This easy baked turkey tenderloin is made super flavorful with a turkey brine and then our amazing turkey seasoning. Enjoy!
Super Juicy Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
Turkey tenderloin is such a fantastic cut of turkey to serve at a smaller Thanksgiving gathering. This recipe for turkey tenderloin cooks up quite nicely in the oven, holds flavor very well, and comes out super juicy!
In this post, you’ll learn all about turkey tenderloin, how to flavor it, what makes this the best turkey tenderloin recipe, and how to cook it to perfection. ENJOY!
Where do you buy turkey tenderloin? Our favorite place to buy turkey tenderloin is Trader Joe’s. They actually carry it year-round, which is fantastic!
why you’ll love it
This turkey tenderloin is a great alternative to making a whole bird! If you’re having a small Thanksgiving or just looking for a delicious cold-weather meal, this baked turkey tenderloin is for you.
What is turkey tenderloin?
Turkey tenderloin is the boneless, skinless part of the turkey breast. This is a very tender cut of meat (if cooked correctly!) because turkeys are typically not exercised frequently.
When purchasing turkey tenderloin, sometimes the tenderloin is sold with two tenderloins, so be cautious of that when looking for a certain weight.
Is turkey breast tenderloin the same as turkey tenderloin?
A turkey tenderloin is a portion of the turkey breast that is boneless and skinless, and a turkey breast is typically bought bone in and skin on.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
Before getting started with this turkey tenderloin recipe, here are our kitchen tool recommendations to make your cooking seamless!
How to Flavor Baked Turkey Tenderloin
Like other cuts of poultry, turkey tenderloin does a really great job taking on the flavor of whatever you season or marinate it with. Honestly, this cut of turkey is similar to chicken breast which is takes on flavor in a similar way.
For this turkey tenderloin recipe, we used a simple turkey brine that infuses your turkey with so much flavor.
We then coat in our amazing turkey seasoning before baking in the oven. Our turkey seasoning is the perfect combination of dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and smoked paprika. It is so delicious!
Ditch the store-bought turkey seasoning and use the most Flavorful Turkey Seasoning made with 9 ingredients you can actually pronounce. This seasoning is made up of garlic powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, and other simple seasonings.
Turkey Tenderloin Brine Ingredients
For this simple turkey tenderloin brine, we used the following spices and herbs that infuse the turkey with amazing flavor:
- Kosher salt
- Black peppercorns
- Whole cloves
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
How to Cook Turkey Tenderloin in the Oven
Here are in-depth, step-by-step directions for how to cook turkey tenderloin in the oven. For the full, written recipe and ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card.
Prepare Turkey Brine
Remove the two turkey tenderloins from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Now it’s time to make the brine. Add water and kosher salt to a small saucepan, whisk and heat over medium heat until the salt dissolves. Do not bring it to a boil. Remove from heat.
Next, add the black peppercorns, whole cloves, rosemary, and thyme to the saucepan and mix. Set aside and let it sit for 10 minutes or until completely cooled.
Place Turkey in Brine
Place the turkey tenderloins in a deep bowl or 9×13 casserole dish.
When the brine is cool, pour the brine over the turkey tenderloins. Be sure that the brine is covering the tenderloins.
Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place the turkey in the fridge. Let the turkey tenderloin sit for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
When ready to bake the turkey tenderloin, preheat the oven to 400ºF and lay a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet.
Discard Brine & Rinse Turkey
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and discard the brine.
Rinse the turkey under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel and place the turkey tenderloin on the parchment paper.
Season Turkey with Dry Rub
Sprinkle the turkey tenderloins with the dry rub. Massage the dry rub into the turkey tenderloin, being sure that the whole tenderloin is covered in dry rub.
Drizzle the top of the turkey tenderloins with olive oil and place the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake, Slice & Enjoy
Bake the turkey tenderloins for 20 minutes, flip the tenderloins, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
Remove from the oven and let the turkey rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the turkey tenderloin and serve with your favorite sides.
Turkey Tenderloin FAQ
The best oven temperature to cook your baked turkey tenderloin recipe at is 400ºF. The goal is to get the internal temperature of your pork to reach at least 165ºF (re: Food Safety).
Turkey tenderloin takes around 50-55 minutes at 350ºF to reach a safe-to-eat, internal temperature of 165ºF.
Turkey tenderloin takes around 35-40 minutes at 400ºF to reach a safe-to-eat, internal temperature of 165ºF.
Some recipes call for you to cover your turkey tenderloin while baking, however, our recipe does not instruct you to do so.
If your turkey tenderloin begins to brown too much on the top, you can cover it with tin foil until it reaches a 165ºF internal temperature.
Turkey tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, meaning that it can dry out quickly.
So, if you cook it too long, you risk overcooking your meat, which will leave it with a dry, stringy texture. And no one wants that!
You just let your turkey tenderloin rest to let the juices rest and absorb back into the meat.
How to Store Turkey Tenderloin
Let your baked turkey tenderloin cool completely. Then, transfer it into a large, glass container, and seal.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Microwave: Place a serving of turkey tenderloin on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Oven: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Then, spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add cooked turkey tenderloin. Bake, covered, for around 20 minutes or until the center is warm.
Can you freeze leftover turkey tenderloin?
To freeze leftover turkey tenderloin, let it cool completely. Then, transfer it into a gallon-size freezer-safe plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
Baked Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
- 2 lbs. turkey tenderloin it should come in a pack of 2
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons turkey seasoning
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Remove the two turkey tenderloins from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
- First, make the brine. Add water and kosher salt to a small saucepan, whisk, and heat over medium heat until the salt dissolves. Do not bring it to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Next, add the black peppercorns, whole cloves, rosemary, and thyme to the sauce pan and mix. Set aside and let it sit for 10 minutes or until cooled.
- Place the turkey tenderloins in a deep bowl or 9×13 casserole dish. When the brine is cool, pour the brine over the turkey tenderloins. Be sure that the brine is covering the tenderloin.
- Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place the turkey in the fridge. Let the turkey tenderloin sit for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
- When ready to bake the turkey tenderloin, preheat the oven to 400ºF and lay a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet.
- Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel and place the turkey tenderloin on the parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the turkey tenderloins with the dry rub. Massage the dry rub into the turkey tenderloin, being sure that the whole tenderloin is covered in dry rub.
- Drizzle the top of the turkey tenderloin with olive oil and place the baking sheet in the oven.
- Bake the turkey tenderloin for 20 minutes, flip the tenderloin, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- Remove from the oven and let the turkey rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the turkey tenderloin and serve.
Tips & Notes
- For this recipe, you need to make our homemade turkey seasoning.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.
The food recipes featured are simply amazing – delicious, creative, and beautifully presented!
Regarding too salty comments: A lot of tenderloins come sealed in bags in solutions which are a brine. The one I used came like that. I rinsed and patted dry then rubbed with the rub and followed cooking instructions. Came out great.
Use brine for plain unseasoned loins.
This was delicious!! I was surprised because I usually destroy cuts of meat—wow! So juicy and flavorful!
My partner and I are calling this recipe a win. It was too salty for us but will be a blueprint for future Thanksgiving meals. I used Morton kosher salt and about 18 -24 hours for the brine and while the splatter gets me paranoid i did rinse the 2 tenderloins with cold water. I also dribbled melted butter instead of olive oil….not that I don’t like olive oil but it was a holiday meal. I will try this again but will either cut the salt in the brine or cut the brining time by 1/2 or 2/3ds.
First time I have made anything on your website and this was absolutely amazing! My entire family asked me to make it again next week-I skipped the brine due to time but will try it next time! I look forward to trying more on your website!
Made this recipe tonight. It was delicious. Love the rub for the tenderloins!
Thanks so much, Nancy!
This recipe sounded so good but the finished product was so salty we couldn’t even eat it. I brined the turkey for 9 hours before cooking, so no longer than called for, and had followed the recipe exactly. The smell was overpowering while it was cooking, too. I have a sensitive nose but my boyfriend doesn’t and even he thought it was oddly strong. He wants to keep the spice rub recipe used on the outside because that was tasty. It was just vastly overpowered by salt.
We’re so sorry to hear you had this experience, Megan! Wondering what type of salt you used in your brine? And making sure you rinsed the turkey tenderloins before baking? Hoping we can help get to the bottom of this — this turkey tenderloin should come out super juicy with help from the brine, but not overpowered by salt.
This looks great! I am going to try this recipe. Would like the recipe for the green beans and potato’s. Do you have a link for those? Thanks.
Yes1 It’s our green bean casserole with bacon recipe – https://fitfoodiefinds.com/green-bean-casserole-with-bacon/
I ended up making this turkey tenderloin for Thanksgiving. It is so easy to make. It was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it and said was way better than a traditional roast turkey! Thank You FFF for a great recipe. I’ll be making it for Christmas dinner!
YAY! Glad you loved it!! We’d love a star rating too 😀