succulent and juicy. Seriously softer and juicier! Now that we covered what is a turkey tenderloin, lets talk about turkey tenderloin recipe.

Make this Turkey Tenderloin Recipe

There are so many ways to cook a turkey tenderloin just as much as there is to cook a whole turkey. I’m starting off with a super simple one. Here are a few basic things about making today’s turkey tenderloin recipe.

Gravy drenched turkey tenderloin recipe on a platter with orange slices and cranberries close up

  • Today’s turkey tenderloin recipe is pan seared in butter for a delicious crust and finished off in the oven. Our favorite tip for succulent turkey is definitely using a meat thermometer.

  • The simplest seasoning are used for this recipe and that’s all you need to taste the delicious tenderloin! A blend of garlic powder, onion flakes, paprika, brown sugar, dried chives, Italian seasoning (or oregano), salt and pepper.
  • This turkey tenderloin recipe also has a rich gravy which is made using pan drippings after roasting the turkey, so it’s just a small extra step since the flavor is already there.

brine ingredients for turkey tenderloin recipe including water, a small bowl of salt, small bowl of sugar, whole bay leaves and whole peppercorns

  •  We love brining turkey and since this is already a tender cut, you’ll brine for as little as 30 minutes and you’ll have GREAT results! You can brine up to 24 hours. The brine solution is basically water, salt and sugar. Adding extra whole spice is optional.
  • I get my turkey tenderloins online from Sealand Quality Foods–I find they have the BEST products ever in terms of quality and freshness! And now the details.

How to Cook Turkey Tenderloin

Turkey tenderloins in a deep plate with the brine added and some whole pepper corns

You’ll start with the extra step of brining –which is super recommended! We add whole peppercorns and bay leaves to the turkey after adding the brine solution. 

A hand patting dry the turkey tenderloin after brining

Make sure the turkey tenderloin is patted dry after brining. That’s the best way for the seasoning to stick to the meat.

turkey tenderloins in a sheet pan seasoned with the dry seasoning spice mix

Use the seasoning mix above and sprinkle it all over the turkey tenderloin, both sides and pat them down.

turkey tenderloin in a pan searing with butter

The turkey tenderloins are added to a skillet with butter and you’ll need to sear them until golden on one side. You’re not really cooking the turkey here, but rather you want to achieve a perfect golden sear. Turkey is golden and flipped and then more flavors are added like a hand holding whole garlic.

See also  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

Once the turkey tenderloin is golden, you’ll flip them and cook them for 3 minutes more before adding more flavors. Start by adding whole cloves of garlic, crushed.

A hand squeezing orange juice over the tukey

And orange juice. Turkey and orange are a classic combo, however if you’re not a fan of this combo, then you can skip it. Next is to add fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh, you can certainly use dried herbs. My favorites are fresh oregano, thyme and sage.

A hand pouring the stock over the turkey tenderloin recipe

Now it’s time to add a liquid for the turkey tenderloin to absorb, so make sure it’s a flavorful one! I added chicken stock. Keep in mind that these flavoring items we added like the garlic, orange, herbs and stock, along with the turkey tenderloin seasoning are what create the gravy. So you want to make sure not to skimp 🙂

turkey tenderloin covered in foil and ready to roast in the oven.

The final step is to cover the skillet you’ve used to sear the turkey with foil and roast the turkey in the oven to continue cooking all the way through. If your skillet is not oven proof, then you’ll need to transfer the turkey and everything into an oven safe dish, cover it and roast.

An oven thermometer in the turkey tenderloin showing the temperature at 170 degrees, so it's removed from the oven.

Once your oven thermometers registers 170 degrees F in the center most part of the turkey tenderloin, then it’s ready to be out of the oven. Keep it covered and place the turkey on a wooden board while you make the gravy.

A hand holding a piece of turkey tenderloin just sliced and showing how juicy it is out of the oven

How to Make Turkey Gravy

A hand adding some flour into a jar of half n half to make turkey gravy

You’ll start by mixing all purpose flour into a jar of milk. You can use milk, cream or half na half. It really depends on how rich you want your turkey gravy to be. How rich and how creamy too! I used half n half for the record. 

The pan out of the oven with all the turkey dripping

Now you’re going to add the flour into that same skillet where the turkey tenderloin was seared and roasted. You can see so many drippings and flavor happening there!

A hand mashing the ingredients in the gravy using a potato masher

Once you’ve added the flour mixture, and have it simmer for a 10 minutes, you’ll beed to mash the gravy. Using a potato masher, mash the garlic, any drippings until your gravy is smooth.

A hand straining the turkey gravy in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl

You’ll need a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl to strain your gravy. You want a really nice and rice Turkey gravy. And at that point your gravy is ready!

Serve Turkey Tenderloin

A hand pouring the gravy over the sliced turkey tenderloin recipe

Turkey Tenderloin Recipe Tips

  1. Choose quality turkey tenderloin –I buy mine from Sealand (you can read all about them in this baked Mahi Mahi Post)
  2. Take the extra 30 minute step to brine the tenderloins–it makes a difference!
  3. Season with a dry spice blend only–you don’t want burnt pieces of garlic in your drippings!
  4. Pan sear before roasting to have a gorgeous crust!
  5. Stock is best for roasting the tenderloin, however water, wine, orange juice or a combo may also be used.
  6. Cover the pan while roasting to ensure the turkey is juicy.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to find out when the turkey is done–you absolutely don’t wanna guess!
  8. It’s best if you let the turkey cool down for 10 minutes before slicing.
  9. You got to make the gravy int he meantime instead of waiting, and you’ll see the drippings are already there waiting for you.
  10. Cream is optional in the gravy, it adds an extra rich layer of silky-ness!
  11. Leftovers are great to add over pasta Burrata Pasta, Pasta Primavera, Spaghetti aglio e olio -Olive oil Pasta, Pesto Pasta with Pistachio Pesto are some of my favroite to pair with turkey.
  12. You can of course go for the sandwich leftover and make Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich.

A fork holding a piece of turkey tenderloin showing how juicy it is!

Are turkey tenderloins the same as turkey breast?

No. The turkey tenderloin is a boneless and skinless chunk of the turkey. It occurs between the turkey breast, so it’s part of it but not the same.

Yes! It’s possibly the leanest yet most tender part of the turkey.

 

Is turkey breast tenderloin healthy?

Since it is very lean and low in calories, yes turkey tenderloin is considered one of the healthiest tenderloins. 

close up of one turkey tenderloin recipe sliced up and served with orange slices around

Turkey Tenderloin Recipe

Once you make this Turkey Tenderloin Recipe, you’ll never go back to making turkey any other way! The turkey tenderloin is the utmost softest, juiciest part of the turkey breast and as a bonus it cooks in less than an hour! It’s been such a crowd pleaser and every single guest has fallen in love with it!

Ingredients

Turkey

  • 3
    turkey tenderloins
    Defrosted if frozen to room temperature

Brine

  • 5
    cups
    water
  • 3
    Tablespoons
    Kosher salt
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    Sugar
  • 1/4
    cup
    whole peppercorns
  • 4
    bay leaves

Turkey Spice

  • 2
    Tablespoon
    brown sugar
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    Garlic powder
  • 1
    Tablespoons
    Onion Flakes
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    Italian Seasoning
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    chive flakes
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    paprika
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoon
    salt and pepper
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Searing and Roasting Turkey recipe

  • 3
    Tablespoons
    butter
  • 6
    garlic cloves
  • 1/4
    cup
    orange juice
  • 6
    sprigs
    fresh oregano
    or rosemary or thyme
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    stock
  • 4
    Tablesooons
    Butter

Gravy

  • 2
    cups
    Milk
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    flour

Instructions

  1. The first step is to brine the turkey tenderloin, this can be for as little as 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

  2. Mix the brine ingredients and pour over the turkey tenderloin.

  3. After 30 minutes, remove the turkey tenderloin from the brine and pat them dry. You need to make sure you dry them as best as you can so that the seasoning would stick to the meat.

  4. Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl.

  5. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the both sides of the turkey tenderloins, Be generous with the seasoning.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375 dgereesF

  7. Preheat the butter in a heavy oven safe skillet (preferable), or a regular skillet and later transfer to an oven dish.

  8. Sear the turkey for 8-10 minutes on one side until golden, and then flip to cook for another 7 minutes.

  9. Once seared on both sides, add in some garlic.

  10. Add the orange juice, and herbs.

  11. Now pour the stock and dab the butter all around the pan.

  12. Cover the pan with foil and roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes depending on the thickness of your turkey tenderloins until an oven thermometer reads 170 degrees F in the thickest part of the tenderloin.

  13. If you’re transferring to an oven dish, follow exactly the same step by removing the turkey from the skillet and add it to an oven safe dish. Add on the garlic, orange juice, herbs, butter and stock, cover the pan and roast.

  14. When done, place the turkey on a cutting board and cover with foil while you make the gravy.

  15. Mix the milk and flour in a jar and pour over the skillet drippings and sauce (if using an oven safe dish, transfer all ingredients back to the same searing skillet you used at first).

  16. Bring to a boil and use a potato masher to mash up all ingredients together. Cook the gravy for 15 minutes simmering on low heat.

  17. Strain the gravy into a bowl.

  18. Pour the gravy over the turkey and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Turkey Tenderloin Recipe Tips

  1. Choose quality turkey tenderloin –I buy mine from Sealand (you can read all about them in this baked Mahi Mahi Post)
  2. Take the extra 30 minute step to brine the tenderloins–it makes a difference!
  3. Season with a dry spice blend only–you don’t want burnt pieces of garlic in your drippings!
  4. Pan sear before roasting to have a gorgeous crust!
  5. Stock is best for roasting the tenderloin, however water, wine, orange juice or a combo may also be used.
  6. Cover the pan while roasting to ensure the turkey is juicy.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to find out when the turkey is done–you absolutely don’t wanna guess!
  8. It’s best if you let the turkey cool down for 10 minutes before slicing.
  9. You got to make the gravy int he meantime instead of waiting, and you’ll see the drippings are already there waiting for you.
  10. Cream is optional in the gravy, it adds an extra rich layer of silky-ness!
  11. Leftovers are great to add over pasta Burrata Pasta, Pasta Primavera, Spaghetti aglio e olio -Olive oil Pasta, Pesto Pasta with Pistachio Pesto are some of my favroite to pair with turkey.
  12. You can of course go for the sandwich leftover and make Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich.

Are turkey tenderloins the same as turkey breast?

No. The turkey tenderloin is a boneless and skinless chunk of the turkey. It occurs between the turkey breast, so it’s part of it but not the same.

Yes! It’s possibly the leanest yet most tender part of the turkey.

 

Is turkey breast tenderloin healthy?

Since it is very lean and low in calories, yes turkey tenderloin is considered one of the healthiest tenderloins. 

Nutrition Facts

Turkey Tenderloin Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 292
Calories from Fat 99

% Daily Value*

Fat 11g17%

Saturated Fat 6g38%

Trans Fat 0.3g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Cholesterol 64mg21%

Sodium 4458mg194%

Potassium 399mg11%

Carbohydrates 28g9%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 14g16%

Protein 25g50%

Vitamin A 1165IU23%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 229mg23%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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