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Easy weeknight dinner! This turkey tenderloin recipe is perfect for busy nights when you want something quick and delicious. Turkey tenderloin is a lean protein that cooks fast, and in this recipe, it’s coated with spices for extra flavor. The whole thing cooks in under 30 minutes!

If you enjoy turkey and are looking to try something beyond this fabulous tenderloin, explore these equally tempting single serving and small batch turkey dishes like, Roast Turkey Breast, a small Herb-Crusted Turkey Roast or tender and juicy Turkey Cutlets.

For a cozy Thanksgiving dinner for two, this turkey tenderloin is an excellent choice to include and if you’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers, put them to delicious use with our easy-to-make Thanksgiving Sliders.

Why You’ll Love This Turkey Tenderloin Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe requires minimal prep time and a short list of ingredients. Just like our similar pork tenderloin recipe, this dish involves only a few easy-to-follow steps, making the cooking process a breeze.
  • Tender and Juicy: The turkey breast tenderloin prepared with this recipe is exceptionally tender and juicy, literally melting in your mouth – a quality that sets it apart.
  • High in Protein: Turkey tenderloin is a fantastic lean protein source.
  • Versatile: With room for various seasonings and side dishes, this recipe is easy to customize to your taste.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

slices of turkey tenderloin medallions on a white plate next to a bottle of red wine.

What Are Turkey Tenderloins?

Turkey tenderloin, a lean and full-flavored cut of meat, is an ideal choice for a small Thanksgiving or a feast for one or two. Sourced from the boneless, skinless part of the turkey breast, the tenderloin is a thick strip of meat cut from between the turkey’s breasts. Its tenderness owes to the fact that this muscle doesn’t see much action. With an average weight between 8 ounces and one pound, tenderloins are incredibly versatile and can substitute chicken breasts in almost any recipe.

Turkey tenderloins are typically located in the refrigerated meat section of most grocery stores, alongside the chicken. Both seasoned and unseasoned varieties are available, although I prefer buying unseasoned ones to customize the seasoning. If your local store doesn’t stock them, you can always request the butcher.

Upon opening, the turkey breast tenderloins should be consumed within 2 to 3 days. To store them longer, securely pack the tenderloins in an airtight container and freeze them. They can be stored frozen for up to 9 months, ensuring you have a quick and delicious meal option at your fingertips.

a Butterball turkey tenderloin in its package on a wooden table.

Ingredients

In addition to one turkey tenderloin, you will need these ingredients:

seasonings and olive oil on a wooden cutting board in a kitchen.
  • Turkey tenderloin: I use one 12-ounce turkey tenderloin. As mentioned above, they typically come in a package of two, so I use just one when making a turkey tenderloin for one or two people.
  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this turkey tenderloin recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains a more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It’s my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, dried sage, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. You can substitute other herbs and spices for the Italian seasoning, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano.
  • Butter: Not shown in the ingredients photo above but I highly recommend using a little salted butter. Add the butter to the top of the cooked turkey. Doing this, and then covering the pan while the turkey rests will help keep the meat extra juicy. The butter melts into the turkey and helps to create the most incredibly delicious sauce!
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How To Cook Turkey Tenderloin

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to cook turkey tenderloin. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven on a middle rack and heat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). The skillet will heat along with the oven. Remove from the oven and add olive oil to the skillet. Give the pan a swirl so that the oil coats the entire bottom.
  2. Mix together the Italian seasoning, sage, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the turkey and rub the spices in with your fingers.
a raw turkey tenderloin on a green plate next to a bowl of spices.
  1. Place the tenderloin in the hot skillet and using oven mitts, return the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
a raw seasoned turkey tenderloin in a large cast iron skillet.
  1. After 10 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and using tongs, flip the turkey over. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and continue roasting for another 15 minutes. 
a partially cooked turkey tenderloin in a cast iron skillet next to tongs.
  1. Remove the skillet from the oven. Add butter to the top of the turkey and cover the skillet with a large plate, a pan lid, or foil. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before serving. The turkey is done when its internal temperature registers 165 degrees (74 degrees C) in the thickest part of the meat.

Pro Tip: I recommend using an oven thermometer to ensure the turkey is fully cooked. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin. When it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, the turkey is done.

cooked turkey with butter on top of it in a cast iron skillet.
  1. Remove the foil. Slice and spoon the butter sauce over the turkey.
sliced turkey tenderloin medallions in a cast iron skillet with a spoon overhead drizzling the butter sauce over the tops of the pieces.

Serving Suggestions

Turkey breast tenderloins pair well with a variety of side dishes. For everyday meals, consider accompanying them with these single serving or small batch recipes:

If you’re preparing the turkey tenderloin for a smaller Thanksgiving gathering, these single serving or small batch versions of traditional holiday sides would complement it beautifully:

And don’t forget dessert! Round off your feast with a sweet treat:

Expert Tips

  • This recipe is designed for a single 12-ounce turkey tenderloin, though most packs contain two filets of about the same weight. If you’re preparing a meal for one or two, you may not need both tenderloins. I typically cook just one tenderloin and often have leftovers for my next day’s lunch or dinner.
  • To store the uncooked tenderloin, wrap it in freezer paper, heavy-duty freezer wrap, or double-wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in the freezer for future use. If you choose to cook both tenderloins, the remaining cooked meat keeps well for up to 3 days. These leftovers are versatile – include them in sandwiches, pasta dishes, and salads, or substitute them for chicken in recipes like turkey noodle soup, pot pies, or enchiladas.
  • Season the turkey on all sides: Make sure the tenderloin is completely coated with the spices and feel free to experiment with your favorite spices and spice blends. You can even season it simply with just salt and pepper.
  • Don’t forget the butter: The heat from the pan will melt the butter which will mix with the juices from the turkey. The butter helps to make a wonderful sauce to pour over the turkey slices.
  • Be sure to cover the turkey before slicing: Letting the turkey “rest” for about 15 minutes after cooking is important. It allows the juices to reabsorb back into the meat so you are sure to have the juiciest turkey tenderloin possible.
  • This is an adaptable recipe: You can use this recipe for a smaller or larger tenderloin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What internal temperature should the turkey reach?

For safety, the turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Can I make turkey tenderloins if I don’t have a cast iron skillet?

Absolutely, this recipe is still doable without a cast iron skillet. Here are the alternative steps:

Firstly, set your oven to preheat at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Season the turkey tenderloin as per the recipe instructions. Then, lightly oil a baking dish and place the tenderloin inside.
Let it bake for around 50 to 60 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Once done, remove it from the oven and add 2 tablespoons of butter on top. To allow the juices to redistribute, cover the tenderloin and let it rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
After the rest period, slice the tenderloin and it’s ready to be savored.

Is turkey tenderloin the same as turkey breast?

Turkey tenderloin is a part of the turkey breast and is boneless and skinless. A turkey breast usually has a bone inside and skin on.

Is turkey tenderloin white or dark meat?

Turkey tenderloins are considered white meat and are extremely tender.

How do I store leftover turkey tenderloin?

Refrigerate cooked turkey within two hours and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

cooked turkey on a fork next to three other pieces of turkey.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy turkey tenderloin recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


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Turkey Tenderloin

5 from 20 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 12 minutes
Total: 47 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Quick and easy recipe for tender and juicy turkey tenderloin. This lean and flavorful dish is perfect for a weeknight meal or a small Thanksgiving feast.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 (12-ounce) turkey tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
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Instructions 

  • Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven on a middle rack and heat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). The skillet will heat along with the oven.
  • Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the oven and add olive oil to the pan. Give the pan a swirl so that the oil coats the entire bottom.
  • Mix together the Italian seasoning, sage, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the turkey and rub the spices in with your fingers.
  • Place the tenderloin in the skillet and using oven mitts, return the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and using tongs, flip the turkey over. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and continue roasting another 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the skillet from the oven. Add butter to the top of the turkey and cover the skillet with a large plate, a pan lid, or foil. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before serving.
    Pro Tip: The turkey is done when its internal temperature registers 165 degrees (74 degrees C) in the thickest part of the meat.
  • Remove the foil. Slice and spoon the butter sauce over the turkey. Enjoy hot.

Notes

Expert Tips
    • This recipe is designed for a single 12-ounce turkey tenderloin, though most packs contain two filets of about the same weight. If you’re preparing a meal for one or two, you may not need both tenderloins. I typically cook just one tenderloin and often have leftovers for my next day’s lunch or dinner.
    • To store the uncooked tenderloin, wrap it in freezer paper, heavy-duty freezer wrap, or double-wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in the freezer for future use. If you choose to cook both tenderloins, the remaining cooked meat keeps well for up to 3 days. These leftovers are versatile – include them in sandwiches, pasta dishes, and salads, or substitute them for chicken in recipes like turkey noodle soup, pot pies, or enchiladas.
    • Season the turkey on all sides: Make sure the tenderloin is completely coated with the spices and feel free to experiment with your favorite spices and spice blends. You can even season it simply with just salt and pepper.
    • Don’t forget the butter: The heat from the pan will melt the butter which will mix with the juices from the turkey. The butter helps to make a wonderful sauce to pour over the turkey slices.
    • Be sure to cover the turkey before slicing: Letting the turkey “rest” for about 15 minutes after cooking is important. It allows the juices to reabsorb back into the meat so you are sure to have the juiciest turkey tenderloin possible.
    • This is an adaptable recipe: You can use this recipe for a smaller or larger tenderloin.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 3mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 350IU, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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21 Comments

  1. Casey Hester says:

    Best roasted turkey recipe ever. So easy and the whole family loves it.

  2. Laura says:

    This is a beautiful, adaptable recipe! Turkey tenderloin is so tender and juicy cooked this way. I usually choose dark meat when cooking poultry but I will be buying turkey tenderloin when my grocery store has it in stock. I might even choose it over pork tenderloin. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      You are most welcome, Laura. I agree, turkey prepared this way is so tender and juicy. I’m happy to know you love the recipe.

  3. Melinda Duggan says:

    Delicious! The meat was so most and juicy!

  4. Barbara K says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving. It was very easy and delicious! Thanks for this recipe. It was perfect for 2.

  5. Christine says:

    First time making a turkey tenderloin. Love that I got to use my cast iron skillet. I made exactly as written and it was moist and flavorful. After it rested, I added the drippings and unabsorbed butter to my gravy. Thank you for a great recipe I will make again and again.

  6. Deb says:

    Could you roast several turkey tenderloins together ahead of Thanksgiving and reheat? If so, would you slice prior to reheating and at what temp?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes, you can cook the turkey tenderloins ahead of time. I recommend keeping the tenderloins whole and slicing the turkey before you are ready to eat it. Reheat turkey tenderloins in a preheated 350°F oven, covered for about 20 minutes until the center of the tenderloins are warm.

  7. Fran Bell says:

    The turkey was very tender and seasoned perfectly. My husband and I both enjoyed this recipe and I will definitely cook it again. So healthy!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Anne Reed says:

    I used poultry seasoning instead of Italian seasoning, but otherwise made as written. It turned out great! So easy too. I don’t have cast iron, but my stainless steel pans are oven safe to 500 degrees and worked just fine.