Sous Vide Turkey Leg Recipe

Since getting my Sous Vide Supreme, I’ve been itching to develop a sous vide turkey leg recipe. And what better time to enjoy turkey than the month of November? All of the local butchers are starting to carry a variety of turkey parts, so I decided to take advantage of the seasonal bounty and see how well this large bird stands up to water bath cooking.

Turns out there are no recipes on the internet for how to sous vide turkey legs, unless you’re making turkey confit – which I’m not. This recipe is for straight-up turkey drumsticks, cooked with some simple seasoning. You can make this recipe for Thanksgiving, but it’s also great for any other day that you’re having a hankering for turkey.

Overall, I was very pleased with how the legs turned out; moist, tender, and if given a little sear at the end, this recipe will yield a great, golden turkey leg perfect for caveman-style gnawing (don’t forget the UUUNNNNNNGGGGGHHHHHH grunt!). I highly recommend this recipe for nights when you’re planning a full-contact dinner party, renaissance faire style.

Sous Vide Turkey Leg Recipe
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Sous Vide
  • 2 large turkey legs, about 1 pound each
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves, crumpled by hand
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  1. Preheat your sous vide machine to 170°F (77°C).
  2. Rinse the turkey legs under cool water, then dry completely with a paper towel.
  3. Place turkey legs in a large vacuum sealer bag with butter, sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Vacuum seal bag.
  4. Place sealed bag into the water bath and allow to cook for 6-7 hours.
  5. After the turkey legs have cooked, remove them from the water bath. Open bag and pour butter into a small bowl, discarding all vegetables and herbs.
  6. Preheat 3 tablespoons of the cooking butter in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, sear all sides of the turkey legs until they are golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with stuffing and your favorite mashed potatoes recipe.


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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi says

    Sounds fantastic. Turkey is a delicacy here, but we do like to sous vide chicken. Very, very tender and moist.

  2. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. says

    We’ve been sous vide-ing turkey at Ye Olde Retail Emporium in anticipation of Thanksgiving, and I’ve been pretty pleased with the results. Now if I could only get more comfortable with the fact that I’m cooking my food in a plastic bag (food-safe, yes, but still so weird to me).

  3. Sheryl says

    This is all new to me. I know nothing at all about this method of cooking. Now you’ve managed to pique my curiosity!

  4. Alisa Bowman says

    I love the steamed food effect. It always comes out so tender this way, and yet I continually forget to do it. Thanks for the reminder and the great recipe suggestion.

  5. MyKidsEatSquid says

    Gorgeous pictures–this is definitely making me want to give this a try. How pricey is a sous vide machine anyway?

  6. Diane-thewholegang says

    Oh how much fun it would be to play with sous vide. I may have to add that to my wish list. Those legs look wonderful.

  7. Maura D says

    Hi! Are you still SVing? Do you have recipe for the breasts and rest of the dark meat? I am finding it quite difficult since there are varying opinions online. Thanks!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Hi Maura, the plus of SV is that it’s tough to dry out meat. So, for the breast and the rest of the dark meat, I’d cook them for the same amount of time, maybe tossing in some gravy. If I were you, I’d experiment before the big day and see how YOU like it. And please report back! :)


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