Air Fryer Turkey Legs  — Introducing a mouthwatering delight for turkey enthusiasts – air fryer turkey legs. With the power of the air fryer, you can achieve irresistibly crispy skin while keeping the meat tender and juicy, making these turkey legs an easy and delicious option for any occasion.​

These roasted turkey legs make for a great Thanksgiving dinner; find turkey legs at your local grocery store today! Your family will love you for them, and it’s a fabulous alternative to a chicken!

Air Fryer Turkey Legs (2)
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Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Savor the rich and robust flavors of turkey like never before with our simple turkey legs recipe. This cooking method delivers golden-brown skin and succulent and juicy, all while cutting down on excess oil and calories. Whether for a festive holiday feast, game day, or a casual meal, air-fried turkey legs will surely be a crowd-pleaser that leaves your taste buds longing for more.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Turkey Leg Recipe

With these simple ingredients, you’ll transform turkey legs into a delectable Thanksgiving family favorite.

Ingredients Needed For This Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutrition facts.

  • Turkey Legs: Fresh turkey legs are best; ask at your butcher’s counter.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil adds moisture and helps moisten the meat; you can also use melted butter.
  • Paprika: Brings a subtle smokiness and vibrant color to the legs.
  • Garlic Powder: Infuses the turkey with savory garlic notes and enhances its overall flavor.
  • Onion Powder: Adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the seasoning.
  • Dried Thyme: Dried thyme contributes earthy, herbaceous undertones to the turkey legs.
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper: Provides the perfect flavor balance and enhances the dish’s taste.
  • Cayenne (optional): For those who enjoy a hint of heat, cayenne can be added to taste.
  • Cooking Spray: A light coating of non-stick spray ensures the meat won’t stick to the air fryer liner.

How To Cook Turkey Legs in Air Fryer

With our step-by-step guide, you will have a delicious Thanksgiving alternative in a few minutes.

How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Step 1: Prep The Turkey Drumsticks

  • Turn On Your Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees C) for 3-5 minutes. This will ensure the turkey legs cook evenly.
  • Prepare the Turkey Legs: Pat the turkey legs dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drying the skin helps achieve a crispy skin.
  • Season the Turkey Legs: In a small bowl, add your seasonings if you like a bit of spice. Rub this seasoning mixture evenly over the turkey legs and coat them thoroughly.

Step 2: Air Fry Turkey Legs

  • Prep the Air Fryer: Lightly grease the air fryer tray with non-stick spray. This will prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.
  • Air Fry: Place the seasoned turkey legs in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not touching. If your air fryer is small, you may need to cook them in batches.
  • Cook Time: Air fry the turkey legs at 375 degrees F, with a cook time of  25-30 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip turkey legs to ensure even roasting. 
  • Check the Temperature:  They are done use a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees F (74°C) at the thickest part and the outside is crispy and golden brown, or until the juices run clear.
How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Step 3: Serve

  • Rest and Serve: Once done, remove the turkey legs from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This redistributes the juices, ensuring a moist and flavorful result.
  • Optional Broil: If you want an extra crispy finish, briefly broil the turkey legs in your oven for a minute or two, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.
  • Serve: Plate up your roasted turkey legs and enjoy! They’re perfect as a main course or for any occasion.
How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Legs

​Pro Tips

Here are some pro tips to ensure your air fryer turkey legs turn out perfectly:

  • Season Generously: Don’t be shy with the seasoning. Cover the turkey legs evenly with the spice mixture for a flavorful outcome.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: This is essential, just like with an oven. This helps ensure even roasting.
  • Single Layer and No Crowding: Place the turkey legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t touch. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Flip Midway: Flipping the turkey legs halfway through roasting ensures even browning and crispiness on all sides.
  • Temperature: Invest in a good-quality instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey legs.  
  • Optional Broiling: If you prefer an extra crispy finish, briefly broil the turkey legs in your oven after air frying. Keep a close eye to prevent burning.
  • Rest Before Serving: Let the cooked turkey legs rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps lock in juices and ensures a moist and flavorful result.
How Do I Know When Turkey Is Done?
Testing the internal temperature is the only way to tell if the air fryer turkey leg is done. It should be 180 degrees F. Try this using an instant-read thermometer which you must stick in the thickest part of the turkey leg.

What Do Turkey Legs Taste Like?

Turkey legs are a flavorful and juicy cut of dark meat with a taste that is often described as rich, savory, and slightly sweet. The meat has a firmer texture than chicken and is darker in color due to the higher levels of myoglobin, a protein that helps store oxygen in muscles.

Turkey meat is one of the most popular parts of the turkey and a great alterative to the Thanksgiving Turkey!

How To Get Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Getting crispy skin on turkey legs when air frying can be a challenge, but there are some tips you can follow to help achieve that perfect crispy texture. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Pat the turkey legs dry: Dry turkey legs before seasoning them. Dry them with paper towels to remove the excess moisture from the turkey legs.
Use a high temperature: Preheat the air fryer to a high temperature, around 375°F (190°C) or higher. This will help the skin crisp up faster.
Brush with oil: Brushing the turkey legs with a small amount of oil, such as vegetable or olive oil, can help the skin crisp up and brown evenly. You can also brush melted butter over the turkey legs, giving you a deep golden brown color.
Don't overcrowd the basket: Make sure the turkey legs are not overcrowded in the air fryer basket, as this can prevent the skin from crisping up.
Flip the turkey legs: Flip the turkey legs halfway through cooking to ensure that both sides of the skin are evenly crisped.
Use a rack: Place the turkey legs on a wire rack in the air fryer basket if possible. This will allow air to circulate the turkey legs and help the skin crisp.
Finish under the broiler: If the skin is not as crispy as you'd like it to be after air frying, finish the turkey legs under the broiler for a few minutes to achieve a crispy and golden-brown skin.
Following these tips, you can achieve crispy and delicious turkey legs in the air fryer.


Can I cook frozen turkey legs in an air fryer? 

Yes, you can cook frozen legs in an air fryer. However, it’s recommended to thaw them first for better results. Thawing allows for even more cooking and ensures the turkey legs are fully cooked.

How long does it take to cook turkey legs in an air fryer? 

The cooking time for turkey legs in an air fryer can vary depending on their size and the specific air fryer model. Generally, it takes 30-45 minutes of cooking time at 350 degrees F (175°C) for turkey legs to cook thoroughly. Remove when the turkey legs are at 165F.

What seasonings can I use for turkey legs in an air fryer?

You can season the turkey with various seasonings, such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, poultry seasoning, brown sugar, or a dry rub. You can also use marinades or rubs to add flavor.

Can I use a glaze or sauce on turkey legs in the air fryer?

Yes, you can use glazes or sauces on turkey legs. However, applying them during the last few minutes of cooking is best to prevent burning. This gives your turkey legs a flavorful, caramelized finish.

How do I ensure the turkey legs are cooked to a safe temperature?

Monitor the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer before removing them from the air fryer basket. 

Can I cook multiple turkey legs at once in the air fryer?

You can cook multiple turkey legs in the air fryer, but avoid overcrowding. Arrange them in a single layer without touching to ensure even cooking. If your air fryer is small, you may need to cook them in batches.

Should I flip the turkey legs during cooking?

Yes, it’s good practice to flip the turkey legs halfway through roasting. This helps ensure even browning and crispiness on all sides.

Reheat Turkey Legs

Place turkey legs into the air fryer basket, set the temperature to 400 degrees F, and cook for 5-8 minutes. For best results, adjust cook times accordingly. 

Air fryer Turkey Legs

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Air Fryer Turkey Legs (2)

Air Fryer Turkey Legs

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Brine Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Air Frye Turkey Legs are tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful! Coated in tasty cajun seasoning, it's great for holidays or weeknights!


  • 4 turkey legs
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 3 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorn


  • Place turkey legs into a casserole dish and pour pickle juice inside. Let brine for 3 hours
  • Preheat the air fryer to 370* for 5 minutes
  • Remove the turkey from the brine. In a small ramekin, combine thyme, brown sugar, paprika, and black pepper. Rub all sides of the turkey legs with seasoning. *The skin of Turkey helps to create a delicious crunch on the outside and keeps the meat inside tender and juicy. For a low-fat option, remove the skin before seasoning. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the Turkey legs and if the skin is removed, so use a meat thermometer for the next step*
  • Place turkey legs into the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes. Flip over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Check the temperature of the Turkey legs, if they have reached 165* they are ready! If not, cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the internal temp has reached 165*. Larger Turkey legs will take longer, and smaller will take less time. This is why it is important to check the temp while cooking so they are not over cooked. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to do multiple batches.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme and serve with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!


  • Air Fryer


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 1011kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 133gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 481mgSodium: 1971mgPotassium: 1888mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 136IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 12mg

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