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Cilantro Marinated Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Flavorful Air Fryer Turkey Legs with Cilantro Lime Marinade

Succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious, cilantro marinated turkey legs are a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinners or the holidays. And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the meat and keep it from having a gamey taste. 

These tasty turkey legs are a thrill! Plus, it’s quick, too, so let’s make something different for dinner tonight! Grab your air fryer, and let’s get cooking.

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Best Roasted Marinated Turkey Legs Recipe!

With my homemade cilantro lime marinade, these turkey legs are bursting with big flavors. They will be your new favorite way to make turkey drumsticks, chicken, steak, pork chops, lamb chops, fish, or tofu too!

These cilantro lime marinated turkey legs are a bit crispy outside and juicy inside. These come out absolutely perfect and are a favorite in my home. With flavors that contrast yet balance one another, you’re never going to want to make turkey legs any other way again. 

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

How Long to Cook Turkey Legs in The Air Fryer? 

Generally, at 400F, it’s going to take about 20 – 30 minutes. It will depend on how big your turkey legs are too. Try to get them around the same size so they will cook evenly. Here, you really need a meat thermometer to ensure you cook them fully inside. If they don’t show 165F, then put them back in for 3–5-minute intervals until fully cooked.

Why You Will Love Cilantro Marinated Turkey Legs:

  • This recipe takes less than 30 minutes, so it’s perfect even for busy nights. And clean up is always easy with the air fryer!
  • It tastes amazingly flavorful from the cilantro lime marinade.
  • There’s only 6 ingredients. 
  • It gives the turkey a beautiful texture and flavor without any gaminess. 
  • An incredible way to make juicy, moist, tasty turkey leg each time; you can also use this exact method to make lamb, pork chops, chicken, or fish.
  • This turkey leg recipe is perfect for holidays such as Thanksgiving when serving a few people.
 A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Ingredients for Cilantro Marinated Turkey Legs

Turkey legs/turkey drumsticks, Homemade cilantro lime marinade, Onion powder, Knorr bouillon, Salt, Garlic powder, Cilantro, and limes (optional; for garnishing)

How to Cook Cilantro Marinated Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer:

I’m going to take you through these simple steps for making my cilantro marinated turkey legs. 

  1. Prep

    You’ll start by getting the turkey legs ready. You need to wash them off and then pat them dry with paper towels. I’ve used fresh turkey legs, but if yours are frozen, you will need to allow them enough time to defrost. They should be at room temperature before you begin. Room temperature turkey legs/turkey drumsticks

  2. Slash

    Now you’ll take a knife and slash the turkey legs. I typically make the slashes only on one side of the meat (see photo below). This not only allows the marinade to get into the meat but also helps it cook faster. make the slashes on the turkey legs

  3. Marinate

    Next, you’ll put your turkey drumsticks into a big bowl and pour the marinade and seasoning on it. Mix it up (I like wearing gloves for this step) to ensure the marinade and seasonings get to all the pieces. Cover and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. I like to do so for an hour though you can prep this overnight, too, if you like.Next, you’ll put your turkey drumsticks into a big bowl and pour the marinade and seasoning on it. Mix it up (I like wearing gloves for this step) to ensure the marinade and seasonings get to all the pieces. Cover and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. I like to do so for an hour though you can prep this overnight, too, if you like.

  4. Preheat

    After marinating, Set Air Fryer for 30 minutes and 400F and preheat.

  5. Air Fry

    Now you’re ready to get cooking! Place cilantro marinated turkey legs in the preheated air fryer; air fry for 20 minutes and flip. Then air fry for the remaining 10 minutes. Spray with cooking spray after turning the meat if necessary.A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

  6. Cook until well done!

    Always cook poultry to fully done. If they look too tan, drop the temperature to 375 or 350F. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should read 165F for fully cooked turkey legs. Allow cooling before serving. Enjoy!A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

How to Store the Leftover Air Fried Turkey Drumsticks:

Tempting as it is to eat all of your turkey legs, they’re really addictive but also filling. Leftovers should be sealed into an airtight container which you can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also move them to your freezer, which will keep them for up to 3 months.

How many People Does one Turkey Leg Serve?

A big turkey leg (aka turkey drumstick) serves 2 – 3 people, while a person can easily finish a small turkey leg! Be sure to adjust as needed.

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Recipes Notes/Tips for the Best Marinated Turkey Legs

  • Different air fryers may cause varying cooking times, which is why it’s important to check the turkey legs with a meat thermometer to ensure they’re fully cooked. 
  • These are perfect for Thanksgiving if you’re not serving a lot of people. Making a big turkey is a lot of work, but these are easy, full of flavor, and the perfect answer for a smaller group. 
  • You’ll find these are great for weeknight dinners as they cook in under 30 minutes. I’ve got some sides listed below to help you round out the meal. I suggest marinating for for at least 30 minutes before air frying!
  • This recipe leaves you with tasty marinated turkey drumsticks; tailor the peppers to your preference. 
  • If using small-sized turkey legs, you may not use up to 5 tablespoons of cilantro lime marinade. And you won’t need to cook this meat for up to 30 minutes either. 
  • If the turkey legs are browning quickly at 400F reduce the temperature to 375F or 350F.
  • If you do not like cilantro or don’t have the ingredients or time to make the cilantro lime marinade I used in this recipe, do not sweat over it. Simply follow my method and use any other marinade of choice.
  • Though Knorr bouillon gives this recipe a distinctive flavor, you skip it if you wish not to use it. Or you can swap it with a creole/Cajun seasoning.
A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Air Fryer Turkey Legs FAQs

Questions on air frying turkey legs? These should help!

How To Reheat Turkey Legs In The Air Fryer? 

Reheating these beauties is easy in the air fryer. Preheat it to 350F, then cook for 8-10 minutes. Flip them at midway for even heating. 

How To Air Fry Lean Turkey Drumsticks? 

If you want to air fry lean turkey legs, this recipe has it all for you in these simple steps. It takes about 20 – 30 minutes at 400F, flipping halfway through the cook time, though it may need a little longer depending on your air fryer and the size of your turkey legs. 

Should You Brine Turkey Legs Before Air Frying? 

You can surely brine them if you like, but with this recipe, my homemade cilantro lime marinade imparts flavor and improves the texture, so it’s not necessary. 

What To Eat with Your Air Fryer Turkey Legs? 

They can pair well with your favorite holiday sides if you serve these for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You could even reserve some of the marinades to swirl into your mashed potatoes for a perfect pairing. I’ve linked some sides below, too, that will go great for holiday sides or sides for any night. 

Are Air fried Turkey Drumsticks Healthy?

Yes, they are. You’re not using gobs of oil here. And turkey legs are an excellent way to get lean protein. 

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Variations/Substitutions for Marinated Turkey Drumsticks:

  • Swap the turkey legs for chicken or fish for just as delicious results.
  • Instead of making a giant turkey for Thanksgiving when you’re only having a few people, try this recipe. It’s so delicious, so simple, and so quick too.
  • You can bake these turkey legs in your oven if you would rather do so or if you don’t have an air fryer.
  • Want even deeper flavors? Let this marinate overnight in my cilantro lime marinade! Or better still, dip the meat in the marinade while eating!
A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners
A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for weeknights or the holidays! Click To Tweet

HOW TO MAKE JUICIEST & TASTIEST TURKEY LEGS:

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A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

Cilantro Marinated Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer


  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 56 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Step one; Prep. You’ll start by getting the turkey legs ready. You need to wash them off and then pat them dry with paper towels. I’ve used fresh turkey legs, but if yours are frozen, you will need to allow them enough time to defrost. They should be at room temperature before you begin. Room temperature turkey legs/turkey drumsticks  
  2. Step two; Slash. Now you’ll take a knife and slash the turkey legs. I typically make the slashes only on one side of the meat (see photo below). This not only allows the marinade to get into the meat but also helps it cook faster. make the slashes on the turkey legs  
  3. Step three; Marinate. Next, you’ll put your turkey drumsticks into a big bowl and pour the marinade and seasoning on it. Mix it up (I like wearing gloves for this step) to ensure the marinade and seasonings get to all the pieces. Cover and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. I like to do so for an hour though you can prep this overnight, too, if you like. Next, you’ll put your turkey drumsticks into a big bowl and pour the marinade and seasoning on it. Mix it up (I like wearing gloves for this step) to ensure the marinade and seasonings get to all the pieces. Cover and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. I like to do so for an hour though you can prep this overnight, too, if you like. 
  4. Step four; Preheat. After marinating, Set Air Fryer for 30 minutes and 400F and preheat.
  5. Step five; Air Fry. Now you’re ready to get cooking! Place cilantro marinated turkey legs in the preheated air fryer; air fry for 20 minutes and flip. Then air fry for the remaining 10 minutes. Spray with cooking spray after turning the meat if necessary. A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners 
  6. Step six; Cook until well done! Always cook poultry to fully done. If they look too tan, drop the temperature to 375 or 350F. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should read 165F for fully cooked turkey legs. Allow cooling before serving. Enjoy! A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners 

Notes

Different air fryers may cause varying cooking times, which is why it’s important to check the turkey legs with a meat thermometer to ensure they’re fully cooked. 

These are perfect for Thanksgiving if you’re not serving a lot of people. Making a big turkey is a lot of work, but these are easy, full of flavor, and the perfect answer for a smaller group. 

You’ll find these are great for weeknight dinners as they cook in under 30 minutes. I’ve got some sides listed below to help you round out the meal.

This recipe leaves you with tasty marinated turkey drumsticks that don’t have that gamey flavor that turkey can sometimes take on. 

If using small-sized turkey legs, you may not use up to 5 tablespoons of cilantro lime marinade. And you won’t need to cook this meat for up to 30 minutes either. 

If the turkey legs are browning quickly reduce the temperature to 375F or 350F.

This is my Air Fryer! I love it to the moon and back! For real it makes the tastiest foods! 

If you do not like cilantro or don’t have the ingredients or time to make the cilantro lime marinade I used in this recipe, do not sweat over it. Simply follow my method and use any other marinade of choice.

Though Knorr bouillon gives this recipe a distinctive flavor, you skip it if you wish not to use it. Or you can swap it with a creole/Cajun seasoning. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Turkey, Thanksgiving, Turkey legs, Turkey Drumsticks, #TurkeyRecipe, Holiday Recipes,

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Great Sides for Air Fryer Turkey Drumsticks:

Baked brussels sprouts. Perfectly baked brussels sprout is hands down the best healthy brussels sprouts recipe you will ever need, and they pair so well with these air fryer roasted turkey drumsticks.

The best honey baked brussels sprouts recipe, perfectly baked in the oven without the help of bacon and cheese. A incredible plant-based side dish you will love with all your heart!

Baked sweet potatoes. Delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-make baked sweet potatoes have buttery inside with crispy edges. These make the perfect side dish with marinated turkey legs. 

Delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-make air fryer sweet potato cubes are the best side dish. In just 15 minutes, your air fryer renders these bite-sized sweet potato pieces into heavenly bits. They're crispy on the outside while having that soft and tender inside. Perfect with any meal or enjoyed as a snack. Easily seasoned with pantry spice for a savory flavor you'll love. Plus, sweet potatoes are healthy, and this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free!

Braised Red Cabbage! Super easy healthy braised red cabbage with apples, red onions, and bell pepper is literally the best side dish for these cilantro marinated turkey legs! 

Super easy healthy braised red cabbage with apples and red onions is the best side dish ever! It's savory, sweet, a little sour, tangy, and wonderfully complements every main dish. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, keto – friendly and packed with flavorful herbs and spices. Look no further for a fabulous + tasty, healthy side you need for the holidays especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, it comes together so quickly! #Cabbage #Braisedcabbage #healthysidedish #side

Garlic Butter Green Beans. Air-fried garlic green beans are easy, quick, tender, crisp, deliciously delightful, and perfect with these turkey legs!

A simple and easy recipe for air fryer green beans with garlic butter sauce requires only a few ingredients; fresh green beans, onions powder, salt, pepper, avocado oil as well a drizzle of garlicky, buttery sauce! Air fried garlic green beans are easy, quick, tender, crisp, deliciously delightful, and perfect with any main dish. P.s. I love it with salmon! This air fryer fried green beans recipe cooks in less than 10 minutes in the air fryer (well, obviously)! But we don't stop there; I take it a little further with my garlic butter sauce. #airfryergreenbeans #greenbeans #garlicsauce #airfryerrecipe

Nigerian Jollof Rice with Basmati Rice. This party-style Nigerian basmati jollof rice recipe is the rice dish you find at most Nigerian parties. Pair it with these tasty marinated turkey legs for the best holiday dish!

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

More Dishes to Pair with Turkey Drumsticks:

While you are still here, grab my FREE (5) spinach salad recipe bundle. It would be a great addition to your dinner table (if you like salads) or you are looking to incorporate more veggies. Get the recipes here.

Finally, let’s connect on social media, am on PinterestFacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. If you like video recipes, then be sure to head over to my YouTube Channel. Share this recipe post, and SAVE/PIN THIS IMAGE ON PINTEREST! ⤵️

A simple recipe of air fryer turkey drumsticks marinated with cilantro lime marinade is succulent, juicy, and utterly delicious. Full of tart and tangy, savory, and pungent flavors, it’s the perfect way to flavor the turkey meat, bet it whole turkey or parts! These marinated turkey legs make a fantastic main dish for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! And with my cilantro lime marinade, they become all the more incredible. #Turkey #Holiday #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Sundaydinners

I’m hoping you will give this flavorful turkey recipe a try. Don’t forget to leave me a comment when you do!

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! Stay well, safe and keep cooking!

Nkechi Ajaeroh's blog nkechiajaeroh.com for healthy food recipes, and healthy living. tips.

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Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Hi, I'm Nkechi "Kechi" Ajaeroh, a Public Health professional turned Inspirational author slash exceptional home cook. A 2x International Best Selling Author of Elevate Your Life with the Power of Positive Perception and Gratefully Growing. African, (specifically, Nigerian) Food Enthusiast, watermelon connoisseur, on my to finessing my fitness. This blog is all about loving food, living life, practicing gratitude, and inspiring you to use your wings. Join the journey.

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