How to Cook a Turkey Tenderloin?

Why should you know how to cook a turkey tenderloin? Well smaller cuts of turkey can be extremely helpful when feeding a small group for Thanksgiving! Or if you just want the flavors of Thanksgiving anytime! Turkey tenderloins are usually found in a pack of 2 (at least that’s how I typically find them), and they basically remind me of a large chicken breast. They cook fast, too. These were done after 30 minutes of cook time. Can’t beat that!

Another benefit to using turkey tenderloins, is they will be boneless and skinless. Oftentimes, you will find the turkey breast in the store bone-in and skin-on. While having the bones in and the skin on can be helpful for flavor and keeping it moist, for someone new to cooking, getting something like the tenderloin can be more approachable. And if you’re in a hurry, takes less time to cook.

Want to make a turkey breast in the air fryer? We have a great honey mustard turkey recipe you should try!

Back to the tenderloin. I wanted to give this turkey the traditional flavor profile of Thanksgiving. I went with poultry herbs and spices, along with orange juice and zest. Letting it marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for a few hours, helps develop the flavor and keep it moist. A quick bake in the oven at 400 degrees F, and it was ready in 30 minutes! I paired it with a tasty and tart cranberry sauce, but you could also use gravy.



Baked Turkey Tenderloin with Fresh Herbs and Citrus

Turkey Tenderloin with Fresh Herbs and Citrus

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Condition: Diabetes, Gluten Free, Heart Health, PCOS
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1.5 lbs turkey tenderloin
  • 1/2 orange juiced and zested
  • 1 tsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp sage fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning


  • Combine all ingredients in a gallon size zip lock bag. Seal bag, then massage to combine. Alternatively, you could whisk together all ingredients besides the turkey, place turkey in a dish, then pour over marinade. Turn to coat.
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 2-3 hours. If marinating for more than 30 minutes, place in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove turkey from the marinade, and place in a baking dish. Bake until internal temperature reaches 160° F, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve with cranberry sauce, gravy, or favorite Thanksgiving accoutrements.


For more Thanksgiving recipe ideas, check out our recipe ideas for a lower carb Thanksgiving, low sodium Thanksgiving, or a low FODMAP thanksgiving!

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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.