If you are looking for a great turkey legs in air fryer recipe, then you, my friend, are going to love this one! We are making air fryer turkey drumsticks with a delicious sugar-free seasoning rub that includes cayenne, chili powder, paprika, plus sage and thyme, for a delicious dinner option with easy prep. Top with BBQ sauce or serve your roasted drumsticks as-is and enjoy the simplicity of this WHOLE LOTTA YUM recipe.
Air Fryer Turkey Legs Recipe
Due to their size, most don't think you can air fry turkey legs, but today we are going to show those people that they not only can you cook easy air fryer turkey legs but how to do so with amazing results! We are talking roasted turkey drumsticks with crispy skin that are worthy of any renaissance fair or festival.
We are loving how quick and easy it is to make a variety of turkey recipes inside our air fryer. Not only does this make turkey so much simpler to cook when compared to a whole turkey, but it also opens up so many windows throughout the year. If you are ready to add some turkey recipes to your meal rotation be sure to try some of our other air fryer recipes like herb-seasoned air fryer turkey thighs and air fryer turkey cutlets recipes.
Make any turkey recipe a complete meal, whether you are working with cutlets, thighs, or air fryer turkey legs, when you pair your poultry with a side dish like air fryer sweet potato slices and air fryer bell peppers.
Why You'll Love This!
- With just 10-minutes of prep-time, you can get your turkey legs in air fryer cooking quickly!
- No more dry turkey at your holiday feast!
- We are using a sugar-free version of our homemade smoked turkey dry rub seasoning to make our roasted turkey legs taste fantastic!
- Air fryer turkey legs are perfect for sticking to your healthy eating plans as they are compliant with gluten-free, low-carb, keto, and Paleo lifestyles.
- Enjoy one of Thanksgiving dinner best bites and most sought after pieces for dark meat lovers, turkey legs, without the hassle of cooking an entire bird or running your oven for several hours.
We are covering our air fryer turkey leg recipe with a sugar-free dry rub that makes these air fryer turkey drumsticks taste absolutely delicious, but don't worry, we will list all of the seasoning ingredients here in this recipe for you.
- turkey drumsticks -find them at your local grocery store or ask your butcher. You can also use this same cooking method with air fryer turkey breast or other turkey parts.
- olive oil - we used extra virgin olive oil, melted seasoned butter is another great alternative.
- rub - our homeade version below or use your favorite store-bought seasoning
TO MAKE THE RUB:
- garlic powder
- ground onion powder
- smoked paprika
- chili powder
- fine sea salt
- ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- minced dried rosemary
- dried thyme
- dried sage
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- You can use your favorite store bought rub or make our homemade version with our easy recipe. Our rub will make way more than the recipe will need but you can use it for other recipes and it's especially good with chicken or pork.
- To add a sweet touch to the turkey drumsticks, brush on a bit of honey in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. Don't add it earlier than that since sugars burn quickly in an air fryer.
- Keto/Low-Carb - To keep your turkey drumsticks compliant, use a sugar-free rub and skip the optional honey. If you choose to use a sauce, be sure that it is compliant with your eating plan.
Step by Step Instructions
We wanted to make sure that our turkey legs in air fryer recipe was the easiest one available because we know that eating good food doesn't have to be complicated... and with just a few steps to our recipe, I think we did it! To make our air fryer turkey drumsticks pat the turkey legs down with a paper towel, season, and air fry until they are cooked thought - it's that easy!
To make the dry rub seasoning: Add the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, rosemary, thyme, and sage in a small bowl. Mix the dry rub until the ingredients are well combined. This will make more rub than the recipe needs but you can store it in an airtight container for 6+ months and use it for other turkey recipes, chicken, or pork. (If you are using store-bought seasoning you can skip this step.)
Blot the turkey drumsticks dry with paper towels.
Place them in a low bowl or plate.
Brush the turkey legs with the olive oil and then generously sprinkle the turkey drumsticks with the rub on both sides of the turkey.
Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 F.
Place the turkey legs in the air fryer and cook them at 400 F for a total of 40 minutes, or until the internal meat thermometer registers at least 165 F (up to 180 F) when tested in the thickest part of the drumstick. Flip the drumsticks halfway through cooking.
If you are adding honey or BBQ sauce, brush it on during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.
Serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!
- Blotting the turkey legs before you season them is key to making sure the oil and seasoning stick to the meat and for making your turkey drumsticks as crispy as possible.
- When possible, preheat your air fryer for at least 5 minutes prior to cooking. This ensures even cooking and better results. If you don't preheat your air fryer you will need to add a few minutes of coooktime.
- Flipping your turkey legs after 20-mintues helps to ensure even cooking.
- The turkey cooking time can vary based on how many watts your model has, the size of the drumsticks you're cooking, and whether or not you preheated your air fryer. Just use the cooking time as a guide and we strongly encourage you to use a digital meat thermometer to make sure you don't overcook (or undercook!) the turkey.
There are many things you can serve with turkey legs. Some popular side dishes include mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce. You could also make a gravy to pour over the top. Get creative and try something new!
The best way to know when turkey drumsticks are done is to use a meat thermometer. You want the internal temperature of the meat to be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way to tell if they're done is by cutting into one and checking that the juices run clear. If they're not quite done yet, you can continue cooking them.
Yes, you can cook frozen turkey drumsticks in an air fryer. You will need to increase the cooking time by about 3-5 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the meat to make sure it is cooked all the way through and reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
More Air Fryer Turkey Recipes
Looking for more turkey recipes?
- Air fryer turkey cutlets
- Air fryer bone-in turkey breast
- Air fryer boneless turkey breast (from frozen)
- Air fryer turkey bacon recipe
- Air fryer turkey burgers recipe
- Air fryer turkey thighs
- Air fryer turkey wings
- Air fryer turkey tenderloin