Air fryer turkey legs are crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. These flavor-packed turkey legs are a foolproof dish the whole family will love.
Every summer, my family and I go to the Renaissance Fair, and we always end up getting giant turkey legs. They’re seriously to die for! It got me thinking, why wait until the summer when I can make a turkey leg in the air fryer all year round?
Just like that, this delicious recipe was born. Now, it’s a family favorite when it comes to dinner time. Crispy on the outside and tender inside, when you air fry turkey legs, you’ll have juicy dark meat that is absolutely irresistible.
Air fryers are so convenient because they can roast turkey legs like it’s nothing! I love this turkey leg recipe because it’s so easy to execute perfectly, making it a great choice for busy weeknight dinners.
How to Cook Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Start by preheating your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
STEP TWO: Grab a bowl and mix together the melted butter, Cajun and poultry seasoning, garlic salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika.
STEP THREE: Before you air fry the turkey legs, baste them with the seasoned butter. Make sure to get the top, bottom, and sides — this helps to create the crispy skin.
STEP FOUR: Place turkey legs in the air fryer and cook for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove when they’ve reached your desired crispiness, but make sure they have hit a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
STEP FIVE: Once your air fried turkey legs are cooked to perfection, they’re ready to enjoy!
Tips to Make the Best Air Fryer Turkey Legs
- It’s not the best idea to air fry frozen turkey legs. If you’re using frozen turkey legs, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then cook them following the instructions above.
- If you have extra time to invest in this delicious recipe, you can brine your turkey legs by soaking them in salted water for 3-4 hours or overnight. This prevents the air fryer turkey from losing moisture while cooking.
Make sure not to stack or overlap the turkey legs in the air fryer basket. This could result in uneven cooking, and the skin won’t get crispy anywhere the air fryer turkey legs are touching.
Variations to Air Fried Turkey Legs
- For a richer smoky flavor, you can try using smoked turkey legs. If you do, there’s no need to season the air fryer turkey legs with anything extra!
- If you don’t have garlic salt on hand, you can make your own by mixing garlic powder with regular salt. You can start with a 1:3 ratio of garlic powder to salt and adjust to your taste.
- If you prefer a less intense seasoning, seasoned salt is a great alternative to the traditional spices used in this turkey leg recipe.
- For a sweeter glaze, combine brown sugar, melted butter, a hint of cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg.
What to Serve with Turkey Legs
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic
- Mac and Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Ritz Cracker Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes
How Long to Cook Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer
When placing your turkey leg in the air fryer, the cooking time really depends on if you’re working with a small or large turkey leg.
I usually find that between 25 and 30 minutes does the trick for me.
But here’s the golden rule: make sure the air fried turkey leg’s internal temperature hits 165 degrees F so it’s safe to eat. To do this, place a meat thermometer in the thickest point of the turkey drumsticks.
If you’re planning on air frying pre cooked turkey legs, check out my Air Fryer Turkey Wings recipe for directions!
More Easy Air Fryer Dinner Ideas
- Air Fryer Cornish Hen
- BBQ Chicken Legs in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Pork Loin
- Air Fryer Roast Beef
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- Air Fryer Bone-in Pork Chops
How to Reheat a Turkey Leg in the Air Fryer
To reheat turkey legs, start by preheating the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Arrange your turkey legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry the turkey legs for approximately 5 minutes, making sure they’re thoroughly heated.
Store any leftover turkey in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
More Air Fryer Turkey Recipes
- Air Fryer Turkey Cutlets
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin
- Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- Air Fryer Turkey Bacon
- Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
- Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
- Add the melted butter, cajun and poultry seasoning, garlic salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl and mix.
- Baste the seasoned butter all over the turkey legs top and bottom and sides.
- Place the turkey legs in the air fryer basket and cook for 25-30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove the turkey legs from the air fryer and enjoy!
How to Reheat Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Place the turkey legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until heated through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 681Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 371mgSodium: 923mgCarbohydrates: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 78g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.