Turkey doesn’t have to be reserved for holidays with this recipe for Easy Turkey Tenderloin with Herbs, a quick-cooking cut that’s all leaner white meat.
When I spotted turkey tenderloins in the grocery store back in September, I picked them up, thinking how easy they’d be for dinner — or as an alternative to a full turkey.
Like turkey cutlets, split turkey breast and cooking turkey breast in a slow cooker, this is another way to enjoy that Thanksgiving experience without the time and effort required to make a big turkey.
Turkey tenderloin is an all-white meat part of the turkey found beneath the breast. The ones I’ve purchased have been about eight to ten inches long and four-ish inches wide. The weight of the packages vary, but generally, a package of two can feed six with plenty of sides.
When I made the turkey tenderloins for the first time, I realized I’d been spot on — and turkey tenderloin has been a welcome addition to our dinner repertoire. Since then, I’ve bought the tenderloins several more times and found they are easy enough to make on weeknights — if I have about an hour to cook dinner.
How to Make Easy Turkey Tenderloin
The first step — and perhaps the hardest step — is to locate turkey tenderloin in your local grocery store. Not all stores carry it (though you could certainly talk to your butcher about getting some in). Mine came in a package of two. Smaller marinated ones are available, but for this recipe you need just a plain piece of meat.
For this recipe, you will make a really easy and simple herb rub. It’s made of dried rosemary, dried thyme and dried sage, along with salt and pepper. Measure, mix and set aside.
Now, arrange the turkey tenderloins in a baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking oil spray (or brushed with oil). I use canola oil in a Mr. Mister bottle.
Then rub that herb rub all over the turkey — you want it on all sides, top and bottom. Yes, use it all. Now, it’s time to bake.
Once the turkey is done cooking (it should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I double-check with a thermometer), remove it from the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes before slicing it up. This helps ensure that it retains its moisture.
Once it’s sliced, arrange it on a platter and serve. This is excellent with my Foolproof Turkey Gravy and mashed potatoes.
What I Like About This Recipe
So why do I like this recipe for Easy Turkey Tenderloin with Herbs so much? Several things.
First, the meat cooks uniformly well every time — there’s no guesswork or keeping your fingers crossed. It’s just juicy, well-seasoned, well-cooked turkey.
Secondly, it cooks swiftly (for turkey). Full turkeys can take hours — and so can split breasts. But this boneless, skinless turkey tenderloin is ready in an hour or less. Score!
And, finally, the herbed flavor isn’t overpowering — nor is the flavor of the meat. They just play well together.
Quick, easy, flavorful, juicy … Why not try this recipe soon?
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 1/2 lbs turkey tenderloin (2 tenderloins)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with cooking oil spray. Arrange the turkey tenderloins in the pan. Spray with cooking oil spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Rub all over the tenderloins.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until it’s 160 degrees internally (use a meat thermometer to check).
- Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.